Tomorrow is my first clinical day. I'm doing long term care for three weeks and then moving to a gen med floor at UVA. I'm not nervous--I know we spend much of the first day in an orientation and then, according to my clinical calendar, we meet and feed our patient. I don't know if this means literally feed the patient or deliver a lunch tray and get acquainted.
Our uniforms are strictly dictated, right down to the color of our socks (white). I still need to iron my school patch onto the sleeve (it must be the left sleeve) of my scrub top, but other than that, I am ready to report at 7:00am.
Today I did a dry run to make sure I could find the facility. It is the size of a small country--an entire separate community for the elderly, who, depending on their level of independence, live in detached cottages, apartment complexes, or a skilled nursing facility. The whole place is very posh with lush landscaping, immaculate and attractive buildings and a uniformed guard at the entrance.
My clinical instructor left us detailed instructions of breathtaking complexity on how to find the unit where we'll be working. A long paragraph details our route from our cars to the unit and involves numerous landmarks such as a grandfather clock, a "curio cabinet with a Mexican display," a "Rotunda room," (whatever that is) a restaurant, a bank, a hair salon, a pool, a foyer that is "boarded up because it's under construction," (how will we know it's a foyer if it's boarded up?) a grand staircase, and an elevator, which we are not to use.
The letter concludes telling us that the most important thing to remember is that the Starbucks across the street opens at 6:00am. An important fact indeed. I am torn about stopping for a coffee on the way. If I do, I'm at risk of needing to use the bathroom eight times over the course of the morning. OTOH, stopping at Starbucks means I will certainly run into some of my classmates--who will be obvious because of our screaming royal blue scrubs--and then we can all go over to the facility together, thus meaning less of a chance that I will spend an eternity lost in the facility, constantly coming up on the "curio cabinet with a Mexican display" as evidence that I'm going in circles.