June 20, 2009

I Wish I Had Picked Up Your Toys

One advantage of growing older is being able to look back at the memories.
One disadvantage is that we often reflect on the regrets in our life.

In my book, Dusty Angels and Old Diaries, there's a story about my oldest son, Billy, when he was about 3-years old. I'm at work when I get a call from the babysitter telling me that Billy wants to talk to me.

After the first moment of slight panic that all was okay with my little boy, I heard his tearful baby voice with the cute little lisp that I thought was soooo cute.

The pleading voice comes to life on page 142 of my memoir.

"Mommy, 'ou pick up my toys when 'ou come home in a little bit." (Story HERE - if link works).

I remember the conversation clearly as if it was yesterday. I was busy trying to get the suppertime medications passed at the nursing home before supper was over, and I was already dealing with many issues of the workplace.

I also remember the conflict of wishing I could just tell him I'd pick up his toys when I got home, but thinking that as a 'good parent', I had to support the babysitter's demands.

After a few moments of firm directions to pick up his toys, I had to gently hang up on his pleading, tearful but persistent urging that I pick up his toys when I got home 'in a little bit'. (Many hours later, sad to say.)

Today, I often see situations where I want to say to someone, "Just pick up the toys".

Last week I went to a small restaurant for lunch before a big test at school. I wanted to do well and decided that fast food wouldn't give me the best nourishment for the day. At Friendlys Restaurant, the waitress welcomed me and asked if I wanted the usual tuna melt as she led me to a corner seat. (How can she remember me and what I like when I go there only once a month or so?)

As I waited, I noticed the cutest little girl about 2-years old sitting on a child's seat at the end of the table. Her yellow daisy top matched her printed pants and bright yellow shoes. She was there with her mother, grandmother, and older brother. Everyone was laughing at her antics and cute childish mannerisms.

But, just as the french fries and grilled cheese sandwich arrived, her mother quickly snapped a plastic bib around her neck.

Instantly the chubby little girl's demeanor changed to tears and tugging at the bib she didn't want to wear. Every time she got it almost off, her mother instantly but persistently snapped it back.

It was one of those, "Just pick up the toys" moments for me. Why spoil her sunshine? She won't remember the incident when she is a mother of two herself, but somewhere in the memory rooms of her mind will be the torment and frustration of when her little world went from sunny to cloudy for the sake of a clean shirt.

For the last three weeks, our class has traveled to a hospital in another city for maternity (OB) clinicals. At the hospital, we must change into hospital-supplied scrubs for the maternity ward. For the last three weeks while changing from Bohecker uniforms into hospital scrubs, another student and I had to find larger sized scrubs for our plus-size busts! We've had to wait - and our classmates have had to wait - while someone brings in larger tops. (There's a shelf for our size, but it's always got the wrong sizes there!)

The other student states she wishes she could be 'small like everybody else" and sounds disappointed and regretful of her size. Truth be known, don't we all? But, while I really wish I could be the 90 pounds I was when my kids were little, I know that's not in the cards for me. Between genes and my lifelong dietary habits, I'm not stylish and chic in size anymore. But, in my mind, I tell myself that a good heart and loving spirit can be more important than worry about one's size or looks. I try to be positive about myself!

How does this relate to picking up the toys? Very much.

I think the other student looks well-dressed no matter what she wears. She carries herself proudly (if you know what I mean), and she has long, think, beautiful, brown hair to die for! Until she mentioned it in the locker room, I wouldn't have thought she was unhappy with her size.

I think that in her lifetime, she had to pick up all her toys. She believes the rule that good looks and a swivel body are more important than feeling good about yourself. That is what the 'rules of the world' say, just as the rules say that one should pick up their own toys.

I can't think of anyone who enjoys picking up their toys. (So to say.) Have you ever given thought to how sweet this world would be if others lovingly picked up all your toys?

My husband often 'picks up my toys'. It always makes me feel special when I find the nail clippers back in the bathroom drawer (so I can find them next time), or my house shoes next to the bed (and I know I left them in front of the chair in the living room), or my housecoat lies over the foot of the bed where I like it at night, when I last saw it hanging over the chair in the kitchen.

Another incident at the hospital yesterday reminded me of 'picking up the toys'. While going through the cafeteria line, the nurse ahead of me asked the server what kind of fish they were serving.

"You don't need to know. Just eat it," was the rude reply.

At the table, we were commenting of how really rude the server was. I said that maybe someone had been really mean to her in her life, and she didn't know how to be kind.

