Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My second day of clinicals!

Today was way better than yesterday. The CNA I was with yesterday apologized for her behavior yesterday and was friendlier today.
The CNA I was shadowing today was really friendly and actually let me help her. I learned a lot and had fun too!
I got to do a shower for a resident. The CNA just gave me tips and was on stand by in case we got into trouble. It went really well and thanks to my Cosmetology skills the resident really enjoyed the shampoo. My teacher was also there and I got to have that skill marked off as done properly! That was a great feeling.
While I was collecting the trash from the rooms Physical Therapy let me pivot a resident back into bed! He said I did a really good job and he gave me a lot of pointers for working with people way taller than my 5'2" self. The resident even said I did it smoothly and didn't cause them more pain. Sadly, my teacher wasn't there for that one so it didn't get marked off.
Toward the end of my day I got to help a very nice resident to the dining room and I learned about what life was like back in WWII times. It was fascinating and it made me want to get back to sewing even more. Then I got to help a different resident eat lunch. They didn't need much help, but it felt good to make a positive difference in their day.
I still saw things that weren't "by the book" and a few that shouldn't happen, but today was definitely better than yesterday. I reported the wrongs to my teacher like I'm supposed to. It's a bit weird telling teacher, but she has the power to make a change and I don't.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow will be like. I'm really enjoying the residents and learning about them, but I'm still not sure what kind of aide I want to be. A part of me is leaning toward going to the hospital and being a PCT; another bit wants to become a restorative aide and work in Physical Therapy; and then there's the option of being a straight CNA in a long term facility.
No matter what type I become I'm glad I know that I want to go to school to become and RN as soon as I can save up the money. The type of aide I become will help me determine the type of nurse I become so it's an important decision, but it's still changeable.
Wish me luck, and if anyone has helpful tips or good ideas let me know!

Monday, March 30, 2015

My first day of clinicals!

Today was the first day of clinicals. I arrived early, just like the 5 others who made it through the skill test last Thursday. I'm still a bit shocked I passed it, but I'm so proud I did. There were 4 who didn't.
The lobby looked great, it had been newly remodeled and still had that new smell. It seemed spacious and modern. The people at  desk were friendly and I was super excited. I waited impatiently with the others to find out who my CNA trainer for the day would be. When I found out I would be on the rehab unit I was super happy. I haven't decided what kind of aide I want to be yet, but rehab sounds like fun. Then I met my trainer.
My first sighting of her had my heart sinking. She was ignoring the resident she was "feeding" and chatting with those around her. I introduced myself and sat down. The resident was nice and friendly though. The day devolved from there.
I watched her ignore multiple residents pleas for help. One wanted out of bed, she told them she had to do a shower first, then promptly went on break.  I got to wait in the break room for her.  Another had gotten his oxygen tubing tangled around his neck and the wheel of his chair, I fixed that one so the poor person didn't choke himself. It just kept going like that until she went to lunch. I was not amused.
After she was 10 minutes late coming back I looked in the break room for her. She was asleep. I closed the door quietly then knocked before I went in to wake her up. That was a mistake! Next thing I know she's dressing me down for looking for her and how I'm a big girl. It's her break and blah blah blah. I stopped listening before we got back to the unit. I did make the rude response of responding to someone else while she was berating me which pissed her off even more. I apologized.
We were warned when we got there to not make waves because finding clinical facilities is hard, so I had to be nice.
For the rest of the time I was there, about 1 1/2 hr. She ignored me and was only found at the opposite end of the hall from me. I got ditched by my trainer and that was fine with me. I answered call lights and passed out lunch trays. It was good way to end my first day of clinicals. I just hope she's not normally like that and I had her on a really bad day after the worst party night of her life.
I'm sure tomorrow will be better, I get to shadow someone else.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I passed the first weekly test!

Every day in class we have a short quiz going over what we learned the day before and I've done great so far. Today was the first 100 question weekly test and I passed!!! I got 98 questions right and the extra credit ones right so I got a 100%!!! I'm so proud of myself!
I'm really learning a lot, but there's still so much more to learn. Tonight I get to study infection spreading and control. I hope I get it! I'm having a bit of trouble with the chapter on communicating so I plan to work on that as well. Plus I still need to do more spelling. I finally feel like I'm getting that part down though. In a few short weeks I'll be doing clinicals and I can't wait!
Cute little ants are hard workers too!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I passed my first test!

Today was my first test and I got 100%!!!!
I was so nervous and thank goodness we weren't graded on spelling! Most of the questions were multiple choice so that was good. I need to drill myself in the spelling of these words when I have time so I don't look like an idiot when I graduate.
Today we learned proper hand washing technique: there are a lot more steps than you'd think to the process! It's like 13 steps packed into 20-30 seconds. I'll definitely be practicing  to get it perfect. We got to use our stethoscopes today and I was so excited I tore my box getting it out. After homework I'm going to try out the other ear pieces it came with, the ones on it hurt. We also got to take each others temps with different kinds of thermometers and learned about how to place and use a blood pressure cuff (AKA: sphygmomanometer). Tomorrow we will learn to take blood pressures!
I was a bit annoyed at one of my classmates today. While the teacher was explaining the parts and how to use the cuff she piped up about it not being necessary because she already knew how to use it. My teacher came back very well by informing her that not everyone in the class had her knowledge and she taught as though we didn't know anything to make certain we had the right knowledge for reality. I almost fell out of my chair holding my laughter in at the look on that young girls face. It wa like no one had ever told her off so politely before. Kudos to my Teacher!
I look good in my scrubs!
After school I went to the police department and got the finger print card done that I need for State Board. It has to be in by next Thursday. It's really homey in there and the people were so friendly I was tempted to become a criminal so I didn't have to go home and do home work. They didn't even blink when I paid almost half the fee with change. 
Sadly, I chose to go home and now I get to read 3 chapters and take the review tests for each. If I have time after that I'm going to do some spelling/definition drills to work on my vocabulary.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Today was the first day of School!

