About One DNP

I earned my "terminal practice" degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in a journey of excitement and challenge. It inspired me to advocate for an all encompassing clinical credential rather than continuing the hodgepodge of nonsensical initials. I hope these entries will provide entertainment and insight into the Doctor of Nursing Practice experience, which will soon be the entry standard for all advanced practice nurses.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Orientation Week: Day Two

We had a lot of tech-style orientation this morning – reviewing Office 2007 products (guess it is time to purchase the update!) and getting our laptops connected to the UTHSC system. I had a lovely afternoon break and hit the hotel gym. Unfortunately, the afternoon shower does nothing to stop me from pouring sweat on trolley back to school. The Memphis humidity is sneaky – unlike Louisville where you immediately can’t breath and feel ten ponds heavier when you walk outside, here you actually think it is bearable for a few minutes.

Next up, Epidemiology. This will undoubtedly be my challenge class because I want to “yes, but” nearly everything.

Take pertussis. The number of cases has risen by the thousands in the past several years and they are now recommending booster shots for pre-teens. If it is true the immunity wanes over the course of a few years, it has been doing so for decades. The rise in cases is recent and more likely do to lack of initial vaccination, not lack of a booster. I keep thinking about a lecture I hears a few years ago by an epidemiologist who is studying the link between the rise of auto-immune disease and preventative care measures like vaccines and anti-bacterial everything. Her arguments were compelling and I am putting it on the list of topics to re-research during the program.

After listening to the lecture, I have every confidence that the end results of epidemiologic study will lead to the following recommendations:

Balanced nutritional packets tailored to the individual as the dole means of nourishment (think the Matrix: “everything the body needs”)

Procreation via Petri-dish based on genetic optimization (See Heinlein’s “Beyond this Horizon”)

Mandatory vaccination, 6-month-breastfeeding, and exercise programs (funny that a lot of folks who are passionate about breastfeeding are wary of childhood vaccines)

Strict lights-out and wake-up-call policy by time zone (“ealy to bed, early to rise, makes men healthy, happy, and wise)

Motion-detection automatic UV-light sanitation systems installed in every home

Uniforms and job assignments by aptitude

Or, as explained in Escape from LA:

Snake Plissken: Got a smoke?

Malloy: The United States is a non-smoking nation! No smoking, no drugs, no alcohol, no women - unless you're married - no foul language, no red meat!

Snake Plissken: [sarcastic] Land of the free.

Our professor is enthusiastic about her field and passionate about the wellbeing of the population. I am defiantly a individual and small-group focused practitioner, so my brain is going to get a good stretch in this class.

Last up of the day was my meat and potatoes class (or 30/30/40 if anyone is designing my nutritional regimen supplement) – Biological Treatment for Psychiatric Disorders. This was the smallest class and the first time we were able to have more personal introductions. We are a diverse bunch with varied backgrounds within the psych specialty. Some are in the second year of the 3-year post BSN-DNP, some are like me who have an NP degree and are working on their Psych Mental Health Certification with the DNP, and others are post MSN or CNL/CNS. Interests range from incorporating psych into their current adult/child/acute/family practice to further specialization in psych as a clinician.

Our first lecture discussed trauma as an origin for many of the over or misdiagnosed mental illnesses in childhood and a review of CNS responses to stress. I have so many new exciting things to share with my students this fall after just one lecture!

I also had that woo-woo feeling of “I am exactly where I need to be and doing what I am supposed to do.” I had that feeling over 10 years ago while driving back from the mountains in Santa Fe after the first week of my graduate program in Chinese Medicine. I love it when I get "signs" that don’t bonk me in the head!

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