Part of my homework from my clinical days at the hospital is to write a journal entry reflecting on the day. There are very loose parameters regarding what I have to talk about. After I wrote my journal entry I realized what I’d actually done is write my instructor her very own blog post about my first day in the hospital. So here you go:
There’s nothing like getting up at 0515 that will make a person want to go to bed at 2130 hours, you know?
Orientation day was exactly what I expected orientation to be like. There was a lot of sitting. There was a lot of talking. There was a lot of information about and discussion of HIPPA laws.
I think orientations are especially cruel in nature. They are inherently exciting because they mean that you’re starting a new thing, usually a thing you’ve been waiting for and are super pumped about. But orientation doesn’t really mean that “that thing” is starting. Oh, no. Orientation means that “that thing” is going to start soon, but not quite yet, so just sit there and think about how much fun “this thing” is going to be really soon, but not now.
The real kicker? There’s nothing that can fix the cruelty of orientations*; they are a necessary evil.
Despite the fact that stepping foot into a hospital whilst wearing scrubs didn’t magically morph me into a fully-knowledgeable nurse, I still consider the day to have been a success. Something I really love about the health care setting is that you can’t help but learn when you’re in it. Whether at the hospital, at school or at my regular doctor’s office, every time I’m around any kind of a health care person, I learn something new. Yesterday we weren’t there to learn new “nursing” information. We were there to learn about hospital policies and making sure we use our standard and contact precautions when necessary. But even still, I learned information that will be applicable to my career as a nurse. (E.g. 1 million medical abbreviations: CHECK.)
One of the reasons I’m excited about being a nurse is because nursing is a profession that requires lifelong learning. I don’t want to ever stop growing in my knowledge of how to care for people better and how to do my job as well as possible. I want to always be striving to learn more about how the body works and how disease processes work. Being in the hospital today only affirmed that I’ve chosen the right path. If simply being under that roof means that I’m in an environment that lends itself to constant learning, then I’m in the right place.
The flip side: sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about how much I have left to learn. Relative to the knowledge base that the nurses and other medical professionals have in that building, I know nothing. I just tell myself that it’s okay, though. I’m going to learn what I need to know a little (or sometimes a lot) at a time. My knowledge base will continue to grow and grow as I gain more and more exposure to the health care environment and progress through more and more classes. I can’t be in a hurry to jump ahead of myself. I just have to take deep breaths, and remember to enjoy where I am now, ogling giant toilets and the idea of having West Side Story Style dance fights with the other school’s nursing students.
I can’t wait for next week.
*Note: Hospital orientation with you was a lot more fun than, say, nursing school orientation with the university. My rant about orientations being “bummer days” isn’t personal at all. I was happily surprised by the insane amount of fun we had yesterday despite the fact that we were being lectured on wearing personal protective equipment for the 4th time in 4 days.