Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hallelujah

I understand that I have neglected this blog for months now. That was never my intention.
But you should all see me now, it's quite the sight.
I am sitting in front of my computer screen with tears streaming down my face. And for once, they are tears of joy.
Words cannot even begin to express how unbelievably happy I am to see this semester put behind me. It is pure bliss, and I have a feeling of calm and content that I didn't even know I could achieve.
Very few people understand how rough the past few months have been for me. I didn't talk about it much, even with family, what I have been going through. And I still haven't decided if I want to "let it all out" on Word Lust because part of me feels that some of it was my own fault and I feel stupid and embarrassed about it.
I am sure I will tell you all one day...because things like that don't just go away. It's like a crack in a dam. It starts so small, barely noticeable...but slowly the pressure builds up behind it and all of a sudden the weight of the water behind the wall becomes too much to bare and it all comes crashing down.
Let's just say, if I could go back, the past few months would turn out very differently.
I think that this has always been, at least in my program, the "make-or break"/"sink-or-swim" semester. It is the last semester before you take on truly critical patients. And they want to know if you have got what it takes.
And they do try to break you. The attitudes of the instructors are basically, "So, you want to be a nurse? Prove it." And then they throw you to the lions.
Some of the challenges are with the patients themselves. But others are with some of the external factors....
My first week on the Ortho/Med-Surg floor was like that. A family had come up to the front desk and started screaming at all the nurses and the unit clerk about how an antibiotic was late for their mother and how they were all incompetent.
Take a wild guess which patient I got for my assignment?
Yep. This lovely group's mother. The charge nurse even said, "Um...Madam Nursing Instructor, I really don't think a student should be placed with this family." But my instructor insisted on it. I remember that I didn't sleep at all that night because between fits of crying because I was convinced the instructor had it in for me and anger at how unfair the situation seemed, I was up late studying every detail of her condition, disease process, the mountains of medications she was receiving and therapeutic communication techniques so that I wouldn't look like a complete ass in front of her or her family.
And guess what? They loved me.
I know, right? I was just as shocked as you. All that worry. All that stress. For nothing. That was the first time on a med-surg floor when I thought, "Wow. Maybe I can handle this."
But it was so close to not happening.
I nearly failed this semester.
That has never happened before. Never even been close to happening. I have never, ever been borderline in a class. I am not saying that it wasn't my fault because a lot of it was. I made some really bad choices and got myself into situations that should have never happened and for that, the blame rests totally on my shoulders. Like I said, if I could go back....
But hindsight is 20/20 and there is nothing we can do about the past.
Grades were posted on the school's website on Thursday around noon. We were told that they would be there Tuesday afternoon, so we had been on the website since then, clicking F5 every 15 seconds from 6am to midnight.
I received a text message from one of my study buddies, just as I saw the post on Facebook ("GRADES ARE POSTED. CHECK IT, BITCHES.") My heart was nearly pounding out of my chest when I opened Blackboard.
"D"
Wait. That had to have been a mistake. I did the math myself. If I had made 85% on the final (which I did), I should have a C. A low C but still enough to pass. There was no way that this could be correct. Immediately, I called the program coordinator.
"Are these grades on Blackboard correct?"
"Yes. They are. Wait, let me look up yours. Yes. I see it here. You have a D. You failed the class and will have to retake it next semester."
What could I say to that? I hung up the phone just as the text messages from my classmates started pouring in. "Did you make it?" and "OMG, girl....this is some bullshit. No fucking way I failed that class." Apparently, I was in the same boat as quite a few other people.
I didn't want to talk to anyone.
After an hour of crying, I called my classmate and clinical buddy, Matt. He is already a nurse...an LPN going back for his RN...and been such a support to me in the program. He has a way of knowing what to say and saying it honestly without making you want to kick him in the balls for it.
As I was venting to him on the phone, my call waiting beeped. I recognized the first 3 digits of the number as from the college. I told him i had to answer it and let him go.
"Hello, Estelle? This is Mrs. Course Coordinator from the College. So, it was brought to my attention that some of the calculations for the grades online were incorrect. I recalculated the grades by hand and you actually passed."
"What?"
"You passed. You will be in Adult Nursing 3 next semester."
"[Incoherent blabbering in between sobs of joy and thanks]"
"Well, you're welcome. Have a good holiday and a Merry Christmas."
And here I am, my loves.
The endless studying. The all-nighters and countless cups of coffee. The lack of money. The weight gain (and lose). The abandonment of friends and family. The care plans and concept maps. The heavy textbooks and six hour lectures. The clinicals and skills check-offs. The feeling of complete and utter incompetence. It has all lead up to this point.
Graduation is in 154 days....May 14.
I am 1 semester...1 class....7 credit hours away from being an RN.

1 comment:

CaLLie.ANN said...

Estelle!

Ahhh, I'm bawling.

I felt like I was right there with you. Obviously I haven't started nursing school yet, but this is exactly how I picture it all happening for me. Ugh. Pass me the xanax.

At any rate---I'm INCREDIBLY happy for you. I'm so proud. You're going to make a wonderful nurse, and that "difficult" family proves it. I'm oober proud of you and super inspired.

Congratulations, love. You deserve it.