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2 weeks March 16, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Clinical, Student Life.
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3 comments

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!

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Tsk! February 27, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Clinical, Just a Nursing Student.
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4 comments

84

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.

Sincerely,
Just a nursing student

Dx: Sinusitis February 19, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in General, Student Life.
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8 comments

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Last weekend was brutal. Right after my hospital hours on Friday I came home, showered, barely ate dinner, and crashed on the couch. My body was just so tired of me pushing it while it was telling me to rest, so rest I did.

I’d been “sick” for a couple weeks by then. I saw a doc on Thursday (not MY doc ’cause she was off that day) who told me it was “just a cold” and gave me a list of OTC meds I could take to relieve symptoms. (Gee thanks.) I went in to the hospital feeling ok the next day, though I was on Tylenol and Sudafed to kill my sinus pain. By the end of the day I wanted to take a tube, stick into my face, and attach it to suction. (Note: Don’t actually go and do this!)

So back to the weekend… I slept early Friday (was in and out during the Olympics’ opening ceremony–it was gorgeous btw!). I slept most of Saturday and Sunday. By Monday, I was starting to get better. By “better” I mean I didn’t feel a need to sleep all day. (Thank goodness for the 3-day weekend!) 

Tuesday, I went to see the doctor. MY doctor this time. She actually listened to me list my worsening symptoms over the past 2 1/2 weeks. Imagine that. Listening to the patient. (I love my doc!) She prescribed me some antibiotics for the sinusitis, told me my lungs don’t sound like it’s gotten to bronchitis yet. YET. She also gave me a script for prednisone to help relieve the inflammation and allow me to breathe better (I have asthma normally controlled with an inhaled steroid, but lately have been needing my rescue inhaler too). I’m to continue the Tylenol and Sudafed, PRN, and take guiafenesin (an expectorant) to thin out my mucus. Yum.

Today, I still have sinus pain, but it’s bearable. I contacted my preceptor last night and asked if I should come in today, and she told me to rest. I wonder though if it’s due to me being sick (protect patients) or me being on prednisone (protect me). Maybe both? Anyway, I’ll have to make up those hours…

As it is I’m playing catch-up with my homework because, as you know, when you’re a nursing student there’s no time to be sick. *sigh*

Today’s tip: Don’t get sick.

I made it! February 6, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Clinical.
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3 comments

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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.

Scary.

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!

Ready… or not. January 28, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Mommy stuff, Student Life.
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4 comments

114

I have my paperwork turned in: health clearance, BLS card, malpractice insurance. I even have my badge. My scrubs are clean and neat, my shoes ready to go. I should be able to start my preceptorship tomorrow. BUT I’m putting it off till next Friday.

Why?

My daughter has a really important test tomorrow and I just have to be here in the morning when she wakes up; make sure she gets a good breakfast (not some sugary mess she sometimes sneaks by her grandma lol); and give her lots of hugs and kisses and tons of encouragement. =)

Kids first.
Career next.
Me last.

Some of my classmates don’t understand… but then again, they don’t have kids. The other part of me feels like I’m letting myself down. After all, I got all my stuff ready right away. I had a head start because I took initiative by getting in touch with the right people. I have a site and a preceptor (and a designated day–every Friday), while others don’t even know where they’re going. And now I am choosing to put it off… doesn’t seem to make sense when I put it that way. All I know is that I can make up those hours for my preceptorship. Can I make up the hours I lose with my daughter?

Just some thoughts this morning.

You Never Know January 26, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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1 comment so far

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Any place you go there’s always at least one person that tends to rub others the wrong way. Especially Even nursing school. Lucky for me I’ve dealt with difficult people my whole life (thank you, family) so I can pretty much get along with anyone. One of my former study mates (“former” only because he graduated early by combining his 5th and 6th semesters) was known as the smart ass of our group. He used to annoy me and another mate during class. I’m the shrug-it-off or laugh-at-myself type, so it didn’t bother me too much. My friend, however, took it to heart… she was irritated at the mere sight of him.

Anyway, long story short: you cannot judge a book by its cover! Or sometimes not even by the first few pages, either. Smart Ass (and I say that lovingly) was a real big help recently. I almost expected he would be too busy to answer a text from me, but he surely did. =)

I had been worried about which ICU floor to choose, who to pick as a preceptor (or more importantly, who to avoid), etc. By taking me seriously when I went into panic mode, he made me feel so much more at ease with the whole ordeal. It all worked out just fine last week.