Most of those sitting at the table laughed at me.

"She was just rude" they said.

Then, in a tiny voice, another classmate responded in support of me, "I try to think that about people too. I always think that maybe they've had a hard life or a bad day. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt," she offered.

A better description of the server would be that, perhaps, no one has ever picked up her toys.

I had a long list of examples to write about, but I must close and start my day. I have some things to get ready for Father's Day and a Microbiology test on Monday to study for. (!)

Here's a big welcome to two new members who will get these posting in their e-mails. I can only have ten at a time, so I had to delete two old members (whom I hope will come to the blog for postings), to add my former English professor and my former clinical instructor. Welcome, Denise and AnnMarie.

AnnMarie's daughter is getting married today. AnnMarie seems like a mother who picked up the toys when her children were small and needed a confidence-booster. I believe that Miss Denise loves to pick up the toys of her students when she knows they're having a bad day.

May I propose that your life will be rewarded with more laughter and happiness as you look for ways to 'pick up the toys of others'. And, that you will surround yourself with people who love to pick up your toys.

Take Care on the Journey,

HERE for amazon.com link to page 142

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com
E-Mail: bestnurse@usa.com

June 16, 2009

Sleepwalking or Joyously Thankful?

This enlightening article came to my inbox that I must share with you. I've done a complete copy and paste in order to give proper credit because I'm not sure who gets copyright privileges here. Please take a moment of "Linda time" to read and empower yourself.

""Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves."
- Henry David Thoreau
The Power of Negative Visualization
Alex Green
When Norman Vincent Peale wrote The Power of Positive Thinking 60 years ago, he received a stack of rejection slips from publishers.

Dejected, he threw the manuscript into the trash, forbidding his wife to remove it. She didn't.

The next day, however, she took the manuscript, still inside the wastebasket, to a publisher who accepted it. The book became a foundation of the human potential movement, selling more than 20 million copies in 47 languages.

Much of Peale's homespun advice sounds quaint or even amusing to us today. Still, the book did a good job of articulating a basic truth:

To a great extent, you create your world with your thoughts. Most personal achievements begin with an abiding faith that we can and will accomplish them.

Even realizing your goals, however, will not lead to lasting satisfaction. That's because human wants are insatiable. Most of us are trapped on what psychologists call the hedonic treadmill. We work to achieve what we desire. Those things satisfy us for a while, but we soon adapt to them and dissatisfaction returns. So next time, we set the bar a little higher...

Our lives can easily become a pastiche of unfulfilled desires. We yearn for a better-paying job, more recognition, greater social status, a newer car, a bigger house, a firmer abdomen, perhaps even a sexier spouse.

Dissatisfaction is not all bad, of course. Desire can motivate us to achieve good things in our lives, too. But a continual sense of lack creates anxiety. It undermines our satisfaction. Peace of mind eludes us.

Fortunately, the ancient Stoic philosophers had a technique you can use to override the adaptation process and recapture the contentment we seek. It's called negative visualization.

The technique is to spend some time each day imagining that you have lost the things you value most. Vividly imagine, for example, that your job has just been terminated, that your house - with all your possessions - has burned to the ground, that your partner has left you, or that you have lost your sight, your hearing, or the use of your limbs.

This sounds horribly bleak, I know. But the Stoics were onto something here. They understood that everything we enjoy in life is simply "on loan" to us from Fortune. Any of it - all of it - can be recalled without a moment's notice.

Epictetus reminds us, for example, that our children have been given to us "for the present, not inseparably nor forever."
His advice: In the very act of kissing your child, silently reflect on the possibility that she could die tomorrow.

The Roman philosopher Seneca advises us to live each day as if it were our last, indeed as if this very moment were our last. He's not suggesting that you drop your responsibilities and squander the day in frivolous or hedonistic activities. He's encouraging you to change your state of mind.

Maybe you are already living the dream you once had for yourself. Along the way, however, you became jaded, bored, numb to the blessings that surround you. The goal of the Stoics would be to wake you up, to make you appreciate what you have today.

Some will argue that negative visualization is fine for those who are happy, healthy, and prosperous - but how about the troubled, the less fortunate?

Negative visualization works for them, too. If you have lost your job, imagine losing your possessions. If you have lost your possessions, imagine losing the people you love. If you have lost the people you love, imagine losing your health. If you have lost your health, imagine losing your life.

There is hardly a person alive who could not be worse off. That makes it hard to imagine someone who wouldn't benefit from this technique.

