Clinical nerves

So, just a quick update on the clinical front. I went up to my clinical site again last Thursday to take the policies and procedure course (taught by Ms. V, and honestly, very well done—these classes are always a bit of a chore, but she was brisk and humorous and helped us zero in on exactly what we needed to know for the exam at the end…and amazingly, she managed to get the entire class done in 3.5 hours!). And, after a few rounds of phonecalls between my program director, the clinical coordinator at my school, and Ms. V, which culminated in my school faxing a copy of my malpractice insurance to Ms. V, I was finally able to get my security clearance!! Thank goodness that’s done! However, I haven’t yet taken my computer class. Nor have I been able to get my ID card, because when I went up to the hospital again on Friday to go to the security office, I learned (much to my complete and total annoyance) that the ID machine was *broken*. Bah. Three cheers for yet another unecessary 2 hour commute to the Bronx.

Nevertheless, all is in good standing, and I will finally be starting my clinicals tomorrow. To say that I am nervous is a bit of an understatement. I’ve been panicking at random moments throughout the day and grilling myself with questions that I know I knew at some point, but have since forgotten the answers to, such as: exactly how much weight pregnant women are supposed to gain every week during each trimester, and exactly how many micrograms of Vitamin A is necessary for proper nutrition (and how many micrograms is too much), and Vitamin C, and folic acid, and calcium, and Iron, and what’s the normal hematocrit and hemoglobin for pregnant women during each trimester, and if a woman has a yeast infection, exactly what do I prescribe, and at how many weeks gestation does the fundal height begin to correlate to the number of weeks she’s been pregnant (22 weeks or 24 weeks?), and what’s the MSAFP test for, and what’s a normal glucose tolerance test result, and what screening tests are re-done at 28 weeks? Aaaaaaaah!

I feel like I don’t know anything, and I am rather petrified, because tomorrow I’m going to have a white coat on, and be talking with pregnant women who are going to see that white coat and think that I have a clue, when really, I don’t. The very thought leaves me cold. I was up until 2:00 am last night cramming, and the rest of tonight is going to be devoted to cramming as well, and putting the final touches on my “little black book” (my cheat sheet book, aka my peripheral brain, as one of our professors called it). All I can say is: I really hope my preceptors are nurturing and patient, and willing to let me shadow them for a day or two before throwing me into rooms by myself.

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