Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Has me pondering…

So I it’s time for an update! As of Friday we have our clinical assignments…of course there is always a chance that things will change, but I’m hoping that they won’t seeing as how we have our orientation to our clinical location on Thursday! I get to spend my time at a nursing rehabilitation center called HealthSouth. We’re told that we’ll see a lot of patients with TBIs (traumatic brain injuries), SCIs (spinal cord injuries), and ortho cases (e.g. total hip replacement). I’m hoping to have the chance to practice some skills…I hear that there’s a lot of PIC lines there so hopefully I’ll get to change some dressings! One must keep in mind during clinical that you have to make your presence known (in a good and not so annoying way) so that the nurse will remember to save something for you! So…if you see me walking around with a brown spot on my nose, well, you’ll know why! ;)

The downside to clinicals this semester is that we’ll have to spend parts of it on campus for a simulation again. We’re broken into larger groups of about 12 (because of the lack of clinical instructors) therefore 4 of us will have to stay behind for campus clinical…We’ll get rotated through both campus and actual clinical locations, but I’m a little bummed that not all of our time will be spent with “real” patients! Oh well…I told you that I wasn’t holding my breath when it came to clinicals…I’m trying to be optimistic and remind myself that last semester even though it wasn’t as much fun, it was a great learning experience!

Well then, it’s time now for story time! This past Thursday and Friday (the week we were supposed to start our clinicals) we spent our time on campus for our final “check-off”. This was comprised of our instructors making sure that everyone knew how to wear their uniforms so we weren’t a disgrace to the CNM name! So we all got lined up in a massive line as we got examined from head to toe. Literally, they started with an inspection of our hairdo and went all the way down to the style of our shoe! The only thing they didn’t make us do is stick out our tongues…and that’s only because they forgot…and I wish I was kidding! J

So after our lovely day of being inspected for the umpteenth time we spent the next day watching a movie (apparently our instructors couldn’t think of anything more exciting). Honestly though, it was a really good movie that got us thinking about the way we interact and treat each person. The movie we watched is called Wit. It’s about a woman who is diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer and spends the rest of her time in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy. It’s a drama filmed like a documentary about the time she spent with her healthcare providers from the time she was diagnosed to the time she died. The moral of the story is to treat each patient as a person and not as a disease. We’re reminded that regardless of how grumpy someone may be, how fascinating their case is, or how few questions they ask…they’re still a person and they deserve to be treated as that…an individual; a mother, brother, nephew or niece, grandma or grandpa or a neighbor that lives down the street.

I think the main thing that I wanted to share with you is how my fellow nursing students reacted to the end of the movie. I took a moment to glance around through my watery eyes and everywhere eyes were teary, noses were running, tissue was being whipped out like Kleenex was running out of business ;) and it was there that I realized how awesome it is that I get to share a career with people that honestly have a passion to help each person to the best of their ability! While yes, there will always be that one grumpy nurse whose life would be so much better if everyone just went away; however, for the most part all that we nurses want are to cherish and nurture each individual to the best of our abilities. Shamelessly wiping away at our tears realizing that we have the potential to affect the way someone heals and perceives the entire healthcare system…it’s overwhelming and extremely exciting all at the same time. Hey, I may not be perfect at giving you a quick and easy IM injection and it may take me a while to change your dressing, but when you just need to cry I can offer my presence to you and just sit there with you and give you a tissue to blow your nose. I can listen to what you have to say and be an advocate for you. I can go out of my way to get you an extra pillow to make you more comfortable so you can rest. I can listen when you say you’re in pain and do my best to ease it and not judge the kind of pain you’re in. I can be there. I can listen. I can intervene on your behalf. I can brush your teeth after you vomit. I can wipe your butt when you can’t reach. The list goes on and on. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that the movie has me pondering the different things that I can do to make each person feel like a person and not feel like they’re being treated like “the disease in room 123”.

 Even though we student like to give the instructors flak about lame days where we sit around and watch a movie…it doesn’t hurt to be reminded every once and a while that each person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect (hmm…reminds me of elementary school…who knew those words would come back to haunt me)!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Coulda been better!

Headed into the fourth week. We were supposed to be starting our first week of clinicals..but I don't believe that is going to happen! (Like I've said before, expect the unexpected) Hopefully we'll be getting our clinical assignments soon! I have the first exam under my belt and it really coulda been better. I got a 76% .... just a little recap...for our grading scale a 75% is a C, an 84% is a B, and a 93% is an A. So I got a C but that's not good enough for me. If you've been around nursing students I'm sure you'll hear a C equals an RN, but I'd rather be in the B's! However, in times like these I try and remember my mother's words of wisdom, "Don't sweat the petty things and don't be the sweaty things!" However, something still has to change in my studying habits!

After class today my friend and I were leaving and we kept running into people and of course the first thing we ask when we hear they did well was, "How do you study?!" I think this has to be one of the must frustrating things for me as a nursing student. I've always had straight A's and known what to expect on exams and I knew how to prepare for them, but it's completely opposite here! So I'm always open for new ideas and lovely words of wisdom!

A lot of us are a little frustrated with our new lecture instructors over their teaching methods. Our level 1 instructors set the bar so high and were simply amazing that we're now struggling to figure out how we should best go about learning this material since our class consist mostly of our instructors reading their adorable slide-shows to us! :) I have a feeling a lot more self-teaching is gonna be happening this semester and I'm hoping I'm up for the task!

