Lessons From Nursing School

1. Embrace your bodily functions.

A couple of years ago I was starting my volunteer hours at the Same Day Surgery unit here in Provo and I had to go take a drug test to get approved. I was very impressed with myself for getting through the interview stages of the application and so, so excited to get in a hospital! I have been waiting for this for months.I walk in to the office very confidently and there is this gorgeous man at the counter ( don't worry this is long before I ever met Evan ) so naturally I start shamelessly flirting with this guy... I'm going into nursing... he works in a hospital.. we could totally have so much in common right! I figure its a win-win situation. As I continue talking to him I start to realize that oh no... he doesn't just work at the front desk, no actually he is the nurse and yes... in about five seconds I am going to have to hand him my pee. Haha I was so embarrassed! So eventually I can't avoid it any longer, I suck it up and do what I came to do. I'm about to leave and I look up to see a sign above the toilet that says "under no circumstances whatsoever may you flush the toilet." REALLY? COME ON! So I walk out and hand Mr. Hot Stuff my pee and I'm like "Uh.. it says that I'm not allowed to flush the toilet?" and he's like "Oh yeah I have to do it for you." Perfect. Needless to say he did not ask for my phone number. Luckily I found my prince charming elsewhere, and he has never asked me to pee in a cup.

2. Hospital Corners

At the start of my second semester of nursing school one of my reading assignments was "The 25 Steps to Making a Bed". Come on, I thought. Give me a needle. Well, we do change the sheets a lot in the hospital. Patients are in and out of rooms every day and we are always changing linens for new patients, and for patients who have been in the hospital for awhile. I never describe it as one of my main activities throughout the day, but it's there.

A few days ago, Evan and I were having friends over for dinner and we had started a massive cleaning frenzy Saturday morning but hadn't quite completed it all on time. So we split up the jobs, I was in charge of dinner and Evan volunteered to pick up the house while I cooked. He picked up the living room and cleared off the table and then he started yelling from the bedroom. I couldn't figure out what he was doing, all I heard was, "HOSPITAL CORNERS!" I immediately dropped my spoon, ran back to the bedroom, tucked those sheets in hospital style in 30 seconds flat, and suddenly found myself back in front of the lemony shrimp scampi. And then all the sudden I started thinking, wait, what just happened? what has nursing school done to me?

3. Always knock, ALWAYS.

I have been really lucky to work with very talented nurses each week as I do my clinicals and learn the ropes in all the different hospitals and units throughout the valley. Every nurse has her own style and her own pet peeves, and you just learn as you go. Something that has been emphasized to me across the board, though, is that you need to document everything that happens while you are in a patient's room. Document every medication, every assessment, every teaching session, every sip of water they take. Document everything.

So after a few weeks in to my first hospital rotation, I am starting to feel more confident. I know where the medications are, I know how to use their charting system, I know where to send lab draws, I'm feeling pretty good. After following my nurse closely throughout the morning, I'm ready to take on a little more responsibility. One of our patients reports that he is in pain and needs medication. I know how to fix that! So I go with my nurse to get the medication, draw up the correct dose and check my 5 rights, and we head to the room so I can heroically give my patient some relief. The patient's family member is outside the room and reports that he really, really needs the medication and he's in a lot of pain. "That's what we're here for!" I reply as I dutifully sanitize my hands and open the door to put my patient at ease, only too find..... my patient and his significant other making out in the bed! I'm sorry your pain level was a what exactly? And just HOW am I supposed to document this?? Physical Activity: "Vigorous lip movement"? Respiratory: "heavy breathing"?? There is NO place in the chart for this.

My solution? Knock. Always, always knock.

Haha these are the adventures I have to remember on weeks like this when I have an eight page paper to write and seven quizes to take in the next 48 hours. Yeah, seven. It kicks my butt, but I certainly get entertainment out of it so I thought you might too.


  1. LOLOL Kamille! I loveeed the stories! Youre adorable. Good work on the job. do you like get paid? or what is it that youre doing right now?

  2. Kamille...this is Mandi from Texas. Am I the biggest creeper known to man because I found your blog off of Melani's facebook? probably. I remember when we had lunch and you were just getting back together with evan. When you talked about him you literally lit up like a christmas tree... and you still are. I'm so happy for you. Will you be creeped out if I keep checking your blog? hopefully not. =)

  3. hahaha...HILARIOUS! Remember when we decided that life is all about the story you can tell?? Well you have got some good ones! :) Keep posting your stories because I thoroughly enjoy them. LOVE YOU!

  4. hahaha so true! and the wisdom our professors give us. priceless! Karen's lectures....(you know what im talking about)

  5. Bahahaha, that is hilarious about the people making out in bed. Hey, maybe it helps with the pain! Love it!


Post a Comment