We just finished our second semester Clinical and all I can think is . . . finally. I'm not sure how other programs do it but my program has it so that you have a fast tracked semester until reading week, and then directly after reading week Clinical starts for three days a week for six weeks (Mon-Wed) and then classes are condensed into Thurs and Fri. For every week of Clinical, I had to complete a research tool (research on the resident-medications, what type of lifts, toileting routine, general care info, etc), reflective journaling, and on top of that we needed to do charting every day. (Somewhere in there, we also had to complete two nursing care plans and also a personal learning goal).
Honestly? Not sure how I survived the semester. I'm not totally done yet, I have a few tests before the last day of classes and then I'll have to deal with finals but still. I'm officially done the 5:30am mornings!
BTW, I cried.
Not at the facility like I thought, but on the way home I definitely did. It was so difficult having to say goodbye to everyone I've had the chance to take care of, and especially to my favourite lady. My friend and I almost started crying in the stairwell after we left her; it was awful and even thinking about it now makes my chest feel tight. I had to tell my favourite lady that I was leaving today, that it was my last day. She was okay at first, she just said that she would see me next week and then I had to let her know that I wouldn't be coming back. She's this tiny Hungarian woman and, because of her diagnosis, she reverts back to speaking Hungarian when she's upset. I couldn't get her to tell me what was wrong in English for five or ten minutes, until she finally told me she was wishing me luck and she said "God bless you, dolly. I will miss you." Now I'm not religious but I know that she is, and I almost broke down right then and there.
If you're considering going into nursing, know that you will cry at least once during Clinical rotations. You will get attached. They will get attached to you. And then it will be your last day and you'll say goodbye to them and they will say something that will pull at your heart strings and it will be emotional.
As for staying healthy, I admit I've been pretty slack on it. I've been having the hardest time getting up early enough to eat breakfast or remembering to pack a lunch the night before and Clinical was so busy that more than half the days, I never took a break (I usually neglected to tell my Instructor as that is her # 1 RULE). Just from walking and being on my feet all day, every day, running between the cottages and up and down the stairs, I've still lost weight. I realize it's not the healthy way to lose weight, but I've been too busy to care recently. Now that everything is going to be slowing down, I'm hoping to get back on track and start getting back to a normal routine (one where I don't have an alarm set for 5:20am that tells me "you asked for this, get your butt out of bed").
I'll hopefully update sometime this week or this weekend with my numbers to get me back to being a little more motivated.