Tag Archives: nursing

Adventure


Back in August of 2010 I began the three year adventure to Nurse Practitionerhood. I am extremely pleased to report to you that this morning, with a swift click of the ‘send’ button, I have completed my program. On time. Two weddings and a funeral did not halt the march toward this goal and I think Mom would be proud. Sure I cried, kicked, and screamed at times but for the most part my way was paved pretty wide and easy. My National Health Corps scholarship enabled me to decline some hefty loans and be a full time student and my husband has paid our way through the last year. Thank you, sir.  I got to volunteer, study in a rural clinic across the country, and take on extra clinical hours. And now I am so ready to report for work.

After I pass the board exam, get licensed, and move to FLORIDA.

A smidge to the east of here.

That’s right. We are adventuring back to the motherland. Well, my motherland anyway. It’s time to repay Uncle Sam with two years of service in a medically under served area. Although Hawaii is sorely under served, God in his sovereignty shut some doors here and flung open the doors in Florida. It took some attitude adjustment on my part to even begin the interview process but after visiting Florida with Roger and receiving a few job offers, we fell head over heels for the idea. I will be working in a fantastic community health center in Brevard County (AKA, the Space Coast, previous home of the space shuttle and me!). I was thrilled with their orientation program for new graduates and the team they have serving the Brevard area. We have extended family all over Florida and Roger has been day dreaming of boats, fishing, wildlife, and about ten different jobs that he is perfectly suited for. We couldn’t be more excited about this new adventure.

All that stands between me and earning my keep is one more (huge) exam. I like to think of this whole process like American Gladiator. I’ve done the pyramid, I did the hang tough stuff. I got through the snapback and the joust. Now it’s time for the gauntlet…it’s time to break through and conquer baby. Final season, final event. Just wish I had the awesome leotard because I think it would really help on exam day.

I might need this soundtrack for studying.

I hope you are living your own adventure today. God is good and he has exciting plans. If you need a leotard or a soundtrack to remind you, go get it.

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Return of the Nerves


Well it’s been somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 weeks since I last wrote which likely means that it’s been about 6 weeks since I had anything freaking me out to the point of writing about it. But, never fear, I am back and armed with some nerves. I am preparing to take my Board exam in 6 months and start working as a Family Nurse Practitioner. I am thrilled. But there have been days recently when I listen to the wrong folks, read the wrong articles, and start fearing the start of the best career I can imagine.

So, here’s what you can do. Pick something you are scared of today. Or worried about. Or mulling over. Or crying in the rain about. And let’s talk through the Who, What, When, and Where of this.

Who are you listening to?
Listen to the people that know you, love you, or encourage you. Sometimes that’s not all the same person. But if it can be, listen up. They are the good folks. They may not say easy things all of the time but if all three of those things are in place, it’ll be worth considering. If you are listening to unhappy people, bitter people, or jealous people, you’ll be afraid. Or crazy trying to live up to some sad standards. But don’t blog about specific people that get you down. That would be gossip. So I won’t do it. Oh man, it’s so hard.

What are you doing with your time?
Let’s be real, if you’re worried about an exam, study. If you’re still worried, stop studying. If you are worried about exercise, go running. If you are still worried after a few miles, stop running. We need to figure out the right way to spend our hours and commit time to the work God has given us. Excellence takes time. But we also need to commit to rest. Because sanity takes rest. Work and rest. And repeat.

When are you doing your meltdown, worry-fests?
Figure out your patterns and commit to praying and reading some Scripture when you feel it coming on. I had a great guest lecturer this week talk about kidney failure. “You’ve got to prevent the onset or you’re chasing your damn tail.” So, in his brilliant words, let’s not chase our damn tails.

Now what?

Where are you looking?
Google is like today’s crystal ball. If you ask The Google every hour if your stomach ache is cancer or your salary is competitive or your house is depreciating, The Google will probably show you that you will die of cancer poor and homeless. Don’t look at The Google. Or the people who are better or worse than you. Stick your gaze straight in front, pick yourself up, and carry on (unless it’s time for a rest, then that’s fine). If you can’t see your way, stick to the last known direction until the fog clears. It will.