Oh...we had our skills check-offs on Friday..that went very well! Completely opposite of our level one high stake check-offs! Basically they just gave us a bunch of scenarios where we had to write out what was wrong, right, what is called what, who goes where etc. We also had to demonstrate our fantastic IM injections and how to spike and prime an IV line! I'm ready for the real world now! What happens is they then tell you if you're adequate at the skill or need remediation while in clinicals...thankfully I rocked it and didn't get any remediation! (FEWSH!) But this cartoon completely describes how I was when I was drawing up my meds for my IM injection....

Well I need to get my hind quarters into bed. We get to have our test review tomorrow...that's where I get to kick myself for picking the wrong answer when I knew in my gut I should've picked the first answer I initially had chosen! You see you can always deduce your possible answers down to 2 out of the 4...the hard part is picking which of those 2 answers is the right 1...and with my luck right now I don't think that I'm going to be trying my luck at the casino any time soon!!! ;)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Well dang...

Into week three and things are heating up! We have our first exam on Friday...which of course everyone is thrilled about! I thought that I'd have a better idea how to study this time around and I thought I'd have a handle on things but I find myself running around like a chicken without its head and its feathers plucked out to boot! I believe I'm forever going to curse the subject of fluid and electrolytes! There's just something about those two things that makes me want to pull out my hair!

On the up side...we also have our clinical skills check offs this week. Thankfully they're not high stake so no one is really worrying about them. However, I must admit that I'm a little nervous about giving IM injections! Sub-q injections are know...tiny needle, tiny volume, easy injection sites etc. The IM injections is just a little bit bigger...a little bit better! :D But the only way to get better is to practice! So I made sure I injected the crap out of my grapefruit! We had the privilage of getting real close and personal again with our know...feeling them up for their acromial process, anterior superior iliac spine, greater trochanter. Only in nursing school is it ok to walk up to your classmate and say, "Hey do you mind if I feel you up to try and find the ventrogluteal IM injection site?" and there wouldn't be a problem whatsoever
Whenever the time does come though to give my first injections this picture is basically what I'll be thinking in my mind! But I'll be telling my patient, "No, you aren't my first injection...I've had hundreds of people before you! You're in the hands of a pro!" (hahaha as my fellow nursing students stand to the side and laugh as I fumble with the needle)...So...for those of you who will be getting your flu vaccination this know to look for me!! ;)
Well's time for me to sign off and get to studying! I have a lovely exam coming up and I'm hoping to be as prepared as possible for it...flash cards here I come!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The tweet I've been waiting for...

I just got the tweet that I've been waiting for...saying, "CCT scores are released." I immediately logged into blackboard to see my results. Now just a quick recap, the CCT is the dosage exam that all of us are required to take at the beginning of each level. We have to get a 90% or higher in order to continue on in the program! If we didn't pass we had one chance to take a retest and if we failed that we wouldn't be able to move on for the semester! A lot of students complain about this test, but in reality, if you mess up on 1 out of every 10 doses that you give, that's a heaping lot of med I really don't mind it, but it certainly makes the time we have to wait seem like a lifetime. So results....dun dun dun...29/30 = 96% YAY!!!!! I wish I would've gotten 100, but I'll settle for a 96...for now! :)
Of course being the good friend that I am I had to send out a mass text to everyone saying that grades had been posted! See that is how we nursing students work! When we hear some exciting rumor, hear an amazing tip from a higher up student or just hear that grades have been posted...we let them my phone is vibrating off the fell off the table! So that's my update! Now I shall prepare myself for bed...once the clock ticks 10pm my mind switches and I start thinking in, "how many hours will I get if I go to bed in (fill in the blank) minutes" so I'm hoping to not think that way tonight and get to bed at a descent hour!! :) toodalooooooo!!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

1st Week Down!

This first week flew by and I'm pretty sure that's what I should expect for the rest of the semester. This week we were once again reminded by our level 2 coordinator that we shouldn't text/talk during class...she went on to say, "If I see you looking at your crotch, smiling, I know what you're're texting" :) Oh how hillarious (and brilliant I might add) my nursing instructor(s) are!

We've already had our high stakes testing for the semester which is our dosage calculations exam. We're required to get a 90% or higher on it. If we get below that then we have one chance to retake and get a passing grade. If we don't pass the second time we don't move on for the semester! So it's just slightly a big deal! Hoping grades will be posted soon, but I know how this program works and I'm sure we'll get results later rather than sooner!

Already I'm having to catch-up on reading assignments and review and relearn things that have slipped my mind...ack! If I thought that there was a lot of reading last semester I guess that I had no idea what was headed my seems like we have a few hundred pages to read each week...and everything is still in the (new semester/unorganized) stage which makes it very difficult to get organized enough to know what readings are required for a particular lecture or lab! But I'm slowly organizing things in a way that will allow me to stay on track. Or, as others may call it, my OCD is showing, but you know know what...I'm not even going to go there!

As soon as we get the results from our CCT (the dosage exam) we'll be getting our clinical location...I'm extremely excited to find out where I'll be going. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed that we'll be able to spend all of our clinical time actually in clinicals and not a simulation...but again...I'm not holding my breath! :) "Expect the unexpected" I do believe that has become my life's motto!

Well I've finished my readings for today and I'm going to go and try and enjoy what little is left of my Labor day! So until my next posting...TTFN...Ta-Ta-For-Now!