Note to self:
Remember why you are where you are now.
How you got to this exact seat you're sitting in. The seat located in the College of Nursing.
Remember why you've worked so hard.
All of the stressful days of completing assignments on top of projects on top of work.
Remember all of the nights you stayed up late.
The pot of coffee that held 12 cups of coffee at 7 PM, and nothing at 6 AM.
Remember the nights you didn't sleep at all.
When you opened the window shades and realized that it wasn't the same sunlight.
Remember all of the times you decided that you were more important than them.
When you realized that a broken heart wouldn't stop you from making it to the top.
Remember why you have the grades you have.
Because you decided to read the books front to back, and do it all again.
Remember all of the people that look up to you.
When you go home and you see their smiles, and they hug you for the pride you bring them.
Remember who has been there to help you up.
All of the times you thought you hit rock bottom, but were cushioned with their support.
Don't forget the faces of the people who pushed you down.
For the people who acted as an anchor and made you strong enough to pull away and let go.
Remember that you're blessed with a lot.
The countless amount of angels you have watching over you lighting your path.
Don't forget your priorities.
Realize that what you're doing is important, but the love you have for others will always come first.
Realize that you wouldn't be able to do anything without the love of others.
Realize that the profession you're going into is about caring.
Care about what you do, care about who you have, care about the difference you want to make.
As I begin my journey through nursing school, I am constantly being reminded why I have chosen this path. To be in a world where there are all kinds of differences, the one thing that I have never been more sure of is my goal in life is to provide care and understanding to those around me. The one thing that I really enjoy is to meet new people, learn from them, help them, and care for them. As someone going into a healthcare profession, I feel that it not only is my duty to be at 100% for serving because it will be my occupation, but in my heart, I feel no better joy than to know I am helping. To become a nurse or a doctor for money is probably the most shallow reason I've heard. Becoming a nurse would still bring joy and happiness to my heart, even if it didn't bring change to my pocket. The only type of change I want is the change I can bring to another person's life because I simply cared for them.
Prioritize. The things that are most valuable... usually aren't things at all.
Okay, so maybe it isn't as simple as it seems. Working is going to be work no matter how much you love your career. At times it's going to really suck to the point where you question why you even went into that field, and other times, you'll be so overwhelmed with joy you couldn't see yourself doing anything else. Today was kind of like that for me. I know that I've barely gotten my feet wet in the career field that I've chosen to go into (nursing, duh), but the feeling that I've had for the past two years hasn't changed one bit. My heart gets excited when I get to help people, even if at that specific moment, there is complete chaos breaking out, it makes me happy. I've yet to fully experience the craziness of a hospital, but from what I've seen so far, this is really where I belong. Even if I weren't going to get paid "big money," I'd still do the job. I'll do it because I love to do it. I'll do it because at the end of the day, helping people is going to be much more valuable to me than a dollar could ever be. I do this for the people, for the experience, for the thrill, for the love, for the service, for the sole reason that this is what I've been wanting to do with my life. The thought of serving in the medical field literally brings tears to my eyes when I bring it up in conversation. I've been told countless times that people can really see the passion just burn in my eyes when they find out that this is what I want to do. If that were to ever change, then so be it, but as of right now, this is definitely the path I see myself going down successfully.
You know, when something really bad happens, it makes everything else seem just a little bit easier to handle. Well, this post is long overdue. During our Spring FTX, I almost became a heat casualty. I hadn't realize how far I was pushing myself. I didn't feel anything until after I woke up in the morning covered in dew, freezing my tail off. "Pack light, freeze at night" is the saying we have. It isn't the smartest thing I've done, but I definitely didn't pack light, and I still froze at night. It sucked. We were already rucking all over Spokane's Camp Nine Mile. It didn't help that it seemed as if we were lost. Our lead had us climbing up and down hills, and my body had enough after making it to the top of BFH (Big Fxcking Hill). I was hungry. I was tired. I was not having it anymore. My body agreed, and I passed out. I was taken to Sacred Heart Emergency Department, and I woke up almost 8 hours later not knowing what happened. I woke up with IVs in my arm, fluid running, and my mentee Kelley sitting next to me. "What happened?" was my first question. Muscle fatigue, sinus infection, depleted electrolytes. I should have taken better care of myself before this training event, but I was so stressed out trying to work into getting to the College of Nursing. I ended up having to take three different medications for three different things. Being sick sucks. Being dehydrated really sucks. Not being able to get hydrated because you're throwing up everything... Oh man... Anyways, I've been lucky. After having to go through all of that during the weekend, I came home to great news.
