Archive for May, 2012

There are so many people I come across in my day-to-day activities that do little things that make me so happy. These are a few of them.

The crossing guard who waves at every car that goes by

The coffee barista who recognizes my car and remembers my order

The other coffee barista who remembers my order and notices my haircut

The hy-vee clerk who know what day and time I come and expects to see my every week

The ICU nurse who doesn’t yell at me when I ask to wait an hour to bring a patient because we need more staff

Perhaps these things would be “creepy” to some people, but I find it to be comforting that I am a part of a community and that people do notice me and would miss me if I were gone.

Thinking about these people and the huge smile I get on my face when I cross their paths reminds me that I am in a position to do the same. Particularly as a hospital clerk where patients and families are stressed out and staff can be very short at times.

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I feel like I am entering a new phase in my life. It might be short lived (as in only lasting until I start my next degree) but it’s both exciting and scary. This week I started my final practicum for my MPH degree. I am working at the student health service at my university.

It’s exciting to be doing actual professional work. It’s taking me some time to get used to it though. My weekend job is as a clerk at the hospital where I just do basic tasks people need: ordering, making phone calls, helping patients, etc. At student health there are undergraduate students hired to do that. This week I have created a social media presentation, written fitness video scripts, made a strength training handout, began a literature review on sleep awareness campaigns, answered anonymous medical questions from students, and began a review of self-care data on the website. Next week I’m learning SPSS- a statistics software that I haven’t used before. I will also be working information fairs for new student orientation throughout the summer.

It’s scary because the medical doctor that oversees my eating disorder works there. I haven’t gone for a couple months and I’m scared to go see here again as a patient. I see her as a coworker every day and I put on a face like things are going well, but I’ve lost weight since I last saw her. My weight has been pretty consistently low this semester anyway. I’m just scared for her to know that I’m not doing well and still see me working there every day. It’s a difficult situation. Especially since right now I’m doing some work on exercise and nutrition.

In other news I’m up to 9 on the medical school waitlist. Hard to tell if I will get in or not but I’m a whole lot closer than where I began.

Also…I knew I forgot something when I clicked publish.

Last week on the unit an eating disorder patient was making comments about how people looked and commented on how skinny I was. And I sort of freaked out about it. I mean, I should have expected it. I am constantly comparing myself to others in terms of body size. I couldn’t leave work with a clean conscience and have her think that I was just naturally (and healthily) thin. So I told her about my own eating disorder. I really don’t like to do that with patients but I didn’t see any other option at the time. However, it got me thinking. I want to work in mental health, ergo I will probably be coming across other eating disorder patients and this is likely to come up again. Do I want to spend the rest of my life either having to tell patients about this or having to lie about it? Telling patients now isn’t quite as bad because I am just a clerk/nursing assistant. I am more on their level than say a doctor or therapist. If I were a patient who thought the doctors just wanted to make me fat (as most of us think) and my doctor had an eating disorder, I would be pissed and think that he/she was just trying to make me fat to make themselves look thinner or that they had impaired judgement in regards to my treatment in other ways. I need to realize that this issue isn’t going to go away for me. In fact, as I get closer to my ultimate educational/career goals it will simply get bigger.

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