I Don’t Want to be Surviving

I imagine there are as many ways to interpret my title as there are people who will read it. Bottom line, I am soooo tired of life. Surviving is a difficult place to be. I’m not getting better. I’m definitely not thriving. But I can’t just cease existing either.

The years of counseling, the dozens and dozens of workouts, the time and effort to cook and eat healthy food, the risky choice to be vulnerable with a handful of people, the challenging of negative thoughts and replacing them, the worship songs sang, the prayers prayed, the hours reading the Bible, the difficult choice to participate in things that you want to avoid (since, ya know, people say that engaging in life helps), the going to coffee with a friend, and plenty of other things has led me only to here. To blabbering pointlessly at my therapist and then bursting into tears and talking about hard stuff, feeling like the session was maybe worthwhile, but mostly feeling like it’s not nearly enough. Wishing I could have 50 minutes every day for a while. It seems like I need so much more.

Oof. Emotions are heavy. Cognitive distortions are loud.

Wrist ImageAfter eleven months of idiopathic problems with my right wrist (and yes, I’m right-handed), almost two weeks ago, someone was finally able to give me an answer. I had an MRI with contrast done during Christmas break, and after looking at it, the orthopedic hand specialist that I started seeing in October came back and said that I had injured ligaments. My scapholunate ligament is torn as is my TFCC (Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex). I went back to my OT, who made me a custom splint that I am to wear 24/7 for 4-6 weeks. When I follow up with the MD, we’ll discuss whether or not it’s helping. If it is, we’ll continue with the splint, but if not, then surgery will be necessary.

Scrubs & SplintI am currently not allowed pronation, supination, radial deviation, ulnar deviation, wrist flexion, or wrist extension (aka, I’m not allowed to move my wrist). After some very discouraging comments from the director of my school’s nursing program on Thursday, I needed my Friday IV skills lab. It wasn’t easy, but it was possible; I did all of the skills successfully—proving to myself that I didn’t need to dwell on the director’s comments and also allowing my clinical instructor to see some of the many things I can still do.

With my new (ten-day-old-so-far) wrist splint, I am having much difficulty sleeping. Washing dishes is hard. Cooking is very difficult. Vacuuming my floor is unnecessary. Showering is overrated, okay maybe not, but it’s really hard and takes forever, plus clinical days require my hair to be up, and that’s super difficult.

I can only type so much at a time, and on T/Th, I have back to back to back classes. When I “read” my textbooks, it’s more like staring at shapes on a page, changing pages, getting discouraged, willing myself to focus and understand, and maybe eventually finishing, but also maybe giving up. The assignments are like noxious weeds—they’re too numerous to count, you don’t want them, and they’re not easy to get rid of.

Since writing most of this yesterday, I had a meeting with my clinical instructor (who is also a professor at my university). We have very few answers coming out of it, but we have next steps to take. I loooove getting an extra five things to do in a six day span <written with no sarcasm whatsoever> However, I’m not left in the dark about what might happen from here. Also, apparently she thinks I can handle being on a critical care unit (that’s what she told me today anyway). I forget her exact words about my academic abilities and intentionally putting me on a high acuity floor because she knows I can handle the patients and the critical thinking involved. I often wonder how so many people can be so wrong about me so often. But then I wonder if maybe I’m the one who is wrong and they’re right???

I guess she doesn’t know about the buckets of tears, the thoughts I’d just assume never have again, the intense effort that goes into carrying out simple tasks, the battle to keep going day after day, the work it takes to get my work done, and how incredibly and indescribably difficult school is for me.

I suppose I’m grateful that she (and many others) can’t tell what’s going on, yet at the same time, I feel like a fraud.

I have so much academic stuff to do, but it’s painfully difficult to focus, and it takes so long to accomplish anything. Some days I wonder if I even want to be a nurse. There’s a lot of aspects of Med-Surg that I’m trying to like, but I just don’t. I don’t like working in the hospital. I feel inept. I feel like I’m not good enough, like I’m too scared. I want to be a nurse, but I don’t know how to make it through the journey, the process, the growing with great pain, with intense effort, and with viscous sweat. Maybe for a little while I won’t grow—visibly anyway—I’ll remain buried in the dirt growing roots so that one day, when I do finally see sunlight, I won’t be destroyed.

In a storm

A Blog Post Once Again

There is so much that I have been wanting to write, and there is so much happening in life that has prevented me from sitting down and writing.

