Sunday, March 16, 2014

First Week in Family Practice

 It is official - after 18 years of formal education (Associate, Bachelors, and a Master's Degrees, Doctorate - all but dissertation, and a post Master's Certificate) - I am a Nurse Practitioner, my name is on the door.
Seeing the first patient was exciting and scary at the same time. Exciting because,  I am finally doing what  God has lead me to do.  Scary because I suddenly realized, I am making decisions that could harm a patient if I don't get it correct.
As a Nurse Practitioner I do have a safety-net my collaborative physician is in the next hallway. If I have a question he is there. 
My family has been very supportive throughout this process. Everyday my boys (3 sons) and the Big Man text me to see how I am doing - they ask about how many patients I have seen or have scheduled. They know I am a little anxious about getting started and growing my patient population.
My baby-girl sent me the most awesome plant.
I know the next six months is going to be rocky trying to find my groove, getting some structure to my day.  But, I know I have a strong support system and I am where God wants me to be.
Have a Great Week
~ Connie ~

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Winter in Arkasnas - Stranded Motorist, Four-Legged Babies and A Stationary Bike

Wow this had been a week - Last Sunday the rain started before we got out of church, followed by hours of freezing rain, sleet and ending with snow after we went to bed.  Little did we know when we got up Monday morning that all of Northeast AR would be shut down.

I had planned to start seeing patients in the clinic - but no electricity, internet, or phone service and hazardous road conditions kept me from starting to see patients.
The Big Man and I spent most of the day at home, trying to keep the four-legged babies (14 of the them) warm and occupied and feeding the birds.  The Big Man and youngest son did go out late Monday night to help rescue a friends daughter who was stranded about 15 miles from our home on I55 in Missouri. 
Tuesday the weather was still horribly cold and the travel conditions continued to be hazardous.  Most of the day we could see I55 (from our house) at a standstill. We went to be Tuesday night praying for warmer weather and for those stranded on I55.

On Wednesday morning we learned just how horrible the conditions were on I55. Friends were calling asking if we could help the motorist stranded - facebook was full of comments about stranded motorist on I55.  So, I called the office of emergency management (OEM)- only to be told by the OEM director  that the conditions were not as bad as everyone was making them out to be.  So, I asked why was the governor sending AR National Guard to every other county but Mississippi.  He didn't know but he said he would call me back.  Within 30 minutes he called back and said I had his full support do what needed to be done - wow wait a minute, I hadn't planned on doing anything except take care of my four-legged babies, I just wanted everyone to do what they were supposed to do. 
I spoke with the Mayor, who said the same thing, I had his full support and resources.  So, the Big Man and I opened a shelter and found places for stranded motorist to stay.  By Wednesday night there were no hotel rooms, no gasoline, and some grocery stores had empty shelves.  Stranded motorist - were truly stranded.
The shelter was opened for less than 24 hours, we were able to provide people with a warm place to sleep and a little breakfast before they got back on the road.  People think what the Big Man and I did was amazing and something extraordinary, but it was the right thing to do.
You can read the letter to the editor one of the stranded motorist wrote.
Praying for warmer weather
~ Connie ~
P.S. I did get in 2 bike rides this week on the stationary bike and the exercise felt great.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

New Clinic and a Stationary Bike

February has flown by - It is hard to believe that March has arrived.  I have been busy the last two weeks setting up my clinic (family nurse practitioner).
When it comes to picking out a color scheme, I usually head for the tans and yellows,  but I think the colors in the clinic are perfect (green, cinnamon, and a pale yellow).  My vision for the clinic - warm and comfortable.  I want my patients to feel welcome. 

I envision my clinic as a place where patients are more than a number.  I want to know the patients by name.  I want to remember to apologize if they have to wait. I want them to know they can ask questions. I want the patient to feel like they can call anytime they have a concern. I will always remember to say "thank-you" to the patient for allowing me to be part of their healthcare team.  I refuse to forget the golden rule.

A little about my training - the last two weeks I haven't had the energy to get up and run in the morning. So, after working at the clinic, grading papers for the online classes I teach, I have been riding the stationary bike.  I get a couple of miles a night.

Riding the stationary bike has made me realize that I have lost muscle and stamina.  This  week my goal is to ride everyday.  Check back next week to see if I achieve my goal.
~ Connie ~