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Archive for November, 2009

Genetics

Today a group of 6 of us presented our role — Genetic Counselor — to the rest of the class during Intro to Nursing.  We performed a skit wherein I portrayed a dimwitted, clueless, arrogant, semi-sexually charged Southern gentleman with his own talk show in the vein of Ali G.

This meant I got to/had to/proceeded to:

  1. Act.
  2. Ham it up.
  3. Take on a Southern accent.
  4. Pretend to hit on a woman in the audience.
  5. Wear a suit with a pink shirt and a pink tie.
  6. Put half a gallon of gel in my hair.

Gawl dang, I do like me some nursing school sometimes!

P.S.  Anyone who knows me realizes that #4 above was definitely not so suave and smooth.

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In non-nursing news on the NurseKenny front …

This morning I joined some of the other student government folks from our esteemed university, and we ventured up into North Philly (only a bit) to take part in a little service project for a group called Philabundance.  They act as a food distribution center for the needy in our city, whether they be homeless or the working poor.  Very cool outfit — I’d highly suggest volunteering for them if you’re looking to do some service work.

Anyway, we worked from about 9-12 or so, and our sole job was scooping cereal (Frosted Mini-Wheats, to be exact) into these little Ziploc bags.  Six of these bags, each weighing 1.5 lbs., were stickered with ingredient labels, stuffed into a cardboard box, and put on a pallet for distribution.  Apparently our group (8 of us from the university plus a dozen or so other folks) packed over 3,000 lbs. of food this morning.  Wooo!  Met some cool people (Yo to B, A2, and D … hey, incidentally, that spells “BAD!”) and hung out with some folks I already knew (Yo to L3, A3, K3, and M3 … I need to start a legend with people’s abbreviated BlogNames — can’t keep anyone straight anymore).  Some highlights from this morning:

  • We decided that some people were getting gipped, because some of the bags contained 0.05 lbs. of actual cereal, and about 1.45 lbs. of Frosted Mini-Wheat Dust Powder (which we assumed is easily inhaled into the bronchial passages … nursing nerds).
  • The Dust Powder reminded us of that stuff you put in the bottom of your guinea pig cage.
  • And now I’ve effectively ensured that no one will ever again eat Frosted Mini-Wheats.

And later in the day … Tonight L2 and I went over to a local comedy club in the city — we’ve been fans for a long time of the headlining act … a fella by the name of Gary Gulman.  Saw him in Atlantic City a few years back and fractured 3 ribs laughing all night.  We decided tonight would be our 2nd time seeing him.

My favorite line of his, ever ever?  When he’s talking about cookies, in a bit called “The Hierarchy of Cookies,” and says:

Dear sugar cookie … let me tell you a little something … every cookie … is a sugar cookie.  A cookie without sugar … is a cracker.

Pure comedy gold, I say, pure gold.

Anyway, back to our story.  We didn’t have tickets, and I (foolishly) thought we could get them easily at the box office the night of.  Mistake #1.  Sold out completely.  But these sweet, sweet people we met had 2 extra tickets they were willing to sell to us for the low price of face value.  So of course we took ’em up on that delicious offering.  We were seated at stage left, right at the front of the stage.

  1. First comedian:  very funny, understated, cerebral humor.  Grade:  A-.
  2. Second comedian:  not very funny, in-your-face comedy.  Grade:  C+.  (I’m a very harsh critic with astronomical expectations.)
  3. Third comedian:  very funny, hilarious even.  Gary Gulman.  Grade:  A-.

However.

Seated directly behind us were 5 of Philly’s finest citizens.  And by finest, I mean undeniably obnoxious.  A sampling of what L2 and I heard all night:

COMEDIAN:  “Funny funny funny blah blah hilarious joke that’s funny blah blah.”

OBNOXIOUS PERSON #1:  “Oh my gawd that’s so funny!”

COMEDIAN:  “Funny funny joke about football funny blah blah.”

OBNOXIOUS PERSON #2:  “Oh he’s so right, they would have totally lost the game!”

COMEDIAN:  “Funny joke ha ha ho hum funny joke about having kids.”

OBNOXIOUS PERSON #3:  “Hey, honey, did you e-mail Kristen and tell her we’ll be late tomorrow?”

And on and on it went all night long.  I tried reaaalllllllly hard to ignore them and concentrate on enjoying the show, but I’m the kind of person who just can’t let that kind of thing go unnoticed.  I wish I were, but I’m just not.  So of course it bothered me all night and potentially ruined an otherwise fun evening.

The last straw was when we heard this wonderful group making all sorts of grunting and snuffling noises, and L3 leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Umm, Ken, I think they’re doing cocaine.”  And that’s when I decided I would definitely not be saying anything to ask them to pipe down.  I just imagined myself in the backseat of a police cruiser somewhere.  Or ambulance.  I dunno.

Fantastic.  Stay classy, Philadelphia.  As my mom’s friend always says, “Well, that’s life in the big city.”

