Nursing School

An a-ha! moment

I got back clinical paperwork from our last clinical today and was pleasantly surprised. It’s the third time that I’ve had clinical paperwork that was really good. Like most things, I have been scraping out passing and doing an ok job but I felt like I should have a better grasp on the paperwork. And truthfully, some parts I did get. The pieces that are more about research were easy and always have been. Then there’s the concept mapping that we have to do with a teaching plan and I have just always felt out of my depth with that stuff. I knew what I did for my patient and I adjusted things based on the patient’s reactions and behaviors – like that crazy 200/100 blood pressure needs medication. Those things seemed obvious and trying to write down on paper why I did them just baffled me. Why was I doing it? Because they needed it! But that answer isn’t good enough and I struggled trying to make it look right on the paper.

Finally, I gave up trying to make it look pretty or legible or anything else and started scrawling things onto the paper. I went through the list of steps that our instructors gave us and made sure I hit each diagnosis one by one. The first time I handed that monstrous mess in, I was sure that it would be torn apart. Except, it wasn’t. In fact, I was told it was the best one I had done so far. Puzzled, I tried it again. With more success. It sounds silly but my neat and orderly way of thinking wasn’t working. I needed it to be messy to work. And it does. Very much an a-ha moment.

See, I’d been fighting with my gut instincts. I am, by nature, a neat person (hence the minimalism) and I like things orderly. Outlines are my friend. This piece of paper wasn’t fitting into that mold and no matter what I did I couldn’t make it fit that mold. My brain had a picture in it that I couldn’t reproduce neatly. So I made it messy even though it killed me to do it. What did I learn here? To let it go and remember that my gut is almost always right. In the mess that I was living in when I was still teaching, I learned to ignore my gut and do what I was told even though it seemed wrong to me. By the time I got to the last moments, my gut was screaming at me to stop with the foolishness and just cut my losses. Walk away, it kept saying – this isn’t right! But I kept plugging on, listening to my rational brain – this is what you’ve done for 10 years, your job, the only thing you know how to do. It took a moment of rapid change to push everything and allow the universe to do what it needed to.

I honestly believe that the universe was finally kicking me squarely in the ass. Move, it was yelling. It’s time to move on. When my brain argued and protested, the universe finally decided to handle things on its own. While I would have preferred a less jarring way for the universe to kick me in the rear, it worked. It also gave me a place to reset and look at things from a different perspective. My gut is almost always right and in refusing to listen, I got pushed against a wall. Looking back at those days, I realize that I was miserable. I had good moments in my days and I had friends that were probably tired of listening to me complain but overall I was so depressed it wasn’t even funny. I couldn’t see it from where I was but I see it clearly now. Even my worst days now make my good days then look laughable. I was working a job I was completely disillusioned with in order to keep moving forward on a path that I felt like I needed to follow because that’s what everybody said I should do. Expectations will mess with anybody if they’re left there long enough.

Listen to your gut. It’s trying to tell you things, if only you’d just listen for a moment. Until tomorrow all my lovely people, listen well!

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