Student Loan recap

There were two different student  loans.

Each with wildly different interest rates.

One was federal, one was not.

I will admit I was stupid when I was signing up for student loans.

I knew there was no way our budget could stretch to the entire tuition price for Chamberlain College of Nursing.

I took out loans.

$21,000 to be precise.

And while I was in school I was not smart about paying interest every month.

I may have just been trying to survive this new online education thing.

Toward the end of the BSN program I wised up and started paying for interest.

After the end of my BSN classes I knew I was going to go to Queens for my MSN.

And I did.

But I wasn’t smart enough yet.

So I took out a second set of student loans.

This brought my total to $29,000 before I started to pay for each quarter out of pocket.

In the background was me paying off three credit cards with a combination of tax returns, tuition reimbursement, and clinical ladder money.

I looked at my students loans and decided to keep paying the interest payment on the one with the smaller interest rate. And to double down on paying down the one with the higher interest rate with as much money as I could. This was helped by paying off all the credit cards. Twenties gets most everyone.

I paid that one off in November of 2019.

This left me with a balance of just over $20,000.

And I set my eyes on paying off the other student loan. I had a lofty goal of paying the entire shebang off by the time I graduated.

I was going to use a combination of our yearly bonus, my clinical ladder money, and the $6,000 in tuition reimbursement for 2019 and 2020.

And then Covid happened.

Well hell.

Clinical ladder was suspended.

All the money I had paid for my AORN conference had already been  paid out.

Nearly $2,000.

All the money had been paid for my graduation trip to London, all $14,000 had been spent. This is going to be pushed back a year.

The hospital still received our yearly bonus and I put that money toward the student loan.

The 2019 tuition reimbursement paid out in February and I held on to that money, just in case the economy did something stupid, including my job or my husband’s job.

And I had heard something about student loan forgiveness for front line workers.

Yeah, right.

I have submitted my tuition reimbursement for this year. It was a day late, I hope I am not penalized for not paying attention to the timing because after I graduated George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis.

And the Black Lives Matter movement began to heat up.

And it was Pride month and I am a proud Ally.

Regardless I submitted my tuition reimbursement  for 2020.

They are accepting Clinical Ladder applications again.

I will be submitting my 2020 clinical ladder application in three days.

My current student loan debt is at $14,499.

Between the clinical ladder money and the tuition reimbursement and a little extra it should be covered.

I should have my remaining student loan paid off by September or October.

I’m still holding on to the 2019 tuition reimbursement money.

July, I’ve got my eye on you.

 

 

Interesting times

It has been months and we STILL live in interesting times.

Sometimes it feels like someone is messing with the timeline.

Sometimes it feels like someone has tripped the Groundhog Day protocol.

Quick sit-rep:

Our ORs have gone back to doing elective cases.

I did not lose any hours during the forced downturn because no one wanted to work my shift.

Job security.

I’m about to top out on my PTO because no one wanted to work my hours.

My husband is working from home.

Right this second he’s doing phone calls from the other desk in the office.

His project was partially sidelined by the virus.

He has not lost any hours during this time.

He offered to steer his project while taking calls from the phone desk.

So the members of his team could keep some of their hours.

He has left the house three times, beginning six weeks ago, since this has begun.

People still aren’t wearing masks.

I wear a mask in stores.

I wear a mask at work.

The trials of watching other people not wearing masks will be another post.

Tired

Still not sleeping.

Since the beginning of the year I’ve started a simple data collection.

Every night I note when I go to bed.

Every morning I note when I get up.

I’m going to bed later and later.

I’m sleeping late and later.

But the sleep that I do get is interrupted by dreams that my heart is stopping.

Between 0125-0133.

Always between those times.

And then I read myself back to sleep.

My sleep is fragmented.

My heart gets a good workout from fight or flight nearly every night.

I sleep later than I want to every morning.

I am adding a data collection point.

I will now be noting how many times I wake up with my heart pounding.

Between 0125-0133.

I just want to sleep.

 

Supporting those who need it

I am a white woman.

I have enjoyed white privilege my entire life.

This does not make my life easy.

This just means my life is not that much harder due to the color of my skin.

I must speak up when it is necessary.

I must speak up when things are wrong.

I must support those who have no support.

I have been trying hard to be a good ally.

I read today that is not what people need.

They need co-conspirators.

They need someone to hold out a hand to help them up when they have been smacked down.

Because, right now, they have been knocked down and kicked.

Not only by our police.

Not only by others in their neighborhoods.

Not only by our president.

I will not knock others down because I perceive they are a threat.

A perception that is incorrect.

I will not known others down at all.

People

I’ve written before about the evening shift swear word.

PEOPLE

You have to pop the Ps.

It is understood to stand for all manners of polite insults.

And some not so polite insults.

Sometimes there is an unsaid fucking in front of the word.

However, I think we need a second swear word.

One for the people who do not follow the CDC guidelines

One for the people who do not wear a mask properly.

One for the people who wear gloves in public, touching EVERYTHING without removing the gloves and putting on new ones after washing their hands.

I wonder if a non verbal cue would do.

Miming banging my head against the wall.

Or not miming it and actually doing it.

Sleep, I don’t need no stinking sleep

I’m done with school.

With the early morning clinical hours.

