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JeN in WoNderLaNd

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positive vibes [Oct. 30th, 2014|02:04 pm]
JeN in WoNderLaNd
Just wanting to send out some good vibes to my LJ friends. You guys are awesome :)
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(no subject) [Oct. 28th, 2014|01:32 pm]
JeN in WoNderLaNd
I got the OK from the program coordinator to find out if my old workplace will take me on as a practicum student. I plan to make the call shortly, but am pretty nervous. Whether or not I get this placement is huge. There's a lot of "what ifs" going through my mind that I'm trying to put a stop to, but it's because I'm not sure what to do if I don't get in. Failing another practicum means that I will lose my license and working in mental health feels like it's the best way to go in terms of passing (and in terms of my career). There aren't any other options for a mental health placement around here besides the old workplace. I don't want to take up a placement in Winnipeg because M. is in kindergarten already and I would likely have to wait until the summer to do it (if that's even a possibility). Otherwise I might be faced with the option of taking up another long-term care placement, but I'm concerned about whether I would be able to pass it or not. If I were to do that and make it through, I know it would be quite a struggle and I'm not sure if I'm up for the risk.
I was meaning to write to clear my head prior to making the call, but now I'm just reminding myself of the pressure. I think I need a pen and paper to sort this one out. 
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journal time [Oct. 23rd, 2014|10:58 am]
JeN in WoNderLaNd
It's been so busy the past couple months with my practicum. I'm going to meet up with my preceptor shortly to go over my evaluation. I was unsuccessful in this attempt in long-term care. Although I've improved over time in the course, I'm just not fast/efficient enough at what I'm doing. In general, I don't feel that I'm cut out for work in any fast-paced environment. When choosing long-term care as my option for practicum, I didn't really know what I was getting in to and had some misconceptions about it (especially about the pace of work). Medical was another option, but I know from experience that it's also not a good fit. I didn't feel so good about the surgical option either and am not sure about community health. I think that community health would consist of going to client's homes for wound care or other treatments, but maybe I should find out more. I had a placement in public health once that went well; it was mostly a desk job with some educational pieces that were to be done out in the community. I doubt though that public health would be an option though as I would likely not have the opportunity to meet many of the competencies required to pass. I didn't see mental health as an option, but haven't inquired about it to the program coordinator. I mentioned it to my instructor, but she noted that the program is geared towards generalized nursing and that it may also be difficult to meet all the required competencies, although some students have been allowed to have practicum in "specialized areas". I feel that it may be my only hope to get back to work, so I'm definitely going to request it. I should also get in touch with disability services again as it was noted that modified programs/course may be possible.
Although I have to go through the evaluation with my preceptor still, my instructor noted that the areas of difficulty for me seemed to be:
1. the pace (on evening shifts, nurses are responsible for 30 residents and about 15-20 on days. I was working towards being able to stick to the schedule for the routine stuff- meds and treatments, but when extra things were to come up, it would usually throw me off)
2. organization (which she related to the pace; if I had more time to think through what I'm supposed to be doing, I don't think it would have been so problematic)
3. preparedness (compared with previous clinical experiences through school, there was pretty much no time to review things while on shift. I didn't realize that I was expected to know how to do so much, so I should have spent more time reviewing things at home prior to the practicum, rather than just reviewing as things came up. The experience was more about performance than learning to do things again and I guess in retrospect that makes sense as this is a Refresher Program, but this wasn't really stated anywhere in the course handbook.)
I think I'm doing OK with this, as it wasn't a surprise that I didn't pass. But it's frustrating and I feel like I'm letting my family down. My parents have been financially supporting my education and everyone's just waiting for me to get back on my feet. I feel like things have to work out somehow, but there's always that possibility that it won't work out in terms of getting back to my career. So I'm left with "then what?" and "what a waste". One step at a time though. 
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(no subject) [Sep. 16th, 2014|10:39 am]
JeN in WoNderLaNd
Life has been busy with new routines and such. M. just started kindergarten and daycare, R. just started at a different daycare (couldn't get both kids into the community daycare which offers subsidy for low income families) and I just started my nursing practicum. I had to go out and buy a dry erase board to turn into a calender to keep track of everyone's schedule; I tried to figure this all out on paper, but couldn't do it so well. M. goes to daycare after school 4 days a week and R.'s daycare schedule follows mine as the in home daycare he's at is more flexible, while the community daycare wants a little more routine. It seems we're all adjusting well though.
My practicum is at a personal care home that I chose. I will be working with 3 different preceptors (one for the 2 night shifts I had and two for evening and day shifts); so far the 2 preceptors that I worked with were good and I'll be working with the 3rd one today who may or may not be more of a hard ass. I just met her briefly and wondered about that, although my other preceptor described her as "a good nurse" and said she enjoyed her training with her. The experience is also different in that I have never worked in a long-term care facility and that as a nurse, I would be responsible for way more clients than I've been used to (on nights, you're responsible for 60, evenings 30 and days 20). I worked one evening shift so far and it felt like most of the shift was spent giving out endless meds. I guess I'm just used to the mental health environment where there's more time spent with clients doing therapeutic work, counseling/talking and more charting (since there's so many residents under our care at the personal care home and often their status is the same day to day, charting is minimal).