December 13th was the end of finals week for the fall semester, and the spring semester begins January 13th (aka today, since I didn’t finish this the day I started it). It’s an oddly long “break”, but I really needed it (and feel like it’s not been enough of a break)…

On December 14th (a Saturday), I met a friend in a big city that’s about an hour away, and we walked around for a bit, and then I got to listen to her and her sister play and sing in a Christmas concert. The strangest thing about it was the 30-45 minutes before it started when they were getting ready and whatnot, and I kept feeling like I needed to be studying–there was no way that I could just sit and listen and observe. Surely, I must be accomplishing something?!

Sunday included church followed by lunch with a few people from church, an afternoon of I don’t even remember what, and then starting to pack to head to my parents’.

Monday morning I went to counseling and then finished packing and loaded my car. The drive is about 160 miles, and it went pretty smoothly. That night I got to watch my youngest brother (a senior in high school) play basketball, which I always love being able to do. My mom had picked up my grandma and brought her to the game (she doesn’t drive anymore), and then after the game, my mom took her home. As she went up the stairs to her door, she fell. My sister and I had stopped to pick up some groceries on the way home, so when we got home much later, we were told that Grandma had fallen, and Mom had taken her to the hospital.

Boom, wow, not exactly something any of us wanted to happen.

My grandma was in the hospital for four days, and two of the days+nights my mom stayed with her, and each of her brothers took one day+night. One of the days that she wasn’t with her mom, my mom was with one of my brothers who was having surgery on his hand. This surgery was planned and was to remove scar tissue that built up after a broken bone a year and a half ago.

So, Monday: Grandma falls and goes to the hospital (four broken ribs). Wednesday: the older of my younger brothers has surgery. Friday: in the afternoon, my grandma was discharged from the hospital but was no where near being able to live back on her own. Thus, Friday, Grandma comes to my family’s house. She required a lot of help for the first week plus, and then it gradually became less and less, until after two and a half weeks, she went back to her place. One of my uncles brought a rented electronic chair that helped get Grandma close to standing and was much easier for her than any normal chair. We gave her her pain meds, tried to get her to eat, helped her to the bathroom, opened the door for her because it was too painful to turn the knob, chatted with her at times, got her water, etc.

My clinical site for this coming semester had a lot of documents to read and sign plus online training videos to watch with quizzes to take. They were due on January 3rd. So, there was Grandma to take care of, brother who had surgery to take care of, nursing school stuff to do during “break,” and that’s before getting to any of the things that I really wanted to do during the time between semesters.

Oh, and let’s not forget the MRI that took four hours of one day (two of which were driving), but also a decent chunk of time before that calling around to find somewhere that could do it before the end of the year. Then I had to get the referral faxed from provider near school to imaging facility near home.

And that, gets us to the end of 2019.

The past two weeks have been very busy as well, and hopefully I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things soon. For now, I’m going to eat dinner and do an assignment that is due tomorrow morning.

It Shouldn’t Be Like This

studying.jpgUgh, I’ve longed to sit down and write so many times. Sometimes in my personal e-journal (since I still can’t write), and other times a blog post. Alas, things have not been anything like what I wish them to be, and the best I can do navigating life at this time hasn’t had much space for writing of any sort. (But the college papers are mandatory, so that strenuous task has continued to occur.)


zzIt is currently week twelve of the first semester of my junior year of nursing school. Perhaps one day I’ll have both time and brain power to write about various aspects of what it’s been like being in a hospital so far. For now, I’ll share the highlight of my clinical experience up to this point. A couple weeks ago, I got to go with a patient from the med-surg floor (where my current rotation is) down to the catheterization laboratory (aka cath lab) to observe a coronary angiography. It was so cool!


The title of this post It Shouldn’t Be Like This means a lot of things. Broadly thinking, I mean two things by it—two pretty different things.

The first “this” that it shouldn’t be like is that a twenty-something year old in nursing school shouldn’t have diagnoses of hypothyroidism, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, ulnar neuropathy, tendinosis, tenosynovitis, a processing speed in the eighth percentile, and a probable sleep disorder. I say probable for the sleep disorder because while we’ve done two different sleep studies, I don’t have results from the second one yet. My guess as to why all they said on the phone was that I need to schedule an appointment and come in is that some test was positive. In the morning, I’ll find out when they can see me… It just shouldn’t be like this—for anyone, really, not just not for me.

