Friday, December 11, 2009

That was the internship that was, or: Not with a bang, but a whimper.

Well, it's done. Six hours of testing and a whole lot of sitting-in-class, working-with-preceptors, learning-new-things, tearing-my-hair-out, but it's done.

The class portion of my internship, that is. I still have two more weeks of clinicals in which to screw up in some unimaginable fashion and be asked to pack my bags. Unless I knock over a ventriculostomy, yank a bolt out of somebody's head, or disconnect some incredibly essential line while dancing naked through the nurses' station, I think I'll be okay.

Don't relax, people. I am more than capable of shedding my scrubs and doing something really, really ridiculous.

For the last three months, I've lived on about a third (actually, it's closer to a quarter) of my usual income, without a set schedule (more on that in a moment), doing things I'm not used to doing, like sitting on my ass for eight hours at a stretch, listening to droning people talk about The Contagious Disease Du Jour. It's been stressful. In fact, I was driving in the other day, watching the fog come up off the farmland, and realized that there is not one single part of my life that hasn't been stressful lately.

I wonder if *that's* why I needed the Zantac. Ya think?

Anyway. These last two weeks about did me in. They're a perfect example of why, though I love guys in general and the two guys who've been arranging this internship in particular, guys should not be allowed to run things. Listen, children, and I will tell you a story:

We interns have to have a certain number of class hours and a certain number of clinical hours to make everything copacetic with Sunnydale's requirements. Earlier in the internship, we would blaze through classes in about half the time allotted and all be let out early. That was hard on the ol' paycheck, but nice in terms of having time off to study.

Suddenly, though, one of the Sumdoodz who run the program looked up and realized that we, as a group, were short some huge number of classroom hours *because* they'd been letting us out early all along, and that we had to make those hours up. There was much panic and many cries of distress and the Doodz ran around with their collective hair aflame for a day or two, then made a decision:

We'd make up all our shorted hours in two weeks.

Which meant that, for two weeks, we all sat. In a classroom. Or a lecture hall. Or a lab. Sat. Sitsitsitsitsitsatsatsatyawnsitsitsit. By golly, we were making up those classroom hours, but that's all they were: hours spent in a classroom. We were well on our way to making it all good with the powers that be at Sunnydale... ... ...except somebody mentioned that, if we continued like this, we interns were going to accrue some fairly substantial overtime in the process, which is a no-no.

More hair aflame, more screeching, more frantic emails from the Doodz, more drama.

Eventually, I don't know how, they got it all worked out. We all got an unexpected day off today to keep us from running into overtime, and somehow we all ended up with enough classroom hours. Except that now, since they cancelled clinical hours in order to *get* us those classroom hours, we're on clinical rotations for two extra weeks. To make up the hours we lost these last two weeks. Because we were short on classroom hours from being let out six hours early every day.

Yep. Five minutes' planning early on would've saved a whole, *whole* lot of burnt hair. But, at the end of the day, it's not my problem; I just show up when and where I'm told to and do what's expected of me. (Mostly, lately, that's been sitting. Have I mentioned that?) When I'm on the floor, my standards are a little higher, but when I'm listening to some guy from Backobeyondistan talking about how, exactly, a novel drug I'm never going to use interferes with protein synthesis in the yammagobble whingding wahoozit, I just show up.

(To be honest, the doc from Backobeyondistan was quite a good speaker. Charming accent, concise way of laying out information, and he managed to make a pharmacology lecture about whatever the hell it was funny. When he put up an LOLcat slide, I knew we were in for a good time. But it still took five hours.)

So. Just after Christmas, I'll be starting as a real, fully-fledged nurse in the CCU. I'll be working nights (which will be fodder for a whole lot of new posts) and trying to get my feet under me.

Scary as it is, it sure beats sitting for eight hours.


Flea said...

Oh, Gosh! You are soooo close to all this suffering to pay off. Excitement! I don't think I'd have the balls to leave my happy med/surg cocoon and embrace the much more intense world of the CCU at this point in my career but I have been following your metamorphosis with bated breath and am incredibly happy for you and all you've accomplished.

Northwoods Baby said...

Can you at least knit while you sit? That'd make me pretty damn happy.

Almost done! Thisclose. Keep them scrubs on until then. But after it's over, pictures or it didn't happen.

Anonymous said...