In summary: listen to the good folks, work and rest, don’t chase your damn tail, and don’t ask The Google.

I hope this helps you be brave today.

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Dawn Driving and Staying Brave


The Aussie and I share one car. We drive approximately four thousand miles a week but it’s ok. We figure that one car keeps our minds sharp. Like doing a crossword puzzle every day.

“I need to go from point A to point B through K today.”
“Ok, I will drop you at A and you walk to points B to C. Then I can meet you at D and catch the bus to points E through F.”
“Perfect, then I’ll drive the car to point G and we can go to H through J together before I go to K.”

We will never get Alzheimers.

If I want the car for the day, I wake up at 5 am and drive an hour west to take Roger to work. Actually he drives and I finish waking up by talking a lot. He must miss me when I don’t go with him. Poor guy. However, if you know anything about Honolulu traffic, the LAST thing you want to do is drive east between 6 and 8 am on a week day. So, instead of wasting hours of my life and an excessive amount of gas idling in traffic, I don’t go home immediately. Instead, I go to Starbucks. There are some interesting folks at a coffee shop just before 6 in the morning. But I probably fit right in since I am usually still wearing my pajamas. I read my Bible and my textbooks. And sometimes I write blogs. And I have realized that these early morning hours are FAR more productive than the late night hours. So, for now, I am pretty happy with this situation.

This morning I have been contemplating yesterday’s sermon at The Mission. Pastor Tripp encouraged us to consider the places that Jesus would go and the people he would engage with. No place is too scary, too dark. No person is too unlovable, too sinful, too lost. I consider myself a pretty friendly person but I can also be fearful. I try to be brave. But all too often my excuse for not going somewhere or doing something that Jesus would do is that I am just plain scared. I don’t want to be this way. Jesus stood in a really scary place a couple thousand years ago and told his disciples that his church would be built in these kinds of places. But he assured them and us that the gates of hell will not prevail against his church. Gates don’t march at us, we march at gates. And those gates won’t stand up to us. I think that loving purposefully and sincerely is a form of bravery.

So, today I determine once again to be brave. I will be brave at Starbucks and at Crossfit. I will be brave in classes and in the clinic. I will be brave at church and at home. And those gates won’t prevail.
Have a brave day.

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30 Ways I Plan to Make 2013 Superb


Photo: Love my twin:)

We had our first twin birthday party in years.

Happy January. Christmas is behind us and the new year before us and most importantly, I am now 30 years old. Ok, maybe not most importantly but this is the part of the holiday season that sticks with me the rest of the year. My new age. At this time last year, I was fresh off a break-up, decided to cancel a big move, stayed home and made my dad listen to me cry into my coffee cup every morning. My dad loved January last year.

Oh how much can happen in 365 days.

This holiday season was joyful. It was the first married merry Christmas for both the Beasleys and the Mitsudas. Sister Megan and I both enjoyed showing the husbands how the Barley family does Christmas. We aren’t big during-the-year-gift-givers but when it comes to Christmas, there’s no Secret Santa business. We’d rather spend less on each person than limit our shopping to one person. It’s a whole lot of fun. I also experienced more joy this year than last as I remembered Mom and missed her in a less overwhelming way. But there was still a giant missing piece and that will really never change no matter how many spouses and kids join the family.

Now, back on Oahu and jumping into work and school, Roger and I are looking forward to 2013 with hope, joy, and love. And, in honor of our mutual age of THIRTY, this is a list of 30 ways I plan to make it a superb year in big ways and small ways.

