Sunday, June 29, 2008

First week: survived

I made it through my first week of geriatrics. It wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting, but it was pretty boring. I think the worst part about the week was having $35 stolen from my wallet from INSIDE the LOCKED staff room on the unit. Yeah, that sucks.

It's terrible to say, but I'm really not that impressed with the nurses on the unit. They seem to not really care about what they are doing and give me the impression that they are annoyed with us students. Why be annoyed with us???? WE ARE DOING THEIR JOB FOR THEM!!!! All they have to do is listen to us report off aobut the patient for 30 seconds. That's it! We do EVERYTHING else! Very annoying. And the nurses are never around because they are constantly on super long breaks.

But I can make it! There are 6 clinical days left. But one of those I will be shadowing the geriatric nurse clinician in the ER, and the last day is usually half taken up with evaluations etc. So that means I only have to make it through 4.5 more days. I can do it!!!

Now all I have to do is pass the impossible quizes and final exam!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This is a chart

Today I had a farily boring orientation for my geriatrics clinical. I think that my instructor might be a bit confused as to where we are in our program (we're half way done) because she was going over some things that were VERY basic.

First, she went over what a patient chart is today. A chart! The most basic, staple thing on a ward... the chart that we have been writing in since our first day of clinical.... the chart that we have used to research patients in all our other clinicals.... the chart which holds all pertinent info... yeah, that chart. She decided to go over it in detail. "Now this tab here, physician, this is where you will find the physicians notes." DUH! What does she think we are, morons?

Another favorite was when she showed us how to put a blood pressure cuff on and to use the automated machine. Seriously? What does she think we have been doing for the past 10 months????

And my favorite of the day was when she pointed out a thermometer and said to us: "You guys know how to use that, right?" What made it worse was her tone of voice.... as if she expected us to say that we didn't know how to use them!!! As my friend Michele said, her 3 year old daughter could use one!

It might be a long 8 days of clinicial!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Log your run

I've been meaning to post about this website for a while - it's my new favorite. It's a FREE site that tracks your workouts for you. I log all of my runs, hikes, bike rides, etc on there. My favorite part about it is that you can trace your running route out on a map and it will tell you exactly how far it is! And for the anal numbers people of the world, such as me, that is VERY cool! Once you have traced your route, you name it, and then you can easily select it when you are logging your runs.

It also keeps track of your pace (breaks it down to average min/mile), and your total mileage. So far this year I have done 241.2 miles, with my best pace being 10 min 42 sec/mile. And yes, I am a numbers geek.

I realized today that I tend to compose blog posts in my mind while running. Yet another oddity about me. If only I could write my papers in my head while running - now that would be great!

And I'm still in love with my new iPod shuffle - I seriously don't know how I ran without it! The only problem that I'm having is that the earphones that it came with are only ok. For some reason, I can't get it to stay in my right ear. So if anyone knows of a good brand of ear phones that can handle the jostling of jogging - let me know, I'm all ears! (Get it - ears! Ok. I'm lame. I know.)

2 down, 2 to go

I started gerontology yesterday and today we finished half of the theoretical content! CRAZY!!! We only have two more lecture days and then we are done. So far, I don't really feel like I have learnt that much, but I know that when I go to study for the final I will suddenly realize just how much I DON'T know! Oh well.

Now I just have to survive 9 days of clinical!! Hopefully it will be a good learning experience. I'm really hoping that I get a few patients that have some good stories to tell - old people have the best stories!

Monday, June 23, 2008

So much better!

Mami and Nami (I know - it's funny!) our two new exchange students from Japan, have been with us for a week. They are both delightful girls and we have really been enjoying having them in our home! Already it's such a different feeling from our previous exchange students! Mami and Nami just seem to fit in with our family and our lives more which is great.

Half way there

My first three week class is finished, and I started the second one today. I wasn't particularly looking forward to either of these classes. Not because they were condensend, but more becuase of the topic. I was wrong about Mental Health though and I quite enjoyed it and I'm even considering working part time in MH when I graduate - something I NEVER would have guessed!

Today we started geriatrics and I must say, I'm still not looking forward to it! I think that the class content may be interesting, but I'm not looking forward to the clinical component. From what I've heard, it's pretty much a repeat of my first semester of clinical. One of the groups gets to do home care which I'm wishing that I had signed up for, but oh well. Instead I'll be going to the ACE (Acute Care of the Elderly) ward at VGH.

