Tomorrow is the last night of my first rotation at the hospital, meaning nearly four whole weeks have flown by. I’ve actually only spent a few nights in the ICU because of the ever changing census and in addition have spent time in the ER and on the regular medical floor, which is essentially a neurology floor. I’m learning a lot and nights aren’t so bad now that I’ve discovered coffee. Yes, it took me this long to finally force myself to drink coffee. A year of working the night shift as a Secretary in the ICU wasn’t enough, I suppose. But once I finally started taking more responsibility for patients and had to begin remembering medications and really focusing I realized that like it or not, coffee was going to be my new source for caffeine because I MUST STAY ALERT. I started out with a white mocha and then eventually I just drank a coffee from the hospital. It was disgusting. The mocha wasn’t so bad, but I’m determined not to drink too many because 1) for a large at Starbucks it’s $4.57 and 2) it’s nearly 300 calories the way I like it – non-fat milk and all. My preceptor (who is great, btw) said I should pick up the blonde roast regular coffee from Starbucks, since it’s light & will help me get used to the taste. Ahhhh, the joys of drinking something you don’t like just to have enough energy to make it through a 12.5 hour shift. Is this real life?
Anyway~ next week I start DAYS on Pacu (post-anesthesia care unit) for 4 weeks & will be learning how to care for patients in the recovery room, immediately after surgery. I’m excited about the new schedule & it will be great to have a new experience and to see, yet again, how another specialty area of nursing works.
Mostly, I’m getting excited for the future. In 8.5 weeks I’ll be DONE DONE DONE. My plan is to put the rest of my stuff in storage and then Andrew and I will drive back to California in my car. My ideal itinerary would include driving from Colorado to NW Wyoming with a stop in Yellowstone. After driving through Yellowstone and exploring Jackson Hole for a day, we will head west to the Oregon coast. I’ve always wanted to drive down the Oregon coast, on the Redwood highway, to California. Andrew isn’t much of a road tripper, but he’s a good sport, and I know he’ll drive with me if I ask. Plus, if we’re going to get married some day, he’ll really need to get over his aversion to driving long distances since I absolutely looooooove road trips (just ask my dad – he’s accompanied me on many!).
Once in California I will have time to visit family, visit some of my favorite places, hopefully get in a camping/hiking/fishing trip with my dad and brothers & a trip to Monterey with my mom. Andrew will stay for a few days and we will visit the part of California we didn’t get to explore last summer. Then, he’ll head back to Colorado and I’ll stay in California to job search, study for the NCLEX, attend a 3 day NCLEX preparation class & then, God willing, take and pass the NCLEX so I can be an actual Registered Nurse. Then, since I’ll be licensed, job search will be in full swing.
I have decided I will become licensed in Colorado first and then transfer that license over to California. I will primarily job search in Colorado, but California will be my back up. If I do not hear from any employers in the first month or if it does not look like I will be able to get an RN job through my current place of employment (the hospital where I work PRN), then I will spread my search to northern and southern California – primarily the greater bay area of San Francisco (Walnut Creek, Livermore, Berkeley Pleasanton, etc.) & from Anaheim south to San Diego. I have no intention of living or working near my hometown, or anywhere east of the Altamont, and have no intention of living or working near LA. Anaheim will be the northern most place I would work near LA, with San Diego being the most southern. But – as mentioned, my goal is to work in Denver. Colorado is my home now, and while I dream of moving back to California sometime in the near future for a while, I am not quite sure if that dream is going to be realized just yet.
This is all so exciting to me & really gives me something to look forward to so that living in Wyoming this summer becomes a little more bearable. Speaking of living in Wyoming – it’s windy as all heck most days, but yesterday was pretty darn gorgeous. Sunny, hot, 90’s, with a mid-afternoon thunderstorm. Still, I’m heading back to Colorado for four days on Thursday afternoon and I can’t wait.