1 Down, 20 to go…

Today was the first day of my clinical residency. For privacy purposes, I’m going to make up names of A) where I am, B) my preceptor’s name, and C) patient names.

I arrived at 6:30am and waited for Justine. I didn’t know anyone there, so I looked through charts, familiarized myself with the layout of the land, and figured out where to put my stuff (that took about 10 minutes alone). I was scared, scared, scared. It’s a different feeling than clinicals during the year, as those are just once a week. Now I would be working a regular nurse’s schedule, caring for patients the moment I set foot on the floor until 7pm. There is no post-conference, and most importantly, no classmates to lean on.

That last part scared me the most. Perhaps I depended too much on my classmates, I don’t know… but not having a single one there (Dave would join me later on this week) was terrifying. I felt alone, which isn’t a bad thing.

How can you NOT miss these faces???

When Justine arrived, we had our exchange of pleasantries. She’s very cool and I knew we’d get along as long as I didn’t say anything stupid. Well, that lasted for about 5 minutes.

“Where’s the bathroom?” I asked. She looked at me and smiled… I knew she was thinking, “This kid is gonna throw up.”

The first day anywhere is always daunting. I did what I could, but mostly observed Justine go about her business. She allowed me to do just about anything I said I could do… and to be honest, I didn’t do too great without her guidance. “Don’t sweat it,” is what I kept saying to myself… “This is why you’re here.” Justine told me those exact words when I apologized to her for the hundredth time.

I found her words encouraging. Kind of like sim lab… that’s the reason we have sim lab – to mess up. Now, of course, I had real patients to care for, but with Justine’s supervision, I knew I’d be fine.

When I think back on my clinicals during the year, I realized that I learned everything my brain could handle. I have no regrets on my experience so far… they’ve gotten me here. I know what I have to do, now I just have to do it.

The day ended with Justine asking me, “Pretty exciting first day, huh?”

“Yeah… we do it again tomorrow?”

“Yes. Be ready and just relax. We have plenty of time. Nobody can learn everything in one day.”

I’m going to enjoy it here.

1 down, 20 to go…


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