Adaptation diminishes our enjoyment of the world. Negative visualization brings it back.
It also prepares us for life's inevitable setbacks. Survivors of tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, for example, may suffer terribly. Yet afterward, they often tell us that they were just sleepwalking through life before. Now, they are joyously, thankfully alive.
No one should need a catastrophe to feel this way. You can attain the same realization through negative visualization. Moreover, it can be practiced regularly, so its beneficial effects, unlike a catastrophe, can last indefinitely.

Try it and you'll see. I've found it's perfect for when you're standing in line or stuck in traffic, time that would be wasted otherwise.

By contemplating the impermanence of everything in your world, you can invest all your activities with more intensity, higher significance, greater awareness.

In sum, Norman Vincent Peale got it half-right. Positive visualization helps you get what you want. Negative visualization helps you want what you get.

[Ed. Note: Alex Green is Investment Director and Chairman of The Oxford Club, and is the bestselling author of The Secret of Shelter Island: Money and What Matters. His new book - described by Michael Masterson as "shockingly good" - explores money, meaning, and the pursuit of the good life. To pick up a copy, click here.]""
Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com
E-Mail: bestnurse@usa.com

June 15, 2009


I've given myself 30 minutes to write this posting in order to force myself to stay on track and tell the facts as I see them. I could spend hours telling the story as other see it!

First of all, as I looked up words describing how I feel, starting with 'mortified' and going forward to chagrined, remorseful, contrite, embarrassed, penitent, regretful, sorry, somewhat foolish, quite displeased with myself, flustered, ruffled, irritated and upset - they all fit me at the moment.

But I do not feel ashamed, humiliated, depressed or (too) worried. That may be how the other person (people) feels, though.

I had my first 'fight' at school. Yeah, "Grandma" Mama Linda got into it and may or may not be in for some explaining to the school officials, but I don't think so.

At the start of this new term on June 1, we had several new students whom I attempted to 'be nice to' as is my nature to make people feel comfortable. It worked with a couple of new students, but there was a (should I say the word?) a 'click' who seemed happy enough to sit together and not particularly mingle with the rest of the class.

But, this group of three or four students are often rather noisy during class. They usually sit in the back and most don't mind or care that much.

Today, this group seemed more animated than usual. Sitting across from then, I saw that one of the girls was texting from behind her purse and whatever was being said caused some extra chatter, giggles and whispering that was really annoying me.

I gave them a couple 'looks', but it seemed that they got even more noisy. The instructor usually has a zero tolerance for any disruption at all, but he was running a video on the Internet and a power point that kept him busy.

Out of the blue, I said in a tone meant for the students across the isle, "You guys need to shut up!"

At once, the instructor came to our part of the room and said, "What's going on?"

"I just told them to shut up," was my honest and instantaneous reply.

But, now the entire class heard me and knew what was going on.

Keeping on point...The instructor turned to the noisy parties and said, "If you have a question, you can ask me. Do you get my point?"

After class he told two of the group (I thought there was more being noisy), to stay behind and talk to him.

The bad problem is that our next class is with this same instructor in the micro lab, and the lab was locked so everyone had to stand in the hall knowing full well what was going on - and giving me some ribbing for my comments.

During micro lab, I asked the instructor for a moment and he took me in the 'closet' (ha ha) with the door slightly open to watch the class while we discussed what happened.

It seems the guy student of the noisy party is really upset. (I thought it was the girl who was texting.) Anyway, I'm sure I've humiliated that student horribly.

The instructor suggests that if I 'think I should' maybe an apology would be appropriate, although he said he might had used worse language if he wasn't the instructor.

Of course, the rest of the class is somewhat divided on their opinion on what happened. Some say the group needed it. I believe most feel that I was very rude. "Very rude". (How many times have I used those words to describe how others are acting?)

Okay. Telling anyone to "shut-up" is rude. What I said was, 'You guys need to shut-up." I believe that is slightly different, but at the moment, who is counting peas in a pod.

When I see this group again, I will, of course, apologize. Perhaps now, a few of my classmates think a little less of me. But, what if some of my classmates think better of me for having the guts to speak up at all? It really doesn't matter. I feel terrible and wish I knew who these students are so I could tell them I was rude, and I'm sorry for my behavior.

In the meantime, I'll try not to fret and worry myself sick over it - as I have a tendency to do.

