Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday, Sunday

Hey all, it's been a few days! I haven't been up to much this weekend, just cruising around a little bit and getting more familiar with my surroundings. I got really involved in a book so I just finished that last night, it is called "The Kindness of Strangers" and it was a really involved read. It was about a family that was quite complicated and took on a foster kid who was also very complicated. I enjoyed it, check it out if you like a good read.
I found a mall today called Northfield Mall and it's all outdoors, so it was nice to wander from store to store in the bright/hot sun. I spent some cashola, gots some tanks and a couple new bras from Vic's's their semi-anual sale so I got a few good deals! I love a good deal!
I'm at the "club house" signing up for taxes and direct deposit for work, it was rather easy and quick and now I'm gonna do some homework or read in the sun, whichever sounds better...I'm thinking I'll end up involved in my next book!
I work tonight and tomorrow, my last two days of orientation, I feel like I could get off by tomorrow (oh! that's what she said!! Ha) but I have both nights as an orientee. Just have to deal with Barb being extremely anal...sigh
For those of you who know Maggie Sheehan, she's out here in Denver, working at UCH in the outpatient Oncology department. I spent some time chatting with her yesterday, catching up on Saint's gossip. She and her signifcant other (Jonathan) live out here with their son. She's my one contact here...although Mrs. Fields hooked me up with a family friend too. It's good to have the ability to call someone local and get out sometimes. Dave Fritzler was right, sometimes it can be hard out by yourself, but I hope to meet a few more people at work in the next couple weeks.
Well, this was gonna be a short post but like all my emails, messages and talks it turned into quite an entry!
My pool should be done soon, they have more landscaping and cement pouring on the cabana to do but I'm hopeful that by next weekend I can spend some leisure time by the pool...thank gosh!
Be well!
P.s. I forgot to mention that the first person I met on my unit was singing! So that gave me great hope that I have a fun time ahead of me!!! Unfortunately he works days...oh well. I'll break them in slow to my craziness I suppose (c:
Peace out homey!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I will survive!

Well, I wanted to post right away after I got home because I know many of you are sitting on the edge of your seats, poised to find out how it went... (c: Ok, well, maybe not but I can dream right?
I survived, it went well and I met a few really nice people. My preceptor is as anal as ever and it makes Mott look like a slacker. Can I tell you how irritated I was when Barb (my preceptor) came into the room as I drawing my labs and says to me, "Make sure you invert those tubes completely 10 times....they aren't like the old glass ones, you need to move the blood around." I was like, "seriously? what I look like I was a nurse when there were glass vials for blood?! Hello?!" and she watched me to make sure I turn those tubes up and over 10 complete times...I felt like smacking her. She was very nice though, just very anal and I have two more orientation shifts, which I kind of feel like would be a waste but whatever. Then she would drop the f-bomb and I had to stop and really listen...seriously, she was a bit odd.
The computer system they work with is ok, takes a bit to get used to but I'm getting the hang. There is a lot of extra work and charting I think, let me put it this way, to chart my 8 o'clock assessment I have to chart in 7 different took me about an hour and a half, not because I'm totally unfamiliar but because there are so many damn things to click on! I was beyond irritated to think that as soon as I finished my first assessment, the next was due. Here came the relief, you can copy your first assessment into your next two assessments...that was really nice. And they use soo much paper it's unbelievable, they print out what they call the care plan (nothing like ours) and it's about 10 pages...they print that at least 2x a day! I'm finding it hard to not say something...and the labs which are available on computer, they print those too and put them in the charts! Jeez, I was like, save a tree?
Didn't have anything too exciting for patients, a dude who was trached and another who is nearing the end of his life. No vents at this point, maybe by Sunday?
I'm getting sleepy, so I'm gonna close for now. Have a good day while I'm snoozing!
Peace out!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

First night jitters

Well, I'm dressed and poised to go to my first shift of work! I can't tell you how big the knot of nerves are in my stomach....I keep wondering about the type of people I'll be with. Melissa's comments about my OMGs, swearing storms and sing-a-longs makes me wonder if they'll think I'm totally weird or touched? (c: I guess I'll find out! I have my trusty Toy Story lunch box packed with snacks and lots of soda!!! I managed to stay awake until about midnight....ugh! and napped about an hour today so we'll see how it goes huh?
Alright, I will shoot off soon, wish me luck!


