Thursday, June 16, 2011


Healthy foods and a good lifestyle are on my mind a lot.. but dont kid yourself- I am guilty of chowing down on some peanut butter M&M's, powered donuts, and spicy Cheetos at times (I think we ALL are).  I spent 4 years learning about nutrition and how it affects your body.  Being in nursing school has been an awesome way to see first hand how eating habits can change your life- for better or for worse.  I recently watched a documentary called "Forks Over Knives" (forksoverknives) and it really got my mind thinking about what I am eating.  I think everyone should see this documentary or at least read about it. 

A great amount of my patients in the hospital have heart disease or diabetes.  Thinking that these things can be reversed or prevented by food is crazy... well, crazy to think the solution can be that simple yet there are still millions of Americans impacted by these diseases.  I have always been very interested in diabetes and hope to some day work in a diabetes clinic and help people with lifestyle changes.  Keeping up with 3 different types of insulin and counting carbohydrates can be draining and really take over someones life, but we'll leave that conversation for another day.  Knowing that we have the power to reverse a disease is amazing, and it should be taken advantage of.  

If you get a chance, check out the website above... and try to buy groceries that are against a wall!  If you think about it- foods in the center of the store are usually processed and full of trans-fats, sugars, and sodium.  Live a long and healthy life- you deserve it!  

Sunday, May 29, 2011


As all of you know, Joplin was hit by a tornado a week ago today.  I went down to volunteer and drop off donations with my friend Tonya on Wednesday morning.  Being there in person was an experience I'll never forget.  Seeing the destruction around me every way I turned was crazy, I have never seen anything like it. 
The first day we were there we volunteered in the call center taking calls from people who wanted to give a donation... whether it be a service of some kind, food, clothing, etc.  The phones were ringing off the hook, and it was awesome to talk to so many people who wanted to help- and the coolest part was that it was people from ALL over the US. I had calls from Kentucky, Idaho, Texas, and Kansas just to name a few.  I know there are so many good people in the world with great hearts and it is good to be reminded of that sometimes.

The second day we went out into a neighborhood and helped with debris clean up.  We spent most of the day helping a couple sort through things and clean up what used to be their house. They only had a few walls left standing, one in the kitchen and one I think was part of a bathroom wall.  It was like the tornado just put their house in a blender and then dumped it all right back out.  Our main goal was to get all the boards, metal, pieces from the wall, tree debris, and anything else out to the curb.  There were about 10 of us working in the morning and even after a few hours it looked like we had hardly done anything simply because there is just so much to move.  After working in the neighborhood Thursday I really realized just how many people and how long it is going to take just to clean up- then how long it will take to do all the rebuilding.  While cleaning up I did find some pictures and old cards they had received from people.  I found one 8x10 picture of them that wasn't ripped at all and it was so great to see her smile when I handed it to her... that was the best part of that whole day!

Volunteering there was really easy to do and everything was organized so well.  If you have a couple days of free time you should definitely go up there- they can use all the help they can get.  If you are interested, you go the student center at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU).  Overall it was a really sad, but good experience.  Keep the people of Joplin in your prayers!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A sweet little poem...

My first semester teachers showed us this, and I think it is something worth reading.

What do you see nurses? . . .. .. . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . . when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man . . . . . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . . . . with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . . . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . . . . 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . . . . the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? . . . . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am. . . . . . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . . . . . with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . . who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . . that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons . . .. . . have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me . . . . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . . My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . . . . my wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . . . shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . . . . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . . . and the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man . . . . . and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . . where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . . . . a young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . . . . . gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people . . . . . open and see.
Not a crabby old man .. . . Look closer . . . see ME!!

Monday, November 29, 2010


You guessed it.. I put in my first urinary catheter recently!! (Well, maybe you didn't guess it).  Talk about an experience.  It was on a male, if you were wondering.  There are probably thousands upon thousands of these put in everyday, but I still get excited that I have done it.  I know it's not the most glamorous subject, but I'm not sure anything about nursing is.  OH, and for those of you who dont know what a catheter is, it is a plastic tube that is gently slid into a patient's bladder via his or her urethra. Catheterization allows the patient's urine to drain freely from the bladder for collection. 
At least they asked nicely...

