Monday, August 22, 2011


Have I mentioned that I'm going to El Salvador in two weeks? No? That's because I keep forgetting. I'm going with a group that takes medical professionals to Central and South America to perform surgeries and provide medical care. I'm not sure exactly what I'll be doing; they said to be prepared to step outside my typical role and help with whatever they need.
I'm excited.
I'm terrified.
I keep forgetting about the trip because I haven't heard very much from the organization-- apparently they do a LOT of these types of excursions so they're tied up planning and focusing on one of the trips happening right NOW. So I haven't gotten a whole lot of info. I'll only be gone a week, so I'm not freaking out too much, though the lack of information has thrown me a little. I learned last week that I'm to bring all of my personal things in a carry on bag; my checked bag will be filled with medical supplies. That's fine, of course. I mean, I shouldn't need that much crap for a weeklong trip, most of which I'll be spending inside a hospital. But that's the kind of thing that might be good to let people know ahead of time, just in case there are any heavy packers (me) in the group.

I also learned I was going to need 3 sets of scrubs. Why do scrubs have to be so universally unflattering, may I ask? And by 'universally unflattering' I don't mean 'they look bad on everyone.' What I mean is 'ALL scrubs look bad on ME.' Which is probably an incorrect usage of the term 'universally.'
I really haven't worn scrubs very much since the first year of my program (the RN part). I've gotten away with business casual plus a lab coat for most of my clinicals and job opportunities since then. But when I do wear scrubs I've found that I tend to like the tops with maximum pockets. Seriously, the more pockets, the better. Just show me how many pockets you can sew onto a scrub top and I will wear the hell out of that sucker. The pants, though. The PANTS. They're either too short or too tight or too bunchy or have longcrotch syndrome.

I actually did once own three sets of scrubs but they were from the first year of my program and the tradition is that you pass on your scrubs to the next class of students. I hung onto one set, just in case.
But, ugh, after wearing it to clinicals that whole year just looking at it makes me feel a tad nauseous. All the days of waking up at 4 am to drive to my clinical site, the back-to-back 12 hr days, the fear of doing something wrong, the feeling I wasn't EVER going to get it. Shudder.
Would you like to see what I looked like on my very first day? Here's a photo of my clinical group (that I spent entirely too much time editing on Picnik because my fellow classmates might not necessarily want their photos up on here).
That was our VERY FIRST DAY of the RN program! We didn't know how to give meds, how how to listen to the lungs, how to insert catheters, or even how to make BEDS yet. But we sure did have some big, tense smiles!
So I still do have one set of those green and khaki scrubs, though I'd prefer not to wear that combo. Today I went to the thrift store to see if I could find some gently used scrubs. Because scrub sets aren't exactly free. Not that they would be, of course, but sometimes I feel like if they're going to be so unflattering at least they should be cheap. I did manage to score two scrub tops for a total of $3.50.
Many pockets.
And then I went to an actual medical uniform store in search of some acceptable scrub pants. These ones were okayish, and they were on sale for $10 each.
So now I'm basically ready to go! All I have to do now is learn medical Spanish.