It's not late here, I wish it's only 10:50 and my goal is to stay up as late as I can. Is it bad news that I could easily fall asleep now? Yes! I need to flip to the night shift...ugh! That perpetual tired feeling even when I get enough sleep. That's the only part I'm not looking forward to. Here's to staying up as late as possible tonight (hopefully I make it past midnight) and napping tomorrow before my first night shift.
Sleep tight!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Hola! Tis another day in Denver, it's 10:40a.m. (remember, 2 hours behind MI) and I've just finished replying to some emails and thought I should update my blog as well. To the left is the main part of the hospital in which I'll be working on the 10th floor, I found out that I'm scheduled in the Cardiac ICU (CICU) instead of the medical and I'm happy with this because I'm hoping to see more balloon pumps and heart stuff (since that's my true medical love) than in medical where people kept mentioning the DT patients. (whom I don't enjoy as much) So, that was good news. (c: I have my first night shift tomorrow, Thursday and I orient with another nurse for 3 shifts then I'm on my own the night of 4th of July! I'm quite excited.

More about the hospital, they are a large transplant hospital doing liver (including live donors and cadavers), lung (one lobe all the way to all lobes!), kidney and heart and bone marrow! (I'm really hoping I can get into the Surg ICU some day and get some experience with those heart transplants).
It is not level 1 trauma, but they are working back towards that, they are Magnet status for a while now, meaning they follow evidence based practice, nursing drives many policies and procedures and it's ranked in the top 10 hospitals in the country (according to US Weekly or something like that). The campus is new, they moved a year ago, which was a big process and they shut down Colfax (which is the main road in front of the hospital, think 28th street busy and Division/Wealthy quality) to shuttle all the patients in ambulances and they helicoptered some. The hospital is a large teaching hospital and get this, the doctors are expected to get their own consents from patients, label their own blood specimens and chart things (the rationale: how else will they learn if we always do it for them! I was told nurses have more important and critical things to take care of! Sweet!) There is a health sciences part of the college on this campus and it has medical, nursing and pharmacy schools. They are out of beds too which is amazing because they just moved, and they are about to break ground on a new tower to add beds to the hospital because they have patients who are admitted, housed and discharged from their ER holding! Amazing!
Enough about that, I'll be able to get you the inside scoop in the next couple weeks after I've been working for a bit.
I'm off today, gonna run some errands and stay up late I think. Maybe I'll try to catch a movie? I guess I'll have to find a theater to do that 'ey?
Well, my battery is about the die on me so I'll take that as my que, I'll write again soon!
Talk to you lata!
Oh, I have my schedule through mid-August, if you want to come for a weekend, let me know! I have plenty of space in my 1BR and wouldn't mind the company. (just throwing it out there).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Every day's a new day.

Well, as I predicted, things have improved and I'm feeling better and less lonely. I had my first day of "work" today, although it was simply orientation to the computer system and scanning meds before I give them. It was a long 9 hour day of blah, blah, blah and just a bit too much enthusiasm from the instructor. I guess you'd have to make the most of it if that was your job. Not to mention, UCH is preparing for a visit from JAACHO (what are the abbreviations?), which is the commission that "grades" the hospital (for the non-medical people) on their policies, etc. We had a few issues, getting kicked out of the computer room we were in and then a fire drill and some computer gliches. Was it a full moon today? (c:
I have one last day of orientation tomorrow, that should entail a tour of the hospital, keep in mind it is a new facility, they moved about a year ago. It has 12 floors I believe, I will be in Medical ICU (I think I get to float too) which is on the 2nd floor. I briefly saw the unit today in search of my schedule, which I didn't find, and it looks nice. I met one girl, Nicole I think was her name, but will meet more in the next week or so I'm sure.
Now that I've started, I feel better and excited. I will bring my camera tomorrow and take a picture of the hospital so you can see it. Thanks for the support after my difficult day yesterday, I miss my Saint Mary's family (Julie and Mary-dogg!!! and all the rest of the gang).
A big hug out to my friend Amy, who lost two people in her life in the last 5 days, please think of her as she grieves her losses, I love you Amers!!
Talk to ya'll lata!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

All by myself....

