Well. . . Once again all of the worrying was for nothing. The day went great. All of the CLS were just so helpful, encouraging, and just welcomed me with open arms.
I left the house today at about 6:55 in hopes to beat the traffic. Well I did that for sure. I ended up walking in the front door of the hospital at 7:20 this morning. I didn’t have to be there until 8. Lets just say tomorrow I will leave just a little later. After parking my car in the employee-parking garage I walked down the ramp to the shuttle pick up. There were a lot of unfamiliar faces getting on. Luckily Jenny, who is my advisor, was already on the shuttle. We started right in with the orientation and continued talking about it until we walked into the CL office. As soon as we walked in I noticed a big sign that read "welcome Rachel" over one of the desks. Jenny told me it was my very own. I was so surprised. At Children's in Little Rock I didn't even have a chair to call my own much less an actual desk. From there she showed me around again to familiarize me with the facility. Here is a website if you want to go look at where I will be working for the next 4 months.
I got my orientation schedule for the next 2 weeks. I was pleased to find out that I wasn't going to be in the classroom settling learning about policy and procedure for 10 days straight. They worked out a schedule that has me with a different CLS each day. This way I will know about the units I will be choosing from for my 3 different rotations.
I started today with Pam. She is one of the older ladies in the department. She calls herself the mother of the group. She’s the one everyone goes to and tells her about their, problems and love lives. She gives them pretty good advice from what I hear. Good thing we hit it off great today! :) She works in general surgery and the PAWS unit. PAWS stands for Patient Acute Wound Services. Of course I am not good with the whole open wound situations. They are in charge of dressing changes and flushing different things after surgery. Wouldn’t you know it that as soon as we walked through the double doors onto the small 2-room unit there was something I could have for sure gone without seeing. A young lady had about 300 staples on the outside of her left leg. They started at her ankle and went all the way up to her hip. Of course, the wounded side was facing the door so everyone could see it. Someone was just about to walk in the door as we were just happening to walk by. Perfect timing huh!? Pam said “ oh Rachel we need to go in there and distract her during this” . . . I just politely told her I just don’t think I could do that. I found me a seat and prayed that I wouldn’t pass out after seeing it. For a few moments I was pretty sure I was about to go, but luckily those prayers worked. The nurses didn’t have to pick me up off of the hospital floor.
After Pam finished with the distraction we started out day full of visiting patients. When she introduces the services she puts it a new way for me. . . she would go in and say “ we are from Child Life . . . we specialize in fun and information.” I had a really good day with Pam. I don’t believe I will be choosing that rotation, but I know she will be there as a resource if I need her down the road.
Later on this afternoon Jenny sat down with me and went over all of the assignments I will be doing over the next 4 months. I am really glad I don’t have friends and stuff to do because that would just be distraction from all of the “busy” work I have to do. I know each project has a purpose, but some of it seems sort of pointless. I learn a lot better by observation and hands on interactions with patients. Jenny was very encouraging and acted like it wasn’t going to take much to keep up on everything that I will have due on a weekly basis. I get to pick 2 different facilities I want to go observe CL services. I actually will be able to take whole day if I wanted. She mentioned Chicago. That would be great! How fun would that be?! I looked it up and it is about 4 ½ hours from St. Louis. Wouldn’t be a bad weekend trip. Take off on Friday and have the weekend to spend. I don’t know anyone from there, but it wouldn’t be the first time I went somewhere not knowing anyone. I will look into it. I have a while before I have to have those done.
I am with Rebecca on the cardiology unit tomorrow. She also does the CICU and the PICU. This is a little more my cup of tea. No big opened wounds that might just happen to catch me off guard. I am looking forward to it! We will see how it goes.