Friday afternoon, after a hectic, 'Did you grab this? What about that? And that thing? You packed it, right?' we got the car and dog packed and headed down to Tucson, about a four hour drive. We took a pit stop in Phoenix so Vince could get his boots re-fitted at a SkiPro, a quick pretein-style bite at In-N-Out (I think that would be Jesus' favorite place to eat were he here on Earth, or, ya know, real), and a potty break for Roxi, and continued on to Tucson.
(Packard is my maiden name!)
We arrived somewhat late, at least later than I wanted, around 7:45pm. After checking into our cheap hotel in the middle of nowhere, which I didn't think was possible in a huge city like Tucson, I realized that I had packed nothing to wear to my Certified Nursing Assistant exam, the main reason we were even in Tucson! I went into panic mode as I realized I didn't even bring a pair of regular jeans; I had a pink pair, a yellow pair, a mint pair, and a purple wear. WHAT THE HELL, self. We quickly drove to Wal-Mart in hopes of finding scrubs since that was the only place I could think of, and after google maps brought us to the shipping yard for Wal-Mart in the middle of the dark and I-think-this-is-the-start-of-a-Law-&-Order-episode warehouse district instead of an actual Wal-Mart, we came across Target. I knew Target wouldn't have scrubs, but I figured I could at least wear something nice. (Scrubs weren't actually mandatory, we could wear what we wanted, but it was recommended.) So I tried on a million things and ended up buying an outfit.
At that point I was stressing about not wearing scrubs, realizing I was hungry, and at the same time reminding myself that I still had to study. I hadn't even read through the skills list that I needed to know and I took the class almost a year and a half ago! Some would call me a procrastinator, but I like to say I work better under stress. (My body is shaking it's head no saying, 'Next time, PREPARE BETTER. The stress, it's so painful.')
After a quick stop for a round of animal-fries-minus-the-cheese from In-N-Out we got to the hotel and I crammed some information into my brain before falling asleep around midnight. When I woke up in the morning, I rushed around getting dressed, packing the car, yelling at Vince and trying to calm myself saying that if I failed, I failed. I could take the test again. I sped off to the test site way ahead of schedule and arrived early, giving myself time to eat an apple, some almonds, and to study.
Finally at 7:30 I went inside to check in. This is where the annoying part came in. We were supposed to get there by 7:40 to check in and go over the rules to start the written test at 8 with the skills test to follow. After the observer finished her explanation at 8, she said, 'Ok, the written test will start around 9, so you can just stay out here until then and I'll see you later for your skills portion.' What?! Why did I need to get here so early if we weren't even going to start the test until 9?
So I sat. And sat. And sat for what seemed like a long time because I was so nervous.
Once we got to the test I was the first to finish (only 25 minutes - my observer said it's the fastest she's seen in all the years she's been doing this. What can I say, I've always been a fast and good test taker!) Then it was time to sit and wait. Again. About a half hour later another girl finished the test and sat in the waiting area with me. At that point, the other observer came out to get me for the skills portion, and the other girl cut in front of me! I was so annoyed, I was ready to get this over with! So then I had to wait another 45 minutes for her to take her skills test.
When I was finally able to take my test, there was one skill I did NOT want out of the 20 or so skills that I had the chance of getting, which was making an occupied bed. What was one of the four I had to do? Change an occupied bed. Fortunately, I found out last night that I passed! I passed my written test with a 95% and passed all four of my skills. (They are pass or fail.)
I'm glad the test was our first morning in Tucson so that I could enjoy the next couple days, which I will share in another post! Clearly this post is already too long. Also, the next post won't be so stressful and will be full of pretty pictures; I'm sure you were gripping your seats wondering what was going to happen next. Oh, the stress! Here's a sneak peak at what's to come: