So I did it.
I finished my first full day of clinicals.
It was both harder and easier than I imagined. It wasn't nearly as nerve-wracking or stomach-turning as I expected; that goes in the "easier" column. What was harder, or at least more sobering, was looking into the eyes of real people, not just mannequins. I saw sadness and anger and fear in their eyes, and it stirred me more than I thought it would.
In the hospital where I'm working this semester, a simple phrase hangs outside each patient's door:
It stands prominent to remind those entering that they are crossing a threshold into a sacred space. How would you normally enter a place that someone termed "sacred"? Probably quietly, respectfully. This person's hospital room is their home away from home, and we should be mindful of that. It's more than that, though. It's pretty safe to assume that this patient is in their most vulnerable state in life (especially on a floor like the one I will work this semester). They may be recovering from a life saving surgery, battling a chronic disease, fighting almost unbearable pain, or possibly even being palliated until they die. Whatever the case may be, they're looking to their nurse or doctor to guide their emotions. Do you come in frantically, brows furrowed, hastily looking through their charts without taking a moment to first look into their eyes? I can only imagine how I would feel as a patient if that happened to me.
I surely don't have all this figured out - I have much, much more to learn. But this is what I took away from my first day. I saw great examples of this. I also saw poor examples of this. Overall, it's just such a privilege to be serving people's every little need. I was able to give a bath, take lots of vital signs, change bed linens (with a person still in the bed!), and feed a patient. What an honor to be the hands and feet of Christ.
In other news, I came right home to find my own little patient waiting on the couch. My poor husband has the flu. :( I hate seeing him sick. In other other news, I've been missing my Shawn a lot. Maybe having him get sick on this long weekend was God's way of letting me see him a little more than usual. :)
Finally, I've missed blogging recently! I feel like I crawl into my own little world on Monday through Thursday, and all it involves is school and work (quite literally). Then on Friday I'm able to catch up with my husband and friends, check email, do something crafty if I'm lucky, and catch up on tons of homework. I'm able to breathe. All that to say, I wish these posts weren't picture-less and sparse, but it's all I've got in me recently! I know you understand. I do plan on getting my camera out this weekend... it's supposed to be beautiful!
Happy weekend, friends!