My nursing school opened its doors today for the new semester, which accounts for my wretched mood when I rolled out of bed at noon. I knew I had to be there at three and spent the next hour thoroughly freaking out, yet procrastinating. I talked to Jeff, petted the cats, checked every blog I usually read, checked my mail, checked it again, then checked my work mail, which was a true act of desperation since I had only been home for four hours. The whole time this is going on I'm thinking, "Jayne, just go to school. You need to be there at three. You know you still need to practice. Just go." Yet I continued to sit on the couch. Then the phone rang. It was Denise, pointing out that 1) I had to be at school at three and 2) I still really needed to practice. And suddenly time started up again and I couldn't get out of the house fast enough. God bless Denise.
Santa Barbara City College occupies a prime piece of real estate facing Ledbetter Beach, and offers an enticing view of everything you could be doing if you didn't have to go to class:
The nursing lab at the college is a sort of faux medical clinic. Lying around in hospital beds and sitting in wheel chairs are unwell mannequins with gaping wounds that we irrigate and dress until the instructors feel confident enough to let us try it on an actual sick person. We also stick needles in them, give them enemas, and suction them. Our instructors make us treat them like real patients, so we have to talk to them and make sure they have privacy. But on the door of the lab is a sign that says something to the effect that despite all the medical equipment this is only a student lab so if you're having a medical emergency you should really seek help elsewhere. There are also a fair number of random detached body parts strewn about, if you need to focus on one area:
(In fact my favorite object in the lab is a suitcase that looks innocuous enough but when you open it you find it contains a giant butt with a bedsore on it. No picture of that, though. The instructors guard it pretty tightly.)
So off I went and practiced doing tracheostomy suction. Now that the crucial first step of the semester has been taken I think it's basically going to be okay. If all goes according to plan, in a mere eighteen scary, anxious, sleep deprived, blurry weeks, I'll be a real nurse!