In order to complete the first year of classes I am required to participate in a 4-week nursing training internship at the hospital of my choice. I have already started accumulating hours by working in the Cardiac Surgery unit of the school's hospital. While there is a little bit of drama in the English Division about me working there--all the other students were told to go somewhere else, and I have a feeling it's because they don't speak (or try to speak) Polish--I must admit I am loving it. Thanks to Piotr and his family, I am very comfortable around the Polish language. Even if I don't understand everything someone says, I'm pretty good with context. Last night, I really got to put my Polish to the test.
Last night, an hour before my shift ended, we received a post-op patient, a German tourist who spoke English but not a word of Polish. The nurses, none of whom speak English nor German, were delighted that I was there and could get the patient situated. He was a nice older man but a little confused about everything going on around him. While I attended to other patients, the nurses summoned me repeatedly to help interpret. "She is going to take some blood now and connect your fluids." "Would you like to eat some dinner?" It also worked the other way though too: "Pan nie wie gdzie jest jego komuraka." (Sir does not know where is his cell phone.)
Yesterday, I also successfully drew blood for the first time all by myself. Actually, I successfully did it 5 times. I have had such a mental block when it comes to drawing blood and sticking people with needles and I was so relieved to see that I could actually do it. Most of the things I am doing in the hospital are such little things, but it feels so good to be back in a medical setting. School is great and all, but learning in a classroom can only take you so far. I feel like, despite the language barrier, I have learned so much in the few hours I've worked.
Today I have Polish class and another 4 hour shift.
Off I go!