I completed my final day of clinical... ever. I'll never have to sign "SPT" again. I won't need to have notes cosigned. And I will never, ever fill out a self-assessment of clinical skills again. I feel like I suddenly grew up, got kicked out of the house, and all I'm really waiting for is a small piece of paper to tell me that I'm on my own.
It's an incredible feeling, but the reality of it all is about to set in. I likely still have two months or more until I'm able to practice independently. Apparently even though I took the boards early, the processing time for my degree and subsequently my license is going to take a while. (I'm not exactly sure why it takes one month for my degree to be displayed on my license, but that's what they told me).
Saying goodbye is going to be a theme in the next few weeks. It started with my coworkers. I had been at this last clinical rotation for six months, so in a way I started to feel like a part of the "family." It's a long time to be in one place, and you definitely start to integrate into the environment much more when you're around for so long. If I wasn't graduating, I think I would have been even sadder to leave that clinical site, but the prospect of being finished helped to avoid a tearful goodbye.
What's really going to get me is when I have to say goodbye to some incredible friends who will be leaving the area. It seems like a vast majority will be leaving the city of Pittsburgh to pursue job opportunities across the country. I've spent a lot of time with this group in the past three years and I've made friends that will last a lifetime -- even if they are moving 2,000 miles away.
I can guarantee a tearful goodbye next week when we all go our separate ways after graduation. I'm from Pittsburgh, so going to school here was like coming home. But I've also learned to associate my home with a number of my classmates, and it's going to feel very strange to be here without them. For better or worse, we've become a huge part of each other's lives and I'm so thankful for their friendship and sanity throughout this journey. One more week. One more blog. I can't believe it!