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Update!!! April 30, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Clinical, Student Life.
1 comment so far


I know, I know… I’ve been a very bad blog-friend. The only thing keeping me from feeling too guilty is the belief that you all have been just as busy while I was afk. =)

Lots has happened in the last month. Obviously. For the most part I’ve been busy with writing essays and papers for my classes, that I have no brain space left for blogging. Seriously. I mean, I even Tweet less these days. (I know! Who’s too busy for 140 characters per Tweet?!?)

Anyway, I think my last post I had just gotten a letter to let me know that I am on track to graduate. Recently, I received a letter from the BRN to let me know what other items I need to complete my application–basically my transcripts, which will be sent off by my school right after I graduate (*knock on wood*). All I have to do is register with Pearson VUE $$$, which I will do soon. After they get confirmation I am eligible to test, they’ll give me authorization to test (ATT). Then and only then can I even sign up for a test date. At least, that’s my whole impression of the process.

Catch all that? lol

I’m almost done with my clinical hours. My time in the ICU has been great! I feel like I learned a lot about what it means to be a nurse. Just to be able to apply theory and evidence-based practice gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling. (I know! I’m still in that honeymoon phase…) Anyway, I guess what I mean is that in previous semesters I was doing things because I was *supposed* to do them… now I know why I do them. Not that I didn’t know back then, but being in my senior year, my last semester, I can really just focus on the my role as a “nurse”, instead of worrying about what forms and paperwork I need to fill out for my instructor. It helps too that my preceptor is awesome! She has really allowed me to grow as a soon-to-be nurse. Sure, there are plenty of days I still feel like a student. (I am a student! lol) But I feel more confident now that I did, say… last year and even just this past semester.

My senior project hours in the skills lab are almost at an end, as well. My kiddos (haha) have their comprehensive skills final next week! It’s been great to work with the 1st year nursing students. What an amazing feeling to see them grow. Seriously. The students I really enjoy having are the ones who want to know how they can improve. The best part about teaching is when you see the concepts finally click. We try to push the critical thinking aspect, because anyone can memorize a skill; but do they understand the WHY behind it all? Listen to me, all excited. =) It makes me think about going into education one day. Not soon, but some time in the future…

My grad invitations have been mailed out. I’m just waiting for people to R.s.v.p. to the pinning. I’m disappointed that our tickets are limited, but that’s another story for another post. Or not.

Let’s see… what else? I have to start applying to jobs soon. Somehow I feel like I should have been job hunting sooner. Argh! Hopefully I’m not too late to the party and can still get something close by!

Other than that, things are great. I am stressed out, but I am surviving this semester and right now that’s all that matters. I hope you all are doing well with school (or work). Take care!

Happy Friday!

2 weeks March 16, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Clinical, Student Life.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wow it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted? I wish I could say that I was on vacay and just having so much fun that I didn’t have time to post… but alas, that isn’t why I’ve been away. To be honest, I forgot my password and I didn’t bother till yesterday to reset it.

So far I have 2 midterms out of the way. (Yay!) I have one more coming up. I’m just glad they aren’t all lumped together in 1 week. There is much writing (essays) left to do and I’ll probably be using my spring break to do that. Fun fun…

Senior focus is going well. I am really enjoying the ICU. =) I love the work environment… who ever said the ICU is filled with a bunch of loners? lol The nurses work together and have great communication. I get a really good vibe there, like it would be an awesome place to work! I’ve found that your 3 best friends in ICU are: the unit clerk, the RT, and the charge nurse!

Senior project is also great! I have fun testing the 1st year students. If your nursing program allows you to do that, I recommend it! Not only is it helping me brush up on my skills, but the teaching aspect of it helps me to think of skills more critically than when I was the 1st year student nervous to pass the skill.

Sorry I don’t have any stories. When I think of something I’ll let you know!

Tsk! February 27, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Clinical, Just a Nursing Student.
Tags: , , ,


Dear annoyed family member(s):

I know you are concerned about your loved one, but it’s not going to benefit anyone to grill the nursing student. I do not write orders for meds or procedures or tests. I do not control the ET tube or vent, except to maybe suction when necessary (or during assessments). I do not titrate the meds to sedate, relieve pain, maintain the blood pressure or rate heart of your loved one. The doctors are out in the hall, the RT is across the hall and the nurse is in the next room. Let me get one of them for you, take your pick.

Yes, there’s a bunch of stuff I can do, but it’s often under the supervision of a licensed R.N. I certainly cannot and should not give you any medical-related information relating to the condition of your critically-ill loved one.

