|Hmm... not sure why those cajun chips made it into the picture. :)|
What I didn't realize before this semester started is that the night before a clinical day is full to the brim with prep work for the next day. It's a good system: you go to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, find out which patient has been assigned to you, look through every piece of their chart at least 50 times (or at least it feels like it), record the things you need, then prepare loads of paperwork on how you plan to care for them the next day.
I've found that in this process, I feel like I get to know a lot about my patient before even meeting them and in turn, develop a lot of compassion for his or her situation. For my patient this past week, I learned from her chart that she had been on vacation from out of town, had a huge medical crisis, and had now been in the hospital for two weeks... 18 hours from home. That had to be so tough. And knowing that about her the night before helped me feel even more compassion for her situation.
As a novice at this, the care plan and other paperwork takes hours. Maybe even as an expert, it will still take hours, I don't know. What I do know is that I'm learning a ton. I feel like a sponge, sopping up every morsel of information I can. I've never been in a school situation where every single thing you learn is practical - you know? It's pretty inspiring to learn about certain medications or procedures or disease processes in class one day, then to see them in real life the next.
Even in just the few weeks I've been in the hospitals, I can already say I think I'm growing a lot. Growing in confidence.
Growing in love for this vocation.
Growing in knowledge.
Growing in experience, of course.
And as hard as it is and as exhausting as it is some days, I couldn't be more thankful for the journey.