Monthly Archives: March 2013

My car and my parents made it to Cali!

So this will be the 3rd time I am writing this post cause wordpress is SUCKING and just deletes the words I put on my post and replaces it with only pictures. Grr!! But I’d like to rewrite it so my parents can actually see what I said.

As most of you already know, my parents are awesome. So awesome that they drove my car 2,850 miles across the country so I could have it with me in Cali. The things they do for their favorite daughter! (aka sugie or angel.) I have always said that the day I got my license was one of the best days of my life and that remains true til this day. Not having my car for the past week sucked! A week without a car is a long time people, I gave up a lot of independence. I am so thankful to have such amazing, selfless parents to do me such a HUGE favor. I am also thankful to Alex and my roommates for driving me to and from work (among other places.) Can’t wait to drive around with the sunroof open in my CRV!

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WOO.. she fits in the garage!

Even better than having my car here, I got to have my parents here for a day and a half. Their time here was short, but we definitely made the most of it. I couldn’t believe how much I missed them, after only a week! When they got here I gave them a grand tour of the house, they were impressed. We had a few drinks before heading to a fancy dinner at In-n-Out burger (or inside out burger as my mom called it.) My mom and I had never been there but we were definitely impressed with the burgers, the fries not so much. My mom is a pretty big burger critic, so I was glad she liked it. After dinner, we headed back to my parents hotel and watched Dancing with the Stars. Traditional Monday night with the roomies. It was pretty low key, but it was a good time!

The next day was packed, starting with a tour in LA, which is about 30 minutes north of where I live. We took “the ultimate multimedia tour of Los Angeles, Hollywood & Beverly hills.” The pro’s of the tour: it was guided by the owner of the company and he definitely knew a lot. It was a small van so it was a very personal feel. He used movie clips, music and videos throughout that definitely enhanced the tour. The downside was it was 5 hours long! By the end we were ready to jump out of that van. You can only see so many celebrity front yards and tops of houses. Scenes from the tour:

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When the tour was complete, we roamed around the farmers market and the grove, an outdoor shopping mall. The market was pretty big with your typical vendors. We grabbed a bite to eat and got a drink. The grove and farmers market are actually located right next to the CBS studio & THE PRICE IS RIGHT! It killed my mom to be so close and not get on the show! I didn’t even think to get tickets.

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Mom & Dad “enjoying” the faarmer’s market

After the grove we took them for a quick car tour of Santa Monica. We hit a few hot spots including the Santa Monica Pier and The 3rd Street Promenade. The 3rd street promenade is another outdoor mall. These outdoor malls are great! There is plenty of shopping with the best stores, street entertainment and restaurants. Next we headed to the beach towns. First up: Manhattan beach. We explore the tour and grabbed a few pictures then headed to Manhattan beach. We went to an Irish pub right on the beach for happy hour. We enjoyed a few drinks during the sunset and finally headed to Redondo Beach. We had dinner and more drinks at Blue Water Grill. A seafood restaurant at a marina on the water. The service was excellent at the food was even better! Can’t wait to get back there. Between happy hour and dinner, we were feeling good! We took my parents back to their hotel so they could start to pack up to head back east.

My time with my parents was short but it was great to show them around the area and to have them see where I live. I am already trying to convince them to come back out here! I promise we can go to The Price is Right next time, Mom!

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Sunset on Hermosa Pier

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Moonrise on Hermosa Pier

Lesson learned: Write posts in Word then copy them to wordpress. I am off to drink wine and watch Ted! Hopefully I don’t fall asleep. Hope everyone had a great easter!!

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The reason I came here.. work

So it’s been a little while, but I had my first few nights at work. To my surprise, I got to orient (work with another nurse) for 2 nights, as opposed to the 1 night they told me I was going to get. I was OH SO THANKFUL for this extra night! There is NO WAY you can learn everything you need to know about a unit and documentation in 1 night. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t learn it in 2 either but you can feel a heck of a lot more comfortable than having just 1 night. 

You may remember, I was excited to start work because of the people being so nice! So, I went in to my first night with a good attitude. The first night, I let the girl who was orienting me do the nursing related tasks, such as assessments and passing meds, while I focused on documenting and trying to familiarize myself with the computer. I think this was a good plan on my part because now I feel pretty confident with the computer system. I didn’t need time to learn assessments and passing meds because I’ve been doing this for a year and a half now, and that kind of thing doesn’t change from hospital to hospital. 

My second night, I took 3 patients (2 and an admission) to get used to doing everything for my patients. I was not expecting the patient’s at this hospital to be as sick as they are. They are very high acuity (meaning they require a lot of care.) Even considering that, my second night orienting went pretty smooth. So I was feeling pretty confident about my first night by myself.

