This semester we finally met up with the students who were in all of our classes for the next two years. Nursing Students! We got together during the summer for a meet and greet. And we formed some study groups. This proved to be very important as I forged ahead. Nursing school is NOT easy. Not for the weak at heart. And you can't bluff your way through it. Just not possible.
Our first semester dealt with taking care of people in the aging community. We spent our clinical times with residents of a local nursing home. We learned how to do the "hated" process recordings. These were papers we wrote, detailing a conversation with our assigned resident. Then the conversation was picked apart in class to see how it could have been done better. For instance, we learned to say "tell me more" instead of "why did you do it that way" or such. It was to encourage conversation. We all laughed about. And made fun of it! Plus, I don't think any of us really learned to talk to patients that way. (Also, we weren't allowed to call them patients. They were "clients") One of the doctors at the hospital told me one time: Nurses have patients. Prostitutes have clients. Ha! Ha! I don't think my instructors found that to be as funny as I did.
I met some wonderful elderly people during this semester. And sadly we sent a few of them off to heaven. That is one of the down sides to working in a nursing home. At the time of my first semester I was NOT interested in working in a nursing home. I wanted to be a surgical nurse. Stay tuned for what happened with that career choice.
During this semester I also took a class called Death and Dying. It was really interesting. We learned all about Kubler-Ross and her studies. And we visited a funeral home and actually laid in a casket. We also wrote our own obituaries and planned our own funerals. A very 'eye-opening' class.
We were assigned one resident at the nursing home and he/she remained our resident for the entire semester. We were required to see them at least once a week. We mainly just visited. No actual nursing chores were assigned. My darling lady, Ada, (not her real name) was an elderly Mennonite lady. She was a quilter. I sat with her for many hours, as she quilted, at a quilting frame. She didn't like to have other ladies help her. She was pretty independent. And nearly 100 years old. Her family lived in the vicinity but rarely visited. At the end of the semester (close to Christmas) she gave me a pillow shaped like a Christmas tree which was quilted. I will have to look in my things and see if I still have it. We were not encouraged to maintain long term relationships with our elderly clients, but I returned to see Ada off and on until she died! She became a friend! She made sure I learned how NOT to treat people in a nursing home. She talked a lot about the staff in the home.
On to Nursing II....medical-surgical nursing!! Plus a round of obstetrics and pediatrics!!