It's done. I'll try to fix it and move on.
They were rude. I was rude. Isn't that even in the universe of things?
No. Someone always gets hurt.
And we shouldn't hurt people on our journey of life.

My half-hour is up.

Please Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com
E-Mail: bestnurse@usa.com

June 11, 2009

Good Deals and Free Meals

Most of you who get this by e-mail don't get my postings from over on my 'coupon blog' as I call it. My coupon blog, Good Deals and Free Meals has an address of http://goldencoupons.blogspot.com

I'm so proud of my grocery shopping trip tonight that I just had to share on this website that at Meijer, I didn't pay for anything by the time I "stacked" Meijer coupons with manufactures coupons. In fact, I got 30 cents BACK.

At Kroger, I spent about $15 and saved $80. This by watching the sales, making a list of what I want to buy using coupons on hand. Plus taking advantage of store specials where I use coupons I wasn't planning to use if it brings the cost to almost nothing. (Manager's Specials). I almost never get anything unless it's on my list, and I only buy things that we will use.

If anyone wants more information on how to save with coupons, I offer my services for free! Jim says I'd make a good teacher if I wanted to start teaching classes on how to save by using coupons. He is very impressed and pleased at how much we are saving each month.

Time for bed. 4:30 a.m. will be here too soon!

Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com
E-Mail: bestnurse@usa.com

Maternity Leave

Gottcha! Didn't I?

Before I get into the maternity entry, I'd like to let my gentle readers know about some e-mail comments I received after my last posting, Biblically, Politically, Correct.

I especially enjoyed the comment that my story was 'nicely written and entertaining". That is exactly how I wanted it to come across.

On the other hand, a family member (not hubby) thought I sounded upset. They proposed to me that, 'college isn't suppose to be easy." They also added that as an older student, I might not feel the need to go through all the steps of being a college student. Considering that I wanted my article to be nicely written and entertaining, I won't take that observation too seriously, but I'll keep it in mind when days are tough. (Smile)

Another long-time friend (who also memorized many Bible verses when younger), commented that perhaps the activity of all that memorizing will "stave off early Alzheimer's". I like that one too.

Okay. Tomorrow is the second day of taking the bus to Portsmouth (pronounced Portsmith) for a day of student nursing on the maternity ward. I didn't write about my first day, but it was a very interesting day (although very tiring). On the first day there, we had three babies deliver and one c-section. I didn't get to actually observe these, but enjoyed being a member of the team! I did get to be in the nursery and watch the first bath! The staff there are extremely friendly, helpful and welcoming.

Today was a day "off". (Too funny!). I got more done than in a month of Sundays! All the laundry, washed, dried and folded. Kitchen clean and even mopped! Coupons cut out and organized for a trip to the store(s) tonight for the almost free deals. (Butter, pudding, and tomato pasta I can't think of the name right now.) A nice supper prepared for hubby. (Garlic speg with mushroom and asparagus). The floors vacuumed. Bills paid (and questioned). Meds set up for two weeks. Trash all collected and taken out. Uniform ready for in the morning. Lunch packed for the bus trip tomorrow. (We leave at 5:30 a.m.)

Unfortunately, I didn't study today! Guess I should forgo the grocery shopping and get some important reading done. My plan is to study on the bus tomorrow. It's 2 hours there and back. So maybe I can accomplish both.

Thanks for all your comments and for taking time to read what I write. It does mean a lot to me.

Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com
E-Mail: bestnurse@usa.com

June 10, 2009

Biblically Politically Correct

This posting is related to school. Specifically, my nursing ADN program at Bohecker College. But in an effort to remain professional and loyal and historically honest in this online dialog of my education experiences, I'll be gentle to those who walk this journey with me.

Last night my loving husband who says I'm his Angelwings and who holds with great esteem my religious thoughts and expressions, came to me with a question heavy on his mind.

"Is there a book in the Bible that has Judges in it," he asked knowing that I always know the answer to his curious Biblical questions.

"Let's see. There's Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel...Yep. There's a Judges book in the Bible," I confirmed after the instantaneous repetition of the Bible books of the Old Testament.

Shocked at my spewing forth with all this unconscious storage of unusual information, and amused by the look on hubby's face, I explained that as a young child I had been instructed to memorize all the books of the Bible, repeat hundreds of Bible verses, learn the strange and distant Bible stories, understand dozens of Bible parables, and even understand some Bible predictions of the future.

"Why" he asked in mild bewilderment "did you have to learn all that?"

"So I could answer your questions 50 years later," was the only reply I could think of last night - and even now as I sit down to put the story together.

