Friday, February 24, 2012

What goes around comes around

What a fabulous past couple of weeks I've had...and life decided I needed a little extra icing on top of my cake and gave me a nasty cold! :( Blah! So I sit here with my kleenex piling up, a sudafed on bored, and soup on the stove! Everyone in my clinical group had gotten this nasty cold and I thought that I'd be the one survivor, unfortunately, we all know the saying, "what goes around comes around" and I am, blowing my brains out! However, I absolutely love my clinical location and my clinical instructor and all of my fellow students! This has been my favorite clinical experience so far! Our days are always jam-packed with skills, skills, and more skills! Our instructor works her tail of running back and forth between all the different rooms. (you see, we're required to have our instructor with us for essentially any of the skills that we do) 

So far I've been able to give lots of IV pushes which includes reconstituting some meds, IM injections (including a massive 3 mL in someones hip (OUCH!), hanging IV bags (woot), I D/C'd a Foley catheter, I got to do deep throat suctioning, PICC line dressing change, other wound dressing changes, and much more. 

We all had to finish 3 complete care plans (the 14 page paper that outlines your patient, their background, and your plan of care for know...the part of nursing school that every student leaps, whoops, and hollers with excitement for...NOT!!!). And now that we've all finished three complete care plans we now get to go into our clinicals "blind". Meaning, we go in like we're actual nurses *gasps and leans forward to catch my breath*. We get report from the leaving nurse and just go take care of our patients. It's really awesome!

Clinical days are so much fun yet very challenging all at the same time! Before anyone goes in to do their skill there are the personal doubts and that voice in the back of your head that says, "you don't know what you're doing, you're not ready for this, there's no way that you're going to be able to be a real nurse" but somehow, with the strength and words of encouragement from fellow classmates, you somehow gather enough strength and you go into that room with your head held high and with the belief that you can do it! Then at the end of the day you share how you messed up on the little things, excelled in the skill you thought you'd totally bomb, and then you move on!

Somehow we're wrapping up our 5th week already, which means that I only have one more week on the general surgical floor and then I'm moving on to labor & delivery and mental health! That also means that we're almost half way through the semester!!!!! Holy smokes! How did I get here?! Time flies when you're having fun right!!! :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A part of something bigger...

I'd like to share what I think one of the best part of my clinical experience is. My group has to be at the hospital between 6:30 and 7am. Meaning, we have to make sure that we're there before it's time to get report. For those of you that don't know what report is, it's the time of day when nurses that have been with a patient for 12 hours gets to do the "hand off" to the oncoming nurse at the start of their 12 hour shift. It's what helps us nurses decide who we need to see first, whose doing great (or not so great), and it helps us pull ourselves together and prioritize the rest of our day! But that's not the experience I wanted to share with you.  ;)

I LOVE every morning pulling into the hospital! There's always a steady stream of traffic that works their way into the staff parking garage. Filling each spot at a steady pace. Then, as you step out of your warm vehicle, there's the sound of the car doors closing, cars being locked, and familiar faces making polite greetings. Crisp, cool, air fills your lungs and brings you the promise and hope of a new day.

Then, all at once, without any begins. The street is littered with nurses, physicians, surgeons, to your left is your friend in respiratory who always knows the best tricks to make your patient's cough be productive, if you glance to your right you see ortho and know that you'll be working with them to get your patient up and walking again. If you look in front of you you'll spot some fellow students whose green scrub pants, white top with the nursing student patch on it, and terrified faces give them away!

This is what I love about each morning. Nothing on the unit and with your patient remains the same. Each day always has it's own unpredictable occurrences. But one thing that you can be sure of, is that at the switch of each shift, be it 7am or 7pm you will find the littering of talented people walking across the cross walk, each contributing to the health and wellness of every human being that we may come across or encounter that day. I love seeing people that are passionate and excited to face their job each and every day!  

In all reality, it's really not anything super life-altering; and to an innocent bystander it may even be annoying, you know, having to wait as people cross the street..heck, I may be the only person that finds it exciting, but it sure does make me feel like I'm a part of something bigger!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Here come the first exam!

If you hadn't guessed already, I hit the ground running this semester! Already into week 5 and about to take our first exam on Tuesday!! There's almost no time at all to catch my breath!!! This semester is so wonderful. Every aspect of it has been so much better than the first two semesters! First of all, we started clinicals already...this will be our third week! Secondly, our instructors are rocking! They're all very passionate about what they teach and are awesome lecturers! Third, my clinical instructor and the unit that I'm on is simply amazing! I feel like I've done more in just the couple days that I've been there than I have in the past semesters! My clinical instructor really advocates for us and pushes for us to get in there and get our skills done! I don't remember if I said what all we get to do for clinicals in my last blog and I'm just going to be lazy and not check and just tell you (sorry if I repeat myself). We spend 6 weeks on a medical-surgical floor. Then we spend 3 weeks in our OB rotation and then 3 more weeks in mental health! 

My first six weeks are being spent at Presbyterian hospital on their General Surgical Unit. I had a great patient this past week. It was fun as my patient and another patient on the floor were walking some laps around the floor. You know you've hit the post-surgical floor when patients are talking about the last time they pooped or were able to fart! My patient kept saying how embarrassed she was to talk so much about pooping but it was all that she could thing about! I just told her that she was in good company, we nurses like to know all about your ability to fart, burp, pee, and poop! There's no shame in that!! :)

Oh...for those of you who were wondering...we had our "trimesterly" CCT exam, which is the exam that makes sure you know how to calculate medications and make sure that you know how to do your math! And yes, I passed! Woot! I had some friends that didn't pass the first time around, but you're given a second chance to re-mediate and redeem yourself. However, if you didn't pass the second time around you didn't get to move on in the program. Thankfully, as far as I know, my friends all made it through the second round of testing!

Tuesday is the first exam! We don't have many extra points to count on (or to pad our grades) this semester, so it's really important to do well on each and every exam. Somehow, I just feel that there's just never enough time to study. Especially this semester. Now I know that I've always been busy, but there's just something about this semester that makes the time just fly by and disappear before you even realize it was even there! All of my friends have been talking about trying to lose weight, go to the gym, eat healthy....the first couples weeks that worked out great, but now it just seems like it's impossible. AHHH!!! 

It's all good though because I know that in August I'm going to be graduating and shortly after that I'll be able to put those two consonants after my name..."R.N." So I suppose the stress and lack of time is worth it in the end!! :)

Well I'm off to bed...gotta take advantage of each minute of sleep...the last thing this world needs is Maggie, on a time crunch, with an exam coming up, not having had a good workout in the past couple days, and sleep just doesn't work out too well!! ;)