The College of Nursing wants me to come to their school for the next two years. Go me.
Today's interview... I don't think I have ever been so nervous in my life. There are so many challenges I've faced where I would get a little nervous, and then I'd be able to shake it off by the time I got to where I needed to be. Not this time. My hands were clammy, my heart felt like it was going break my chest open and run out the door, my mind just would not stop thinking, "what if I stutter? what if I speak too fast? what if I accidentally start talking in a different language?... WHAT IF I START CRYING!?"
But luckily, none of that happened. Although I do think that I spoke a little fast. The questions they asked me were your typical interview questions:
1. Why do you want to be a nurse?
2. What do you think is the most important aspect of being a nurse?
3. What do you do in your free time?
4. Name a time where you've dealt with criticism. How do you take it?
5. Is there anything you want us to remember about you?
6. How long have you been speaking English...? (lol!)
I pretty much answered them, what I thought, very well. My answers paraphrased, because honestly... you go in, it happens, you come out, and you're like... "what the fck just happened?"
1. I want to specifically be an Army Nurse. I want to be able to work in hospitals or clinics where I can help troops and their families, and know who I'm working with. I like the tight knit community that you gain while being a nurse, and on top of that, an Army nurse. I want to be able to take care of people and aid them back to health. (It was so much longer than just this... I said so much....)
2. I think the most important part about being a nurse is being able to connect with people. Not just their patients, but the families of the patients as well. (Told them a story about a nurse comforting me while I was a kid and my grandfather was getting his first bypass surgery). I want to be that type of nurse. The type of nurse that can comfort not only patients, but the families that have the stress of waiting outside and just hoping for the best. Customer care is everyone involved with the patient, not just the patient.
3. I hang out with my sisters. I hang out with my friends. I hang out with my family. When I hang out with my family, I just forget all of the stresses in the world, and when I go back to school I feel very refreshed. I am very family oriented, and they are my foundation and support system.
4. ROTC. In preparation for LDAC. I've used the criticism constructively by making myself better so I don't have to hear it again (they laughed).
5. I am a hard worker. I have a lot to bring to the table including a positive environment, good leadership skills, etc. I will work my hardest if given the chance. etc.
6. They asked me this because I told them I lived in many different places. They said I spoke very good English, ;)
My answers were a lot longer but I don't feel like typing the entire thing out... I think it went well overall.
There are a lot of things that I get nervous about, and failing seems to be one of the top reasons that my heart starts to pound. Every time I have to go and do something big like take big test, or go to an interview in front of a lot of people, or just push my body way past it's limit to achieve greatness, I get ridiculously nervous. All week, I've just felt this continuous emotion of fear and anxiety that I don't necessarily think that it's healthy, but now that I see how far I've come... I can honestly say that I feel like I'm making bigger strides than ever before.
It all started with the OPORD we received on Friday of last week. An OPORD is just an abbreviation of "operation order". It's pretty much the baseline of all missions that are conducted in the military. Every level issues an OPORD with information only pertinent to what they're going to do. It's the kind of thing you need a skill for, because receiving an OPORD and turning it around to fit your level has proven to be a difficult feat. Luckily, we have our cadre and MSIV's to help us get better at it. I was really nervous when I had to brief my OPORD during the lab on Wednesday, and it didn't help that LTC Plotner was sitting in on my section. At the beginning, I felt myself stumbling over my words, and my voice was shaking just as much as my knees were. At the end of my briefing, they said I didn't do bad at all. There were some things I could improve, but overall, I did an excellent job. This really boosted my confidence because even though I'm not pro at turning OPORDs around, at least I knew I was on the right track.
After this challenge, I decided to take an interview head on for a sorority, but I think I'll wait until I get more results before I decide to start talking about that life changing decision.
