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Prepping for graduation! March 27, 2010

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

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I got a letter to confirm that my graduation date is this May! That is assuming the completion of in-progress classes.

What a relief! I was a little worried, some of my classmates were too. I think it’s natural to worry. I mean, there’s the excitement of being in your final semester, and the dread that there’s gonna be one little thing to hold you back. I noticed my GPA and tried not to be too disappointed with it. I wonder if I can still salvage it to graduate with honors… I suppose I can ask my adviser. I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to ask, yeah?

I turned in my transcript request yesterday. It will be sent out to the BRN after my degree posts. (Yay!) I have to get my fingerprints done and passport-type photos taken. I plan on mailing my application to the BRN this Monday. (Or today… are post offices still open on Saturdays?)

Let’s see… I’ve gone ahead and ordered invitations to the main graduation ceremony and to the pinning ceremony. So exciting! All I need to do is buy my cap and gown… and order my GK honour cords and stole!

I am so close to the finish line!!!

When I started this program 3 years ago I thought to myself, “Three LONG years!!! Am I ever gonna finish? Will I make it through???” It hasn’t been easy. There have been sacrifices. I’ve many times had to choose between my kids and study time, till I finally decided I could balance them if I just let go of my straight-A mentality. I’ve had two relationships that couldn’t survive nursing school… but I’ve found this year I am actually less stressed without a man in my life. (LOL!) There have been some friendships that I lost due to drifting apart, but that’s life… I’ve also made new friends through nursing school to balance me out.

The most important thing about these past years is that I finally figured out what I wanna be when I grow up. I want to be a nurse! A damn good nurse. I was a little iffy at the beginning… wondering what was this thing that I was taking on? Am I nurse-material? Talk about going in on faith! (Don’t people usually have these things figured out before they dive in? LOL apparently not me.) Now… I am so glad I went for it! Even with all the doom and gloom of the economy I am still optimistic about this profession. =)

Anyway, I’m on spring break… sort of. I won’t be going out of town or anything exciting since I have a few papers (yes plural: paperS) due the week after break. I’m sure I’ll be on here trying to get away from writing… by writing. (Don’t ask me how that makes sense…)

Happy Saturday!

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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!

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

not quite in the fetal position… February 25, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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4 comments

86

Is it spring break yet?

If I can offer any advice to anyone out there still in the early stages of their nursing school experience or perhaps still taking their prerequisites, DO NOT put off your other graduation requirements (read: GE classes) till the “easy” semester. That’s what I did… yes, the workload for nursing is not much this time around (hence “easy”) and while all I wanna do is focus on studying for NCLEX and rack up more preceptorship hours I can’t. I also really wish I could’ve signed up for advanced assessment or any other class related to my major. But nope. I have to use my “extra” time expanding my knowledge in areas non-nursing.

Let’s just say I’d rather patho or pharm all over again than have to write all these fluff papers… or do projects with people I don’t even know…

Yeah, it’s like that.

/rant

Sticker Shock February 23, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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9 comments

BRN Registered Nurse Examination Application $75
Interim Permit (optional) $30
Public health nurse certificate $75
Fingerprinting ~$20
DOJ processing fee $32
FBI processing fee $19
Passport photo ~$15
NCLEX-RN examination registration fee $200
Transcripts ???

Other stuff:
ACLS class $50 (plus cost of book)
Nursing pin $50 (cheapest pin)
Hurst review ~$350 (?)
Kaplan review ~$499 (?)

Writing “RN, BSN, PHN” after my name… priceless?

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.

Testing 1-2-3 February 11, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in tips.
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2 comments

100

So my senior project (a.k.a. community service hours) is at the skills testing lab. Yes, I willingly chose to be one of the testers for the new nursing students. It’s a nice skills refresher, actually… and I feel like I can make a difference. I remember how scary it was on testing days and even scarier when your tester looked mean. I try to smile. But not too much (they might think I’m crazy). I always try to tell them what they did great before I tell them how they screwed up. Most of the students are prepared, but others… ahhh… not so much.

Here are some things to remember on testing day:

– Have all your supplies ready–put them all in a big ziploc baggie if you have to. That way you don’t waste precious time rummaging through your supply bag or backpack for stuff. The clock is ticking.
– Actually bring your stuff. That includes nursing staples like a watch with a second hand, black pen, and stethoscope.
– Introduce yourself to your tester. (We don’t bite. Usually.)
– Talk loudly enough for the tester to hear you, if we don’t hear you verbalize something we can take off points.
– Don’t talk too loudly that nobody else can be heard. It’s annoying.
– Don’t chew gum. Do I have to explain why?
– Know where to find peripheral pulses. You should know by now.
– Know how to do an assessment. Practice on a friend if you have to.
– Know how to do the skill you are testing for. Really.
– Unless told by the instructor, you are treating the whole patient/mannequin. If you see a ginormous wound/dressing, assess it… even if it’s Foley day.
– Do not fight for every little point. If you have a valid concern or you didn’t understand something, please point it out. But if you argue with me for that 1/2 point I took off because you didn’t DO what you were supposed to… I’m going to nitpick other things.
– Do not talk about me in the hallway afterwards. Chances are I can hear you.
– Practice! Practice! Practice!

The end.

I made it! February 6, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Clinical.
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3 comments

105

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!

Hmmmph! February 5, 2010

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

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???

Signed,
Just a nursing student

In two months… February 1, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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8 comments

110

Apparently a new version of the NCLEX is released every three years. Lucky us, the next one is out on April 1, 2010! First thing that came to my mind was, “haha April Fools!” but of course, I’m sure there really is going to be a revision…

Darn!

A rep from Kaplan came to our class today to tell us about their courses. Prices seem a little much, but I’ve heard good things. Also, I know a couple people who did HESI instead of Kaplan. I remain undecided. After all, I am already taking a case study/NCLEX review course through my uni, plus the ATIs.

What about you? Will you be taking Kaplan, HESI, or other review course?

*edit* I think I meant Hurst instead of HESI…