Today was my first day of CNA school! I was so excited to get in there I forgot to take my jacket and I arrived 1 hour early. Thankfully they opened up shortly after I arrived and I could go inside. This is such a great adventure! Plus, I have homework for the first time in forever!
My teacher is a nurse I knew from when I worked at the hospital. It was great seeing her again and she looks just the same. 
I got my scrub uniforms, my books, my gait belt, and my stethoscope today! I'm really looking forward to using them! If the homework I have is any indication I'm really going to be learning a lot in the next 2 months!
The others in my class seem really nice and friendly, I may even make a friend or 2 while I'm there. Tonight I get to study the different types of care facilities and the body systems. There will be a quiz every day so wish me luck! Today was great and tomorrow will be even better!

My School!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I got the home healthcare job!

Today was my first official day of training with the home healthcare agency. I'm so excited to be chosen!
Today I got fingerprinted for the first time ever! It was messy and a bit surreal, the ink is very slimy feeling.
We got to meet the owner and most of the office staff and they all seem like great people. I'm really excited to be working with them! They really made me feel welcome and wanted. This is a great first step in my goal to becoming a nurse. I still laugh at myself for fighting it for so long.  
I also got a call from the hospital job today. He seemed a bit put out that I had found another job, but I told him I could do both and he said he'd get back to me. I'm not sure he will and I wouldn't blame him if he doesn't call, I just couldn't wait for a maybe. I need a job to pay for school and this one is actually in hands on healthcare. I feel a little sad about it though. After all, a month ago it was my dream job and I would still love to have it and be back in the hospital.
When I found out I hadn't gotten it the first time it made me reevaluate my life and my priorities.
Today's lessons were about how to give a bed bath and do peri care. We also learned a lot about communication and how to spot the signs of abuse and scammers. I'm hoping my odd assortment of hobbies and skills makes it easier for me to have something in common with my clients. It would be really cool to learn some new tricks with my Singer 66 or gain new knowledge about obscure pipes. Maybe I'll get a crocheter and we can sit and hook together while we talk. I can't wait to get out in the field and start getting some hands on experience!
The agency has the coolest sock dummy named Buddy. It was fun to watch it flop on the bed as it was gently turned and the sheets were changed. It was a lot more realistic than it should have been. Whoever made Buddy is a true artist. Sadly, I can't take pics there for confidentiality reasons. He is really cool. I might have to try and copy his pattern so I can have one...
We got to watch a video about how to do a bed bath on a client. It was boring , but mildly educational when suddenly it got to the privates washing part. It suddenly went from a real person draped modestly and helping her aide with the process to very graphic and up close drawings of the human nether regions. It was such a shock I almost laughed out loud like a kid, but up until then it had been very PG. I learned a lot after that.
I'm so grateful I got this job and I'm already learning a lot. I'm excited to see what I learn tomorrow.
In a mere 13 days I start school! I'm so excited! I can't wait to begin. Don't forget about my fundraiser!
 In the meantime here's a cute Rory picture from last night. He really loves his free space time!

Friday, February 20, 2015

I registered for school today!

I went down to Tucson College today to finish my registration and make the first payment! I was so excited I managed to get lost on the way, but I made it with 5 minutes to spare before my appointment. I still can't believe how Sylvia flies with her new gears!
I got to fill out even more paper work and answer a bunch of questions about why I want to go there and what my goals are. It really helped clarify things in my head to write it out for them. I want to get an education that will improve my life and the lives of others. This is a quick stop on my end goal of becoming a nurse. It's a bit sad that it took me until age 37 to realize I want to be a nurse. I'm still a writer in my soul, but that will be my secret identity. Now I just have to wait for the acceptance letter to be a real student. Have I mentioned that patience isn't my virtue? I hope it gets here fast!
This will be where she waits while I'm in class! Door to door with covered parking!
On the way home from the school the job I wanted at the hospital called. He re-posted the position and wants me to apply then call him immediately. I need to see if they will work around my school schedule before I decide to try for it again. I really wanted that job; I could have ridden to work every day and worn nice clothes. It was in the hospital which is where I want to be and the other phone operators seem great. There's the chance to get benefits and a cafeteria that has the best fried chicken in the universe! A month ago it was my dream job. Then I wasn't selected and it crushed me. I cried and everything. I had wanted so badly to go back to the hospital. However, not being picked really helped my to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
I decided I needed more than just a job, so I hatched my crazy plan to finally get back to hands on healthcare and make a difference in peoples lives. I love my plan, but the siren call of that other job is ringing loudly. It whispers that I would still be helping people and if I get chosen this time I would be making a bit more cash to boot. Plus, I'd never have to drive my car again because parking at the hospital is a nightmare and they have bike lockers.
On Monday I go for orientation with a home health care company. If I survive it they will hire me and I will have a job! It's a great part time job and the shifts are short so it won't interfere with school. They like the fact that I'm getting my CNA and seem almost as excited about it as I am. My fingers are crossed that I survive!
I'm considering doing all three if the hospital will work me around school and I survive the home health care orientation on Monday. I could conceivably make it work, but it would be an insane few months and would take a lot of juggling. Once I start actually nursing school, which I plan to do in a year, something will have to give though. 
On the flip side there's a chance that I won't survive Monday and the hospital won't chose me again. That would suck! I hope at least one of the jobs chooses me, but if not I still have hope for my fundraiser!
In the meantime here's a quick photo update on Rory. He is doing great and is in love with Ginger.
Ginger and Rory
He wants to play ball with her.