A Hopkins Specialty- Public Health!

Well I guess the year finally caught up with me- I think this is the first time I haven’t posted within two weeks.  Honestly I thought this semester was going to coast by, but as it turns out, real life is truly knocking at my door and it’s requiring board applications, nclex registration, calling (harassing) nurse recruiters, applying to jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs (seriously, could someone PLEASE come up with a better way to re-write your entire resume when applying for jobs??? It would save me so SO much time). Oh yeah and not to mention the 4 extra papers we have due this semester on top of the usual clinical hours and tests.
Despite the chaos, I am no longer just excited to be so close to the end, but am in awe of it. My peers are starting to do share days, starting to pack up for long-distance or international transitions, starting to interview, and even starting to get hired!  I honestly couldn’t be more honored or proud of my ABSN colleagues and although I am bursting with excitement, I am starting to get a little sad to see all of us begin to scatter.
But on to public health, which has been the most different clinical yet.  I have been to so many different sites I can barely keep up: a clean needle exchange van through the city of Baltimore, shadowing a TB nurse through the Baltimore Health Department, Healthcare for the Homeless, House of Ruth (a domestic abuse women’s shelter), and Earl’s Place (a half-way home for homeless men recovering from substance abuse).
The focus our clinical has chosen is Earl’s Place: every Thursday a few of us head down a few blocks from the school where the residents reside.  The men are extremely respectful, genuine, and seem happy to have us around. We teach them about any topic they want.  So far it’s been men’s health, hypertension, HIV, hepatitis, STDs, and understanding lab values.  Next week we’ll be teaching about nutrition and fitness- the men are all really excited about that.  I can’t believe how much I’m liking the site- I was a little cautious at first, and I’m sure they were too- it’s intimidating to talk to a bunch of older guys who have been through more in their little pinkies than you have in your whole life!  But once you know someone’s blood pressure and stick them with a dexi needle, the ice is broken. We all have fun joking with them, and answering their questions about health, healthcare, and lifestyle choices.  They truly are a wonderful group of guys and I hope we’re making a difference to them.
Because this clinical is so different, and we’re all having such different experiences, I’m hoping to get a few guest posts.  I have friends who are doing their public health clinicals in St. Vincent, St. Croix, and Haiti.  I’m so excited to hear about their trips and pass along the info!
Other good news: the next time I post I’ll know where I am for transitions! Woo hoo!
Have a great week and to all the new kids coming in- RELAX, don’t worry about over-preparing for everything, and enjoy the free time you have now before the crazy starts next week!!

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