If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Doesn’t Change You

Spring 2015 As Seen in Our Spring 2015 Issue
If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Doesn’t Change You

By Stephanie Olmanni

To say that nursing school has been extraordinarily time consuming would be a gross understatement. But then I look back on the past seven months or so and can’t even wrap my mind around how much we’ve learned. As we breeze through physical assessments in clinicals, or rattle off the complex pathophysiology of disease, or calculate IV drip rates in seconds, I’m astonished at the dizzying learning curve of this program. But, whew.

Here’s a self-diagnosis: Stress R/T sleep deprivation, imbalanced nutrition, lack of social interaction, and “disturbed energy field” (yes, it’s a thing) secondary to nursing school as evidenced by uncontrolled crying, extreme exhaustion, hysteria, and patient’s statement: “Sim Man is the only one who gets me anymore.”OK, it’s not that bad. I’m doing fine. Really. I mean, there was that one time I melted down over Safeway Delivery being out of my favorite ice cream bar and I don’t have a car so maybe I Uber’d all the way to Whole Foods in Harbor East just to purchase its entire stock …

And it’s not like I haven’t worked long hours before.When I turned 17, I attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. I completed a dual major in Film Scoring/Electronic Production & Design and a minor in Pulling All-Nighters. After Berklee, I lived in Los Angeles, putting in 90-hour weeks at a studio writing, orchestrating, and producing background music for prime-time television shows and movies. I worked on five seasons of Grey’s Anatomy (which I promise is NOT what brought me to nursing, although it’s rather ironic) and four seasons of Raising Hope, scored documentaries, and even sang Japanese vocals for reality television.While grateful for the opportunity to make a living with music, however, the work left me exhausted and unfulfilled. I did some soul-searching and began volunteering at Comfort Zone Camp for children who have lost a parent or sibling (I lost my own mom—a nurse—right after freshman year in college). There, I found a fulfillment I never thought possible. Apparently the passion for nursing was in my blood.

So here we are. I’m surviving. We’re surviving.I’m not going to sugarcoat it for those who might be considering the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. This program is rigorous. It challenges you intellectually, physically, and emotionally to the core. But it’s supposed to be that way. Because we’re taking on the enormous responsibility of having people’s lives in our hands. And no matter what my sleep-deprived alter ego may say otherwise, it’s an absolute honor to be challenged for that.

@forlinks_tealRead more about JHSON life at blogs.nursing.jhu.edu

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