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So today I decided, instead of going out and shrieking in horror at the irrepressible hordes of inconsiderate Black Friday folks starting my Christmas shopping, I would sit inside and get some stuff done that I’ve been meaning to get done (ie, putting little twinkly lights in my fake ficus tree; dusting the tops of the cable box and DVD player; watering the plants; watching the concerts I’ve DVR-ed lately [KT Tunstall is amazing]).  W and E2 are coming over in a few minutes, and we have very lofty plans to … play video games.  E2 is indefatigable and kicks our butts up and down the street in Star Wars: Episode III.  She plays a terrifying Lord Vader.

In other news, had a good day with the Mother and the G-parents yesterday (Hi, Grandma and Grandpa!  Thanks again for dinner!).  Train ride back into the city was much better than the train ride home on Wednesday (where your friendly blogger had to stand from Market East all the way to Ambler before a seat opened up).

Have to give a presentation on what a genetic counselor does for our Intro to Nursing course tomorrow — we have a little something fun cooked up for the class; I’ll let you know how it goes.  So now the big decision for the afternoon is:

  1. Should I play General Grievous or Obi-Wan?
  2. Pizza or Royal Tavern for dinner tonight with W and E2?

Hope you all are having a great Thanksgiving weekend!

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I do believe it’s officially that time of the semester where everyone gets cranky, we’re all tired, and we all feel like we’re just … stuck.  I certainly do.  It’s a time when there are loads of assignments due, gobs of exams to study for, and presentations to give.  We’re all feeling the stress and it’s showing.

Time to take a deep breath and settle in for the next 3 weeks.

I’ve also decided not to blog about my recent patient — it’s just too difficult to try to explain what was going on without violating this person’s privacy.  In any event, it was a very educational 2 days of clinical on Wednesday and Thursday.  I learned a great deal about people.

One funny/disturbing/typical story:

It was near the end of our shift, and we had about 5 minutes until post-conference (where we all meet in the staff lounge and discuss our patients — we’re practicing presenting a patient in case the doctors making rounds need to know from us what’s been happening with our patient).  I should preface the rest of the story by saying that, on our floor, we each have one patient for the duration of our shift, and only one.  Not all of the patients have a student assigned to them.  Anyway, I was standing at the end of the hall doing some last-minute computer charting of my patient, and out of the corner of my eye I see a hard-charging person.  I glance up and it’s the mean, nasty, scowling nurse who gives off bad vibes.  She’s moving quickly, and she looks up to my right, and I notice that the room nearest me has its call bell (white light) blinking, but I don’t hear it ringing.  Normally, the student to whom this room was assigned should have been notified and gone to see what the call bell was.  Of course, it wasn’t a student — it was AngryNurse.

She looks at me and says, with a decided sneer at my uniform, “What … students don’t answer call bells anymore?”  I replied in an even voice, “I’m sorry, I was charting and didn’t even see or hear the call bell for that patient’s room.”  To which she huffed and puffed a bit, and said with disdain, “Well, when I went to nursing school we would go running for every call bell, and wouldn’t be caught dead not answering one.”

Well.  Excuuuuuuuse me (said in a haughty tone).  I really really really really wanted to respond to AngryNurse, but I bit my tongue.  I’ve discovered there are definitely 3 types of nurses on our floor when we’re there:

  1. Awesome Wants to Teach Nurse:  he/she seems to enjoy us being there; doesn’t mind telling us why he/she does things a certain way; says “hello” and “goodbye” to us; is happy that we’re helping them at all with mundane tasks.
  2. Indifferent to the World Nurse:  he/she seems to kind of drift along aside the students, and doesn’t seem to care either way what we do; teaches if it’s a last resort, but prefers to just do things on his/her own and not involve us; says “thanks” when we do something, but doesn’t talk to us otherwise.
  3. AngryNurse:  seems to want to slaughter us and send our bones and tendons and organs to the farthest reaches of the globe and proudly bellows how bitter he/she is to the world and generally makes us want to throw up all over the nurses’ station.

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I’m officially all H1N1-ed up.  Vaccine in the left deltoid, and hopefully no swine flu will come my way.  Sorry for the no-post thingamajig goin’ on lately, but I had a difficult patient the last few days, and wasn’t quite sure how to blog about it.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll figure that one out.  For now, the weekend is here, good food awaits, I finally got a winter coat after like, 10 years (well, it’s technically a shell + inner lining, but who’s counting?), and I’m ready for T-giving to arrive.  Bring on the mashed potatoes.

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The Kidneys

So far, out of all the body systems (except GI, of course), I’m finding the kidneys pretty incredible.  We’ve studied some amazing things, but the past week we’ve been discussing renal, and I’ve found my jaw dropping more than any other day.

The kidneys are pretty special little buggers, and I’m super thankful they work well in me.  I don’t really know a whole lot yet about what it takes to be a dialysis nurse, but it’s one of the careers that has jumped out at me this semester.  Not sure why, but the kidneys are just so fascinating and so important, too.  Good times.

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Today in Intro to Nursing class we had a lecture on “spirituality in nursing,” which, inevitably and assuredly, turned into a discussion on religion.  Even though the professor tried to differentiate between spirituality and religion, the chatter invariably turned to religion.  Nothing super-duper contentious or anything, but there was certainly an air of tension in the room this afternoon.

Conversation then turned to dealing with death, and the mood became somber.  Ugh.  And this after a long morning lecture on kidney disease.  A very, very tired day today.  I’m headed to bed early.

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