I've discovered that my present situation at school isn't much different much of the time. Even though I urge the instructors to 'bring it on", and I try to stay positive and smiling, some things required of us have no rhyme or reason and perhaps will never serve any purpose except to recall the experience somewhere along the journey of life when I least expect it!

Why, for Pete's sake, did 40 of us students travel 200 miles and spend 10 hours of school time to stand in front of a nurses station for less than 10 minutes with no instruction or information forthcoming?

If the purpose was to get rid of taboo earrings, check compliance with dress code, update TB records, provide us with the hospital rules and regulations, and present copies of our TB test to the HR Department, why not spend a day at our school taking care of that business in this fabulous new age of technology?

I suppose that anyone who has ever taken Microbiology has posed the same questions that I ponder when we must spend many hours peering into microscopes we will never use again learning to recognize that Staphylococci looks like bunches of grapes, and Streptococci looks about the same except the cells are in long strands instead of grapes.

"You could see this again on a test" is the only worthwhile reason to memorize these facts right now.

Of course, the experience is a lot more fun than spending six long hours in one never-ending lecture after another learning about microvilli and ecoli in the colon, although that might be a little bit important someday when our patients have non-stop, stinky, diarrhea.

On June 1, we started our third term with all new instructors, books, expectations and teaching styles. It was/is stressful for all, instructors and students alike.

By now, with all due respect for your efforts to prepare us as future nurses, we ARE nurses already. (LPN's) Our goal is to pass the classroom tests so we can pass the course, so we can graduate, so we can qualify to take the state nursing boards as registered nurses.

Please tell us what we need to do for your class so we can pass the bi-weekly tests. So far we are not getting that information. It's like being asked to memorize all the books of the Bible so that we can show we studied the book!

We have four challenging courses to pass this term. Each one requires many, many hours of reading every week.

For instance, the dreaded Growth and Development course has a book that is at least 6-inches thick and has about 120 chapters that deal with every stage of life including conception, birth, growth, disease, death, and everything in between.

Today, our instructor informed the class that she will not lecture during class, but will "answer any questions" because there are too many chapters each week to cover it all. (And because administration sent her an e-mail telling her not to. I hope there is a second side to this story.)

Of course, we are expected to read about 200 pages a week from this book and "know" any information therein for testing.

Thank goodness I already know how to teach a man how to apply a condom, but the difference between dizygotic and polar body twinning is a little more complex. I'm happy to report that I now know what heteropaternal superfecundation means. But, I have 113 more chapters to read!

Now if I can just remember that earrings must be post style and limited to one in each ear although six are allowed if no one is checking. Professional attire doesn't include short shorts unless it's above 75 degrees and your good jeans are in the laundry. The no hat or head covering rule doesn't apply to days when you haven't had time to shampoo. The strict no cell phone policy doesn't count if you have little kids at school, boyfriends at home, or plans for the evening. Texting is okay if your purse is large enough to hide it when you're texting.

Well, I've made my point. With so much energy expended to get our degree, let's not add learning every book of the Bible as part of the requisite just because we can. Keep is simple, clear, and effective so we can learn what we need to know for each subject and not get bogged down in confusion and frustration. Don't make rules just for convenience.

We don't need to be 'biblically politically correct'. (Said as a joke to my husband when he asked why I knew so much.)

"I'm biblically politically correct," I explained.

Just to show I haven't forgotten, the New Testament books are ...Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation.

Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com
E-Mail: bestnurse@usa.com

June 4, 2009

Fly Under The Radar

( I hope this doesn't quadruple space. It wants to do that when I pre-write in Word.) I've re-paragraphed this four times! This will also be posted on my new Bohecker Blog http://rnstudentatboheckercollege.blogspot.com/

Today was the first day of orientation for obstetrics (OB) or, the care of women and children during pregnancy.

I've been looking forward to this aspect of nursing school for many, many, years. This was the only day of orientation provided for the hospital where we will be working as student nurses because it is located 100 miles south of Columbus.

Bohecker College scheduled a coach bus to take our entire class of 40 students to Portsmouth, Ohio, for orientation on this day. Everyone was required to attend.

An ear-splitting, hydraulic-sounding, HISSSSS made me jump out of my skin as I approached the mammoth-sized, chartered bus at 6: 15 this morning.

"I didn't do that on purpose," apologized the smiling bus driver as I pulled myself up the steep steps and into the chilly, air-conditioned, brake hissing, tour bus.

