I had an evidence based brief to write. I lost my computer for a while, and since the topic I was writing on was a client that I was actually seeing in that time frame, I had to do my research the old fashioned way...I went to the library and took out 3 books.
I learned a lot from those books, enough to put together an exercise program for a woman with chronic arthritis who was now losing the use of her hands. The client is MR, but hugely independent, living in her own apartment without assistance, and holding down a five day a week job. Really quite a motivated woman, very inspiring to me. She came to me, asking for a home exercise program, fearful that if she lost the use of her hands, she would not be able to live independently nor to continue working.
I got my computer back and I began to arrange my information. I looked casually at the assignment guidelines, but did not print out this information. Last night, I came home with the sickening knowledge that all the work I'd done had been for naught. My paper could not use books as a reference. I had to use studies from scientific journals to formulate my ideas. I had supplemented my book reading with some studies, and I anxiously looked the references up. Unfortunately, there were only three, and only one if them met the requirement. They must be not more than five years old.
The paper was due in less that 72 hours, and I was starting over again. This time, I was determined to do it correctly, but the school website is down, and I could not get to the instructions, a sickening feeling. I worked last night, but I was working without those instructions from the teacher. Fear makes for inefficient research, and inefficient research makes for unconvincing writing. I reluctantly went to bed about 11 PM, feeling as if I hadn't accomplished much. I tried to console myself with the idea that I'd do a better job when I got up in the morning refreshed and ready to go, but I couldn't sleep. I was wide awake and worried when Tim got home after midnight.
I got up this morning, and there in my inbox were the instructions, sent to me by a student who had the foresight to print them out before beginning work. Reading them carefully, I was sick all over again. All the writing that I had done yesterday would not work. I still had more references to find. This was a disaster. I had to go to work this afternoon, and tomorrow afternoon, and the paper was due in less that 48 hours. I started over yet again.
I am done. I got that paper done today, in five hours. 8 pages, and I think it is good. I sent it to the teacher along with my thoughts on the importance of an evidence based practice. The school website is still shut down, so I am not sure when she will actually receive this. When Tim came in I was in the shower, and I shouted out, "I got it done! I'm all done! Party tonight when I get home from work!" My sister and brother in law stopped by after an estate sale, and dropped off ice cream. I shouted out once again, "I got it done! I'm all done!" and we did a happy dance in the kitchen.
I have one more assignment to do, plus my project, which is planned and ready to write. That's it for my homework. That's all I have left. 14 more days of clinicals. That's it.
It's all starting to seem really real, and it is so exciting I cannot even tell you.