Dropped Joc at the airport this morning, had a nice workout at the gym and did some grocery shopping. Feeling a little lonely right now, anxious to get my work started and get moving on a new position. I have the fight or flight instinct kicking in and feel like fleeing honestly. It's weird to be alone after so long, it's a bit hard to get used to I guess. I think I thought that I'd be just fine, and I will be, but today will be tough I know. I'm gonna settle in to do some homework and a little reading, I have a stack of books I brought to catch up on.
Check in with me tomorrow, I'll be better I'm sure of it.
Be well, jenn

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Live at Red Rocks!

Well, it was a good Saturday, the last day of Joc's time in Denver with me. We had a pretty productive day and saw some good sights in and around Denver. I started the day by completing my homework, which at times I find it difficult to focus but know I will buckle down. I am half way through the semester which is hard to believe. I was thinking, I will finish a semester and get half way through my fall one while I'm out west. That's a bit amazing to me, it will help the time fly I suppose. I've been in school for a year now, only 2 to go, but I get next summer off. Anyway! I bet you don't care much about that at all. Let me tell you what was seen today.
We ventured to the West of Denver to a city known as Golden, Colorado where many of the greedy moved to back in the gold rush days. The lady said that they found much gold in their river back then, I thought about going to look for some but figured it would be a waste of time (c: While in Golden, we went to a brewery some of you might be familiar with, Coors... The tour was free, self guided and includes 3 free beers at the end. Did you know that Coors brews Killians, Blue Moon, Zima and Molsen Canada? Well, they do. It was a nice late morning, early afternoon tour. We had lunch in Golden then ventured a bit south to a place called Red Rocks. There is a forest (of course, those things are everywhere around here!) but the thing we were going for was the amphitheatre. Greats such as Dave Matthews have played that amphitheatre. And if you are thinking it's just like Meijer gardens or DTE you are way off! I was amazed at what the glaciers left behind and how man formed a little stage around it. Of course the rocks are red and it's a bit up into the mountains. We were actually unable to go into the actual stage area because Allison Krause and Robert Plant were setting up for their concert. But we did a little hiking around it, it was hot out and we were in flip flops so we didn't get too serious.
Lastly, we hit downtown Denver, an area known as LoDo (lower downtown). We had dinner and a few beers at a bar across from the Coors Field where the Rockies were playing the Mets. It was a nice cap to the evening.
We felt old as we walked to the car as the young people flocked to the bars to get their grove on while we headed home to sleep and get Joc packed for her flight.
I'm gonna add a few pictures from our day, Joc took some with the big SLR camera and will be getting me the disk, then I can post other ones if I see fit.
Don't have too much planned for my Sunday, might call a friend who lives here and chill. I guess I'll play it by ear. Hope everyone's Saturday is going well and I'll talk to ya'll later!

Don't miss these!

Just a few more pictures...
Walking around Bear Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park...

Looks like I'm standing in the rapids, don't be fooled! I'm only on the edge...

My humble homework station, I feel like I'm camping most of my days, since I have two camping chairs (like the one my butt is occupying) and bought the table, which is for camping. Gets the job done, easy to transport in a car and relatively inexpensive. It'll do for 3 months.

This was a cow that was outside in Stapleton, the neighborhood that is in walking distance from my apartment. We met a friend for dinner and couldn't pass up a picture with the cow.

Friday, June 20, 2008

God's Country

These are just a few pictures from Joc and I's trek up north of Denver to the Rocky Mountains, it was breathtaking to say the least. Enjoy!
At the entrance to the park, a nice woman from Chicago offered us her pass to get into the park, $20 saved! Nice! She told us what to definitely do...Bear Lake because it's beautiful and semi-easy for beginning hikers like us.

We stopped on our way up the mountain to eat lunch by this nice water spot, I don't want to call it a creak or river....I think it's a run off from the snowy peaks...I don't know...I could be making it all up too! It was just a nice view and of course, beautiful!

Approaching Bear Lake, we had to park and hike just a little bit up, don't get this image in your head of me with a walking stick...there are paved sidewalks and a boardwalk around the lake...I only broke a small sweat because the sun was hot and high in the sky. It was a glorious adventure though.
Opps, this copied sideways, sorry. What I want you to notice is the snow that I'm standing on in my capris and tank top. The sun was out, the wind was cool and there was still a significant amount of snow on the trail...sweet!

Dang, another sideways shot... just a shot up the mountain with some trees. I'll say it one more time, beautiful. We were definitely in God's country up there.