In ScrubsThe second “this” is that based on the above “this,” I shouldn’t really even be functioning like a normal human (whatever that even is), let alone studying nursing with a psychology minor, surviving my classes (and actually doing well based solely on numbers), navigating three to five appointments a week, and being a teaching assistant for two classes. I can’t express how grateful I am that this “this” is happening. It’s something that I can attribute only to God.

There is so much that shouldn’t be what it is—far beyond things I’ve written here. Nevertheless, here I am doing the best I know how with what I have. I’m working on learning that my best doesn’t have to look like other people’s best. And my best in this season doesn’t have to look like my best in a previous or future season. It’s certainly easier to say than to believe and live into, but saying it is a step in the right direction.

There are days that I don’t shower, there are days that two of my meals are instant oatmeal, there are days that I cry so many tears that the following day my eyes are still puffy, there are days that I don’t want to get out of bed, there are days that I don’t want to show up anywhere, there are days that I want to fall asleep and never wake up, there are days that I think about ways of ending life, there are days that I don’t do any of the assigned reading for class, there are days that I don’t care how long it’s been since I took out the trash or vacuumed the floor (but of course there are also days that I do care and am distressed by my inability to function “properly”

Sometimes I feel like my car: falling apart and running on empty.

Discouraged but determined
Frustrated but fighting
Exhausted but enough
Lonely but loved

 

A Raw Prayer

Yesterday, I found myself sitting in a rocking chair on a porch with tears running down my face. Sitting outside in the sun was supposed to make things better, but it didn’t. There’s no good way to describe what I was feeling. I was buried in negative thoughts, and while I didn’t want to be, I didn’t have the cognitive strength or energy to challenge and counter them. So, I decided to try praying. I typed as I prayed to help myself stay focused, and I decided to copy my prayer here for others who are feeling at the end of their ropes and dealing with this odd concoction of distress, despair, emptiness, numbness, pain, anger, misery, brokenness, and hurt. It may not feel it, but I think God cares.

Jesus, I feel like I’m too broken, like I’m not worth the effort to repair, like I’m too many pieces to ever stay together again. I feel shattered, defeated, and burdensome. I am struggling to believe that you care enough to keep loving me in the midst of the pain. I don’t know why you stick around. People sure don’t. I’m deeply aware of being wounded. It seems so straightforward to let go and trust that you know how to deal with my mess of a life and that you’re going to. It’s not straightforward though. But I do really want to trust you. Will you help me to keep my eyes on you and to believe that you want what’s best for me? I feel so much pain, and I don’t know how to get to the root cause and have actual healing. There certainly is appeal in trying to numb it, but I somehow know that it wouldn’t help as much as it seems like it would. I don’t know how to let you fix it, and honestly, it seems like you don’t want to fix it. Sometimes I don’t even know what’s true, but I wonder if you care how miserable things are. After all, you could fix it, and you’re not. Jesus, I want your will above mine, but it’s pretty rough and rocky right now. If this is your will, would you show me reminders that you are with me and that you do care? Would you help me breathe and rest in what’s true? And since I’m having a hard time differentiating between what’s true and what’s not, could you guide me in truth? Can you and will you remind me who you are and also who I am? Will you hold the pieces of my broken heart and my wounded soul? And if you choose not to put them back together and heal them, will you saturate them undeniably in your love?

I. Refuse. To. Quit.

scheduleWelcome to Nursing School. Actually, welcome to life. It is so gosh darn stinkin’ hard! Certainly there are classes to attend, assignments to complete, material to study, and exams to take. Throw in some anxiety, some depression, lots of cognitive distortions, some wrist problems, some trips to the pharmacy, occupational therapy, counseling, a sleep specialist, a psychiatrist, phone calls to your insurance company, working as a teaching assistant for two classes, and well, well then you might have half the stuff covered…

Nursing students have their act together, right? We go around in our scrubs looking all professional sometimes, while other times we wear “normal” clothes and blend in. A couple weeks ago, a sophomore nursing student who I met last year asked me something along the lines of how I handled everything so well. I told her that I did my share of struggling and crying and questioning. She said that it was comforting to hear that despite appearances, I don’t have it all together.

