My first 12 hour shift today and boy, was it a doozy! Because I seem to come into contact with the most amazing situations, though, I learned a lot.
From the top--my preceptor is fabulous. She's been working at St. Mike's for 27 years (if you include her two years of training) and knows EVERYTHING. She's this tiny Phillipino lady who swears like a trucker when she feels like it and has a mind that is sharper than a free razor. Seriously, you could probably shave balls with it.
Anyway, she went easy on me and let me do a lot of "shadowing" (joking all the time about how much bigger than her, her shadow was LOL) and we had 4 patients together--3 of them absolutely extraordinary examples of love.
The first two: a couple who had had kidney surgery--she donated one of hers to him yesterday, and they are two doors down from one another. They were calling eachother on the phone every five minutes, between naps, to say "I love you" and as soon as he was able he was up and walking to her room to give her a big kiss. Both of them are fiery Italians, solid and swarthy and passionate, and it was beautiful to watch. I wonder if I'll ever love someone enough to give them a part of my body?
Anyway, the funny part of that situation was making up the "honey, you still owe me" jokes with the female--he's going to be paying for this particular favor for the rest of his life :) I only hope they stay together!
The third was a patient with all sorts of problems, including Lupus, who is failing quickly and in a lot of pain. Her husband was the extraordinary part of the duo--picking her up to carry her to the washroom when it was too painful to walk, taking the bitter words she flung about and absorbing them with the most patient expression on his face--what a wonderful thing, to be loved that much. I hope she knows.
Next shift is on Tuesday, and I'm looking forward to it--the doctors are all around my age, and, male or female, they're HOT! :)