Category Archives: Plain and Simple (aka Boring)

Getting Schooled

I’ve been away from this blog for quite awhile spending my days either orienting to my new job as a nurse or recovering from it. We (as in all new grads at my job) were warned there were three phases to orientation: Doing, Being, and Knowing. This is called the Transition Theory. I won’t tell you what I call it at the moment seeing as I am currently in phase II.

Phase I aka Doing is the time period where a new nurse graduate has just started a new job and is learning the ropes. For me it was all about taking the information from nursing school and readjusting it to reality. Nursing school is about the perfect world, but we practice nursing in the real one. It would be wonderful to take the time to listen to a patient’s entire life story, but his next door neighbor keeps decorating the bed, floor and walls with projectile vomit. It is also about building skills. Learning how to do something on a mannequin is dramatically different than doing it on a screaming, fighting, cursing patient. This phase lasts about 3-4 months. I really enjoyed this phase. I had a preceptor who backed me up. I could ask all the dumb questions I wanted and no one looked at me as if I needed to go back to school. I was sad, but ready (ha!) when my preceptorship ended.

Phase II aka Being is where a new graduate nurse begins to have a growing awareness of what nursing actually is. The preceptor signs off and the full weight of responsibility descends. Feelings of incompetence, exhaustion, inadequacy, frustration, and a whole host of doubts creep in and take residence. According to research this phase is during the 5th to 7th months of the new job. I am coming up on month #4, so I am early to the show. I have to say I do not like this phase, not at all. I have had two real confidence-killers. In one I transferred my patient to a medical-surgical floor only to have the patient come back to the step-down unit the next morning.  In the other an RRT (rapid response team) was initiated for my patient while I was at lunch and the patient had to be intubated then sent to critical care. Both times I was told I had done everything right. I cannot let it go. My mind circles those two incidents repeatedly trying to see what I missed, what I could have done better, how did I fail. It does not help that there is a culture of “eating their young” in nursing. My unit is mostly good about this. I have had a lot of support from my co-workers. However I have found that even the slightest perception of doubt in a co-worker is enough to have me scrutinizing everything I said or did that might have caused it. This is a mentally exhausting phase to be in and I will be so glad when it is over.

Phase III aka Knowing happens around 10-12 months and is when a new graduate feels more comfortably in their role, stops being a “new grad” and has gained confidence in their ability to care for patients effectively.

Here’s to Knowing. May she step to the plate faster than predicted!

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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Plain and Simple (aka Boring), Things That Happen To Me


17 Days ‘Till My Reality Check

In seventeen days my last semester of college starts. 17 days!

My anxiety is in overdrive.

Last semester damn near killed me. Between clinicals, class, family and trying to stuff volumes of knowledge in my middle-aged brain, a mid-life crisis sounded like a fascinating thing to try.

This semester looks to be equally as daunting. Then there is that nasty licensing exam to take after graduation. As if 600 hours clinical experience, 700 hours in class, and twice that studying was enough to assure I won’t kill anyone, they tack on a mindnumbingly stressful exam. So, to recap, I could have spent the past two years of my life having patients poop, spit, pee, and vomit on me only to find out – by failing one exam – that I am not qualified to be pooped, spit, peed, or vomited upon.

On the flip side, if I pass I’ll have a license to use long, pointy needles.


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Posted by on August 9, 2012 in Plain and Simple (aka Boring), Random Stuff That Means Nothing


Glad To Be Living In This Century

Moved my mother and step-dad to Florida a month ago. Actually me, my husband, my son, my step-brother, and his daughter + a “friend” helped load up two trucks so they could drive themselves to Florida. It was a very long 12 hour day of back-breaking work. Or in my case, foot-killing, as I have plantar fasciitis. And an even longer 30+ hours for them with that long drive tacked on at the end.

So for only the second time in my life, I do not live near my mother. I got to tell you it feels a little odd. We aren’t a close-knit family. I have tons of cousins living in the nearby area (within 50 miles). I do not see/talk/hear from any of them. I am not shunning them. They are not shunning me. We just are not close family-wise. And my mother and I are not of the talk everyday type, but I have always known she was nearby. Well, there was that year she spent in Mississippi, but…I don’t really count that because it was one of those flamingly horrific mistakes we don’t talk about much like fight club! (Sorry movie reference)

At the same time that it feels odd, it also feels okay. With social media so prevalent (aka I am blogging!) my mother and I still are in touch with each other, even if that “in touch” means we troll facebook, twitter (or my blog! hint hint) for information. Is that the same as seeing each other face-to-face? No, but I don’t feel the need to be present all the time and I know she does not either. She is a you-come-to-me type homebody. Not a bad thing, just means the visits were longer if I went to her house than if she came to mine.

