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Aug 2, 2020

I've been busy for a few weeks, as you might have noticed. I didn't mean to abandon you, but I had to for a short while. As you can see from the photo, I have been spending time with a boney friend. He has helped me learn about the body, and understand more about all of the body systems. I was really ignorant about these before I started the Nurse's Assistant course. I went to the local college for about a month, twice a week, to practice serving ill and elderly people. The other days of the week, we had classes via Zoom, to keep a social distance. It all worked very smoothly, and I believe we all passed. However, we were supposed to have two weeks of clinicals in a local retirement center, to get real, practical experience of working with patients. The Coronavirus interrupted that, unfortunately. As many residents suddenly got infected, the clinicals were postponed. Never mind! Washington State government is allowing us to do our clinicals while we work, that is(1), if we manage to get a job. That will be my next goal: to get a job. It's not the easiest job in the world at all; you have to be tough. But as I am a tough Brit, I think it will suit me. There are lots of people in retirement homes in this area who need good, kind care. My parents are elderly now, and I think that if I were(2) not available to help them, I would want them to have the best, efficient, and kind people to look after them.

The course was taught by an excellent teacher called Tina. She has been a nurse for over 20 years, and has such insight into the job! I liked many things about the course. Firstly, getting to know the body on a level that I was unfamiliar with was very exciting. I don't have a science background, and I had never taken the time (3)to learn anything about anatomy. So, a new world opened up to me. Then came the practical application of the nursing process: observing patients, diagnosing problems, and forming a plan. Again, very exciting stuff. It's a tremendous responsibility to do these things with weak, ill people. They are so vulnerable. And then, at the end of the course, Tina worked her teaching magic, and made the knowledge we had gained very personal. We had to do a project, imagining ourselves as 87years old, living in a retirement center, and dealing with normal age related body changes. It was the perfect way to end the course, by developing empathy and understanding of patients. I will let you know if I get a job; I'm sure that will be quite an adventure.

1. 'That is..' is a little phrase that shows that we are going to restate something, or add pertinent detail, or a condition.

a. I will find out what his plans are, that is, if he ever calls me!

b. Economies should open up in a couple of months, that is, if everyone social distances in the mean time.

2. 'If I were not available to help them, I would want them to have the best.' This is subjunctive, right? Let's see some more:

a. If they wore masks (if they were to wear masks), they would be safer.

b. If he spoke that way to my mother, I would give him a piece of my mind!

3. 'To take the time + infinitive'. This idiomatic phrase is self-explanatory. You have spent some time deliberately doing something: studying, planning, thinking etc.

a. Why don't you take the time to read that book; I think you'll find it worthwhile.

b. We took the time to get to know our new neighbors. I'm so glad that we did. They are now our best friends!