Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Intro to feeling like a dumbass

Nothing feels quite as lovely as somebody making you feel like the biggest idiot in the world.

Enter my Intro to Nursing teacher, although I use that term loosely.

Today, we were learning to write care plans, which is something probably all nursing students learn and hate. While meeting in little groups, she came around and we asked her some questions about nighttime urinary output and edema, or swelling in the ankles.

"Well, what happens to heart perfusion when you lay down?" she said.

"It goes down," one girl said.


"Well, we're not sure what it does," we all agreed, nervously nodding to one another.

"WHAT??? WHAT??? Just think about it." To illustrate her eloquent point, she made her ink pen stand up, lay down, stand up, lay down.

Of course, she went on, it goes up. Of course it does. Then she walked away sort of disgusted in all of us. This from a woman who told us the right diagnosis wasn't in the book we were using. A book she clearly hates.

Well readers of this blog, if a few months, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to say I got 100 percent on my first Patho exam, but I needed to drop out of college because I failed Intro to Nursing. Oh, what a proud day that will be.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pathophysiology and pharmacology

A few months ago, I wasn't even sure what pathophysiology meant. Spell check doesn't even acknowledge it as a word. Today, I took my first test.

100 percent!!!! That's right.

Sure the tests will continue to get harder. Sure I probably overstudied. Sure it's sort of wrong of me to gloat about getting the only perfect score (that I know of, although it's a group of 25 people who I see for 6-8 hours every day).

But it sure is a nice ego-booster and, hopefully, a sign of things to come.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Another great day at clinicals

I have next-to-no-time available to me this weekend, but I just had to mention the fantastic day I had yesterday at clinicals.


Totally awesome. I gave eight H1N1 shots to Alzheimer's patients, so the lady that screamed bloody murder ended up following me around for 30 minutes because she couldn't really remember I was the person she hated. Anyway, I gave more shots than anybody else in my group because I'm pretty fast. It's a mom thing. Turns out, being a mom is a good training course for being a nurse.

I also had great interviews with my two patients and will be passing meds next week.

Well, back to my studying. I have a pathophysiology test Monday and a health assessment test Tuesday. Turns out, studying for tests is not nearly as fun as giving shots.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Test 1 down; 15 to go

That's 15 tests left this session. Then just three sessions after that. And 16 more tests per session. Now I'm hyperventilating. Now I'm freaking out. Step back. Just think about Saturday. Saturday....

Ahhh. That's better.

So where was I? Oh yes, my first test down. I got an 89 percent. Not too shabby. Almost an A, not that it matters. That's what the group collectively decided today. Grades are not important as long as we pass the classes and, more importantly, the NCLEX, the national licensing exam.

But that's 50 weeks further ahead than I'm allowing myself to think.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Clinical goodness

So... Just two weeks and we're in the clinical setting. It's a nursing home but it's such a great break after sitting in a classroom for hours upon hours each week. Not that I don't love learning about drug metabolism for the third time in one week, but the break is nice.

My group is at a very rural nursing home in the middle of a cornfield. It's run by Mennonites, which I mistakenly believed are Amish-like. I do know they make a mean strawberry pie by the annual Mennonite strawberry pie festival. Anyway, it's a really interesting place.

All the students get a frail elder and a well elder for this clinical rotation. My frail elder is dying. I am not at all joking about this. She's dying and will likely die during my rotation. While I find this very sad, but I also think it might be a great opportunity for both me and this patient to enter the dying process together. Truth be told, it will probably definitely be a better opportunity for me than for her, but I hope we both benefit from it.

My well elder is a very gossipy old guy who pretty much lives in his own filth. I'm approaching this as my "light" assignment and not getting too creeped out by the old-man smell.

Another benefit of clinical is my carpool group. They are a group of very ambitious young women who I like very much. They are so cute and driven and smart. And... they asked me to come study with them. We're meeting to study for a test Monday night. I finally feel the emergence of the college student I always knew I could be, instead of the one that was too hung over to come to class so many years ago. I'm super excited.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Intro to Nursing

I'm sure it's super important to understand the history of nursing and the modern health care system and ... oh forget it. I'm boring myself.

What I really want to know is: when do I get to start giving shots. That's what I really want to know.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Adult Nursing 1

Our Adult 1 Nursing professor is super enthusiastic. Smiling and telling stories and simultaneously sorting through about 15 Web sites, she describes health promotion initiatives with the sort of vigor a college student might use when relaying a weekend drunkfest or I might use to describe a very minor grade change.

But I still feel like I haven't learned anything. At least, I'm not sure I've learned enough to pass the test next week.

I am sort of thrilled at a grade change I had on a quiz earlier this week. I asked this enthusiastic professor about a question I was sure I'd gotten right. Turns out, I had did have the answer right, except I included the word "grid," as in "Amsler grid" and the word "grid" was already written in the answer. Anyway, the quiz was for 5 of about 5,000 points, but she gave me full credit so she totally rocks.

Wasn't that fascinating!

Monday, January 11, 2010

School begins

Actually, it began six days ago. I'm just now posting, if that tells you anything. The first week was pretty awesome and I had a feeling of euphoria at my unbelievable courage and smarts. I even felt youngish. It's sort of like being a super hero.

But after a crappy night's sleep, a horrible headache and four hours of pathophysiology, with a test during our next class meeting, I'm sort of feeling slightly more like someone who might not get an A in pathophysiology. Or, really, in anything.

If I mentioned I only got a 95 percent on the third patho quiz, instead of the 100 percent I should have gotten if I were paying attention, you probably wouldn't feel as sorry for me as I feel for myself. But you should, because I suck.

Tomorrow — Health Assessment followed by Adult Nursing I. Class starts at 8 and we're going until 3:30 to make up the class time we lost last week to the snow storm. ***yeah***

Friday, January 01, 2010

Another New Year

I guess it's time for some resolutions. I did OK on last year's list. Not great. I didn't let the girls help me with dinner once a week, and I fell way short on my blogging goal (Damn you Facebook). I never had that much-needed garage sale.
But... I did get all my Catholic stuff done and ran a half marathon. I also did everything needed to get into nursing school.
And I went ahead and GOT INTO NURSING SCHOOL, even though that wasn't even on my list!
Because of that, my year is pretty much dedicated to going to school, so my resolution list will be short but with little room for failure.
1. Do not freak out. Do not freak out.
2. Pass my classes.
3. Don't focus on how hard it is. Instead, see it as fun and challenging.
4. Take at least a few hours each week just to hang out with my family.
5. Say one Hail Mary for every mean thought I have about somebody.
6. Try really hard not to yell at my family when I'm stressed out for reasons unrelated to them.
7. Run at least twice a week, even during finals.