A few weeks ago, my friend Jenna and I went on a walk. She is a nurse as well, so after many hours spent within the hospital walls, we needed some sunshine and fresh air. Couldn’t everyone benefit from more of that?
So we wandered about our town and came upon a little autumn sanctuary. A grove of trees, fallen logs, crisp air, and fall hues surrounded us. It was an autumn lovers dream.
Sometimes (all the time) it a good idea to step away from screens and savor nature. We listened to the crunch of leaves under our feet, felt the breeze fly by our cheeks, and enjoyed the moment we were in.
Did any of you read the Little House on the Prairie series? I grew up on those books. This scene brings me back to ‘On the Banks of Plum Creek’.
I used to dream about living out in nature, in a little home burrowed into a knoll, like the Wilders. While today I am glad my home isn’t subterranean, it is nice to know of a place where I can go to be transported back to that childhood feeling of wistfulness and wonderment. Like sunshine and fresh air, I think we could all use more of those things as well.
For this task, I couldn’t just wait around and expect someone to put something together, so I took matters into my own hands!
The truth is, I had been thinking about this one for a long time. I would drive to my nursing courses and a song would come onto the radio…and off my mind would wander. I dreamt about our pinning ceremony (nursing graduation) and a speech that turns into something more, something unexpected.
I kept this to myself for a while, then jokingly brought it up to some of my friends in class. “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we suddenly broke into dance during pinning???”
And to my surprise, they locked eyes with me, and said, “Oh my gosh, we have to do that.”
And so it began.
It became the pet project of my friend Danielle and I. We slowly took it to various classmates and pitched it to them. We wanted to make our pinning FUN, a true celebration of all of our hard work.
We were amazed at how many people were into it. We were amazed at how well our classmates could dance. We were amazed at how much flippin’ fun we had.
Danielle and I pitched song ideas to a group of enthused classmates and settled on “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats. Yeah. Awesome.
We dedicated three days to choreographing it. We sought out moves from YouTube, Danielle’s zumba class, and our own freestylin’ ways.
For MONTHS, we secretly met at a park and practiced. We set standing practice times for people to show up, and you know what? They did.
Our classmates rocked! They worked so hard to get it down. We collaborated with the engineering and sound department of the school to arrange the music and we were ready.
The main challenge became figuring out when to do it during the ceremony. The nursing faculty had a tight grip on things. We ended up signing me up to give a speech, wrote a brief intro to it, and added in a cue for everyone to take their place.
We titled it: Doing the Safety Dance: Improving Outcomes and Finding your Rhythm
Bahaha. We thought it was hilarious.
When the time came, we did awesome. No one had a clue what was going on. The staff, our families, and the audience was surprised. We had so much fun.
And to top it off, our classmate Mary got us all yellow “high falls risk” socks to wear during the dance. If you’ve ever been in or worked in a hospital, you know patients wearing yellow socks are considered a high falls risk. It is a little sign for staff to keep an extra eye out to ensure their safety. So it was only appropriate that we all wore them during our safety dance.
So here it is! In case the video doesn’t load here, HERE is the link to the YouTube video my friend Greg posted.
I am still amazed we did it all and pulled it off. What a celebration. I am so grateful to have been in such an incredible nursing class. Rockstars, all of them.
In the past six months, my life has flipped-turned upside down. I now understand just exactly what the Fresh Prince was rappin’ about.
On one hand it feels like I am just doing my thang. One day at a time, I am learning, growing, and moving forward. It feels pretty settled. Then I look at the other hand and am like, “Woah! Bear Claw!?!?! What happened????!?!?!”
My (very cloudy) point is, when I slow down and reflect on my life today versus life just six months ago. The change is profound.
So what happened?
i graduated nursing school, i got a brother in law! i became an RN, i moved, i adjusted to living on my own, i started a new job, i met new people, i missed past people, some people moved further away, others needed time to heal, we all needed time to heal.
Some things are personal and just aren’t safe to talk about on the interwebz, so I’m just going to share a bitty bit on my job.
When I took this chance on myself two and half years ago, I never imagined life would be this incredible. I work at the best place (for me, that is). I am supported by my coworkers and my supervisors. I am learning every day (and night) and my teachers are everyone; my manager and preceptors, other nurses, my patients, E – the sweetest housekeeper, patients’ sons (and husbands, sisters, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents), physician’s, robot doctors (aka the telecommuting doc), nursing aids, the chaplain, RT, hospice workers, and social workers. I started praying that I would be ‘teachable’ at the beginning of each shift because there is just so much to learn. I am grateful I work in a place that welcomes questions and am surrounded by people who will help.
At the end of every shift, I shuffle back to my car. The air is cold and my legs are tired. I plop down in my seat and become engulfed in a feeling of satisfaction. Even on the hardest days (/nights), when you are just doing your absolute best, but it seems like there is just so much MORE that you need to do on top of that, I end up with this feeling. I know I am where I am meant to be. I know I will continue to learn and grow with time and experience.
These past six months have been a soulful workout. I have seen and experienced more than I ever could have predicted, but I feel better for it. It is like after a good cry (and you know I love those), you feel cleansed, but also fortified? I guess that is how it feels when I sit down and think about it.
Oh! And guess what? I think I might like night shift! Cool, huh? I’m only two weeks deep now, so we shall see how it goes with time. I credit my pack of night shifting friends who have been giving me step-by-step guidelines on how to survive. They’re awesome.