Hard Deadlines and All-Nighters

The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Heat is On” Does your best stuff surface as the deadline approaches? Sometimes.

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In Nursing College, when I was finishing up my Psychiatry Rotation, the final assignment was to create an all-inclusive Nursing Care Plan for a hypothetical patient with a two week hospital stay. That’s 14 days of detailed hour by hour documentation.

I had a few basic ideas afloat in my consciousness when I sat down at my desk around 11 pm. The project was due the next morning. I won’t pretend that this was an easy task and I whipped right through it. It was not and I did not. I worked diligently for four to five hours, snuck in a couple of hours sleep, then did a one hour final edit for typos, errors and last minute changes in the morning. I was happy with it. Not thrilled, but happy. I would get a decent grade. Whew!

I scored an A+. What? Yes, I was delighted with the grade, considering the amount of time I spent. But an A+? Maybe the professor was a little too “relaxed” when she did the scoring. Maybe it was sheer luck. Divine intervention. Did I get away with something?

A few days later, that question was answered by the professor herself when she called me into her office. She had met with the Hospital’s Nursing Care Plan Committee, comprised of the Director of Nurses, College Nursing Professors and others. Unbeknownst to me, my nursing care plan was presented to the committee.

She wanted to tell me that it was chosen by the committee as the college’s exemplar of Student Nursing Care Plans, to be presented at a conference in San Francisco the following month. If this was okay with me, would I please sign the permission form. I did.

There it was. My first brush with an all-nighter to meet a hard deadline. It turned out quite well. I never told my fellow student nurses about the “exemplar” designation. No need. And I disciplined myself to spend very little time in the valley of guilt for scoring such an “Easy A”.

~

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