It's only 3 weeks.... I can survive 3 weeks! Only 3 more weeks until freedom!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ready to Run

I've been very good about working out since the beginning of the year and I'm quite proud of myself. I have exercised at least 3 times per week, EVERY WEEK, since the begining of January - YAY ME!

In the past month, I had switched from speed walking to jogging. However when I jog, I have to do it outside. Somehow, I just can't handle doing it on the treadmill, even if I do have a show playing.

It has been a challenge to find a good running route. Around here, what goes down, must go back up! There are so many hills and I don't like to do hills at the very end, so I'm limited in my routes. But I've got a few down that are about 3.5 miles, so that will do for now. But I do need to find a longer 5-6 mile run... I'll keep you posted on if I find one.

I recently got a great pair of running pants that have two wonderful features: they have a handy little key pocket, and they stay up. I know, the second one seems ridiculous, but it was becoming a problem with the old pants.
And yesterday I got the final piece - the iPod shuffle! This is my first iPod of any sort and I will admit I was a bit skeptical. But now, I'm addicted!!! I loaded my random set of music, and headed out on a new route that includes a killer hill at the begining. Christina got me up the hill, and Irish jig got me into my groove, some techno got me through the long stretch, and then I hit my home run (I warned you my tastes in music were random). I really wanted to come in at my goal time and knew that I needed to push it for the last few minutes. I clicked next searching for something inpsirational and found it! I pounded it home to Scotty Doesn't Know and made it in 2 minutes UNDER my goal time!

Edited recipe

After posting about Oat Fudge Bars last week, I got the urge to make them! I edited the original post to include a picture and a few tips about the recipe. Enjoy!

Out with the old, in with the new

As previously mentioned, Toshi moved out last thursday, and Hiro left yesterday. It had been a good year with them, but it was time for them to move on.

And time for us to clean. They weren't the cleanest of boys, and add to that our hardwood floors which tend to just let dust float into the corners, and I found more dust bunnies that I thought possible! I also found a bunch of Toshi's hair (he cut his own hair in the bathroom and we found it EVERYWHERE throughout the house), nail clippings (EWWW!!!), an abandoned pair of slippers, and random garbage left here and there.

We cleaned the rooms, rearanged them, added some rugs under the bed, and got them all shiny and ready for our new students who arrived today: Nami and Mami (I know - hilarious).

I picked them up from the airport today and they seem like very nice girls. The real shock was how much food was leftover after dinner! Girls are much easier to feed than boys!
Here is Mami's room
And this is Nami's room

Bringing sun from Arizona

Our friends Reid and Laura came to visit us from Arizona last weekend. We had a great time hanging out, watching cheesy chick flicks (us girls) and playing video games (the boys). We also went to Dublin's Crossings - one of my favorite restaurants!!!, went hiking and generally just relaxed.

Thanks for a fun weekend!

A final Toshi-ism

Last thursday, Toshi moved out after living with us for one year. I won't lie, we were both more than ready to say good bye to him! He was a really nice boy who tried really hard but there were two big problems: he couldn't critically think to save his life, and he had no social skills.

In a final Toshi moment, he cleaned out his room, and washed the sheets and put them back on the bed because he knew we were having guests over for the weekend. After he left, I went up to his room and realized that he had cleaned the sheets and smiled. I felt kind of bad about getting so annoyed with him because he really did try hard.

Of course I had to straighten out the sheets (I'm a wee bit of a perfectionists) and as I did, I realized that it was a true Toshi thing to do - the sheets were still wet. Not just damp, WET!!! Wet pillow cases on the pillows, wet duvet cover on the duvet, wet sheets - everything! I couldn't believe it! I realize that he was running out of time and the dryer was taking a while, but I was home - he could have just asked me! Never did it cross his mind that 1) it might be bad for the pillows, duvet and bed, or 2) that they sheets may not actually dry before our friends went to bed that night!

I shook my head, stripped the bed, and said a silent prayer of thanks that our year with Toshi is over.

Another good week

I had another really good week in clinical last week. The two highlights were 1) I got to use my French because one of my patients spoke very little English; 2) I got to go and observe at a transition house for a day which was FANTASTIC! I don't think that I would ever work in a place like that full time, but it would be great as a casual job on the side. There was a really great team atmosphere between all of the staff, and the patients were very relaxed. It was great to be there because you could see them getting better, and getting ready to go back home.