A new day

Well, it's another gorgeous day in Denver and I am just sitting on my small balcony overlooking some houses with multiple dogs barking (my neighbors back home would just LOVE the noise these animals can make!! "this used to be a quiet neighborhood...).  I am collecting data for my next assignment for school about STDs and HIV in MI, and thinking strongly about going for a run.  Seems the day will go quickly today, I have a couple appointments at the hospital I have to go to, one to sign my contract and the other to get my health screening completed. Yesterday, Joc and I drove by the hospital, it's about 2.5 miles from my apartment and situated in a poor neighborhood.  The hospital is beautiful and big, looks quite new (it is) and the campus is very nice.  I hope to ride my bike to and from work but Joc is worried about the neighborhood...I'm pretty sure I'd be fine but I'll get my feelers out...I see many bikers in this city (there is said to be some 200 bike trails around the joint) so I think I'd be fine...but I'll see how my first couple days go.  
Yesterday, we drove to Boulder (about 30 mins North of Denver) and up to the Rocky Mountains.  We took some great pics and I'll get those posted soon, we did some minor hiking around Bear Lake and there was snow still in some areas, yet the sun was out and we were in shorts and tanks.  We walked around the historic Pearl Street shopping area in Boulder (it's a quaint little town with the University of Colorado located there) and had a beer on the roof of a bar.  It was hot and sunny but I can honestly tell the difference between the humidity, it's a hot hot, not that sticky hot hot. You know? (c: Joc thinks I'm crazy too, don't worry.
Today, other than the hospital, we hope to get over to Golden, where the Coors brewing factory is and take a tour, and maybe get to downtown Denver for some walking.
I'm off to run and get ready for the day, hope this finds you all well.
I'll post some pictures from the Rockies later, adios!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A few pics of our trip

I uploaded some pictures and wanted to post a few...enjoy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rocky Mountain High

The we are crossing the mighty Mississippi, I have better shots on my camera but this will do for now...

Speed limits ranged from 70s in MI, 65 in IL, 70 in MO, 65-70 in KS and 75!! in CO...when will MI do this??? We all drive that fast anyway!

Hey all, Joc and I arrived in Denver CO today (18th of June) and moved me into my quaint and cozy studio apartment. I am on the edge of a run down neighborhood but if I go one block north, it's a new, up and coming neighborhood with lots of trendy shops and houses. I feel pretty good about the location, and the complex is nice, my car is in a gated area and there's a nice clubhouse with a workout area and free wireless...that'll be nice for my schoolwork.
We haven't seen much of Denver yet, we spent all of the last couple days in the car. We left GR MI Tuesday afternoon (our goal was 12 and we hit the road right on time at 3!!!), my mother and Joc were quite concerned with the state of Iowa post flooding and high rivers, so we decided to head a bit farther south and cut across Missouri and Kansas instead of Iowa and Nebraska. Tuesday we drove straight through Illinois (10 hours with some stops) and into St. Louis, Missouri. We stopped to admire the swollen Mississippi River (there was noted flooding in the lower streets of St. Louis) and the arch which apparently is the "gateway to the Midwest" but we thought it was pretty. I will attach a picture if I remember. We trudged onward Tuesday night, wanting to get part way through Missouri before sleeping, we made it about half way and stayed in a Days Inn off the highway. A record 5 hour stay since we were up and running the next morning because we knew Kansas was gonna be a long haul. And we were right!!!! Talk about flat land and nothingness! I can see how the tornado can rip through those farms. It took us about 11.5 hours to complete the journey today and we rolled into Aero Flats at about 5 pm Denver time (2 hours behind MI) just as we'd planned. I signed the lease, got my keys and we moved in.
Tomorrow, we have plans to head north to Boulder and the Rocky Mountain national forest, I need to do some homework and a bit more shopping to round off my supplies here. It should prove to be a busy next couple days.
Hope you are all well (as you read this), I'll be home in no time! Looking forward to exploring Denver and Colorado and keeping you all updated, thanks for taking the time to read...
be well!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

That's what she said...