With the early morning the paper is due tonight, guess I’ll get started.

With the late night answering of discussion questions and responses to others.

With early mornings really.

So why can’t I sleep?

I fall asleep rather easily.

I am having a hard time staying asleep.

Part of it could be put down to the pandemic.

To the uncertainty.

To the wild emotional swings of quarantine life while working full time.

To the unknown.

To seething in rage when I see people poo-pooing the pandemic and the mask wearing.

Oh!

The incorrect mask wearing; I think all health care providers will have PTSD because of everyone who refuses to wear a mask or wears in on their forehead, or under their nose, or under their chin.

Whatever the reason, I can’t sleep.

Off to bed I go.

Because everynight is a chance to get it right.

Current mood- UGH!

I left two groups on Facebook today.

Because they were purportedly medical people only.

They were not.

The groups had been infiltrated by fake bots who were spreading Covid misinformation.

It just makes me tired.

Wear a mask when you go out.

Just because the stay at home is lifting does not mean the pandemic is over.

It means that the hospitals can now safely take care of a rise in cases, that they have the ICU and step down unit space.

Wear a mask when you go out, wash your hands when you come back home.

The mask is not to protect me.

It is to protect you.

I no longer wear scrubs out of the hospital.

I think it is dangerous.

The tide of public sentiment seems to be turning against the hospitals and health care workers.

Again, for the people in the back, wear a mask when you go out.

100,000 dead.

Good God.

 

Is this thing on?

Well.

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

So much has happened, so much has not happened.

A quick recap (school only):

  • I survived my last semester of my master’s program. This was a gift, really.
  • the hospital system I was working with to do the in-person hours cancelled all in-person hours.
  • I switched my education hours to online, with my instructors’ blessing.
  • So many  education hours, so many.
  • I had to do 150 hours, I was at 104 when they decided that it was going online. I tapped out at 192.
  • I received my graduation announcements the same day my governor instituted a stay at home policy.
  • graduation was cancelled, to be done in the fall.
  • I can’t stop learning, I thought this might happen
  • My cap and gown and something else were shipped to my house, Fedex(!) , when the bookstore closed. The cap is now decorating the top of a lamp until I decide how I want to decorate it.
  • My student loans have stopped accruing interest until September. I had had plans to pay off by the end of the year; these are still in place.
  • The clinical ladder program at my work was suspended the week I was going to submit this year’s packet. I will be submitting when they allow it again. I was going to use the 7% bonus to pay off my student loan.
  • I don’t think I am going to get to go to London, the big prize, this year as they have instituted a 2 week quarantine for anyone entering the country. EVERYTHING had been planned and paid for. Maybe in the spring.

And with all that, I am still contemplating further education.

I can get a certificate from the university with 1 more 16 week class in leadership.

I can look at DNP schools.

I can look at PhD schools.

I can decided between DNP and PhD.

Decisions, decisions.

We live in interesting times, my friend

According the John F. Kennedy, there is a Chinese curse that reads ‘May he live in interesting times’.

Never was it more true that it is today.

Now.

In this moment.

A novel Coronavirus, a pandemic, hoarding of goods and supplies, school closings, people working from home, people being told to maintain social distancing, which they don’t.

These are very interesting times.

I am 10 weeks into my last MSN semester. This is the big one, the 150 hour residency.

And on Friday, my preceptor informed me that the organization is cancelling all non-mandatory education. And moving most education to video instructor led training.

I’m at 102 out of 150 hours.

And until the end of April to do them in.

I’m not sure what to do.

I’m not sure what to say

I am not sure what to say.

This past Tuesday night we had a true life or limb surgery in the OR.

It involved a patient bleeding.

The surgeon was super freaked out.

She paged me at 2227.

I arrived at the hospital 2241 (I had to put clothes on).

I got dressed, scheduled the case at 2241.

She paged me again at 2252 to tell me the patient was bleeding and time was of the essence.

I told her I would be able to do more things faster if she would get off the phone and let me work.

The patient was in pre-op at 2314.

Anesthesiologist was upstairs in OB, starting an epidural.

I pulled out the anesthesia consent, took a set of vitals with a BP of 90/60, and noted down her answers from the conversation we’d had on the way to pre-op.

The surgeon was pacing around, completely freaked, wondering why we weren’t moving fast.

The anesthesiologist came down and pre-oped the patient.

I had her sign the anesthesia consent and I cosigned it.

The CRNA did the safety time out and she was in the OR at 2226.

We did what we had to do.

We saved her life.

And today, a full five days later, my boss pulls me aside to tell me that the surgeon’s perception was that I was not moving fast enough.

That I had no sense of urgency.

I was taken aback.

Excuse me?

Who else in this department could’ve been paged, driven to the hospital, picked the case, threw together the positioning aids, retrieved the patient personally, prepped the patient, waited for anesthesia, finished prepping the patient, walked the loved one to the waiting room and still managed to make it back into the OR within two minutes? All within 59 minutes of the page.

Of course I don’t act like I’m in a tizzy.

That does NOTHING to reassure the patient.

But apparently I should’ve been ranting that the patient had to go back to the room.

Immediately.

Because she was bleeding to death.

With a BP of 90/60, pink cheeks, and a normal heart rate.

Right.