The Unlikely RN is dictating this post to her handsome boyfriend, who is NOT editorializing as he is dictated to. The post is being dictated because the Unlikely RN is trying to pack up 13.5 months worth accumulated nursing school junk, which includes 22 hardcover nursing text books, totalling about 200lbs and a cool grand.
My last couple of shifts on the floor went very well. My primary preceptor was on vacation, so I worked with a different preceptor each day. This was a little nervous-making as everybody likes things done their own way (so much for standardization of healthcare). But it was obviously a great way to draw from different people's experiences.
As mentioned ad nauseum, my final hurdle is to write the licensing exam (the NCLEX), so Kathy and I have been doing practice questions. The questions run the gamut from depressingly obvious (I spent a year learning this?) to tear-producing difficulty (I only had a year to learn this?) to willfully obtuse. An example of the first would be something like:
1) A patient discloses their intention to commit suicide to the nurse and says that he has a handgun at home. The nurse's most therapeutic response would be:
a) "Please promise me to go home and throw away the gun."
b) "Doesn't your family love you?"
c) "What type of gun?"
d) "I am really concerned about you. We need to admit you to the hospital."
I'm not even going to bother telling you that the right answer is c).
An example of the second type (tear-producing difficulty):
2) Aluminum hydroxide gel (Amphogel) is prescribed for the client with chronic renal failure to take at home. Why will this patient receive this drug?
a) To relieve the pain of gastric hyperacidity.
b) To prevent curling's stress ulcers.
c) To bind phosphate in the intestine.
d) To reverse metabolic acidosis.
Amphogel? I have no idea what it is. Do we bathe in it? Do we stick it up our butts? Do we suck it down like so much Pepto-bismal? And what in god's name does it have to do with curling? These are things I do not know. Things are things I have never known. These are things I will not know when I am in a sweaty cubicle trying to write this damned exam in several weeks. As it happens (and this does make sense) Amphogel is used to help eliminate excess phosphorous. And it turns out that you drink it. I would like to see the compliance rates for this drug (Mmmm...yummy gel).
The worst sort of question is the one that makes no sense at all. For example:
3) A 30 year old patient is experiencing a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) at 8 weeks. What do you expect the patient's primary emotion to be:
One thing nursing school did not teach me and, in fact, taught me NOT to do was to presume a patient's reactions to a difficult situation. I would be frightened if baby-parts were coming out of me; I would be anxious about my ability to conceive again; I would be guilty because maybe I did something to cause the miscarriage; and, depending on the circumstances, I might feel quite ambivilent, since I might not have wanted the baby in the first place. The answer is guilt.
So this is what I'm struggling with. To prepare me for questions like the last one, the Illinois liscensing board has been kind enough to make the application process an absurdist's wet dream: a charming combination of Ionesco, Beckett and the flippin' urinal on the gallery wall. It keeps me awake at night.
So all this brings me to this Friday when I graduate, which signals the end of both nursing school and the Unlikely RN. I think it's inaupicious to go into nursing with the epithet "Unlikely" and I plan to go about becoming a likely RN offline.
I'll be back on Friday for one last post. See you then. And boy my boyfriend is handsome.