Tuesday, March 31, 2009

While I thoroughly enjoy my weekly clinicals, I can't say there's usually much excitement going on. In fact, we get our stimulation fix by watching videos about violence in the workplace, or maintaining confidentiality in keeping with HIPAA laws.

But the nurses at the facility are OK with routine. Because excitement in health care doesn't usually mean a surprise birthday party.

Today we had quite a few detours from the normal routine.

The first was when the patient I was taking care of got nauseous and threw up all over the place. Thankfully, it did not get on me, and I’m so thankful for Meghan my partner who ran to the linen supply closet to get new towels and fresh sheets. But with my patient sick, I was kind of left with nothing to do. So I went to the treatment room (which isn't much bigger than my closet) and I reviewed and studied some more with Meghan.

When I emerged, Shawn told me that I’d missed more excitement. A patient had somehow gotten stuck in the Hoyer lift. A Hoyer lift is used to lift heavier or otherwise totally immobile patients out of bed to their wheelchair. it looks like this (varying from facility to facility)

While it looks like fun, it is actually quite terrifying for a patient to be lifted up out of their bed-especially in the case when the patient has dementia, and is not very aware of what exactly is going on. And the other factor is that the CNAs (certified nursing assistants) who move the patients, have done it so often that their movements are quick and jerky, which makes it all the more terrifying. but that's all part of the issue of desensitivity of health care workers, resulting in a decrease of compassion towards the patients (which is a wholly another issue to be taken up at a later time) so it seems the lift somehow broke or malfunctioned, and the CNA left to get help, leaving the patient dangling midair. So the nursing students who had been attending to that patient had to manually get the patient out of the lift and maneuver her back into her bed.

as if to make up for all that had transpired in the morning, the rest of the class passed uneventfully. unless you count the rousing discussion i had with Jan (nonreligious classmate) and Tatiana (Latino classmate) dispelling the myth that Jews have horns.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

i wonder what the difference between pool and billiards is. and who was the first person who thought it'd be fun to knock some balls around with a stick? but it's one of those games that i enjoy, even though I'm not very good. since i started playing weekly, I've improved slightly; i can now aim the white ball that it actually hits the balls i want to hit. actually steering them towards a pocket will take some more time. it is said that you can use math skills to succeed in this game. the only person i know whoever used trigonometry (is that the math of the triangle?) is my grandfather, who can play pool with himself for hours on end. i don't know how he does it, but i think he envisions triangles on the table. (and i say this in the most un-weird way possible) but i still find it fun to play. that is, when I'm not getting kicked out of pool halls for being too young. the only thing i gotta learn, is not to rest my chin on the top of my cue after I've chalked it up. i always leave pool games with a blue chin...

Monday, March 23, 2009

when i was younger i loved animals. i thought i wanted to be a vet. i begged my parents for a dog on every birthday. i dreamed of living on a farm. then i read James Herriot's books and i changed my mind about being a vet.

(on a completely side note, i was completely disillusioned to find out that James Herriot's bosses' names were not really Tristan and Siegfried, but rather Donald and Brian)

but i always had a dream of working with animals or owning some real pets (real means with fur, lives outside water, and recognizes its owner-that excludes fish, frogs, turtles, chickens, ducks, birds, and rocks)

today when i took my pet to the vet, i sat in the waiting room with four pet owners, all who were holding leashes with dogs at the ends, and some of my old dreams of taking care of animals resurfaced.

but i have to say; the vets in that place are all weird.

the girl who works at the front desk has a falsetto cheery voice that totally gets under my skin. when i walk in she says "hi! who do we have here?" i always feel grumpy when i talk to her. i mumble my pets name-mind you, if i tell her my last name, she won't know what I'm talking about. they only have the pets' names in the appointment book-in fact, the only names on the files are the pets' names. the first time i went to the vet, a girl (what do they call assistant vets?) came to the waiting room with a file, and called my pet's name "that's me" i mumbled again "doctor will see you now" she led me to a room and left me with my pet to wait for the vet. on the way, i heard the vet call for help in room three-a dog had thrown up all over the floor.

the vet that I've seen every time, calls my pet all sorts of horrible sweet names, and the assistants are slightly creepy teenagers with many piercings and in desperate need of haircuts. they lurk around the room, and don't really do anything except make me nervous. this past visit, i couldn't be sure if the assistant was a guy or a girl.

so i left the vet today feeling slightly creeped out, with an emptier wallet, and a glad feeling that I'm helping people get better, not animals. i think it takes more social skills to give a patient their daily medicine or provide am cares, than it does to bandage the tail of a dog, or diagnose a dog with end stage renal failure.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I've been haunting my computer all morning.

i'm waiting to hear from my professor, who said she'll be emailing us with our grades today. so far, my inbox lies empty.

i probably should walk away for like a half hour, but i'm dying to know what i got on the test. y'know when you're bored, and you wander into the kitchen, and look through the fridge? and you don't find anything so you leave...and then come back ten minutes later to check again? as if in those ten minutes food magically appeared...

i gotta go. i need to check my inbox again.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

another rite of passage into adulthood...

