January 1, 2003
My Pastor had a wonderful message last night at the New Year’s Eve service at church on Philippians 3:13-14, “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (KJV) I must forget the trials of the past year and press on, looking unto Jesus. He is the Captain of the ship and is smiling in the storm. He is in control and working out His sovereign will.
Dear Father, Thank You for saving my soul. Thank You that today is the first day of the rest of my life. Thank You that You are my joy, my strength, and that You will supply my every need as You did last year. Thank You for a warm, safe place to live and a measure of health. Help me to grow to know You better and to study your Word more. Help me to eat right, exercise, and finish organizing my new home. Guide me to the right job and help me serve You in new ways. I look forward to seeing what You will do this New Year! In Christ’s Name, Amen
I had an interview last week for a substitute school nurse, but they only pay $12 per hour which is really low. I think that over time, I would become quite bored with school nursing. I sent out three resumes for a hospital research position, for a teaching position at an Associate Degree nursing program, and for a teaching position at a Technical School for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN).
Mrs. D, the Director of the LPN program, called me today to discuss the teaching position. The school is located 15 minutes from my home. I would teach two to three days each week and supervise eight students for six hours the other two days per week at a local nursing home. The staff receives two weeks of vacation, eight floating days off, and every Monday off the last nine weeks of a thirteen-week module. The students complete four modules in order to graduate and become an LPN. Most LPNs work as staff nurses in long-term care facilities giving medications and treatments to the patients. It will be quite a change for me to teach students right out of high school compared to Registered Nurses or master’s degree students. Mrs. D. asked if I would rather teach Anatomy and Physiology, or Fundamentals of Nursing? I replied that I prefer to teach Fundamentals. We scheduled an interview for next week.
The hospital called me and said they are not interested in me for the research position, but would notify me of any Nurse Practitioner positions. I did not receive a reply from the AD program.
“Be strong (take courage)… and work; for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:4 (NKJV)
I had my interview at the LPN school. Mrs. D. asked me to teach the students for ten minutes on something in nursing, so I taught them how to do a computer ergonomic evaluation of a person’s desk to prevent repetitive use injuries. I learned how to do this when I worked in employee health at the insurance company. The students liked my presentation because they all voted to hire me! I start work in one week on February 10.
I have now completed working two weeks of orientation at the LPN school and it has been rather rough between standing for five to six hours daily at the nursing home and dealing with bed bound comatose patients. My back pain is intense at the end of the day. I have been visiting the ten different nursing homes the school uses for sites for the students and shadowing the different instructors. One instructor, Donna, was particularly helpful. She is in her sixties and has terrible back pain, so she is not sure how much longer she can work for the school. She has been at the school for one year and works 40-50 hours weekly. They keep switching her to different modules, so she has to continually make new lesson plans.
“I will instruct thee and teach you in the way which you should go; I will guide thee with My eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8
Dear Lord, make your will clear to me and give me the strength to teach another day.
I have been home sick for three days because I have a bad head cold, have lost my voice, and can’t enter the nursing home with my cold. So I am preparing lectures. I thank the Lord for this break to rest my back also. I’m still not sure this is the right job for me, but I am going to try and teach for six months or until I collapse.
I completed my orientation during my first week of teaching the thirty-one new students. Some have had a previous career as a nursing assistant, beautician, engineer, accountant, or carpenter. Some were born in Ghana, Jamaica, and Poland, so it is a real mix of students. The school’s only requirement is that they have a high school diploma and pay the tuition of $17,000.
I taught the nursing process during my first four-hour class. I thought I made it clear to the students, but the director said three students came to her and complained that they didn’t understand the class. She ordered me to review it all again with the students in the next two hours in addition to reviewing their homework. Then I taught Environment and Safety in one hour which was supposed to take two hours. I am definitely having trouble gauging how long it takes to teach each topic. I was totally exhausted last night after teaching for three hours with my raw throat.
And so began my rocky chapter of learning to teach LPN students. It was a continual exercise of leaning totally on God to give me the wisdom and strength to teach them while learning the expectations of the school. After being a competent Nurse Practitioner, it was a humbling experience to start over again in a new area of nursing. But on the other hand, the variety of positions one can have is one of the unique things about being a nurse.