Friday, August 26, 2011

This Girl .....

Caiti with her first heart rock find! She's a chip off the old block!
"In thy face I see the map of honor, truth and loyalty." -Wm. Shakespeare
..... is not really a girl, she's a woman. When I was her age I was married and getting ready to give birth to my third child, her younger brother. This is my oldest daughter Caitlin as she's known at work (if I call and ask for Caiti, they don't know who I'm talking about), Caiti at home, Sweet Pea to me. She graduated from the SMCC/Maine Medical Center Surgical Technology Program yesterday. We are so proud of her!

Please don't laugh, thankfully she doesn't look like us!

Caiti spent a year and a half at U Maine Farmington studying to be a middle school special ed teacher. She decided that teaching probably wasn't for her, not because of the children, but because most parents weren't like her dad and I (love). She had wanted to be a teacher since she was in kindergarten. She thought she might like to become a nurse. So, instead of immediately transfering schools and majors, she took a semester and applied, was accepted, and graduated from MMC's Certified Nurse's Aide Program in the spring of 2007. She wanted to make sure this really was the career path for her. Boy is it!

She has worked on MMC's Cardiac Intensive Care Unit since the spring of 2007. She spent a year or two just working, but her dad and I kept pushing her to return to school. She resisted for a bit because she really likes her job - loves the direct patient care. She finally relented a few years ago and applied to nursing school at SMCC and was put on the waiting list. It's a long waiting list. It's a two year R.N. program and it's affordable, unlike the three other colleges/universities that are local and very expensive. She wanted to graduate relatively debt free.

The loves of my life!

Well, she got tired of working full-time (weekend overnights, Th, Fri & Sat) and going to school full-time, just taking classes to be in practice for that load when she was able to enter the nursing program. So, last summer she decided to apply to the Surg Tech program. Ultimately she wanted to be an OR nurse so she thought this would be a nice next step toward that end. She was accepted, and two weeks after she paid for her first semester in full, she got the letter that she was accepted into the nursing program. Major Bummer.

Holy mackerel, we are a motley crew.

She was upset at first, we told her it was just money and we'd find a way to help her with nursing school. She decided to stay where she was because it's really hard for brand new nurses to obtain positions locally, many of them are having to leave the state; our hospitals are having cut-backs.
Staying in the program was the right decision for her at this time in her life. She loves it, has an affinity for it, and it's shown her that this is the correct career path for her. Maine Med's program is one of the most vigorous in the country, it is a 12 month program as opposed to the 2 years most programs are. She did this while maintaining excellent grades (3 tests a day the first 6 months, multiple papers per week), school was Monday-Friday all day, and working full-time through the first 6 months, and cutting back to 2 overnights for the second 6 months. She has completed her Associates Degree in Allied Health. I am in awe of her!

Caiti and her fiancee Geoff.

She's now getting ready to begin the next phase of her life - she's accepted a position at The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle, Maine (or as my father-in-law calls it, God's country). Unfortunately for us, this is 5 hours away from home (it's that hospital cut-back thing). We would have loved for her to have obtained a job locally (so would her fiancee), but it wasn't in the cards. She'll also be working on her Bachelor's in Allied Health at UMPI while there. The good thing about this move is that she's moving to a place where she'll know a few people. Our former next-door neighbors moved back home to Presque Isle 7 years ago, so she has family there to comfort and look out for her when we can't. She also has lots, and lots of relatives on her grandfather's side she'll have the opportunity to meet and get to know. All-in-all, not a bad situation!

Caiti, we love you so very, very much. You have made us proud to be your parents every single day of your life. You are one of the great loves of my life. Congratulations on your graduation!

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