It can be tricky to find the balance between feeling my feelings and dwelling on them. I went from years and years and years of feelings are 100% the f word and are absolutely off limits to holy crap what are all these things?! to gaaaaa! How do I deal with feelings in a healthy way? They’re real, but frequently, they aren’t true…

Do you have torrents of distressing thoughts? What do you do with them? When you have no energy to respond positively to negative thoughts or can’t summon the strength to challenge what you know are lies, how do you move forward? How do you function better than a pathetic, soggy, distraught student nurse?


I probably should have some sort of self-disintegrating journal; you know, one that undergoes apoptosis if someone else touches it.

From the brain of yours truly:

What kind of student nurse am I ?
Who dreads going to clinical?
Who is terrified of setting foot in a hospital?
What student nurse hates being alive?
Who is shattered and falling to as many pieces as I am?
What student nurse cries everywhere all the time?
Who other than me is 10,000 craggy pieces?
Who else is a jumbled mess wrapped up and walking around as a fraud?

Why? I feel like I ask that a lot. Why is life like this? Why is everything so hard? Why do I even exist? Why is fear so loud? Why do I feel so alone? Why are the lies deafening?

Imposter, fraud, phony, pretend, fake. Who the heck am I?!
I’m not depression.
I’m not anxiety.
I’m not ulnar neuropathy.
I am not tight sore muscles.
I’m not a daughter that can do nothing right.
I’m not lazy.
I’m not worthless.
I am not a waste of time and energy.
I’m not a waste of space.
I am loved
I am worthwhile
I am a child of God

I feel like my heart is crying “I matter too!” But it’s not just my heart crying. My eyes are crying as well. They’re wishing I was seen. Longing to be important. Feeling unloved and ignored.
My brain is crying as well, but it’s not crying with longing. It’s crying in distress. It’s crying out lies. It’s crying
“you don’t matter”
“you’re not worth their time”
“other people are far more important than you”
“why do you ever think you’ll be worth something to someone?”
“you know what happens when you trust people”
“it’s foolish of you to ever have hope; you know you’re just going to get disappointed”
“you’re too broken”
“no one would believe you if you told them what you’re dealing with and asked them for help. I mean, come on, do you remember what *name* said and what *other name* said?”
“clearly you aren’t worth people’s time and resources”
“just stop trying”
“life isn’t worth living”

Ugh. I’m pretty sure StrengthsQuest is supposed to be encouraging, and your top five strengths are supposed to be this way of seeing what you’re good at and talents that you have, and blah, blah, blah. If I read the descriptions of mine, I agree that they’re true of me, but I see the negative side of all of them. I see the downfalls to the things that are true about me. If the exact same things were true about someone else, I would think they were a cool person. I would admire them. I would want to be friends with them But, for some reason, because it’s me, I just see the gross, slimy, stench-filled aspects of stuff. A year and a half ago, I started to think maybe I was an okay human, that I was likeable. It was kinda freeing, but it didn’t last. I’m back in that gooey mud wondering why anyone would want to be within eyesight of me. I’m ready to give up, but I just can’t. I cannot stop trying.


<sigh>

Do I ignore this stuff? In the moments that I’ve written those things, I’ve wanted to pretend that they aren’t real. I want to bury them and let on that I’m doing great. But, that doesn’t seem like it’s the best option. Processing it seems to be a better option – in the long run anyway. What does processing look like though? Darned if I know…

Nurse

Dear nursing student who thinks you’re too broken, please listen as I tell both you and myself that we don’t have to be flawless. One of my professors once told me that the world needs broken nurses. We’re people too, and it’s okay to be working on our own gunk as we slug our way through nursing school.

I don’t know what it’s like to enjoy school. I can count on one hand the number of times I enjoyed formal learning. It’s not an exaggeration for me to say I hate school. I long to like school. I wish I could be excited about learning. I’d be so happy if I looked forward to clinical.
But, I don’t know if days like that will ever come. So for now, I put a smile on my face, I put on a pair of navy scrubs, I reapply my smile, I put one foot in front of the other, I care deeply about the people I interact with (maybe a little too deeply sometimes). I make people laugh (both intentionally and unintentionally), and I work to become better. I try hard, I cry hard, I pray hard.

Clinical Day 1

Made it through clinical orientation at the hospital where I will have med-surg clinical for the next eleven weeks!