1. Learn to love those around us and each other in purposeful and practical ways.
2. Grow a hydroponic garden (that’s mostly Roger but I’ll be helpful)
3. Read the entire Bible.
4. Make new friends.
5. Show Roger around Florida.
6. Move to the North Shore.
7. Run.
8. Begin a saltwater fish tank (again, I’ll be helpful).
9. Graduate as an official Family Nurse Practitioner.
10. Pass the boards as an official Board-Certified Nurse Practitioner.
11. Work as an official Nurse practitioner (Yikes).
12. Do something at our new church besides show up.
13. Go see our Australia family.
14. Spend at least a week with Lindsey Evans somewhere on the globe.
15. Save someone’s life.
16. Get a puppy.
17. Stop white lying (I told a cashier yesterday I had been married 4 months when I’d been married six because I thought it sounded better. Why did I do that?!)
18. Collect handwritten recipes.
19. Assist with a birth.
20. Go to every wedding I’m invited to…in Hawaii.
21. Go to every funeral (It means a lot and I never ever knew that until last June).
22. Read a lot of books.
23. Talk about Jesus to friends and strangers.
24. Save someone else’s life (I figure I could do that twice).
25. Think of new ways to be an awesome wife.
26. Host dinner parties (I have to throw in a few easy ones, right?)
27. Go to the beach once a week (That one’s hard. Really.)
28. Pay credit card bills on time.
29. Vacuum (I hate it).
30. Enjoy every day of being thirty and look forward to every year after it.

Happy 2013 everyone.

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TDV…it’s not a disease.


I have a date. With a tall, dark, and handsome licensing exam. September 29. Mark your calendars for prayer, fasting, sack cloth, whatever. I made the decision on Wednesday and ran away to Oahu for a weekend of “Septoberfest” with friends, naps on Kailua beach, fancy brunch with girlfriends, and long conversations under the stars. It was amazing. It was not studying. Today I looked at drugs and IVs and side effects for eight solid hours, interrupted only by sister forcing smoothies on me. About the time I needed an IV hooked up with some straight happy infusing at maximum speed, Dad got me out the door for a walk.

Me: “I hate this. I’m going to fail. Too many knowledge gaps. Bad stuff. Crappity crap crap.”
Dad: “Can you re-take it if you fail?”
Me: “Not an option! I can’t fail! Crappity, say the opposite of what I just said, crap.”
Dad: “You are on the path you are meant to be on. God put you here. Wise stuff. Dad stuff.”
Me: “I hate studying for this thing.”
Dad: “I took the Bar exam and felt the same way. You will pass.”
Me: “Ok.”
Dad: “Make a schedule. Exercise. Trust. The End.”

Dad’s voice almost always trumps the lying voices in my head. The sermon this Sunday was about the community we cultivate and the voices that determine the trajectory of our life. Theoretically, we have five Trajectory Determing Voices that we listen to. Let’s call them TDVs. Well, one of my TDVs is absolutely my dad (surprise). And his voice usually tells me to exercise. Not because I am fat. I’m not…really. But because he hears the irrational edge in my voice when I’ve sat on my butt all day. Break up with a boyfriend? Dad, I’m neeeeeevvvveeerrrrrr getting maaaaarrrieeeed. Exercise. Queen of the World. Works like a charm.

Obviously, Dad says other things to me. That’s what TDVs do. All this nursing studying is making the abbreviation TDV look like a terrible disease. It’s not. He and Mom shaped me and set me on course with the things they said. Good, bad, and neutral. Dad is going to continue to be one of my main voices but as I progress in life, who else will I allow to speak into my decisions and my development as a person? We need to choose wisely…I’m pretty sure we can start listening to people by default when we really need to purposefully point our ears at the right words. The right community is essential.

So, figure out your TDVs and if you don’t know who they are, go get some. And exercise.

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Bugs and Buying Things: How to Feel Successful


I have my study all set up in the Ohana garage apartment. It’s comfortable and conducive to taking practice NCLEX exams. Apparently it is too comfortable because I started Diagnostic Test 1 with an above average score and by Test 4, I had plunged to well below average. About the time I viewed my miserable results yesterday afternoon, I began to feel a lone mosquito buzzing around and feasting on my calves. Now when a lone bug gets into the ohana unit, it’s really got nowhere to go. And my porky terrier makes it his doggone mission to get that bug. Jasper and I made 15 minutes of valiant bug smacking attempts before I decided that not only can I not pass a practice version of How To Start My Nursing Career, I can’t even smack a bug. A bug sluggish from a calf feast. So I slammed the door shut on everything unsuccessful and went to buy something. Anything. At least I can be successful at Ross. Turns out I needed some really pretty lemon handsoap for the bathroom.