...one i could have done without:

parking violation

at the end of a long day at school, the only place i wanted to be was at home. with no homework to do. i got into my car, started the engine...and saw the little scrap of paper tucked under my wiper. at first i thought it was a nasty note, but as i got out of the car i saw it was a ticket. i mentally scanned my car; it was parked legally, everything seemed to be OK.

i looked at the ticket;

expired inspection.

i thought my inspection was good until December of 2009.

but that was my registration.

hello, nobody told me you have to have your car inspected every year!

why doesn't my mechanic send out postcards like my dentist does?

and which stupid cop has nothing better to do with his day than to drive around college parking lots looking for cars with violations???

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

life is really a fragile thing. one second we're breathing, and the next, our body is just an empty shell. nobody knows when the hourglass is going to run out, when the last few sands of life are going to slip through, and then it's too late. too late to fix anything, too late to say goodbye, too late to say I'm sorry...

a teacher of mine was sick for many years, and passed away last night. and it got me thinking. did i appreciate what she taught me? did i ever say thank you after a lesson, before i shut my books and turned to my friend to talk? did i ever apologize for the lessons i disrupted when i thought that whatever i had to say was more important than what she wanted to teach?

i didn't.

and now it's too late to ever make amends.

Monday, March 16, 2009

having Jewish classmates who aren't religious can put you through experiences that range from funny, to awkward, and downright embarrassing.

on Purim morning when i was in clinical, the nurse manager on duty was talking about the daily schedule. she mentioned that since it's Purim, the schedule was different. Tatiana looked at me and asked

"what's Purim?" so i said

"oh well it's Jewish holiday..."

"no i know that" she said "but what is it? like why do you celebrate it?"

well, how do you sum up Purim in 50 words or less, to a Latino girl who would get offended if i told her we were celebrating the fact that some non-Jewish guy wanted to kill Jews? before i could begin to explain what it was, Jan (who's nonreligious) leaned forward and said

"it's like a cross between Christmas and Halloween" then he looked at me and explained "well, Halloween because you dress up, and Christmas because you give out presents"

i didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

it happens once a semester, about the same time as midterms. students start making decisions about running for positions in the Student Government. in order to run for president, you need to have a certain amount of signatures. so the would-be-candidates walk around the computer lab, library, and student lounge, where the biggest congregation of student body can be found. they'll walk around from table to table, shove their papers under your nose, and mumble incoherently at you.

"what's this?" i asked a short Asian guy who was hovering behind me. between the noise of the library, his accent, and the impossibly low level at which he was speaking, i could barely hear him.

"um, I'm running for student government. would you sign my petition and support me?"

"sure, what's your platform?" i asked

"my what?"

"your platform? what changes are you going to make if you win? i mean, if you want me to support you, you have to tell what you're going to do for me"
he thought about this for a minute

"well, i think I'll get rid of Pluralism and Diversity (the college core for all degrees) i feel like it's a big waste of time, and you gain enough experience in diversity in the college"

(this is why he wants to run for student Governor. so he can get rid of a class that he already took)

so i took the pen and i signed his platform.

the whole Student Government is a big joke to me. in fact, i was just about to make fun of the Hillel government on Friday night, when our guest said to me,
"oh, you go to ________ College? do you know my son? he's the treasurer of the Hillel"


last semester, there was a frum guy running for some government office. i don't necessarily take part in the elections, but he was standing outside the Student Union building, giving out pencils. when he saw that i was wearing a skirt, he said "you know you want to vote for me!" and handed me a pencil that had his name on it. i took the pencil, wished him luck, and told him that he might get more votes if he gave out sharpened pencils. but then i voted for him anyway.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

they say that many years ago, man was a great hunter. in today's (slightly) civilized time, many of the hunters' instincts have disappeared. if you want to see true hunter's instincts resurface, go stand in the parking lot. especially the lot of a college with very few good spots. fifteen minutes before class starts is optimal time.

there are three lots on the college campus. the best lot is on the side of the building where the classes are. this is the lot that fills up the quickest. the second-best lot is the one in the front of the campus. this is good if you're going to the main front building to register, pay, or visit any of the offices, or if it's really cold or raining and you want to cut through that building to get to your class. the third lot is the biggest. and has the worst parking. it spans the entire width of the campus and lies behind all the buildings. from the best spot in that lot, you need to walk up about 30 steps and down a path to get to class. try sprinting that when you're late. and carrying a full bag and a computer. not so easy.