Non Nursing School Parts of Nursing School

The last four weeks I have barely written, but the month before that I wrote a handful of partial posts that sit unfinished. The two weeks leading up to the current semester I worked two jobs. I mostly really enjoyed them both, but I was quite busy. On top of work, I had appointments to go to, and my 17 year old brother came and visited me for four days. I loved having him, but at times I felt bad that I had to work part of the timeCoast he was here and not spend more time with him. We made the most of the time we had though. I also took one afternoon off, and we went to the coast together. We climbed a dune, watched the crashing waves, ate dinner sitting on the sand, and watched the sunset. He had never been to the coast, and it was special to take him.

Anyway, it felt like I had just finished sprinting a 10k when the semester (a marathon) started. I came in exhausted and wanting to sleep forever. But, that’s not how it works, and I suppose not surprisingly, I have survived three weeks of my junior year of nursing school.

Filling Meds

My prescriptions and supplements are too many to keep accurate track of when taking them from the bottles. Magnesium and iron don’t play nice with my thyroid med, and my nerve pain med is morning and evening; I take meds 5 times a day, and these containers are quite helpful. But, it takes time every weekend to go through the bottles and fill the days. Welcome to one aspect of how my life includes things I never thought would be part of it…

One of the big things that I am trying to learn how to navigate is school + life. In the past, I’ve tried to make school my entire life, and that’s not how things are going down this year. Week one, I had three appointments and five meetings in addition to my classes. Week two, I had five appointments and one meeting. Week three, I had three appointments. Next week’s schedule has three appointments and two meetings. Once you throw in a couple calls to the insurance company because something got billed wrong and the total was more than double what it should have been, go to the pharmacy a couple times, and fill out paperwork for a new appointment, well, then you can think about classes. But don’t forget the grocery shopping, the meal prepping, the exercises for your wrist, the showers to be taken, the texts and emails that you love getting but sometimes are overwhelmed by, the dressing in a presentable manner and appearing “normal,” the prepping for the two classes you are a teaching assistant for, etc., the energy you never had has gone into the red, and there’s not a lot left for academics.

SN with BibleMost mornings I can be seen crossing campus to the prayer chapel to spend some time with Jesus, a friend, and my Bible before classes or work starts. From a distance, I look put together and ready to go. But, it’s a disguise. I’m really very broken, and God is all that’s holding me together. I guess it’s good to need Him though.
One night this past week, as I laid in bed sobbing before I fell asleep, I was thinking about tears and Psalm 56:8. I couldn’t remember exactly how it went, but I thought it said something about God counting our tears. I was wondering how He counts them when they’re streams instead of drops. Later in the week, I took time to look up the verse. It says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” God must have a massive bottle for my tears.

My faith is deeply important to me, and I wouldn’t have made it this far without it. It certainly doesn’t make things easy though. Life is excruciatingly difficult. Yet, God is very real, and He is very good.

Today is a day for lots of studying. I want to escape school and life and pretend that many things aren’t real, but I have my first medical surgical nursing (MedSurg) exam this coming week, and I have an exam in evidence based practice as well. So, I’ll be being responsible for most of the day going back over the last three weeks of material. I’ll probably take a break at some point to do “normal” people things like washing dishes, buying groceries, cleaning my bathroom, etc.

Nursing school is hard. Nursing school + life seems impossible. Thankfully, I am a child of the God who can do the impossible.

 

Nursing School Starter Kit

Nursing 1It’s no secret that nursing school is challenging. There are far too many things that contribute to even touch on, but I think one factor that is modifiable is a go-it-alone mentality. If nursing students came together and learned from one another and supported each other instead of competing against each other and trying to do everything alone, the rocky road might be a little less painful.

Thus, after I finished my first year of nursing school last May, I wrote down some things that maybe would have been helpful to read last August. Perhaps someone else will benefit from reading them.


This is it—you’re about to start nursing school. You finished all your prereqs, you applied to the nursing program, and you got accepted. Now, here you are. What are the essentials? What do you need as you embark on this journey?

1) The ability to ask for help. Some of these are in no particular order, but I put this one first because you absolutely will not make it without this. Asking for help is vital in nursing school. Sometimes you’ll be asking your roommate/housemate for help with getting groceries for the week. Sometimes you’ll be asking your professor for help understanding something you didn’t grasp in class. Sometimes you’ll be asking a peer for help with a homework assignment. Sometimes you’ll be asking your family for help making your brother feel special on his birthday because you’re 160 miles away studying for an exam. The list goes on. You’ll need to ask for all sorts of help from all sorts of people.