This morning I woke up feeling moderately more capable. I spent some time with Jesus and felt even better. Psalm 130 told me to wait for the Lord with my whole being…as a watchman waits for the morning. I can do that because I have seen it work before. When life is completely out of control and I can’t do anything else, I can wait. Morning does come. My prayers are pretty simple these days: God please help. With everything. Amen. Well, I try to be more specific. But that is the basic theme and I don’t feel guilty. A friend told me a few weeks ago that he had trouble praying for himself. It felt selfish. People, we gotta get over that one. If we can’t pray for ourselves, we aren’t going to be much good at praying for others. That’s my preach for today.

So, I marched back into the study today, heard that freaking bug and didn’t sit down till I squashed him dead. He was quick today after being starved out all night.

But Jasper and I were quicker.

 

 

 

 

The porky terrier doesn’t rest until I show him the insect carcass.

 

 

He is now sleeping the peaceful sleep of a victory won. And I am fixing to hit the books. Success will be mine because I am waiting for the Lord. I am giving him my family and their grief, my friends and their problems, my hopes and dreams, and my fears and failures. Life is out of my control but firmly in God’s control.

In the meantime I will buy household goods and squash practice exams.

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Homestretch


I’m in the homestretch. Thank you for every form of encouragement that has come my way in the past two days. I must have worried a few people with my last post. I’m doing okay, folks…make-up intact, hopes high, and in the homestretch of this academic adventure of a year.

It doesn’t seem like long ago that I got a voicemail calmly congratulating me on being accepted into the University of Hawaii’s Masters Entry Program into Nursing. I very uncalmly called my mom to tell her I knew exactly what God wanted me to do for the next three years and I couldn’t say it without crying. Of course. I had to walk back into a Biology lab all happy and snotty.

And today I had my last lecture with my great little cohort of future Advance Nurses and current world-changers.

These 28 people are pretty amazing

In three weeks we will all go our separate graduate class ways. My way will lead me back to Kona for six months.

And.I.can’t.wait.

What is it about this tropical little town of Kailua-Kona that calls for periods in the wrong places in my sentences? Well, let me share.

Photo by Eric Franke. Check out more Kona shots and other amazing work at his website. http://www.efrankevisuals.com

The Top Ten Reasons I.Can’t.Wait. for Kona

1. To share a room with my sister again…complete with sundeck, garden, and room AC. Yes.

2. To do all of the things my four-year-old niece lists on the voicemails she leaves me…”when you come back from Wahoo, we can color and play and eat candy and bake cookies and watch movies and go to the park and eat hot dogs and pizza”…basically we will eat.

3. To go on twin dates (with my twin. Not dates that are exactly alike)

4. To stop downloading sermons and hear Dad for real.

5. To see faces I’ve known for more than half my life. Including the bank tellers that hug me, the grocery store clerks that ask about the church barbeque, and the one lady at Costco who always remembers my name.

6. To go to the drive-through Starbucks.

7. To have a porky little terrier named Jasper follow me everywhere.

8. To come home from church and fill up the couches with people, put on a DVD, and do a crossword puzzle.

9. To go to the Kona Brew Pub (best beer and ranch dressing you’ll ever find) , Jackie Rey’s (I seriously feel like an important person there), Peaberry and Galette (click gallery, featured artists, scroll almost to the bottom. But the crepes are also good), and  Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.(all those good looking people in the ads are my friends and family. No really. Go look.)

10. To work and play in the place my family calls home. Together.

You can come home to Kona too, if you want. I will share Living Stones Church with you and the drive-through Starbucks, maybe even park days with my nieces. But the porky terrier probably won’t follow you. Sorry.

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