Still haven't packed, thought about it a lot just haven't gotten there yet. (c: This is normal for me, I procrastinate until the last minute then rush and throw it all together and it usually turns out ok.
We had a power outage today, well it started last night (Saturday) and it finally came back on Sunday (today) about 3 or 4. I was quite anxious about the food in the fridge and our deep freezer but it all seems ok, we just kept the fridge shut and hoped for the best!
I should get my car back tomorrow, after $700 for fixing my cracked something and recharging my air conditioner. Good as new!! Ready for the 1200 mile trek across the US of A.
I get the official ok from the apartment place tomorrow, we leave Tuesday afternoon, we'll drive about 8 hours and crash in Des Moines, Iowa then wake early Wednesday (we'll gain 2 hours) and drive the remaining 9 hours to Denver. I'll get my apartment key and sign the lease Wednesday. I'm getting excited and more nervous.
I'm anxious to hear how my friend Rachael is doing, who set sail Saturday night from Muskegon for her 3 week trek to her new travel position in NYC. She sailing the whole way, her blog is and hopefully she's able to post soon.
Well, Joc is busy pulling stuff out that I'm gonna take (at least one of us is packing!) and I'm feeling like I should assist. Have a good night and I'll post from the road.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Last day and good-byes

Today was my last day at Saint's, it was a quiet day, I don't think I had one Rapid Response that I got a call about. It's just been too quiet in our unit! It was a good day, overall.
I have learned a great deal from my co-workers, about nursing, critical care medicine and about myself. I keep reminding everyone that I will be coming back (and I will), it just feels so final to walk out of the unit.
Tomorrow, we say bye to Rachael as she sets sail. I will miss her easy laughter and her quiet friendship.
I am tired and somewhat sad tonight, ready for this new step and sluggish to take it.
As I write this, I'm at a loss for words so I will leave it for now. My last day shift for a while, onward to new heights, adventures and learning moments.
Peace out!
P.S Mott, you said you posted a comment, I'm not seeing it...make sure you hit publish...???

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tic Tock....

Jeez, I feel like I want to be to Denver already and then there's that part of me that is nervous about the new city, not knowing people, new hospital with new docs and co-workers...too many things to list out!
I've started a list (in my head, though I should put it on paper or else I'll forget what was on the top of the list) of things to bring/pack and leave home. I was gonna bring mostly summer clothes but then remembered I will be out there for some of October. Does it get cold there? (c:
I am not planning on renting furniture (too expensive) so I purchased a nice air bed (sounds odd but it's comfy and not one that lays on the ground) and I'll bring some lamps and pics from home but for the most part, my apartment will be somewhat bare. Not to worry, it's pretty much like a studio with a partitioned bedroom, so I hope it won't be too echo-y.
I need to purchase some scrubs and get my eyebrows waxed once more (don't worry, I'll do it out there too), I'm going to Cadillac Monday night to see my motha, Jules, David and the babe before I skip town, Sunday Joc and I will drive to Ann Arbor to see Michelle and her new boyfriend Luis...then Tuesday afternoon....on the road again!
Tomorrow is my last day of work at Saint's for some time....I'm a bit sad to be leaving my friends from work, I have such a good time working with them, I only hope the people I work with out West will compare somewhat...
I need to do some homework, try to get a head in my class so I can not stress about it while driving.
Peace out ya'll!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Preview to the adventure!

Well, hello everyone! I've decided to follow Rachael's idea of blogging during my travel adventures.
Last night, June 9th, we partied hard at a local GR pub with some Karaoke and Oberon. We had a great turn out and a lot of fun! Thanks to all who attended and that group sing-along was one of a kind (c: I had a good time.
Well, I have one official day of work left, that would be Friday the 13th (ohhh, ahhh!!!) and a standby shift Saturday, hopefully I won't have to work it since I want to see Rachael and her family off on their adventures. I have many mixed feelings about leaving Grand Rapids and St. Mary's for a bit and I know I'm planning on returning but I fear that it will be very different when I return. People will have moved on and up and we'll be preparing for a move to Hauenstein (who knows how that's spelled!), I will just have to see all the changes when I get back I guess!
I am very ready for a new adventure and new scenery! I heard nothing but rave reviews about Denver and Colorado in general, I know I will enjoy my 13 weeks in the West and a new hospital experience.
I will be working at University of Colorado at Denver, in the Medical ICU but with options to float to the other 4 ICUs, and I'm in the process of applying to sublet an apartment from a nice lady at Aero Flats, you can check out the 1BR/1BA layout on their website,, I believe the Hawker is the apartment I'll be occupying through October.
Well, I just wanted to get a posting up and the blog running, I am looking forward to keeping you all up to date on my trip and my good times.
For the time being, be well and safe while I'm gone and I'll see you when I return...
Love to all, jenn