I seriously suck at blogging while in nursing school! As I have said many times, it is not that I don’t want to. I do think of things I want to share but at the end of the day, I have other things I need to do, like play with the kids or sleep. Choices, here people.

Since my last post in February, I made it out of Mental Health alive. And that is not a joke. That class was by far the hardest I have ever taken. I did well on exams, not as well as I wanted to, but I never worried about not passing. The problem was the emotional heaviness of the class. I was smacked hard in the face by the reality of how messed up the mental health care in our country is. It literally blows my mind and makes me crazy mad; I can barely even talk about it without getting anxious.

Speaking of anxiety, I had gone several weeks without a single panic attack and then between weeks 5-6 of the class, I had 3 in one week. So much for my mind and heart to handle at once. I realized then that I can handle the usual mental health chat that I will have with my patients as an assessment piece of the plan, but I am no where near cut out to be a mental health nurse. Just like there are nurses who would never want to do labor and delivery, I am the nurse that could never do psych. I did briefly touch on this in my last post, but not in the same amount of detail as I am now. It took me awhile to process what I experienced and learned.

All that to say, I did get through the class. I wouldn’t say it was fun, but I did it. And now I am done with health promotion and just started evidence based practice and leadership (two separate classes that are working together as far as content ant assignments go). For health promotion, we spent two weeks at the refugee center providing basic health info to people who really didn’t know English or have an idea of what health factors they needed to be taking care of (blood pressure, blood sugar, pregnancy…). I created the most bad-ass poster board on prenatal care. I will share a pic later–I wanted to make sure the board and class had been graded first before I shared any of it.

Finally, I did a 9NEWS Health Fair and that is something that Denver puts on all over the front range. Before the event, I was asked by my preceptor if I would like to help assist with the pap and breast exams and OF COURSE I said yes! Little did I know how absolutely incredible it would be.

I worked one on one with an NP who made sure that I was not going to leave without seeing ever single cervix that walked in the door. The facts, advice and guidance she bestowed on me was priceless and I am certain I will not see anything like this in my OB rotation. I may, however, not even see these things until I am in midwifery school!

So what did I see? I saw 11 cervixs’. All over 40 years old. The NP first asked the patient questions like their sexual activity, history, and if they had children. The women were open, honest and made me laugh. I was giddy inside! Of the 11 women we saw, one cervix had a polyp, another woman had an ovarian mass (I felt it from the outside), several women had a retroverted uterus and every woman had gone far too long without a proper mammogram. I did not do any of the actual exams–I filled out paper work, prepared the specimens once the NP had gathered the cells she needed from the pap smear, and gave hugs to these brave women who were advocating for their health.

There was not one moment where I thought something was gross or felt like this wasn’t for me–just the opposite! Seeing the GYN side of women’s health only helped fuel this fire inside of me. The passion I have is unlike anything I have ever experienced and I am so grateful for that day and for the NP who took me under her wing and taught me everything I could ever know about assessing a vagina and cervix. Pretty awesome!

I’m now two weeks into EBP and Leadership and these are classes that are geared specifically for the bachelor side of nursing. This is where nurses who were interested in management or being charge nurses would really need this information and honestly, I am not the biggest fan yet BUT I do love using EB material especially when it pertains to women’s health, pregnancy, and childbirth. Unfortunately, we are not researching anything in that area but it will be good practice.

On a personal note, these last 5 months have been hard. I’ve had a number of physical ailments and have had a hard time managing my overall health while keeping up with the family and school and life in general. I am not sure where or why these things are coming from but I am hopeful I will find out soon. I have a very important appointment with my doctor next week so positive vibes for answers would be great. Without going into detail too much, pain all over is what I am dealing with. Abdominal, head (migraines), neck, joints, fatigue…the list goes on.

Until next time….