"Yes you did. But I forgive you. This is an exciting day for me," I teased back.

You bet! Yesterday I broke down and purchased a new pair of nursing shoes for the occasion. Last night I carefully organized a small travel bag, because we had been told that there would be no place for purses or backpacks at the hospital.

"Just put some money in your pocket for lunch," we were informed at an informational meeting at school.

My uniform has been ready and hanging out for a couple weeks!

I smiled at familiar faces and noticed a few not present yet. Blankets, McDonald's breakfasts, thermos containers, a few schoolbooks, and more new shoes!

After a quick roll-call from our clinical instructor, and a couple of blurry-eyed students who arrived a minute late who were reminded that they were "LATE" and, "Don't be late again", we were off.

It was 0635 by my watch. By 0637, the driver had turned north on the freeway instead of south. I tilted my head in thoughtful question. Now, I know I often get lost in new places of the city, but I was absolutely sure this was not the way to Portsmouth. I had already memorized the way! I leaned forward and informed the instructor.

"Portsmouth is south. We're going north."

She shrugged and looked over at the driver who didn't seem perturbed.

The students were busy trying to get a movie started with a CD someone brought and/or settling into the one-to-a-seat two-hour trip. No one else seemed to be paying attention to the time, directions or landscape.

A few minutes later, I noticed the bus took an exit for 23 South which made me feel a little better, but it was obvious to me that this route would take us completely through the city and out the other side in busy, morning rush-hour traffic on a crowded city street.

Sure enough, 45-minutes later, we were still taking detours and criss-crossing other freeways in the city.

I opened my cold drink and watched early morning dog-walkers with poop bags alongside, suited men pumping gas for 2.79 a gallon, smartly dressed cops having stopped an elderly couple at a rest area, and corn about 2 inches high in the fields just out of town.

I wished I had brought a blanket and a book to read. Someone asked the driver to turn on the heat. Would my uniform get wrinkled? I didn't want to put on my lab jacket (even though I was very cold) because I didn't want it to get wrinkled. I tried to call hubby to let him know we were on our way, but he wasn't at his desk. It was only 0815. I started writing on this story...

About an hour later, as the bus driver took an exit for 52 West at Chillicothe, several students in the back of the bus yelled out, "No. Stay on 23", so, she rolled on through the intersection and got back on the highway.

"Mapquest sure messed me up today," she murmured. "Mapquest told me to go the wrong way in the city too."

Ahh ha! I was right!

It was almost 9 a.m. when the bus slowed for the quaint little city of Portsmouth located in a small valley along the Ohio-Kentucky boarder and right on the beautiful Ohio River.

"My map says turn here for the hospital," I heard the instructor advise the driver.

Those instructions were not on the bus driver's map, but she made a slow, tight left turn.

After several blocks of peering at two maps and glancing quickly up and down side streets, the tall hospital appeared on our right.

But no one knew where to go after that. We growled past the emergency room peering around through heavy raindrops. We tight-turned in the parking lot to get back out. We drove around the hospital and turned right at a dead end.

"The students who are already there, say we should have turned left back there," announced a student from the back of the bus who had obviously been using a banned cell phone for help. (Some students drove their cars to the hospital.. They also got good directions before they started out.)

"You know I can't make tight turns with this big bus," grumbled the driver under her breath.

Another slow drive around the perimeter of the hospital to the dead end, a correct left turn, and more intense map searching. (The cell phone user wasn't too outspoken with her information.)

As we went down a slight incline, those in the back of the bus (who could see up the hill better), located a small building with the letters "Gibson" over the front door. Another good indication that we were in the right place was the friendly presence of our classmates piling out of their cars in the parking lot.

I found myself the first one off the bus! I led the way up the steps and into a rather small entry where a blue-haired woman motioned with her arms down the hallway toward a classroom.

The building doesn't look big enough to hold 40 serious-minded, white-clad, somewhat nervous, nursing students with very full urinary bladders.

Several headed for the bathroom, but there were only two stalls, so most of us go on to the classroom.

The room is set up with 14 desks in a large rectangle around the perimeter of the room, but the chairs quickly fill up, and several are left standing along the wall.

"Don't sit on the floor. That's the most dirty place of all," the instructor offers helpfully.

One student reminds the instructor that it's time for her to "pump', meaning she has a nursing baby at home.

"We'll take roll-call,” announces the instructor just as I was slipping out for the ladies room.