I'll see how the practicum goes and I'm open to the possibility of working in such an environment, but mental health is still my favorite thing (and sure enough, there are many residents with mental health issues at the personal care home). I would like to see if I can get my old job back, but there are some issues that might make that somewhat difficult. I started working at the mental health centre in 2010 and left for mat leave with R. about 5 months after starting. Instead of returning to work when I did, I should have requested a medical leave as I had been hospitalized a couple months before my mat leave ended and was still going through the process of med adjustments. I thought I could manage work, but I was experiencing some issues with sedation and was falling asleep occassionally on the job (I think usually during morning report and also had a hard time staying awake at times on the night shift) and apparently I just didn't look well. I was asked to speak with the nursing unit coordinator about this and admitted to being on these meds and my diagnosis. I ended up losing my job due to temorarily losing my license to practice; I owed the college of nurses some money from a mandatory psychological assessment that I had taken due to some issues I was having at my previous workplace. The college had sent me a letter stating that if I did not pay them by a certain date, I would lose my license. However, due to my state at the time and probably being distracted while reading it; I realized after I had lost my license and upon finding that letter again that I didn't actually read it thoroughly and had somehow overlooked that important piece of information. Had I known, I would have paid the money, or gotten help from my parents to pay it (being on mat leave and not having my full usual amount of income, I didn't pay it right away and I was also hospitalized shortly after the bill came, so obviously I wasn't well and paying attention to such matters). I actually ended up working a few shifts without realizing that my license had been pulled and was fined by the college for doing so. Because it took longer than my workplace had allowed for to get my license back, I lost my job. It was only about 2 business days after I had my position terminated that my license was reinstated. What an ordeal... I somewhat blame myself, but I know I wasn't well at the time either. I was invited to re-apply for work there, but when I did some time later while in the middle of my Refresher program, I heard nothing back. I have spoken to the nursing unit coordinator informally about how the program was going when I bumped into her while I was waiting to either pick up some meds or for an appointment with my psychiatrist. Kind of awkward, but it's in the same building that I used to work in, so I saw her while she was coming out from a meeting. I've bumped into a few old co-workers in that way, but what can you do? I guess that could possibly pose some issues if I were to work there again, but I'll deal with that if it happens. Fortunately, I was not hospitalized there.
I think I would like to try to apply at my old workplace again, which may happen sometime soon (I've also learned from the college of nurses that I'm actually done my educational requirements, but am still doing this practicum to complete the Refresher program). I was told awhile back when I was in touch with the nurses' union that they might be able to help me if I was having difficulties with gaining employment, which is reassuring. So it might be time to get in touch with them again soon to let them know where I'm at. 
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suicide [Aug. 15th, 2014|03:14 pm]
JeN in WoNderLaNd
Our local radio station has a #bangene campaign in effect due to the comments of Gene Simmons regarding depression and suicide. Although I support freedom of speech, I feel that Gene has gone too far as his opinions could influence others who are so deeply depressed to the point where suicide is considered an option. With such social influence should come responsibility. Those who are in such a position should be aiming to educate and to break the stigma, not promote such a negative point of view that could impact someone's decision to take their own life. It may not be obvious to those who have not experienced depression in some way or another, but when one's thoughts may be so clouded and distorted from this illness, his words may be taken to heart and acted upon.
I have never attempted suicide, but I have thought about it in the past. I had gotten to the point where some minor details of my potential suicide were decided upon, but really it was not a thorough plan. (Should I be ashamed to admit this due to the possibility of being stigmatized against? Or that friends or family may come across this post? I'm putting those thoughts and fears aside to get you thinking, to educate and to continue the much needed dialogue about mental health/illness.) That's how down I was. I cried thinking of the people that would be hurt by my actions if I followed through. I didn't really talk about my thoughts of ending my life though at the time (other than my psychiatrist, who likely felt that I had no serious intent possibly because the thoughts had started to subside at that point). This was probably out of uncertainty, perhaps shame and fear, but also not wanting to upset anyone close to me. Had I been certain to go through with it, I probably wouldn't have said a word either because if I was that far gone and feeling that there was absolutely no hope, why would I want my plan possibly ruined?
I can't say for sure how I would have reacted to hearing Gene's words during those times of despair, but I can assume that I may have felt ashamed, guilty and even more worthless than I already felt. I don't think his words could have possibly pushed me over the edge though not only because I only had thoughts and not much of a plan, but those comments would have made me angry (as they do now). I'm sure I would have thought something along the lines of "Fuck you! It's not your right to tell me to 'jump'! This is my life and you have no say!" Suicide would have had to have been my own decision. I would have had to have owned it.
These days, I'm more about owning my life than thinking about ending it. Despite the the downfalls and shortcomings of life, I'm glad I didn't give in to those thoughts. I'm sure the majority of those who have considered suicide are thankful they didn't go through with it, which is one reason why suicide prevention is so important and why Gene's comments were so wrong. We should be looking to reach out and help save lives rather than say ignorant things that could potentially lead to someone losing their life. 
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I think that you think... which makes me think. [Aug. 11th, 2014|02:47 pm]
JeN in WoNderLaNd
I'm coming to realize and accept that I'm sensitive to others' perceptions of me, particularly if it's something negative. It came up when I took the Jung typology test, and as I've been reflecting on it, it seems to ring true. I guess I didn't realize how much that affects me. At times, I can get pretty upset about what I think someone is thinking of me (it's worse if it's someone close to me)... so I think I need to be aware that maybe my perception of their perception of me might be completely distorted and maybe not to dwell so much on it without talking to them first. I also need to realize that people will say things in the heat of the moment, but maybe not necessarily really mean it. Gotta love how our brains play tricks on us sometimes! I think this may also be an issue an overthinking, or over-feeling perhaps.
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Jung Typology Test [Aug. 5th, 2014|03:32 pm]
JeN in WoNderLaNd
I'm feeling kind of scatter-brained and dazed, kind of like I'm not sure what I should be doing and I'm having some trouble figuring that out. I've think that's been an on/off thing for a few days. Then there's feelings of guilty over spending too much time on things that don't matter too much (browsing online), or not being productive enough in other things that seem more important (house work, spending enough quality time with the kids- despite S. & I taking the kids to the beach yesterday). I guess writing gives me a chance to think things over; maybe I shouldn't be too hard on myself about everything. I think in general I have a hard time feeling at peace with myself (one of the things that stuck out when I took the Jung personality typology test at humanmetrics.com).

