Thursday, August 28, 2008

You're gonna be a what?

Some people have asked me as I describe my future goals and schooling, "What's a nurse practitioner?" Well, this article is a great explanation, and it also differentiates nurse practitioners and physicians assistants. (I.e. Nurse practitioners are more independent while physicians assistants have more flexibility in relocating...though I would say NPs have lots of options as well). And while I can't speak from a physician's assistant's point of view, I can say that compared to MD training, the nursing approach is more hoslitic, incorporating all aspects of the patient's life (cultural, psychological, religious, least in GOOD nursing practice) as well as addressing the biomedical issue at hand. Perhaps that is not the approach for everyone. But I'd say it is the right approach for me!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

2 years ago...this was me.

I was 1 of 77,000 new New Yorkers in 2006. And I survived, largely due to Scott already having a group of friends here, and being a wonderful guy in general. However, this article brought me back to those early days...and even some days now, when the city is a tough place to be. It's especially striking after having been in the midwest for 3 weeks, and realizing just how in sync I am with New York life, and how OUT OF SYNC I am with the slower life style there. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New York Happenings, June and July edition

Hey kids (I am 25're all kids to me now...right?),

Some of you may be wondering why you haven't heard from me since May. To put it simply, I blame it on Physical Assessment, Science of Nursing Practice, Issues in Nursing, Advanced Physiology, Physical Assessment Lab, Skills lab, clinical days at the hospital and Pharmacology. Those would be the 19 credits I completed in the first 9 weeks of my nursing program. And if it sounds disgustingly difficult and busy, just know that it was!!! I said good bye to my social life and hello to the ways of the nursing world. However, I met so many wonderful people in my program, including 2 lovely ladies with whom I spent most of my time and who answered most of my questions when the brain fry had kicked in (as it often did), Julia and Karen. When I was lucky, Scott and I got to spend 30 minutes a day together over dinner. Then it was back to the books. I've never studied so much or so hard in my whole life! And they expect us to maintain a B average. Biggest challenge EVER. However, as many of you may know, I do enjoy a challenge so as terribly stressful and intense as it was, it was great as well.  (I even survived a nasty case of viral pharyngitis which turned into a productive cough. Fun.)  I learned I don't like med/surg wards, that I'm definitely interested in cardiology, and that I sure as heck don't enjoy cleaning up poop.  However, I am a natural at putting in a straight catheter, emptying ostomy bags and finding a heart murmur or 2.  And suctioning a trach? It will improve with time.   This summer we weren't allowed to do a whole lot other than "therapeutic communication" and vitals, as well as a few of the skills I just mentioned. NO meds, no blood glucose levels. But it was great to be thrown in the mix with the nurses right away (some who hated us, some who loved us) and to get our hands dirty (very often, quite literally).

So basically, school has taken up the entire first 2 months of my summer. But I feel soooo much smarter! You wouldn't believe what you're capable of learning in 9 weeks! But now it's time to rest. After our last final (pharmacology) on August 1st and some extensive napping, we went out and celebrated my 25th birthday at Mama Mexico.  See pics by clicking the link: I'm officially a quarter of a century old!

Then Scott and I hopped (separate) planes, and despite 3.5-5 hour delays for both of us, we made it into Minnesota on 8/2 in time to celebrate the wedding of his cousin Rachel to her husband Tal. (The wedding took place in January in Israel, where Tal is originally from...but the party began on 8/2 and continued on the evening of 8/3.)  So we saw half of Scott's family there, which was nice, and I forced Scott to dance with me to ABBA which is always a good time.  Since 8/4, Scott and I weren't really relaxing as much as running our butts off doing wedding stuff. We picked out our wedding bands (can't wait to get that one!!) met with our judge, took our save-the-date pictures, registered at Bloomingdale's (don't worry, also will be registering at Bed Bath and Beyond and Target to accommodate all levels of financial means), and met with our florist, while making time to see his Grandpa Sheldon, celebrate my dad's 61st birthday (he'll say 40th anniversary of his 21st birthday...but don't let him fool you) and spend time with Scott's Grandma Judy and his sister, niece (Zoe, now 2.5) and nephew (Tyler, 3 months) before Scott jetted back to new york for work and a play and some auditions coming up.  And that's why NOW I finally have time to write to you all.

We are settling in well in our new neighborhood, Washington Heights, which is quite the switch from the Upper West Side. The neighborhood is highly Dominican and the community sure knows how to party into the wee hours of morning with loud Latino music as well as young children up later than I can stand to be up.  It's a bit of a culture change. However, our apartment is much roomier than our previous apartment which makes the noise (Which we can barely hear from our apartment anyways) tolerable. Having a doorman and a workout room in our building are just added perks. I also get to walk to school (about 10-15 minutes) each morning and afternoon/evening.

Scott has been temping for an agency called "Professionals for NonProfits", as the acting biz is pretty slow these days, considering the looming actors strike (SAG), as well as the poor economy. From what we've heard, it probably wasn't the BEST time to graduate. However, Scott is still in talks with a legit agent who is sending him out on an audition this week for some regional work. And he also just made his first video audition for a touring show that is casting in LA. We have faith things will pick up soon.

And now I must go rest some more...perhaps by reading a novel of my choice which I only saw one girl in my program do this summer, at which I felt quite a bit of resentment, considering she found our first advanced physiology (masters level class) test "enjoyable."  Despite my psych and biopsych background, there's something about the depth in which we explored action potentials that just wasn't so "enjoyable" for me. But enough. Time to read for leisure (what a concept!). And I hope to see many of my family members on August 23rd to celebrate 60 years of Joe and Katie wedding bliss. Love to all,


Friday, August 8, 2008

I am officially a quarter of a century old....

Hi all! 
I must apologize yet again for being such a horrible blogger. However, when you read my next New York Happenings email (to be sent later today hopefully) you will understand!

Anyways, after a terribly stressful, intense yet enlightening 9 weeks of classes, we took our last final on August 1st at 8am (which just HAPPENS to be my birthday! Woot woot!)  So what did we do that night?  Naturally, Scott and I, along with 4 of my nursing school buds (and one nursing school bud's husband), Sing, Jamalyn and Dominic Hersman (yes from elementary school) and his lovely lady friend, went out on the town to Mama Mexico on 102nd and Bway for a Mexican celebration.  It was fabulous and here are some pics to prove it:

Me and my main squeeze

Me being excited about getting gifts!

Karen and Julia. My 2 nursing school besties.  Miss you ladies!

Amos and Alex, 2 soon to be fantastic nurses and fun people at that!

Jamie and I :) 

Someone sneaky (and I suspect it was Karen or Julia....) told the mariachi band it was my birthday so I was serenaded with "Happy Birthday to You" in a festive style, and then received a shot of some unknown alcohol as did the rest of my table. What a fiesta!

Always fun to do shots with your elementary school friends....see how much we've grown?! (And that is his lovely lady Andrea next to him)

What do nursing students do to relax after taking 5 finals in 5 days?  They take shots!...instead of giving them???
And I received this delicious strawberry cake which I ate mostly by myself much to my chagrin...(ahem)...

It was a fun night and I thank everyone for spending it with me!!!