First night alone.. wanted to kill myself. Most of you know I’m a huge baby so it probably comes as no surprise that at the end of my shift I broke down in tears claiming I never want to step foot in that hospital again!! (Don’t worry I didn’t have this break down on the unit, I waited to get in the car with Alex.) 3 out of my 4 patients could not walk, 2 couldn’t talk and had NG tube’s/couldn’t swallow. The other 2 were completely Spanish speaking and completely Vietnamese speaking. And everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Think: patient pulls out NG tube, PICC lines not working, critically low blood sugars. It was AWFUL! It was a terrible night for any nurse, add on the fact that I am not familiar with the unit or computer system. I hated feeling like a new grad again! I had to ask questions every five minutes and didn’t know where anything was. My confidence was shot to the ground.

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Me after my first night alone

Needless to say I was dreading my second night back on that unit! But with Alex’s help and trying to convince myself that it would be OK, I worked up my courage. I told myself over and over again that it was just a bad night at work. Yes, the patient’s on the unit are very sick (A LOT of them right on the verge of dying) but not every night will consist of (seemingly) everything going wrong. And my second night was awesome! The patient’s on this unit will continue to be very sick, but everything seemed to go quite smoothly. A few things did go wrong, but that’s life! And I was able to handle it. I was delighted with the fact that I didn’t have to ask many questions and I became oriented to the unit much quicker than I thought! I’m even doing really well with documentation, I finished before the 2 staff nurses in my pod did! After my second night alone, I have my confidence back and I am prepared to face that floor again. 

Looking back, I think it was a good thing that my first night was so terrible. The only way to  go from the bottom, is up! I realize that this new job is not going to be all rainbows and butterflies. There are going to be some really hard times, but there will be good times too. I know this is going to be a great learning experience as a nurse and I will be a much better RN because of it, and that is an amazing feeling!

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Where I work

 

Where I live

I don’t know about you, but when I am reading about or talking to someone, I like to picture where they are. So I decided I would take a few snapshots of where I live! I already introduced you to my roommates, Christian and Mandy. We live in a 3 bedroom townhouse on the border of Redondo beach and Torrance.

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Kitchen

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Dining Area

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Wet bar, duh!

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Living room, complete with fireplace and fancy tv!

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Front yard, yes that is a hot tub and pool!

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Messy, unfinished bedroom (finished pics to come!)

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Bathroom, I share with Mandy

That’s pretty much it! I gotta get some sleep before my first night of work tonight!

Made it to Cali!

By now, most of you already know that I made the move cross country to California! It was hard to relay this information to everyone, since I gave up social media for lent. But for those of you who didn’t know.. SURPRISE! As of now, I will be living in Redondo Beach, CA until June 20th. I am working at Providence Little Company of Mary on a tele unit as a travel nurse. 

I flew out to California on Sunday, March 17th. I couldn’t have picked a better day to arrive! I flew Southwest and received a free alcoholic beverage on the plane.. woo! When I arrived to my new house my roommates, Christian and Mandy were ready to celebrate the day with a bar crawl in Hermosa Beach. “It’s like spring break every day in Hermosa!” Is what they told me. I was on board! A large part of the reason I wanted to move was because I wanted to have more fun than I was having in Baltimore. This place seems like it will be right up my alley. The bar crawl was a blast and a great opportunity to get to know my roommates better, they are awesome! 

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^ Mandy & Christian after a great St. Patrick’s day in Hermosa! 

I didn’t plan much downtime between my arrival and starting my job, my first day was Monday. Fortunately, it was just a small unit orientation and I was only there for 4 hours. I am so excited to start working there. It is a small hospital, about the same size as Mercy and everyone I met was so nice! I can tell that it is a very team-work oriented unit which is exactly what I was hoping for. The hardest part of leaving Mercy was leaving the awesome team work we had behind, because I know you won’t find that everywhere. I start work on Wednesday night and I am actually looking forward to it!

Since I have been here I have been relying solely on Alex to get me everywhere I need to go. He has been awesome! Considering I needed to fly out here so quickly to start work on Monday, I am without a car. My parents are the best and they are driving my car out here! So in 1 week, I will be a free woman again! Looking forward to that day!

Today, I am going to organize my room as best I can (still stalking craigslist for a dresser), take a walk around the neighborhood to explore a little and organize my finances. I am loving life here after just 2 days and I am pumped to see what the next 3 months have to offer! 

I decided to start this blog for me and you. I think it will be a good way for me to keep a journal for myself, while letting my friends and family know everything I am doing in California. I hope that you guys follow along and I can keep you well informed on my journey! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