So now that I'm on that tangent; my results were INFJ.
Introvert(56%)  iNtuitive(38%)  Feeling(62%)  Judging(22%)

  • You have moderate preference of Introversion over Extraversion (56%)

  • You have moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing (38%)

  • You have distinct preference of Feeling over Thinking (62%)

  • You have slight preference of Judging over Perceiving (22%)

Interesting stuff. I think a lot depends on how well you know yourself when you're answering the questions. I think this would also be useful in getting to know ourselves better.

Anyways, maybe I'm feeling off today because I was up early babysitting my friend's daughter for a couple hours this morning and will continue to do so for several days over the next 2 weeks. Maybe not enough sleep and a change in routine is taking effect on my brain.
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karma? [Aug. 2nd, 2014|03:47 pm]
JeN in WoNderLaNd
I have a headache and have to go to work in a bit. Hope the Tylenol kicks in soon. I'm also dealing with R. who is stubbornly not napping. M. & S. are out golfing, so it's just the 2 of us home.

What's your take on karma?
I have a little story to tell about "karma", but I'll share that another day because my brain's not quite up to it at the moment. I'm not sure if I believe in karma or not, but I find the concept interesting. 
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(no subject) [Jul. 18th, 2014|03:57 pm]
JeN in WoNderLaNd

This month is going too fast!
Things are generally going well; I managed an A+ in my last course and am waiting to get into practicum so that I can finally finish this program! I'm not sure when I'll be getting in though; it seems that those that are running the program are on holidays, so that may push me back a little farther than I'd hoped. The plan was for me to start this month, but I wasn't really on the ball in getting some necessary things done ahead of time (immunizations, criminal record checks, etc.) that are required prior to starting practicum. I have almost everything done so far, but likely won't get in until at least September (or possibly October if no one at the school is around to set up the placement). This is somewhat problematic as the College of Nurses wants me to be finished by the end of October, so I'll need to request a second extension. I'm a bit anxious about having to do that, but I'm trying to convince myself that it will be OK; why would they deny my request when I've gotten through everything and am so close to the end?
S. and I are getting along alright. We're planning to go camping at the end of August. I'm not sure if the kids will come with us for the whole time, or just camp for a couple of days with us and then send them off to their grandparents' so that we can have a bit of time to ourselves. Since having kids, we really haven't had much time to ourselves, so it's needed.
Since my course finished, I've found that I have more time to myself and to start getting some organizing done around the house. I've been back to working on my stained glass phoenix and have also started watching Game of Thrones. I've opened up my schedule to take in more evening shifts at work as well, although I'm not sure if I'll get any extra shifts or not. S. will be starting a job on Saturdays too. Money's still tight and will be that way until I get back into nursing and/or take up a full time job.


And a random pic of our tired pup, Murphy. We got him over a month ago and he's growing like crazy! We just took him for his first visit to the vet today and he's already 41lbs and not quite 4 months. This pic was taken last weekend; we had some friends over from Winnipeg for S.'s bday, so the dogs were up late with us :)

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(no subject) [Jun. 27th, 2014|03:24 pm]
JeN in WoNderLaNd
I'd love to write and vent, but I'm going to make myself study for a bit before work. I have a final to write on Monday and not enough time to study... fortunately I should be able to pass the course with a 25% on that exam, so that does take some pressure off. 
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