So please, please, please… when the student nurses tells you, “I’m sorry I cannot answer those questions, you may ask the RN when she comes back.” Don’t look down your nose at me in disgust and suck your teeth to say, “You’re just a student,” as if student were a dirty word. Because, yes, I am a student. Just like I first told you when I introduced myself… and there are things my facility will not let me do, like talk about your loved one’s medical condition, so please stop asking.

Just a nursing student

I made it! February 6, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Clinical.
Tags: , ,


Of course, the night before my first day back at the hospital I would manage to hurt myself. The other night (at home), I tripped in the hallway and thought I sprained my ankle. I even heard the crack-ack-ack when I fell, but the pain I felt wasn’t as excruciating as I remember having before AND I was actually able to move my foot without wanting to cry. I literally laid on the floor in the exact spot I fell, praying and cursing and muttering under my breath all at the same time. I was so mad at myself, how stupid to trip… all the thoughts ran through my head like: What if I had to miss a semester because of a stupid sprained ankle? My daughter, bless her heart, rushed to me and asked if I was ok. Her concern made me laugh at myself. I sat up and played with my ankle a bit. Not too bad… so I got up slowly to stand on it, and it turned out just fine. Even better, I made it through my 10-hr shift the next day!

My ankle still hurts a little, but it didn’t swell or bruise so that means it’s not a sprain, right? It just doesn’t like it when I have it a certain way. Let’s just say I won’t be running on it any time soon…


The first day of my preceptorship in the ICU went well. I think. What threw me off was not being able to research my patients the night before. Sure I knew their diagnoses, brief history, current history, etc. just from report, but I like being able to pick stuff apart the day before clinical. This time… it was jumping right in.


But it was alright. I survived! My preceptor is awesome! It makes a world of difference when your nurse is eager to teach. I took it all in… even though some of the stuff she was saying was review from last semester. I was ok with that. Note to self: I need to carry a small pad of paper for stuff I want to look up during my down time.

Speaking of down time… there isn’t much. By the time you are done with one task, it’s on to the next. Vitals every hour; assessments every 4; check the drips, lines, tubes, and Foleys; meds as scheduled (which felt like all the time); new orders to follow; codes (in other rooms); new admits to help with, etc. It was my first 10-hr shift, but ya know… I didn’t feel tired until I sat down. I was too busy to feel tired when I was running around doing stuff.

I actually did get to have a lunch break. Surprise, surprise! I’ll have to remind myself to bring a lunch next time so I don’t have to go all the way down to the cafeteria.

It felt good to be back!

Hmmmph! February 5, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Clinical, Just a Nursing Student.
Tags: , ,

Dear med student or intern or whatever the heck you are,

I did not know who was coding, just as you did not know who was coding. I only knew the room number, just as the whole hospital knew the room number after the code was called. I came to the damn room, just as you came to the damn room. So when you ask me who the patient is and I tell you the room number instead of the name, you don’t have any right to look at me sideways and snicker. If you didn’t know YOUR OWN PATIENT’S NAME, how the heck am I supposed to know when I’m working on the other side of the unit???

Just a nursing student

Home (part 1) January 23, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Clinical, Student Life.
Tags: , , , , ,


Two years into the program and I still wasn’t sure where I wanted to be. I liked PACU, ED, L&D, etc. but any time someone would ask what “area” I saw myself working in, I honestly couldn’t tell them. I just didn’t know yet.

I liked PACU because it seemed so awesome that the nurses would be watching over the patients as they came out of surgery, making sure they were waking up and breathing, not bleeding out or having other adverse events, titrating their meds, being the first person they see coming out of anesthesia (besides the anesthesiologist) and telling them Hey you made it out of there alive!

I liked ED because it’s wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am! Turn over was great and I honestly was once at a point in my life where I did not want any emotional attachment to patients. (LOL talk about transference… I was having some other personal issues at this time also.) So for ED it was: figure out what’s wrong and “fix it”, then 1) send them home, 2)  transfer them to the floor, or 3) send them to the morgue.

I liked L&D because it’s watching new life come into the world. Being a mother myself, I knew what a big deal it was to have a good birthing experience. I also liked the teaching aspect with antepartum and postpartum. I had a great experience with teaching breastfeeding, diaper changing, recognizing what “normal” is, etc. (This is also the time during which I got over the whole not wanting to get attached to patients thing.)

But yet…

None of these places spoke to me. I was even ready to accept Med-Surg as a starting point. After all, I’d been told that is a rite of passage for most graduate nurses. I thought maybe I’d just find my way after that.

(to be continued)