Monday, June 09, 2008

A day in the ER.... sort of

Last week I spent two days working at the Mental Health ward, but on the third day I got lucky! My instructor arranged for me to go and observe the Psych Nurse Clinician in the ER! I was so excited since the ER is where I think I would like to work.

I got to observe her interview a patient, work with someone in one of the locked up cells/patient rooms in the back, and generally just pick her brain. It was a great day!

Oat fudge bars

In a comments conversation on my friends blog, I mentioned that I had a recipe for oat fudge bars... as in the super yummy starbucks treat! I'm sure that it is not THE actual recipe, but I've made them before and they were pretty good! Someone asked for the recipe so I figured that it would probably be easiest to just post it on here! So here we go!

1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk (can use low fat or fat free too)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 tsp vanilla

1. Set aside 2 TBS of the butter. In a large mixing bowl beat the remaining butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and baking soda. Beat till combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and 2 tsp vanilla till combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Stir in rolled oats.

2. For filling, in a medium saucepan combine the reserved 2 TBS butter, chocolate pieces, and sweetened condensed milk. Cook over low heat till chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in the walnuts or pecans and 2 tsp vanilla.

3. Press 2/3 of the rolled oats mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Spread filling evenly over the oat mixture. Dot remaining rolled oats mixture over the filling.

4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or till top is lightly browned (chocolate filling will still look moist). Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes about 60 bars.

Recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens


I made these bars yesterday and here are a few little tips that I had forgotten:

- put 3/4 of the dough on the bottom, not 2/3 - you end up with too much to put on top

- wet your hands before pressing the dough into the dish, then they won't stick to the dough as much.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Better than I thought

Today I started my mental health class, and I will admit, I was not looking forward to it. Somehow, I just can't see my self working in mental health and was just dreading this class. Fortunately, our instructor is great, and quite funny as it turns out. And, I quite enjoyed class today. Talk to me in 2.5 weeks when this class is wrapping up and I'm trying to finish my paper, and I may have a different opinion. But for now, I like it more than I thought I was going to.

A smelly situation

We have three cats who come and go out of our garage at their leisure through their lovely little kitty door. Unfortunately, other vermin can also make it through this door and are sometimes attracted to the kitty food. Such was the case on Saturday night when a small skunk decided to wander in.

Hiro and Toshi, our two exchange students, went out to the garage to play with the cats and discovered said skunk. They had never seen one before, and only knew that it was an animal that could let off an almighty stink if it was scarred or angry.

So what did our oh-so-brilliant students do? They chased the skunk into a corner, then trapped it in a box. Personally, I thought that it was general common knowledge that small wild animals would get scarred and angry if trapped in a box, but apparently it's not.

Once they had captured their "prize", Toshi came running into the house yelling Phils name and babling on about catching a skunk. We didn't really understand him so we went out to the garage to investigate. It smelt kind of bad and when Phil went over to the box and saw the skunk, he quickly told me to open the garage and ordered Toshi to take it outside.

Unfortuantely, the damage was already done and the poor little scarred/angry skunk had unleashed his defence mechanism. Fortunately, he was just a baby so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. We didn't realize how bad the boys smelt though so they came back into the house with all of their clothes on. We told them both to wash EVERYTHING that they were wearing and have showers. It still smelt. We opened every window in the house (on a rather chilly night) and let it air out over night.

The following day, even our car smelt a bit funny inside, even though all of the windows were shut. I went into Toshi's room to ask him something and his room STILL smelt, so I told him to open the window again.

Such fun. There are some things, like thinking, that I just so take for granted, and apparently I shouldn't. Here's to hoping that our next students actually can think.

Fun Friday

After finishing my final on Friday, some of us went to the Irish pub for some much needed and deserved beer (ALWAYS a good way to end finals). By the time we left UBC and made it back to White Rock, I didn't really have time to go home so I just went back to Heidis and napped on her couch (which felt SO good!).

Then I quickly got changed and headed over to Erins for some Cosmos and appies. All the other girls had managed to get their hubbies there, but mine declined (partly because of the movie we were going to see, and partly because his parents were in town). Even though we already had our tickets for SATC, we left early to head to the theatre.

It was nuts! Tons of crazy women all dressed up, applause when the movie started, and even some smuggled in cosmos (not ours, the women down the aisle from us had them). The movie basically was an extended episode, and the dialogue wasn't quite as witty as the show (they needed to have more Samantha in there), but it was still very entertaining!

Here is Sarah, Erin and I after the movie. Thanks for the fun night!