on the days that i go to school early (before 8 am) i never have a problem finding a spot in the best lot. the other two days i don't start class before two. unless i go really early to study in the library, i usually have to park in the front lot, or wait for a spot. when I'm running late, i end up parking way, way in the back and running all the way.

but trying to find a spot in a crowded lot is a sport in itself. pulling into the lot and seeing no spots and three circling cars is always a bad sign. making a quick round of the lot to see if there are any spots that the circlers missed reveals that there are no spots. so the next step is to scan the path to see if anyone is coming out of the building. if there is someone, you can either follow them to their spot, or roll down your window and politely ask them if they are pulling out and if you can have their spot. the best place to sit and wait for people to leave the building is at the end of the path, where you're closest to whoever is leaving. the second someone clicks their keys and unlocks their doors, the cars zoom up like shark circling a prey. it's usually the fastest, most aggressive car that wins this battle. or the car with the most dents. that kind of car usually broadcasts a message that they bump other cars. frequently. usually, once a car is positioned next to a car backing out of a spot symbolizes that they are pulling into that spot. most people put their blinkers on just to make sure that everyone got the message. and everyone usually leaves them alone. but once in awhile, a nasty person will zoom right in the spot before you've even had a chance to shift from park to drive. when this happens, there is no point in even trying to reason with that person. the only thing to do at this point is go back and try again. and pray you're not late to class.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Purim 2009

this should really be a series of mini-posts, but I'm just going to dump this all out into one long (boring?) post

Taanis Esther
i always felt like this was the 'lost' fast. with all the other fast days, there is a lot of focus and reflection on why we're fasting, but with Taanis Esther, it's all making the mishloach manot, preparing the costumes, and cooking the food. i had class on Monday, and it was one of the hardest fasts I've ever done (not including Yom Kippurs) because everyone around me was eating. french fries, pizza, chicken, soup, cake, crackers, pretzels...i think i started hallucinating and saw dancing donuts march in front of my eyes. and the beads on my instructors necklace looked like candies...
i tried to study, but i could barely hear my thoughts over the rumbling protest of my stomach. it hadn't helped that i forgot to eat lunch the day before.

the question is, do you wear costumes at night? my shul does a chagiga following megillah reading, so we've always come dressed up in costume. this year was no different. my costume was a very last minute decision, and i was very impressed with myself that it came out so good. my entire family always dresses up, even my parents. there are a few families in the shul who are into matching themes; the costumes, the mishloach manot, the seudah, the wall decorations, it all ties in. this year was no exception. of course there were they typical costumes, queens, brides, princesses, Indians, cowboys/girls, punks, sports figures. the girls usually pick costumes that include one or more of the following:
long fingernails
big dangly earrings
a lot of makeup
the boys usually choose a costume that includes one or more of the following:
spiked hair
fake tattoos

my idea of a perfect megillah reading is one where you can bang for the first and last Haman, and in between the reader reads right through all the other Hamans. the worse reading i ever sat through was when i was in seminary. it took an hour and fifteen minutes. pure agony. our shul has instituted a policy of no caps or any smoking or banging things during megillah reading. thank goodness for that. brother2 set off so many poppers and bombs that my nerves were totally shot by the end of Purim.
this morning, i had a little salvation of my own with Megillah reading. i had the problem of a clinical that started at 8 am and finished at 1 pm. since they changed the clock (why is it phrased that way, "they" changed the clock, we are the ones who change the clock...) there was no minyan that would be finished before 8 am. so i was going to have to make my dad my shomer to make sure i would hear megillah. slightly annoying, but that's part of life.
the facility that my clinical was located in is Jewish facility, and there were signs everywhere that announced Megillah reading at 10:15. so i took a chance, held my breath, and asked my instructor if i could leave the class to hear Megillah...and she said yes!

Mishloach Manot
the thing about mishloach manot that confuses me the most is the whole reciprocity thing. you have to leave someone at home to give mishloach manot to the people who come, but then you run into the problem of one person getting two from you. or none. and even leaving a list isn't foolproof. because what if you decide to run into someone's house and don't tell the person at home? i decided that next year I'm going to make one mishloach manot. just one. I'll give it to the first person who gives to me. and then I'll take the one they give me and give it to the next person who gives to me. except I'll run into a problem if there are labels on it. or if i give to a friend who will then have two of the exact same mishloach manot. sister1 says she's saving the bags and containers that she received mishloach manot in and next year she's going to give everyone mishloach manot in the bags that they gave her in this year.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

'twas the night before Purim...

yep, Purim is definitely tomorrow night.

