I am very lucky.

After a soccer accident, I had a sore neck. I thought that it was seriously strained. I went to an urgent care facility and was given some pain killers, muscle relaxers, and steroids. The usual to conservatively treat a strain. I did not think that X-rays were necessary. A couple of weeks went by and every morning I would wake up feeling a little bit better. The end of the day was tough, but I have been injured enough to know that these things take time to heal. I was feeling a bit nervous as we were studying muscles and bones in class and I had a nagging feeling that I had done more damage than I would have liked to admit. I went in for X-rays. The PA (physicians assistant) checked my X-rays and wanted a radiologist to look at them. The next day, I got a phone call saying that I had done some serious damage and I should get myself to the hospital as soon as possible. This sort of news is difficult to take in. They tried to explain things on the phone, but I had stopped listening.

I went to the Swedish First Hill Emergency Room and was well taken care of. They took more X-rays and didn’t like what they saw. My C6 vertebrae was not aligned with the others. Most notably, the C7 below it. If the C6 fell off the C7 I could be paralyzed or dead. For two weeks, I was walking around, working, digging in the garden, and had no idea how seriously injured I was.

I was transferred (my first time in an ambulance) from First Hill to Cherry Hill and put on the neurosciences floor. The memories of my brother being on a neuro floor came flooding back. I kept telling myself how lucky I was to catch this before I was seriously injured. My brother is also lucky to walking and alive.

So I arrived at 1am and was put into a bed. I was told to keep my big collar on, not get up, and pee in the urinal. It took a couple of hours for the doctors orders to arrive. I was given a saline IV with 20 mEq/L of potassium. Apparently, my potassium levels were 3.3 mEq/L (normal is 3.5-5). Here is where my nursing friends and I start to geek out. My nurses and NACs that I met were all great. They treated me well and kept me updated before my surgery. One of the surgeons came in at about 3am to tell me that the team would be meeting in the morning and would get me into surgery the next day.

The next morning (really just a few hours later) I met with the surgeon and I immediately liked him. He showed me his scar where he has a similar surgery. It was nice to be able to ask real world questions like, “What will my range of motion be after the surgery?” and get a true answer. Instead of a textbook answer, he would move his head around. I was nervous most of the day just waiting for the operating room to be ready, but I had some great friends keep me company. My crew of support has been fantastic. I cannot thank Derek, Casey, Stefanie, Ed, Patty, Jenn, Adam, and of course Amanda enough.

I was eventually led into surgery and the staff was all great. They calmed my nerves and we made small talk until I slid onto the operating table. My neck was still in a collar, but I couldn’t bring myself to look around too much. The cold sterility of the room made me more nervous than I would like to admit. Surgery was apparently a success. I didn’t do much for the 45 minutes that it took, but I woke up glad that it was now time to start recovering. I was up walking around later that day. I am able to drink fluids and eat soft foods. They discharged me the day after surgery. Now I am at home recovering.

Standard ambulance selfie.

It is nice to sit by the fire sometimes. Before surgery.

Happy after surgery.

In summary, I had an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

ACDF

3D medical animation, not the real thing, can be seen here.

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November 11th – Bicycles.

In Prague, they ride bikes all winter.
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In New Zealand, I looked like this most of the time:

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When I was young and in shape, I raced in triathlons.

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In Germany, bikes were everywhere.

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About a year ago, I was meeting my friend Ben for lunch. We are both environmentalists athletes looking for an excuse to ride our bikes. As I stopped at a red light there was someone looking into the box on the side of the road with lots of wires. It turns out that we (cyclists in Seattle) have a way to change the red lights while we are on our bikes. Here it is:

Pavement markings for loop detector systems: As required by State law, RCW 47.36.025, with new construction or upgrade of detection equipment; bicycle loop detector systems should be accompanied by pavement markings that indicate the location where a bicycle should be located to maximize its disruption of the inductance field. Specifications for this pavement marking are illustrated in Standard Plan 725.

What isn’t mentioned is the fact that if you put your wheel on a “T” in the bike lane, the light will change for you. I also can’t find any pictures of the “T” that would be a great example of what I am talking about.

Rock climbers seem to like bikes as well!

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In Paris, I need a chip and pin credit card to use the Velib. I was bummed.

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November 10th – Food.

Here is a recap of what the onslaught of posts have been about this month:

Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday. People celebrate it for many reasons. Being thankful is probably one of the better reasons. I don’t give thanks to a spiritual being. My thanks come from all of my real world experiences. I would like to try and focus on one memory or experience every day this month and highlight them here. I (and most people reading this) have many things to be thankful about. Life can almost always be worse. The healthcare world is a fierce reality of death and dying. Especially when you are at the bottom of the barrel like a nursing student seems to be sometimes.

So today’s post is about something very important to me. Food.

A cheeseburger is one of my favorite things to eat. Here is one from Tamarack Brewery in Missoula, Montana. Rock Creek, I love you.