It would’ve been easy to write this guy off as a douche. Seriously. But he really is a nice guy after all. You just never know.

Has anyone surprised you?

Nursing Student Survival Pack January 25, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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I expected it to be a long ass day today, but I really had no idea. I wish I’d put together a small survival pack… in it I think I’d put the following:

– food (nuts, granola bars, MREs… jk)
– brown paper bag
– bottle of ibuprofen
– coffee, coffee, coffee
– red robin – aka: in/out cath (haha ok not really)

So basically my day starts at 11:00 and ends at 5:00. Not bad, you say? Ha! Genius that I am, I did NOT schedule any breaks in between. My classes are literally back to back!

11:00 to 1:00
1:00 to 3:50
4:00 to 5:15

Ok ok so there’s 10 minutes between class B and class C… it’s not enough! I really need to start packing my lunch so I’m not starving by the time I get home. Yikes. You’d think I’d have this student thing down by now…

What would you include in your “survival pack”?

Preceptorship Roulette January 19, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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Someone posted on their FB that they got their preceptorship assignment today. A few left comments on her status that made me realize not everyone knows where they’re going to be yet. That made me a little nervous… I hadn’t heard a confirmation from the school’s clinical coordinator at all either!

I sifted through my email. My instructor had acknowledged an email I sent her (back in December) asking for further instructions regarding securing a spot in the ICU. She said I didn’t need to do any more than I already had (I spoke with the hospital’s ICU coordinator to get my name on the list.)  As far as I know, my name is on that list. I emailed her again today… just to see if there is an orientation prior to the start of classes or if anything has changed. Tomorrow I’m calling the hospital.

Technically, classes start on Thursday, but I don’t have a nursing class till Monday. I have Leadership and a case studies class. Another nursing class is online and two more are on-site (a preceptorship at the hospital and a senior project/community service).

I have an orientation in the morning for my senior project, which is basically participating in some sort of community service… I chose to help out in the nursing lab to mentor first year nursing students. Lord, help me.

My non-nursing classes are: Asian-American Communities, Visual Culture, and American Inequality. So much for an “easy” final semester. The upside is that these classes actually sound interesting. After all, I don’t wanna just fulfill graduation requirements, I want to learn. I mean, nursing isn’t everything. (Ssshhh… don’t tell anyone I said that.)

Anyone else taking non-nursing classes with their nursing stuff? What was/is the most interesting non-nursing class you’ve taken?

PDA software January 13, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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4 comments

129

I’ve had my PDA since the start of nursing school… uh, because they told us we’d need it. Not so much though. It’s been collecting dust in its box for the past year. But now that I’m starting my preceptorship, I will no longer have the luxury of looking up my patient the night before for patho, labs, and meds. I thought it would be nice to have something at my fingertips.

I looked up PEPID online. That’s the software they required us to have for a year. Little did I know that after the sub was up, all that info would be gone. Sayonara. Hasta la bye-bye. Grrr…

I did not renew due to the steep price and my empty pockets. Needless to say I still do not feel like forking over another hundred or so, especially for a program that is going to be oh-so temporary.

Amazon.com has some PDA software, mostly drug books or lab/diagnostics. The price is decent. The info will not disappear on me in 12 months’ time… however, I will only get what I pay for. That is, it’ll be a digital drug book or a diagnostics book for PDA.

The beauty of PEPID is the “comprehensive clinical information” it provides. But oh the cost! Would it be worth it? I was salivating a bit over PEPID’s Critical Care Nursing Suite. Then again…

$89.95 for 6 months. $149.95 for 12 months. Yikes!

Do you use a PDA? What software do you use and do you find it useful?

The semester hasn’t even started yet and already I feel behind… January 11, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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131.

I should be more excited about my final semester… but I’m not. If anything I am WORRIED. I am carrying so many units! What was I thinking leaving so much upper division G. E. requirements to the last semester?!? Ugggghhhh…

That, my friend, is the sound of dread echoing in my brain.

While my friends are relaxing with their light load (by partying it up, working more hours, or taking fluff classes–one friend is taking up interpretive dance!) I will be sweating it out in my required classes. By writing, that is, no physical exertion involved.

Anyway, even the whole reviewing of critical care material (or even for NCLEX!) is slow-going. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a nursing book. Ok wait, maybe last weekend. But yeah… I need to get motivated and I need to do it NOW. I still have time to read up on stuff, that way I’m not completely mushy-brained when my preceptorship starts.

Ugggghhhh…