Devastation

The word devastation means to lay waste to, to destroy. It’s a strong choice in any circumstance, but even more so when you hear that I mean it in reference to being late. Devastated would not be a word most choose to describe this. However, it’s quite honestly be the best word to describe how I feel today. Let me back up a little first. My name is Ashley and I am in my first semester of nursing school. I was pre-nursing for a year previous, but have now gotten into the actual program (and boy did it feel good). It is easily the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. This is not to discourage anyone who wishes to be a nurse. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s stressful. But my desire for this has not wavered one bit. I want this more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life. Clinicals are honestly what keeps me coming back each week. Which makes what happened this morning all the worse for me.

I knew something was off when I heard both kids in the hallway. On mornings of clinicals I have to be at the hospital at 7 am. For me, this means leaving at 6 am, giving myself plenty of time to park, walk to our meeting place, and honestly still being there early. I like to have cushion time for any traffic. You see, at my school we cannot be even one minute late or we get written up and have to miss clinicals for the day. I am not one to push the envelope in that respect, so while it only takes me 40 minutes to get there and to our meeting place, I like that extra cushion. With that in mind, I get up at 5 am every Thursday and Friday morning. At 5 am, it is dark and my kids are sleeping. So imagine my surprise when I wake up to hear my kids and then open my eyes to see…daylight. With a quick glance to my phone, I realized that it was 6:55. Those 5 minutes taunted me – saying “you’re not late yet, but you can’t do anything about it”. Immediately, I wanted to cry. But I tried to hold it in while I called my instructor. “Be professional” I kept chanting in my head. But I could feel them coming to the surface, ready to spill out should I give them an opportunity. On the phone with my instructor, I began to cry. I was upset. Upset at myself in a way in which I haven’t ever been.

After I got off the phone, I stopped holding back. I cried. A LOT. I was mad, upset, disappointed, all of these emotions swirling around in my head. Even thinking about it now I get a little teary eyed. Some of the things I was upset about may seem trivial to some. I was upset that I wouldn’t get to give medications through a PEG feeding tube or get to feed someone that has a feeding tube. I was upset that I spent almost 10 hours yesterday preparing for my patient (I’m actually still upset about this one). Of course, of all the weeks I have to wake up late, it has to be the week before Easter. Tomorrow we are out of school for Good Friday, so today was our only day of clinicals. Without being able to go to clinicals, I have no way to assess a patient and am unable to complete the second half of my Clinical Prep Tool. So, it’s wasted. The 26 medications I wrote up, all for nothing. When I am a little less bitter about it, maybe I will be able to appreciate the knowledge I gained writing up these 16 pages. But as of right now, I’m just mad.

Monday in class we discussed stress. One of the things mentioned was keeping a journal. I’m not really the journal type, but I do have a love for blogs. I have tried to write a few blogs over the years, with minimal success. I’ve always thought my life wasn’t interesting enough to blog about. But, I think I now have something interesting to write about and if it can help me reduce stress I’m all for it. Honestly, I think it just might work. I can say for sure that I feel a lot better about my morning after writing this! I’m just beginning this journey they call nursing school, and it’s only going to get more stressful. But I just have to keep looking forward and get through it. It’ll all be worth it when I have those two little letters at the end of my name. R.N.

-Ashley