Monday, August 9, 2010

Just around the corner...

Just around the corner, my second year of nursing school looms.

I'm not sure if the butterflies battling it out at the pit of my stomach when I think about sitting in lecture halls in a few weeks, are butterflies of excitement or dread. I'm thinking they're a bit of both. On one hand I'm excited to work with more lovely (and even not so lovely) patients, add a bit more knowledge to my hungry little mind and to catch up with my lovely classmates but on the other hand I haven't quite forgotten the long, almost sleepless, nights of studying/writing & all that wonderful test anxiety. :)

It seems like summer has completely flown by - so I guess this accelerated time warp I was wrapped up in last school year doesn't slow down when the weather warms up... too bad! lol. I've only been working part-time so I've thoroughly enjoyed the last month & a half of lazing around, hanging out with friends & my boyfriend, walking my dogs, reading fiction, hanging out at Starbucks, hiking, camping, going on vacations etc. etc. Although I do weirdly sort of miss homework a TINY bit once in a while.

Oh I almost forgot to mention something important, I passed stats!!! And by pass I actually mean did very well, which is pretty astonishing for mathematically challenged me. I almost found myself enjoying it at times(gasp), which is even more astonishing. :) Strangely, this doesn't help calm my nerves at all about drug dosage math I'm going to have to master next semester - without a calculator I might add - here's where the DREAD comes up again.

As I've mentioned before, as much as I've wholeheartedly tried in the past, math and I have never been buddy-buddy - well at least not when calculators are not permitted. Being poor at math has stopped me from attempting to become a nurse on numerous occasions. I know how important math skills are for a nurse and I feel somewhat ridiculous admitting that I struggle with it when nursing is my goal. I'm just praying that if I really put my, mature, mind to it, I can at least become somewhat confident in the math a NEED to know. I'll let you know how that goes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's tough but it flies!

I can't believe I'm finished my second semester classes! I can't remember any other period in my life flying by like these last few months have - It's pretty incredible and wonderful :). I remember the looks on peoples' faces when they'd hear how long my degree program was before I started. I tried not to let them get to me by trying to convince myself that time would go by quickly and I'm so impressed that I was far at least. lol. At the same time I keep having to remind myself to cherish the experience of nursing school and the friendship and support of my classmates as I'm sure I'll miss all of this like crazy once it's over - the way I missed high school when I graduate(eons ago) even though at the time I willed it to speed by.

I was starting to feel a little bit burnt out by the end of this semester but I'm feeling refreshed now. It feels amazing to be done classes and ONLY have studying for exams to worry about. I have two exams this coming week and two the week after. Then I'm finished!.. for a few days at least, before spring semester begins. :) I'm taking two classes during spring which hopefully wont be TOO difficult. One is my statistics class which Im sort of dreading as I'm definitely no math whiz. I'm going to try my best to stay on top of homework, hopefully that will help.

My classes this semester have been decent for the most part. My nursing class was once again pretty much a self-taught class which leaves me sort of POed. I enjoyed my nursing lab though - our teacher was terrific. We had our scary skills tests again last week and I passed. We only had two skills to prepare for this time which made it less stressful, although they were both sterile procedures (simple wound dressing and catheterization) which added a bit of difficulty/ heightened chance of failing.

We already had to registered for fall, which seems soooo far away (but will probably creep up fast). I'm very happy to have most of my classes and my clinical with people I've become close with. I'm extremely thankful to have clinical with good friends as Im worried our next one is going to be much more stressful. We start doing meds in the fall as well as more care.

I don't feel like I'm very well prepared for this second clinical because many of the patients I had this semester were extremely independent. So instead of doing bed baths and alike, I was walking beside 4 wheel walkers chatting about the war and delivery ice chips. lol. Don't get me wrong, being on this unit did teach me a lot and was a terrific experience but I'm worried I'll be expected to know a lot more then I do come next semester. I'll let you know how that goes.

I'm also in the process of applying for a summer nursing aide job (like Im sure MANY other first year nursing students are doing). I've applied with the government as well as with a couple of private agencies but I haven't heard anything back yet. I'm not holding my breath as I'm sure I have tons of competition but I'd love to gain some more experience providing care to patients.

