Thursday, October 17, 2013

Setting Examples

So today, one of my friends mentioned something on Facebook that really bugged me and empowered me at the same time. Here's the direct quote:

"Some men on twitter have decided it is "fat shaming week" which is directed entirely at women. Lately I have been making a conscious choice to love my body image no matter what society is saying is beautiful. Stay strong lady loves and feel free to punch heteronormative white skinny ideals of beauty in the throat."

What? Fat shaming week? Really? Now here's a challenge to all you women: Name one man in your life, not one out of a magazine, just someone you personally know, who has a full six pack abs, the perfect muscles, and is totally comfortable with their perfect body? I bet you can't. How is it that men can have a little bit of chunk to them and women can't? We are "shamed" and they can do whatever they want to? 

Then I really actually started thinking about it and this double standard is as old as the day is long. It's just something that happens and the best thing women can do is to empower ourselves and be comfortable with our own body. 

I myself have always been on the heavier side of the skinny girl scale. I'm generally big boned, tall, and I've got some "fluff" that I'm not exactly proud of but I accept it. If it really bothered me I would have done something about it by now. Saying that you accept yourself the way you are and actually doing it are two entirely different things too though...

As nurses, we are expected to lead healthy lifestyles. I for one down coffee like it's my job, eat when I'm stressed, haven't set foot in a gym or exercised in months, and I get little sleep. So how am I, as a nurse supposed to turn around to my patient and say, "You need to lose weight" or "You need to exercise  "Too much caffeine is bad for you." It's a double edged sword. 

Likewise, I was working in a facility and one of the nurses there, not to be rude or mean in any way, but was considered obese. I can remember one of the residents pulling me aside at supper and asking me, "How can she take care of me when she can't take care of herself?" This struck me. That's a really good point. So then I'm faced with the thought, do I put on this healthy lifestyle facade for my patients and be a hypocrite or do I keep quiet and not judge their lifestyle choices? 

This matter goes far beyond just the numbers on a scale. Smoking, drinking, exercising, eating habits, we are all setting examples for our patients and that's a lot of pressure. Now throw in the factor that men are declaring this week "fat shaming week" and the fact that us not only as female nurses but as females need to live up to society's standards of a perfect woman? Yikes. That's enough to make you want to stress indulge on a bag of cheetoes. 

On a related topic, everyone, men, women, teenagers, children, EVERYONE needs to see this video. Dove Beauty Campaign is doing a marvelous job addressing the topic of loving yourself, size put aside.

As Taylor Swift says, stay beautiful. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How I'm Here:

My journey as a nurse began at a young age. My father is an EMT so he'd tell me stories about calls and he was the one to go to for medical problems. My mom was just too squeemish at blood or puke so she just sent us to dad.

When I turned 16, I was required to get a job. I had thought about being a CNA but I didn't know where to work. As a freshman in high school, our choir toured local nursing homes and sang for the residents and we went to one particular nursing home and I thought to myself as soon as I walked in the door, I want to work here.

I was so excited when I got my first pair of scrubs. I asked mom to take a picture of me. Here's little 16 year old Kalissa...

I got a job there after I took my CNA class AND paid for the class with my own money, and I absolutely loved it. Honestly, starting out I was in it for the money but I fell in love with the residents and the environment. I knew I wanted to work in the medical field.

I had started out that I wanted to go to NICC's nursing program so I started taking gen-eds through NICC. As a sophomore in high school I took Dosage Calculations. The next year I took Nutrition, Medical Terminology, and Anatomy and Physiology I and II with a lab. I actually accidentally put myself on the waiting list the summer after my junior year, I just happened to get all of the pre-requisites done for the nursing program without realizing it. Senior year I completed more gen eds for the nursing program including Composition I and Intro to Computer Business Apps.

In the meantime, I was dead set on being a paramedic. I applied to the University of Iowa's paramedic specialist program and did a college visit and everything. I loved it so much.

I graduated a semester early from high school and worked full time in the nursing home on first shift. On January 22nd, I got my acceptance letter to NICC's nursing program to start in August 2013. Incidentally, on the same day, I got an email from U of I wanting to schedule an interview for their paramedic program. That's a lot of decisions to make for a 17 year old.

After asking around and taking advice from everyone, I decided to go to NICC. Nurses get paid better, have better hours, have more opportunities for job advancement and also for continuing education. With that in mind and my deposit paid, I took an accelerated Microbiology course with lab, and Speech this past summer, more gen eds required for the nursing program.

Overall, I'm happy with the decision I made. I wouldn't have met my boyfriend Craig or my best friend Clare if I hadn't gone to NICC, I love my instructors, the content of the class, and I'm generally happy with where I'm at right now. However, I'm looking at other LPN-BSN programs, RN-BSN programs and even RN-MSN programs. I might just end up staying at Calmar for my RN to but as for now, I'm researching options. The only problem is I struggle with online classes which is a large majority of what is available to me for continuing my education.

Wouldn't it be great if I could just snap my fingers and be an RN? If only...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bowels...what a lovely subject...

Well I should be studying right now, I have a bowel elimination exam tomorrow morning right away at 9 a.m. but here I am, blogging instead. This blog is either going to help or hinder my study habits...

Now I am a HUGE medical TV buff. Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs are by far most watched on my Netflix account. I always reference it for real life application while I'm studying. We were talking about fecal transplants and I of course flashback to Grey's Anatomy Season 5 Episode 8 where the patient needed a fecal transplant. She thought she had MRSA that was actually a pimple, freaked out, took a ton of antibiotics, killed off all the good bacteria in her colon and left her with the clip.

So, they ended up giving her a fecal transplant through an NG tube and I brought it up in class. Of course I didn't tell them that I got it from watching a TV show, I just let my class think I'm some sort of brainiac about fecal transplants.

Anyway, so I'm sitting in lecture downing coffee like there's no tomorrow, and trying to stay awake. As we are talking about all the tests you can run on a stool sample (occult, WBC, pH, glucose) I of course have a song stuck in my head from another of my favorite TV shows, Scrubs. Here's the clip...

Is that not the catchiest and most honest song about poop that you've ever heard? So I'm sitting in class trying to focus but all I can hear in my head is "Everything comes down to poo."

Now if my father read this post and found out that I was listing Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs as a reliable source for medical information, I would be in a bit of trouble.

I also found this meme about nurses and bowel elimination. After working as a CNA for two years, this is so true. I'm sure you all can relate to it...

I hope everyone is having a "regular" day :)