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Study, study, rest… then study some more June 7, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Uncategorized.
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So after I got all excited about studying daily I actually did it! Well, for four days… After that I was burnt out. I’m talking: online Kaplan lectures, reading the book, answering questions, and going over rationales… then reading some more. Yeahhh… not to mention my internal clock is set to wake up at 6:00 (sometimes 5:30!!!) no matter what. I was studying till lunch, watching an hour of TV, reading a little more, then taking a nap till my kids got home from school. (Yes, I take naps.) After dinner, I had my Kaplan class. NOT FUN. Don’t get me wrong, studying was going well, Kaplan was great… it’s just that I couldn’t continue that pace by the fifth day! I need a new plan…

Oh, by the way!!! Here is a tip: Take Kaplan with a friend or two! Seriously! I was lucky because most of the people there were from my graduating class, so there was no initial shyness… no worries about looking stupid for giving the wrong answer. It was easier to ask questions in class. It was awesome! Contrast that to a class I had to make up with the majority students from a “rival” school. Awwwwkward. They’re nice I’m sure, but I felt like they weren’t critical thinkers… hard to explain. Unlike my peeps, they didn’t really talk through the questions… and puh-leeze, how can you NOT know that Tylenol is potentially hepatotoxic?

lmao maybe I’m a little biased…

Anyhoo…  I gotta go. It’s almost naptime. =)

Testing 1-2-3 February 11, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in tips.
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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.

Books January 8, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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134 days.

After tuition, rent, and food, books are the next biggest money eater. My first semester of nursing school I think I paid over $1000 for books alone! That includes books for: Fundamentals, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Physical Examination, Clinical Skills, Gerontology, Neuman’s, Nursing Diagnoses, Manual for Diagnostics & Labs, Med Reference, Nursing Dictionary, plus ATI package. (Phew! Did I miss anything?) I want to say I spent about $2000 total, including PDA, PDA software, uniforms, shoes, and supplies… Luckily, the so-called starter package was meant to be used throughout the program with only a couple more textbooks each subsequent semester.

You may or may not have to buy 3 boxes of books like I did. (Yes, there literally were 3 boxes!) Go to your bookstore before classes start to beat the rush! Here are a few other tips:

Tip #1
Buy used. If available. (That’s a big DUH!) However, I’ve found that nursing books are hardly ever available used, since nursing students do tend to use their books through the program. Which leads me to…

Tip #2
Don’t sell your book back unless you’re absolutely, positively sure you won’t need it again. I know people who sold their books back only to be sorry later… If anything, ask an instructor or another student who’s further along in the program. (But I still think your best bet is to keep the books!)

Tip #3
This one goes back to tip #1. Check out online prices. Personally, I prefer Amazon.com. Remember, online textbook shopping is not without its drawbacks. In addition to checking out the seller’s rating, I always check out how far they live from me and how fast the shipping is going to be. No way I want to be without my book on the first day. (Believe me, you will need your books the first day.)

Anyway, I have my book list… thanks to my university bookstore’s online service! I have the ISBNs and I am off to Amazon.com to compare the prices. Then on Monday I’m going on campus to see what they have available used!

Any tips you want to add?