2) Kleenex. Not just the little pack of ten that’s a convenient size—you do need those—but you should have a Costco-sized box too. Maybe even a whole case of 8 or 10 or however many. Keep a box by your bed and another by your desk and another in your car. Also, put one of the little packs in your purse, and your backpack, and your coat pocket, and your scrubs, and your everything—just have Kleenex everywhere. You’re probably going to be needing them. (And even if you don’t, your friend will.)

Chocolate3) Chocolate. I personally recommend salted dark chocolate, but if you have a different preference, hey, that means more of the good stuff for me =)

4) Resilience. I can promise you that nursing school won’t be easy. There will be times that you question if it’s worth it and start to doubt your ability to do this. That’s normal; I’m pretty sure every nursing student has those moments. Keep fighting; there will be good days again.

5) Someone (or preferably a couple someones) that you can talk to at any time of day or night. Whether or not you actually pick up your phone and call your person, knowing someone is always there is so helpful.

6) Two ears and one mouth. Yes, I know, you already have that, and hopefully, if you’re in nursing school, you did well enough in anatomy to know that too. 😉 Use them proportionally—listen* lots. Do talk, but not all the time. Encourage others to use their voices and soak up what they have to say.

7) Knowledge that you are unique but not alone. A diagnosis of hypothyroidism, separated ribs, and problems with my ulnar nerve were only a small part of the non-academic challenges I faced during my first year of nursing school.Nursing 3 I hope that no one has to face many of the things I did, but even if you do, it won’t be exactly the same. You might go through a painful breakup, have family problems, deal with health issues, or ten million other things. You are a unique person, and your particular struggles are unique; however, no matter what you go through, you are not alone. It’s likely that there will be times that you feel like you are alone, and that’s one of the many times for you to put to use your ability to ask for help. Reach out for help, challenge the lies, and let the people around you speak truth and life into you.

8) A sense of humor. Being able to laugh will make the experience more enjoyable—both for you and for those around you.

9) Excitement. No, I don’t mean that you have to be bubbly and expressive (but it’s fine if you are). Your excitement can be mostly silent and inside you, but it’s good to be excited about what you’re going to be learning. Nursing school is intense, but it’s also amazing. Prepare to blow yourself away by what you can accomplish, and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. You’ve got what it takes, so take a deep breath, and dive in.


*If you think you’re not that great of a listener, I highly recommend the book The Lost Art of Listening by Michael Nichols.
If you think you are a good listener, then I really very extremely highly recommend it.

Seriously, most of the people who I talk to that have had bad experiences with health care providers say that the biggest thing that wasn’t done was listening. “I just wish they would have listened.” “If they would have listened to me, it would have made such a difference.” “I don’t understand why they wouldn’t just listen to what I was trying to tell them.” And, when I polled my Facebook friends, one of the things that came up as being extremely important for nurses is listening. If it comes naturally to you, yay! If it doesn’t, there’s hope!! It’s a skill, and you can develop it. I promise it’s worth it.


Some additional tips:

  • Utilize professors’ office hours.
  • Ask questions (but maybe after class or during office hours). Professors have a lot of material to cover, and time won’t slow down for you to have 3 or 4 questions every lecture. Jot it down in your notes and ask about it afterwards.
  • Have a concrete reminder of your personal reason for pursuing nursing. For me, this looks like having a picture of a little boy I got to take care of on a mission trip on my desk.
  • P-R-I-O-R-I-T-I-Z-E Contrary to what I used to do, prioritizing does not mean lining up everything that you think needs to happen and saying it’s equally important and all must be done no matter what. It’s hard to do, but learning to prioritize (ya know, the actual meaning of it) is very worthwhile.
  • Have at least one non-nursing school thing that you must do each week. If it’s optional, you’ll let it fall by the wayside, but stepping away from nursing stuff every so often is an important part of taking care of yourself.
  • Find someone outside of your nursing program that you can talk to about grades. Grades aren’t nearly as big a deal as most people make them out to be, but I don’t think it’s healthy to ignore them either. I have found it helpful to be able to cry about the ones that weren’t what I wanted and celebrate the ones I was excited about. This might be with a therapist, a pastor, a family member, or a best friend (who is not in the nursing program with you).
  • Journal. Even if you’ve never done it before, chances are you’ll find it helpful to have a confidential place to process some of what’s running through your head.
  • Remember to sign all your SOAP notes and care plans!
  • Take a deep breath (or ten) and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
  • Smile big, laugh often, love fiercely ❤

Nursing 4