"These names are the students who don't have the proper paper-work for clinicals. You can't do clinicals if your paper work is not on file. These are the students whose files do not have current paperwork."

I wasn't sure if she was doing roll call, or listing those who were at a dead-end 100 miles from home, or announcing those who would be allowed to continue orientation today! And, I was pretty sure I shouldn't leave the room for a potty break now!

After the lengthy list of those whom she had found to be out of compliance, students tried to keep emotions under control as they explained.

"I turned my TB in to (Somebody) on Monday. How long does it take to file something?"

"I turned mine in to Mr. (Somebody) last week. He said he'd take care of it."

"I turned my background check into Ms. (Somebody). She said she was in charge of that."

"I gave you mine yesterday!"

"I turned my paperwork into the office three weeks ago!"

"I turned mine into the office three times already!"

"My COPIES are locked in the car back at school".

"My copies are ON THE BUS!"

Thankfully, I was in the clear. Not because I turned my physical, TB, Hepatitis B shots, background checks, current nursing license, proof of insurance, letter of recommendation, and current CPR into the office when I was admitted, but I had also turned in more copies back in January when complaints were heard that the RN files were "empty".

And, yesterday when this instructor was in the classroom going over what she had, and she didn't call my name as being in compliance, I pulled out a copy of everything that I always carry with me, and gave it to her right then and there!

"I knew this day would come,” I said to myself yesterday and again today.

I left for the restroom not sure who was staying and who was coming with me.

When I returned, the students were being reminded of the Bohecker handbook rules for clinicals. I felt confident I was in the clear. Hair. Attitude. Nails. Uniform. Check. Check. Check.

But suddenly with a shock I realized that my ID badge was not hanging around my neck! I had taken it off on the bus because it was bothering my neck, and I had forgotten to put it back on. I remembered laying it on the seat beside me and could not remember putting it back on!

I raised me hand. (Rule number 1. Never raise your hand to draw attention to yourself if you are not in compliance.)

"I'm sure my ID badge is on the bus. I had it on in the bus," I almost wailed.

The instructor came over and looked right at me.

"Are those post earrings or not?" she asked outright.

"Post, I guess. I've worn these little white ear rings every day of school, and no one said that I shouldn't," I offered.

(Rule #2. Never "offer" an explanation in times like this.)

"They're not post earrings. You are out of compliance! Go find the bus and do something" were the unbelievable words that came out of her very firm mouth even as I yanked the earrings out and said, “Sorry”.

I ran out of the building into the pouring rain. I'm sick to my stomach. My heart skips wildly. (I'm not crying!) I’m in such shock that I’m shivering, and I feel almost angry. I survey the massive parking lots and hilly landscape for the bus, and I don't see of speck of it anywhere.

There 's a small hospital transport bus waiting to take groups of us to the main hospital. I ask the driver if he has seen our bus. He says it's not in the parking lots around the hospital.

As I turn to re-enter the Gibson building, the entourage of the entire class is at the front door.

"You have to fly under the radar," murmurs a sympathetic classmate as I'm nudged to get into the waiting van with the first group (without the instructor).

They tell me another student has been detained for another non-compliance dress issue, but all others are coming to orientation!

As we wait in the OB lobby for the rest of our group, I button my lab jacket to cover the naked area where my ID badge should be. Several other classmates tuck their ID badge inside their labs jackets so we will all look alike.

Honestly, I hope to avoid the instructor but fully expect to be told to wait outside when she notices me.

Those of you who know me, must know by now that my guardian angels would never allow something this awful to happen to me.

I'm not sure what transpired, but I think it might have had something to do with the sheer number of students that Bohecker sent to this hospital. You could tell they were surprised at the numbers and were not completely prepared. (It's a very nice hospital from what I can tell. I was impressed!)

We stood awkwardly in front of the nurses’ station in the OB department waiting for our tour. Nurses who had been assigned to us, waited questioningly. The hospital OB nurses chatted lightly with a few who were at the front of the group as our instructor and hospital staff scurried back and forth.

After about 10 minutes, without explanation, we were told that we were "done for the day" and would be returning back to school! It was only 10:45 a.m.! We had been there less than one hour. The noisy, hungry, troupe headed down the stairs and outside where the instructor was trying to locate the bus driver. (She had her number but hadn’t offered it to me when I needed to find the bus?)

While we waited for the bus, I had one more thing to do!

Radar or not! I walked up to the instructor (who will be with our group tomorrow when I go back for a regular day there).

