For the past 8 weeks, I have been occupying my time with working, learning about microbes, and attempting to understand why J. Sarg deceived me by calling my cultural geography class “Geography.” Its kinda like sociology and geography mixed together – NOT my cup of tea.
But finally, the wait is over! I have just survived my first week of Pediatric Nursing! I have been looking forward to this class since I started nursing school! For the longest time, I have envisioned myself as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I want to work in a doctor’s office, getting to know my patients for the first 18-21 years of their life. I want to have a relationship with my patients, giving them to tools they need to live a healthy adult life! I don’t really like the idea of working on a regular med-surgical floor just because there is no continuity of care, no relationship. I might be there for 12 hours, but that’s all. And, I may never see them again. I would rather be with them for a while, earn their trust, and help them physically and emotionally.
As I start this class, I realize I have some baggage as well. The unit I will be working on for clinical is literally next door to the unit William always goes to. During this class, we will be going over how to care for the chronically-ill and terminal patient. I know I will probably face these patients in the distant future, but I may have to deal with this with William, probably in the not-so-distant future. Am I going to be able to put aside the emotions I have related to William’s prognosis? When he is admitted, will I be able to focus on my job? More importantly, when I finish this class, is this something that I really want to go into?
Also, as I have been reading my book, it talks about family stressors. As a pediatric nurse, I will not only deal with the patient’s diagnosis, but also the family issues at hand as well. My book talks about how different families can deal with certain stressors, such as a chronically or terminally ill child. If the family is resilient and able to problem solve and think optimistically, they have a greater chance in overcoming the stress. Naturally, I look at my own family. When William was 8 years old, it was “normal” to go to MCV every week. We just packed our school books and did our assignments in the car or waiting room. It was like clock-work. Now, Mom is gone at least 50% of the time, either to Ohio for an appointment or to MCV for a crisis. Either way, she is gone for at least 5 days. The impact it has had on my entire family at home is huge. There is discontent everywhere. Instead of doing things as acts of love for each other or for Mom, they find things to constantly fight over. One sibling will get upset if you ask him to stop doing something on the computer to help get dinner ready. Another will whine constantly until she gets what she wants.
The change I have noticed in my mom is frightening. It is a rare occasion for me to call and she sounds happy. 9 out of 10 times, she sounds weary and on the verge of tears. It is maddening for me, her former “right hand”, to not be able to make her smile or be able to change anything. I can’t change my siblings’ hears. I can’t fix William’s problems, much as I want to. I can’t heal my mom’s hurt.
All I can do – all anyone can do – is pray.