the haman men are hanging from the chandelier (although most of them missing arms and legs already, since a certain uncle has graced us with his presence and started the feeding frenzy)

sister2, brother2, and myself are doing last minute costume preparation. although in my case, i started working on my costume at three this afternoon. i was toying with a few ideas, but as a backup, i was just going to leave my uniform on, since i have clinical Purim morning. but at a fabric shop this afternoon, an idea came to me, and at ten thirty pm, my costume was finished.

my dad is practicing his Megillah writing skills, but somehow i doubt he'll finish by tomorrow night. maybe next year...

my mother is working on the shul's chagiga for tomorrow night. am i surprised that people can be so unaccommodating? the deadline was Thursday. and then Thursday night. and then Friday morning. and then Friday afternoon. and then motzai shabbos. and still people are calling to make reservations, or have not yet paid.

brother1 is in yeshiva, but he came home today to collect some odds and ends for his costume. wonder if he'll grace us with his presence this year...
my favorite part of sleeping is the part right before falling asleep, when I'm floating in and out of consciousness, unable to talk, but able to hear what's going on around me. if you ask me what my favorite activity is, I'll say sleeping. of course, i like other things too. like poetry. and walking on the beach. and poking dead things with a stick. but sleeping is pretty high on the list. maybe it's because I'm always at a sleep deficit.

but i got woken up too many times over the weekend when i was just falling asleep.

on Friday i was so exhausted, having just finished a very full week, and decided to nap. just as i was settling in to my 'happy place', my phone buzzed. i got a text from my cousin who said she would be arriving at 4:30. i had no clue she was coming. and when i told my mom about it, she didn't either. i think my cousin had wanted to come last week but it didn't work out so my mom suggested this past week. it was just weird because she never touched base with my mom to confirm. so i hopped out of bed to go find linen to put on the bed in the guest room, and went back to sleep.

about half hour later when i was just drifting off, my phone buzzed. my cousin had arrived and i had to go pick her up from the bus.

shabbos afternoon i tried to study a bit, but memorizing drug names made me sleepy. i had just settle down when sister1 came to wake me up for seudah shlishit.

and this morning my mom came into my room at like 8:30 to tell sister1 that her boss was ready to go to work (She's an accountant so she works on Sundays during tax season)

all together, it's been a very frustrating weekend in the sleep department.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

so why are people so anti-facebook?

OK, i take that back, i know why people are against it.

at a wedding recently, when the conversation turned to facebook, one girl told me,
"my mom doesn't want me to have facebook, 'cuz this whole thing happened to a cousin of mine, she was on facebook and she met this guy, whatever, she was like sort of off the derech anyway, but now she's totally not frum"

i understand the dangers, but i think at some point you gotta give people credit to be able to make the right choices.

for me, the real danger would be an addiction. i don't waste time sending flowers, or free gifts, or throwing cheesecake at my friends. in fact, the only applications i have are the Harry Potter Trivia (so my friends and i can vie for the spot of top Harry Potter junkie) and Pieces of Flair (so my friends can send me buttons that talk about how Harry Potter is better than Twilight, women are greater than men, and nurses are greater than everyone else. oh, and they try to tempt me with teasers about Twilight so I'll finish the series ) aside from that, i just love the easiness it is to keep in touch with everyone. it's having email, flickr, YouTube, and AIM all on one page.

and it's convenient too. when i had a test on electrolyte imbalance, and i was desperate, i put up my status about wanting to learn about it, and a friend emailed some recorded lectures she had from class. and when my aunt saw her brother-in-law's status about wanting to send something from England to the US, she told him that sister1 was actually in England.

you've just gotta weigh the good and bad and make a decision for yourself.

and on a totally different, but slightly related topic; it bugs me when people don't spell things correctly. facebook has spell check, people! in case you didn't realize, you can right click on the words that have a red squiggly line underneath them, and there are suggestions for the correctly spelled word. and why do people always ask me if I'm going for speech when i correct their grammar? is it so crazy to want to speak correctly?

Monday, March 2, 2009

"all day and evening classes are canceled due to the storm"

those words never sounded sweeter. i have no clue who does the recording for my college's emergency notification line, but he should know that he makes alot of people very very happy.

i had a seminary reunion yesterday, and a wedding last night so i took a chance, packed my overnight bag and set out for the more crowded parts of New York. when the wedding was over, the snow was just starting to come down, but i wasn't sure if the roads would be OK. ten minutes after i got into the car and skidded straight through a red light, i was glad i had decided to stay over at a friend. now my friend from out of town is snowed in, and my hostess friend took off from work. and the best part is that her brother was shoveling all the cars out so she shoveled mine out too.

i love snow days :)