Back to yesterday's topic of testing for excellence... I placed in Advance overall. I definitely did not think that I was going to get anything more than proficient, but it seems that my studying paid off. Throughout the entire test, I was really nervous because I kept on thinking of how much weight the test scores would have on my chances of getting into nursing school. Before the exam, I met with Marco Hernandez, who would serve as my survival trainer while I am (hopefully!) studying in Spokane. The words of "good luck" simply held no weight against my anxiety. The test started out relatively easy with the first section dealing with reading and comprehension. Every time there is a reading and comprehension section on a test, I breeze through it because it's something I'm good at. I've always been good at being able to take a situation and then pick out the details that are important. This is actually the section I scored the highest in - you wouldn't expect that seeing as my second language was English. The next section was mathematics. THIS was the section I was worried about. It did not help me at all that the systems had shut down while I was working on a problem and had taken away a few minutes of my time. By the time I got to the last page of questions, I was nervous of all my calculations. I went through it one more time before submitting it - this tied with my last section of english and language usage. It's funny to me because I felt more confident on my mathematics section than I did on the science section.
The science section was third, and literally, I felt like my mind had taken a giant shit of information. I'd like to think of my brain as a filing cabinet for things. Everything is neatly organized in sections, and I have color coded post its that are attached to the files that show me a connection to another file. During this section, I feel like someone just opened up my files and decided to make it rain in my head because everything was jumbled together. I finished up with language usage, and by this time, I was ready to just call it quits. When I called the proctor over to ask what my test score was, he pointed at the top right number that read 80.7% - ADVANCE. The words that came out of his mouth shocked me, and by his facial expression I knew he wasn't lying, "wow you did really well! Everyone so far has been doing pretty bad..." I left the testing facility ecstatic.
I'm this much closer to being a better cadet for LDAC and a better future LT.
I'm this much closer to being a part of a group that I can call my sisterhood.
I'm this much closer to being able to call myself an Army Nurse.
I've never felt so confident, and I've never felt so proud of myself in such a short amount of time.
Keep striving, this is only the beginning.
0925: In my years, I've never been very fond of any kind of test. Whether it was academic testing or if it were testing my character. I feel that every time, I've been even less prepared because I'd spend more time worrying about failing, than I would think about succeeding. It's not like that anymore. Nowadays, I catch myself ready to test for things far before they are even needed to be tested on. I find myself reviewing the things that others are just learning for the first time. I feel that my mentality has become mature enough to know that if I focus more on bettering myself than tearing myself down before anything even happens, I'd be a lot better off.
Today I'm taking a TEAS test. It's an entrance exam for those who want a chance to get into nursing school. I barely studied for this test, but from what I've heard, it's easy, even if you don't really study. I've never felt less confident in my life. I already feel the anxiety affecting my heart rate and I haven't even left my apartment yet. With only three photos in my wallet to remind me why this is so important, I can find myself in a peaceful part of my mind where I know if I fail, I'd still have people to fall back on. But we aren't going to think about the failing part. My family is there for me when I need them most, and when I don't need them at all. Actually, my father has become more and more supportive. Not that he wasn't supportive before, but now he's really starting to show it. I feel like I've made him proud with the small tasks that I've accomplished in my life, and it feels really good. "Goodluck... We know you got that!!!" Words of encouragement that signify that I've already got this test in the bag. Hopefully he's right.
2300: I've finally been able to just sit and start writing about how well my day went. Courtney picked me up around 0945 this morning and we were on our way to Spokane. I never have had the chance to actually talk to Courtney one on one like we did in the car, and I must say that she seems like a bright young lady. She should be! She's the only other girl in my ROTC class, and she's also going Nursing Corps! (Hooah!) Nurses lead the way. Injured men can only fix themselves so much until they start cryin' for mama! When we got to Spokane, we kind of got lost, and it was pretty funny roaming around the area we were supposed to be in. When we finally got to the Nursing Building at Washington State University Spokane, we were amazed at how clean everything was, and how in less than 6 months, we would hopefully be roaming this campus. Before the test, we went out to get lunch at Jimmy Johns, and then we returned to the campus. I finally had linked up with Air Force's Marcos Hernandez, and did introductions before testing.
I was really nervous about the test. The kind of nervous that makes you feel like you've just run a full marathon even if you've just been sitting at your desk patiently waiting. All I could think about was the Hershey's Cookies and Cream chocolate that I had sitting in the pocket of my vest, but I was too afraid to reach for it and eat it because everyone was already in the room. I didn't get to eat my happy candy. I learned in anatomy that eating chocolate before something that could make you anxious actually calms you. I remember before lab exams, the lab director would come out with a giant bowl of chocolates and make sure everyone took at least a few bites before the test. I ended up doing very well on the TEAS exam. I was told that I did better than most of the students that were there. I looked