Anyone who I have talked to about this has been pretty grossed out... especially the guys.  I usually get people making the face as if they're listening to nails on a chalkboard or something similar.  I'm not sure how it actually feels because I have never had one. I can imagine it feels very uncomfortable, though.

All in all it was just a little personal victory for me.  One more skill checked off my 'skills list', but one that I was pretty nervous about.  Now I can quit making jokes about needing someone to practice on.  It was fun while it lasted.  

Are finals over yet?  One semester down.  Almost...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Everyone in Oklahoma remembers exactly where they were, and what they heard and felt when time stood still at 9:02AM on April 19, 1995.  I was sitting in my first grade classroom, which was about 10 miles away from downtown, and we all felt the building shake a little bit... (I STILL cant grasp the magnitude of the bomb having felt it 1O MILES away).  One of my classmates said "Dude, I bet a bunch of trucks backfired at the same time!" and I will never forget that; mainly because I had no idea what that meant.  

At the time I am sure many people in Oklahoma thought something like the bombing "would never happen to us" or thought "things like this only happen in other countries".  With that being said I think it is really cool how fast emergency plans were activated-
"Within three minutes of the blast, seven staffed ambulances were in route to the scene; within 60 minutes, 66 ambulances were staffed and operational. A total of 47 ambulance services and 103 units were involved—many from outlying areas. More than 400 doctors and nurses rushed to the hospital located closest to the scene; therefore, there were two physicians caring for every one of the 202 patients taken there." Sheryl Mclain- VP of Communications Oklahoma Hospitals Association

The Oklahoma City hospitals learned many things from the April 19th bombing.  Never underestimate the importance of having disaster preparedness plans in place which are practiced regularly via mock disaster drills.  

Recently a couple of my friends and I volunteered in a state wide "Disaster Drill"  

Upper Arm 
Right Hand
As you can guess these are drills to prepare/train healthcare providers to respond to mass casualty incidents resulting from acts of terrorism or public health crises (earthquakes, bombings, or even severe weather)
It was cool experience. We were dressed up as victims and had fake blood and injuries applied to our bodies.  Our situation was a shelter collapsed on top of us.

Abrasions and Debris on the Face

We entered the hospital in pairs.  The hospital staffs main goals were to get an ID bracelet on us, figure out our triage status (determines the priorities of patients based on their conditions), and send us to the appropriate place- whether it be surgery or someplace else. 

Overall there was some confusion on what was going on, but that made it all the more real!  I know that our acting skills didn't help.  It is hard to pretend you are injured and a lot harder not to laugh at your friends while they are pretending.
"My eye, my eye!!"

"A fully successful drill is a failure -- you didn't learn anything and you didn't stress the system"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blogging 101

For the past few months I have told myself multiple times I wanted to start a blog- and basically write about my journey through nursing school.  A few times I have thought that this could be counterproductive; but it is always good to allow yourself time for things that you really enjoy.  I get asked almost daily "How is school going?"  "What have you been learning?" or "Do you love it yet!?".  I have decided that keeping a blog of my experience will not only help me describe my experience to others but also help me see how much/ how fast I am learning.  I'm sure the next 2 years will be over before I know it... and it will be awesome to look back and see all the hard work I put in.  I never thought to do this until I actually started school and saw how quickly we learn concepts-- and how quickly we are expected to perform.  

So Far, the past few months have been a real eye opener.  I have so much (more) respect for everyone who works in the health care industry.  In the few clinical experiences I have had thus far I have seen a lot (...or probably nothing compared to what I will see).   It is amazing to be able to help other people and I am glad I have chosen a career that will allow me to do that.  I have always found the human body so fascinating and have wanted to work in a hospital since I was young. I love the  environment of a big, busy hospital with employees rushing around  doing their different jobs, all of which are working together towards the same goal- improving someones quality of life.  And that is what Nursing is all about.

I learned two things today in clinical that I think are worth writing about- 
1. I gave my first shots EVER!  3 of them total.  One day I will look back and not even remember what it's like to be nervous to stick someone with a needle. 
2. I watched a Cardiac Catheter insertion of some sort.  I cant remember the full technical name of the procedure but it was awesome to watch. Every time I am in that environment it makes me want to specialize and work in the surgery center. 

For now... my biggest challenge has been learning to live on less sleep.  I woke up today in a panic because I had a dream I forgot to document something on my patients chart.  Oh how life after college has changed... :)