My generation is luckier than the generations that came before. We can be long distances away from our family and still be able to reach out and connect. Social media, cell phones, skype, apple’s facetime are all ways we can ignore distances and nurture relationships.

I am so glad to be living in this century.

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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Family, Plain and Simple (aka Boring), Random Stuff That Means Nothing



Drafty World

So Tuesday, it was severely windy in my neck of the woods. And cold. Very cold. In my house even. The previous owners were Harry Homeowners, meaning they liked to fix things themselves. Like wallpapering the bathroom with giant cute little bunnies because that is the perfect size to have in a claustrophobic size half bathroom only your guests use. Like having a GFI outlet in the basement on an outlet no one could possible use. Like hooking the outside lights on the same breaker as the washer/dryer because that won’t cause any problems.  Like replacing the front door with a door that doesn’t fit properly because the color matches the siding.

I don’t really notice it until the wind picks up. Then that crack between the door and the door frame seems more like a crater. It becomes very difficult to heat the main level of my house. So for this reason I didn’t notice that the heater wasn’t doing as good of a job as it usually does.

Until Wednesday.

When it wasn’t as windy, but the outside temp was in the single digits.

And the inside temp was freezing!

It was twelve degrees cooler in my house than I like. Actually it was two degrees cooler than I like. The other ten degrees made it damn cold!

My husband, who is actually pretty handy, worked on it for a while and managed to get it running better – amazing what changing the filter can do! Then it got a whole three degrees warmer in the house. That electric blanket came in very handy last night.

Today the outside temp isn’t bad, so the heater has had a chance to catch up. Thank goodness, because the next step was to put a fire pit in my family room.

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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in Plain and Simple (aka Boring), Things That Happen To Me



Fat Doesn’t Take A Break

In the I am depressed, so why not find a reason to be more depressed stage I am currently in: I found this article, which basically explains why people who lose weight tend to gain it back. Apparently our bodies fight like hell to return to the pre-diet weight. Lovely. I have been consistently attempting to lose about 30 pounds for…oh, about five years. Yeah, me and the rest of the world.  Currently I am on weight watchers and it works great when I don’t cheat. And I don’t cheat as long as there is no stress in my life. HA! If you wonder why there is stress in my life, see here.

The article goes on to explain genetic links to obesity, family propensity, and twin studies conducted to determine if being fat is partly not our fault. And it partly isn’t, however the other part is definitely our fault. It comes down to choices. Choose to eat that wonderfully delicious but sinfully bad for you piece of whatever or choose to not it and pick something healthy good for you. The easy choice to the sinfully bad, because it’s sinfully and it is bad. Everybody loves the bad boy!

The one section that stood out for me and what I am choosing to take out of this article is the registry for those who have lost weight and kept it off for more than a year.

There is no consistent pattern to how people in the registry lost weight — some did it on Weight Watchers, others with Jenny Craig, some by cutting carbs on the Atkins diet and a very small number lost weight through surgery. But their eating and exercise habits appear to reflect what researchers find in the lab: to lose weight and keep it off, a person must eat fewer calories and exercise far more than a person who maintains the same weight naturally. Registry members exercise about an hour or more each day — the average weight-loser puts in the equivalent of a four-mile daily walk, seven days a week. They get on a scale every day in order to keep their weight within a narrow range. They eat breakfast regularly. Most watch less than half as much television as the overall population. They eat the same foods and in the same patterns consistently each day and don’t “cheat” on weekends or holidays. They also appear to eat less than most people, with estimates ranging from 50 to 300 fewer daily calories.

It gives me a little hope with a dash of what the hell have I gotten myself into with this whole weight loss idea. To those also in this boat: let me know how you do it and how successfully. We can ride this ride together.

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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Losing Weight Sucks And That Is The Plain Truth, Plain and Simple (aka Boring)


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20th Anniversary

…of my 20th birthday. Ye-ah, I can add, too.

Celebrated my birthday in the way of all adults – I went to work. Work for me is a 12 hour shift, so that eliminated any possibility of a party *grumble grumble*

However, it was a nice day outside and I had a nice day inside. Mostly I am just thankful that I am here to celebrate another birthday – so no real complaints.

But next year – we are seriously going to ROCK IT!

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Posted by on November 6, 2011 in Plain and Simple (aka Boring)