Brittany Peckham submitted 2015-05-29

My name is Brittany and I will be a Senior at Sacred Heart University in the Nursing program. I have not had to perform any serious emergency life saving techniques yet, upon being in clinical, but I have had my share of issues. I have also had quite a few experiences in day-to-day life as well. Just the other day I had a job interview at an award winning hospital and after the initial interview I followed a wonderful PCA, as I will be an RN a year from now. I was placed in the maternity ward and washed babies, took vitals, did parental patient care, etc. I was taking a baby’s respirations and they were at a 24 and I just told the PCA, “RR is 24” instead of saying Respirations and making the mother panic more than she already was. The PCA took the respirations on top of mine because she almost did not believe it was possible and I kept my cool, meaning I did not run out of the door and get the doctor because I do not even work there yet, and she agreed with my reading and said she would tell the nurse. The baby was not cyanotic nor did she have any other problems noticeable or audible. The best friend and girlfriend in me wanted to scream, “Call a Doctor!” but I kept calm because the mother was very delicate and frantic about things that were insignificant to the real problems and dilemmas taking place.

I believe I am at the point where I have been through enough to be calm, cool and collected to perform emergency life saving techniques. I have been shocked to the moon and back. These next couple of paragraphs are not out of the ordinary or bizarre findings but when bad things happen to people you love, it sweeps you off your feet and not in the good way. Last Fall, I came home to my boyfriend and I just had this strange feeling deep down inside that I had to check my boyfriend’s lymph nodes and body for any lumps or bumps. It was very random of me to do this and he was really surprised. That day, I discovered Stage 2A Testicular Cancer. I had never known what a tumor felt like but when I felt it I knew exactly that was what it was. I did not know anything about how far it had grown, if it had metastasized, or anything of that nature. I just knew that I had to hold myself together and tell him, and myself, that everything was going to be alright and we are going to go to amazing doctors and get this taken care of. I never cried or anything in front of him. I put my game face on and went into Nurse mode because not only is it in my nature to take care of people in an emergent time of need, it is my duty.

My mother has hypertension, End Stage Renal Failure, osteoporosis, hypothyroidism, myocardial infarction, hypercholesteremia, and the list goes on. I used to help her with her peritoneal dialysis and learned all about how it works before I got interested in the medical field. I began to gain interest when she had a grand mal seizure in the passenger’s seat while I was driving. I did not know what to do at that time but I still did not panic. Doing the best I could, I pulled over immediately and kept her from choking on the M&Ms in her mouth while trying to avoid letting her break her neck as she was contorting her body. It was really scary but I learned to be strong and I learned fast. I told the doctors bad things have been happening since she has been on the peritoneal dialysis, as she was on hemodialysis before, and she needed to get back on hemodialysis. They agreed and switched her back. My mother is a constant walking emergency and I worry about her all the time. I pray and ask her every day if she took her pills, did she take every one, is she sure she did. She does not control her blood pressure well, one day it is 107/70 and the next day it is 180/110. She has yet to go to the doctor for hypothyroidism but all of her bloodwork tests positive for it. She does not eat and when she does it is a big bag of “Skittles” and I just explained to her what hypoglycemia was because she became hypoglycemic in front of me. My mom is my best friend and I pray I do not have to provide serious life saving techniques on her, even though I am aware how, because I want her around for so many more memories.