I held up my hands and said, "No tips!”

While I had the artificial tips removed months ago per school policy, I do have a light layer of hard 'fills" to keep the thin nails from splitting and bleeding. The rules do not mention "fills'.

"You know the rules. They shouldn't be more than 1/4 inch long,” responds the instructor as she touches my nails. (Will she notice the hardness?).

Well, when I hold my hands in front of my face, I don't see the tips of my nails. I'm sure they can't be anywhere near 1/4 inch long. That's my 1/4-inch rule.

Take my blood. Inject me with poison (immunizations). Pull off my fingernails. Yank out my tiny earrings. Dress me in your uniform. No one tries harder or wants this degree more!

On the bus back to Columbus, the instructor-turned-comrade hands back a pen I loaned her on the way up.

"Oh I see you found your ID badge", she says with a smile and knowing nod.

"Yes, I did," I respond.

"Yes. And, thank-you."

Take Care On the Journey,


Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com/

E-Mail: bestnurse@usa.com

June 3, 2009

My NEW Bohecker Blog

It's not enough that I'm hosting 13 blogs, (yeah, I was surprised when I counted them), but I've added another one that will be dedicated solely to my Bohecker stories as I complete the LPN to RN bridge program. I've set it up and started adding the stories I've already written, but I see this will be quite a time-consuming project.

The address is http://rnstudentatboheckercollege.blogspot.com or HERE

Someone told me that Bohecker might want to spotlight my blog on the school, so this will make it more simple if they want to follow my postings about being a student RN at Bohecker College - Columbus because on this site (Linda's Notebook), I also post about other things happening in my life.

Just give me a little time to copy all the previous postings over there.

Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com
E-Mail: bestnurse@usa.com

June 1, 2009

The Past, The Present, and The Future

My grades finally came in the mail. Unlike some of my classmates who say they worried themselves sick waiting for those grades, I was slightly surprised when they arrived sooner than I expected. On the other hand, it was good to see all A's and B's! Now I can start the third term (of four) of the LPN to RN bridge program, full steam ahead!

Today was the first day of the new term - with ALL new professors whose names I'd not even heard of. The stress of the new term is what made me sick! My stomach was so upset this morning, I wondered if I could even sit in a classroom.
Last night I organized all my new books and created links for Sociology, Microbiology and Growth and Development! (Total cost of books this term $588.00!) My rolling nurses case was carefully packed and ready, but I was too uptight to sleep!

So, at 10 a.m. today, we were introduced to our Sociology professor who went around the class asking for our name and what TV program we liked most. She also asked if we would be too upset if she asked us to put our phone on vibrate. When she got to me, she asked the class what they thought my favorite TV program was.

Someone responded, "Do they have one about coupons?"

She commented that she "didn't do coupons', and that she didn't do the grocery buying as she moved on to the next student.

For what it's worth, she doesn't follow the chapter outline for the $100 book we had to purchase for the class. (At least she didn't today.) Nor did she didn't follow the online chapter outline that I had all nicely printed out (at least not today), but she did say she would review each quiz before she gave it so we could do well on them. I'm sure I'll get used to her even if she doesn't "do coupons". LOL

For the record, I selected a seat near the front because sometimes I have a hard time hearing in my left ear. (It has a loud ringing in it.) This professor likes to walk halfway to the back of the room and speak to the last half of the room. Now for sure, those in front (even those without a buzzing in their ear) can't hear what she's saying when she does that.

Micro followed Sociology. This professor is a man who stands in the front of the room, speaks clearly, and says that when he is speaking, everyone must be quiet. He adds, "and when I'm not speaking, you will still be quiet." He also orders all cell phones be completely off. He admits he's not good at pronouncing or remembering names. He says this class is a "no student left behind class' that I take to mean I can get over the nausea now. (I think I'll like him. lol).

Clinicals look a little more organized than last term, but the schedule has yet to be "finalized". For the next three Fridays, some of us are being transported by van to a hospital two hours away for OB clinicals. We leave at 5:15 in the morning and return late afternoon. That's only for three days, I think. Hubby will have to change his work schedule due to our very old dog who needs a lot of care, so I hope we know very soon if this schedule is set in stone.

If you'd like to see our website for the Columbus school, you can go to
http://www.boheckercollegecolumbus.com. The photos are my classrooms, library and lab.

Bad, noisy, thunderstorm rolling in. Gotta get off line.

Take Care on the Journey,

E-Mail: bestnurse@usa.com