Screen shot 2013-11-10 at 11.17.54 AM Raclette from Paris.Screen shot 2013-11-10 at 11.15.49 AMBreakfast in Napoli.
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Pot muffins in Amsterdam.Screen shot 2013-11-10 at 11.16.38 AM

Crème brûlée because I can’t find anyone that makes it as perfect as my ex step..nevermind. Patricia, yours is still the best.
Screen shot 2013-11-10 at 11.16.02 AMThe good thing is that my enabler makes a spread like this for camping!

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November 8th – Health.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard or said, “Your health is your wealth” to people. Hanging out in long term care for our clinicals can really drive this idea home. Ask anyone that feels like they are getting sick. Nobody likes it. All of the money in the world cannot save you from your own mortality, yet. Most of the people that I have met in the healthcare industry actually want to make someone’s life better.

So don’t let me see you in a professional setting where you will need me or one of my colleagues to take care of you.

Screen shot 2013-11-08 at 9.16.26 PMInstead, go watch a triathlon. You will probably be inspired to do one. I even let this guy take  picture with me.

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Accepted to nursing school!

The next couple of years of my life will look like this:

1’st Quarter Cr
MATH&107** MATH IN SOCIETY 5
Primarily for liberal arts majors. Designed to enhance mathematics literacy. Instructors choose college-level topics centered around a theme such as Environmental Math, History of Math, or General Topics in Math. Fulfills QSR requirement for A.A. degree. Minimum 2.0 required to meet Intermediate Algebra proficiency and QSR.
NUR 101 NURSING I: FUNDAMENTALS OF NURSING 5
Intro to core nursing concepts, organized around the individual as a biopsychosocial being, constantly interacting with and adapting to a changing environment. Covers principles of critical thinking, the nursing process, the role of the nurse, cultural views of health and principles of growth and development with emphasis on the aging process. Addresses images and impressions of nursing, current trends in health care delivery and legal and ethical issues in nursing. Coreq: NUR 111, 122 and MATH& 107.
NUR 111 NURSING PRACTICE I 3
Apply nursing concepts from NUR 101. Assess four adaptive modes in the clinical setting: physiologic-physical, self-concept-group identity, role function and interdependence. Covers basic assessment and, care planning. Apply principled application of nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting. Coreq: NUR 101, 122 & MATH& 107.
NUR 122 PSYCHOSOCIAL NURSING I 2
First of 2 psychosocial nursing courses. Focuses on communication pertinent to the care of clients in various health care settings throughout the lifespan. Practice therapeutic and professional communication techniques. Assess adaptation in self-concept, role function and independence of clients who are coping with acute and chronic illness. Learn group process. Coreqs: NUR 101, 111 and MATH& 107.
2’nd Quarter Cr
NTR 150 ** HUMAN NUTRITION 5
Intro to the science of nutrition and its role in normal growth and functioning across thelifespan, with an emphasis on personal health and wellness. Topics include analysis of personal diet habits, the role of exercise, and public health issues such as obesity, the role of nutrition in prevention of chronic diseases, nutrition during pregnancy and lactation eating disorders, and food safety.
NUR 102 NURSING II: MEDICAL-SURGICAL NURSING 3
First of 4 medical-surgical theory courses. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasis on alterations in fluid and electrolyte balance, acid-base balance, endocrine functions, compromise in wound healing and peripheral vascular circulation.
NUR 112 NURSING PRACTICE II 3
Builds on NUR 111. Apply concepts relevant to adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes, client response and administration of medications. Assess the four adaptive modes. Gain experience in complete assessment, care planning and principled application of nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
NUR 123 PHARMACOLOGY FOR NURSING 4
Intro to basic concepts of drug therapy, roles and responsibilities of nurses, and applying critical thinking and the nursing process for safe medication administration. Includes terminology, resources and regulations related to drug therapy and principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacotherapeutics. Major classifications of drugs include autonomic nervous system agents; parenteral fluids; electrolytes; vitamins and minerals; endocrine, neurologic, respiratory and selected cardiovascular agents; anesthetic, immune system and gastrointestinal agents. Coreqs: NUR 102, 112 & NTR 150.
3’rd Quarter Cr
NUR 103 NURSING III: MEDICAL SURGICAL NURSING 4
Second of 4 medical-surgical theory courses. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and adaptation with emphasis on alterations in neurologic, musculoskeletal, chronic respiratory and chronic cardiovascular systems. Covers key concepts of adaptation to the complex processes of movement and cognition, oxygenation and circulation.
NUR 113 NURSING PRACTICE III 4
Builds on NUR 112. Emphasizes integrating nursing theory, clinical data, skills in providing nursing care and developing priorities. Assess the four adaptive modes, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
NUR 185 GERONTOLOGY FOR NURSES 2
Study adaptations of normal aging, differentiating these adaptations from disease and learn the implications for nursing care. Covers psychosocial, legal and ethical issues common in gerontological nursing practice.
PSYC&200** LIFESPAN PSYCHOLOGY 5
Survey of human physical, psychological, and social development from conception through death. Emphasis on major developmental theories, research and research methods of studying life-span development.
4’th Quarter Cr
NUR 201 NURSING IVA: PSYCHOSOCIAL NURSING II 2
Second of 2 psychosocial nursing courses. Builds on NUR 122 (or NUR 106). Focuses on caring for clients with mental illness using a system with cognator and regulator subsystems to maintain adaptation in the four adaptive modes. Covers psychosocial assessment and therapeutic interventions in psychiatric disorders at three levels: integrated, compensatory and compromised.
NUR 206 NURSING IVB: MEDICAL-SURGICAL NURSING 3
Third of 4 medical-surgical courses. Builds on NUR 101, 102 & 103. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasizes alterations in select integumentary and immune or protective responses and surgical therapies.
NUR 211 NURSING PRACTICE IVA 3
In a psychiatric setting focus on adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Integrates nursing theory, clinical data and skills in nursing care and developing priorities. Assess the four adaptive modes in clinical setting, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply therapeutic skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
NUR 216 NURSING PRACTICE IVB 3
Focuses on concepts relevant to adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Emphasizes comprehensive care and the relationships of the various components of client data and health care interventions. Assess the four adaptive modes, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
5’th Quarter Cr
NUR 207 NURSING V: MEDICAL-SURGICAL NURSING 4
Fourth of 4 medical surgical courses. Builds on NUR 101, 102, 103 & 206. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasizes acute respiratory, acute cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and renal alterations.
NUR 217 NURSING PRACTICE V 5
Study adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Emphasizes analysis of client data and health care interventions, initiating nursing assessments and interventions, health promotions and education and developing leadership skills. Assess the four adaptive modes, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply nursing skills in a variety of clinical settings.
NUR 220 HEALTH PROMOTIONS AND MANAGING CARE 2
Intro to theoretical foundations of health promotion, education and wellness maintenance across the lifespan and to the leadership role in Nursing. Emphasizes planning health promotions and managing care in a variety of settings. Addresses leadership in nursing: traits, styles, problem-solving, change, team communication, conflict management, delegation, time management and the implications of health care trends. Linked to final medical-surgical rotation.
6’th Quarter Cr
NUR 208 NURSING VI: DEVELOPING FAMILY NURSING 6
Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of maternal, newborn and pediatric clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasizes learning and promoting normal family development and understanding adaptive and maladaptive physiologic and psychosocial responses to childbearing, childrearing and illness in childhood.
NUR 218 NURSING PRACTICE VI 3
Emphasis on adaptation in the developing family. Apply concepts from NUR 208 relevant to adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Assess the four adaptive modes in the clinical setting. Obtain experience in individualized assessment, care planning, and principled application of nursing skills in a variety of clinical settings. Coreqs: NUR 208, 230.
NUR 230 TRANSITION TO PROFESSIONAL NURSING ROLE 2
Covers the transition from the role of student to Registered Nurse. Focuses on the role of the RN in health care, the community and organizations. Emphasizes professional and legal obligations, obtaining and maintaining licensure, professional organizations, continuing education and job searching. Includes preparation for the NCLEX/RN exam.
Total Credits = 108

