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Rotation | First Day. Fire.

My first day of my first NP rotation was quite the adventure. I was both nervous and excited for the experience ahead in urgent care. I got to my clinical site and found out I would have multiple preceptors. After having had about 30 different preceptors as a new grad RN, I was open to learning from different providers with different areas of expertise.

I ended my first of three 12-hour shifts for this week by having nowhere to stay. I arrived back around 9:30 pm. I had found out from neighbors packing up that there was a fire that burned a total of 8 apartment units, one of which shared a wall with my apartment. My neighbors told me that there is no electricity internally and externally. I packed up some clothes in the smokiness and pitch black of the night. I knew it was time to leave when I started getting headache from the smoke. I planned to go to the apartment common area to figure out what to do next, but missed the cutoff (10pm) for entering by 6 minutes (10:06 pm)!

I sat in my car as I updated my husband and parents of what happened. I'm from southern California and have no family in northern California, except my uncles in San Francisco (2 hours away west) and my husband's family in San Jose (2 hours away south). My husband drove back to Sacramento immediately after I confirmed that we could not stay the night at the apartment. He was visiting his family at the time.

Meanwhile, I drove to the only safe place I knew:  school campus. Once my husband arrived, we booked a hotel for the night and decided that we would figure things out from there. But first, we needed to get to the hotel and to get some sleep. We arrived to the hotel around 2:30 am, and my rotation started at 9am. I don't know how I got through the 12-hour shift (perhaps some adrenaline still running), but I did.

The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all. -- Mulan

It is now Friday. I went back to the apartment for the first time yesterday, basically to inspect the situation in daylight and to exchange clothes. My days off have been spent dealing with insurance and scheduling cleaning with the apartment manager (easier said than done). I would submit service requests, only to have them "completed" with nothing actually being done. In the notes section of the service job completed, the apartment maintenance put a simple period. Yup, you read it right. A period. Like this [ . ]. Why the period? To clear the request. But little to nothing was done. My husband waited from 8-5pm during the week, trying to work from the apartment, keeping an eye on any happenings. But no maintenance people came by.

In reflection, I am lucky that the fire didn't burn down my apartment unit, and that I had missed the initial e-mail from my clinical coordinator telling me to go home for the day because my assigned preceptor wasn't there. I'm thankful the provider who was working was willing to precept me for the day, so I still got my hours in and basically had the previous e-mail negated. I can't wait to keep learning and growing from my rotation, and for all of the apartment stuff to get resolved!

- Nicole G.


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