So where do I begin? Well I can first tell you that I've typed, highlighted, and erased somewhere around 20 attempted first lines for this post. For me, and I'm sure many will agree, getting started is often the most difficult part, and as a quick warning, I feel I like need to tell you that I'm not much of a writer. So please forgive me for any grammer errors I can promise I will commit and bear with me as I venture in to the unfamiliar world of blogging...
"...and this is Kaitlyn, my clinical partner. She's going to be going in to her senior year at Saint Anselm College. She'll be working here with us for the summer learning." That right there is a typical introduction detailed by my nurse (let's use the name Emily) to our patients while she greets them at the beginning of each 3-11 shift in the CCU at one of the larger hospitals in the area. If you were to ask, my official title is, as Emily mentioned, a 'clinical partner.' What that means? Well it's tough to say... but in a nutshell I work on the unit as a student nurse under Emily learning the skills and knowledge needed to become an RN through actual practice and experience. This 12 week program is the perfect summer job for me and I have to say that I am completely in love with being a clinical partner on this particular unit. Like any other job, it can be stressful and downright disgusting, but I love the hours I work (I'm definitely a night owl), the type of patients I see, the environment on the unit, and above all else, I love the staff I work with.
It is actually because of a member of the staff that I am creating this blog. During my first night on the unit, I was fortunate enough to work with (let's use the name...) Kerry, while my actual nurse, Emily, was off for the night. Her and I were talking with another nurse when she offered to show us her nursing blog she had just created. I thought it was an awesome idea and was in some ways jealous that she not only had the time to create a blog, but was able to keep up with it. After navigating us through the site, she offered to email me the link so that I might be able to create my own blog. Kerry had mentioned how she wished she had begun to write down or blog these stories sooner in her career, and that it might be neat for me to create a blog now while I was just starting out. I agreed, and so here I am now in front of my computer sharing this blog. I decided to title my site "Learning to Fly," after a Tom Petty song... kind of random but definitely significant...
"Well some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
So I started out for God knows where
But I guess Ill know when I get there
Im learning to fly around the clouds"
This song could not have come in to my life at a more perfect time. I'd like to think that right now I've got my training wings on and I'm definitely spreading them in anticipation of flight, but I'm not quite ready to take off on my own. I've got an incredibly talented staff of nurses in the CCU teaching and supporting me as well as many professors, family members and friends. So I'm on my way... As I go along I just always try and keep in mind the truth that you can't fly until you're ready to fall. For me that's just a simple recognition that things won't always be peaches and cream and when you commit to doing something, it's important to be willing to accept failure as well as success. I have found through experience that it's the ability to endure through the difficult times and truly learn from your mistakes and downfalls that makes you a stronger and more dynamic person. Until you can acknowledge that, you can't really spread your wings and fly.
I'm very much a go with the flow kind of person, and the ability to adapt to any situation and be flexible is something that has contributed to my success. You can't always control what other people do or say, and life isn't always black and white. If you commit to doing the same thing all the time, life becomes boring and lacks color and interest. It's all about keeping things interesting and taking advantage of life and all it has to offer.
I didn't always want to be a nurse, and to be honest, I think one day someone just kind of suggested it as a major and I went with it because going to college, for me, was all about playing softball (something I no longer participate in). It's funny how fate works out, and everything in life happens for a reason. I always like to say that softball got me to Saint A's, but nursing kept me there. I have found such a passion in this profession and am so grateful that things fell in to place in such a way that, in the end, I am doing something that I love.
I very much cherish the opportunities I have been given and now at this point, I've realized that nursing's appeal to me is simple. I just want to help people. So maybe this blog is my opportunity to not only write about the people I am helping, but share in the frustrations and successes other 'angels' (as one of my patients called us nurses today) may be experiencing as well. For those who have been practicing for a while and may have perhaps forgotten what it was like to be young and green, I hope to help bring you back to a time when you were just spreading your wings, because I can promise, it's not so bad.