 

CNA

As one of the requirements for nursing school, I must become a Certified Nursing Assistant. So I paid my $600 to a company so that they will get me the state required number of class hours before I can go and actually assist a nurse. I feel like the guys that do road construction. I work for 10 minutes and then wait 50 to make sure that I have the correct number of hours logged. The big guy in the class falls asleep for 50 minutes and nobody seems to mind. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to take this class in another language and that proves true by the Eritreans that are not doing well. English is not their first language and the class if very difficult for them. cna-certification1The bread that the Eritreans bring is delicious. They are some of the friendliest people that I have met. We have learned a few skills so far. Washing our hands is very important. I can wash your feet, provide nail care, turn you over in bed, make a bed with you in it, brush your dentures, and give you a bath while you are in bed. Coming up this week will be perineal care. That is the one everyone dreads. To learn about HIV and AIDS, we get to watch Philadelphia. I hope that clinicals will provide some good stories. Stay tuned!eritrea

Your health is your wealth.

I took a quick trip to San Francisco to see my brother who was in a recent skateboarding accident. He suffered a severe head trauma that required surgery. They removed a part of his skull to relieve the pressure from the swelling. He is nearly out of ICU and looks like he will survive. We are all thrilled about that. I heard today that he is eating solid food. That is a big improvement from when I saw him heavily sedated with a breathing tube down his throat.I was able to drag my mother out of the hospital room for short periods of time. She is staying near the Castro District, so we found lots of fun things to take pictures with.