Well I better get back to cramming :)

Thanks for stopping by!!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Thank God for Clinical

Thank goodness it's finally reading week - I plan to catch up with my course work, HOPEFULLY work ahead and also study for a few midterms that happen right after the break. Hopefully I wont be TOO distracted by the Olympics - P.S. WAY TO GO CANADA!! I'm so happy that I decided to do absolutely no homework yesterday (which felt great) and instead got together with friends and watched Alexandre Bilodeau win gold for us - Amazing!

Holy is this semester so much tougher then my last one! I'm taking an extra class this semester but not one that adds a ton of extra work so it's strange that I feel so much busier. I think it mostly boils down to the fact that I'm starting to realize I need to retain all this info I'm learning for longer then just a week in order to write midterms - I need to retain it FOREVER! What a daunting thought!

A&P seems tougher to me this semester, I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around a lot physiology, although it seems like it should be easier. Nursing classes are much more interesting this semester - we're learning things like cardio and respiratory assessments, exciting stuff :) Ooo and now we actually practice our assessment on PATIENTS and then we CHART our findings!! Crazy!

Speaking of Clinical, I LOVE IT! The unit I'm on is a geriatric one and gosh are most of the elderly people so adorable and interesting!! My instructor is super friendly, very approachable and very knowledgeable. I feel really lucky to have ended up on the unit I'm on with the instructor I have - some of my friends weren't so lucky. Thank goodness I'm not on a palliative unit like a few of them - I feel emotional enough with my patients who aren't end stage by a long stretch so I don't think I'd do well on a unit like that, not yet. And my instructor is so encouraging and understand even if we're nervous about doing something, she just offers to come help. Some of the instructors have no patience for things like that, which I think is unfair - come on this is our FIRST clinical!!

My first few days of clincial were the toughest but even those weren't nearly as scary as I'd thought they'd be. The idea of taking vitals seem'd terrifying to me at first but honestly as soon as I spoken to my first patient and he was so willing, almost happy, to be my guinea pig, I felt so much calmer and more confident.

It's amazing how lovely most elderly patients' are with students. They honestly seem happy to be able to help us improve and learn - I think the fact that they get the chance to help someone else for a change brightens up a few patients' days.

Actually being in the hospital, hearing peoples' stories and being able to help them, even if it's just with something small, reminds me of why I ever choose to go into nursing. It's so easy to forget that feeling of excitement I use to have when I imagined what it would be like, feel like, to be a nurse when I'm sitting in classrooms day in day out learning things I can't imagine I'll ever use in nursing (like stats:).

Friday, December 25, 2009

1/8 done! :)

Oh my goodness, the semester is over!! I never expected it to fly by the way it did. Hopefully that trend continues since my program is 4 years long - well three and a half now WOOOHOOO!!

Sorry that this blog is so overdue - they really mean it when they say your life becomes school...

This semester has been good... not overly exciting but good. I had one prof I wouldn't recommend to anyone unless they think they'd like to skip class a whole lot - I'm positive I learned nothing in her class as we had to do "learning modules" at home and she'd just cover a smidgen of the material in class by reading out her slides. YAWN!

I finished up with pretty good marks overall. I do have room for improvement but I'm happy enough with where I stand. Most of all I'm PUMPED that I did okay in A&P 1 - the class I was so worried about failing. A few of my friends were on the edge of having to redo the course but they all pulled through on the final!! Yay ladies!! We had our scary skills test at the end of the semester. The profs ended up being so lovely during our test(something none of us expected), they help everyone out a ton if they forgot anything important and almost everyone past. Sigh... it felt SOOOO good to have that out of the way.

I'm on Christmas break at the moment which is feeling amazing :) Although Im going to TRY to buckle down and hit my A&P 2 material a bit before the winter semester begins. I worried the second part of the course will be more challenging.

The most exciting/terrifying thing coming up is CLINICAL! We begin the second week of the semester. I'm so excited to interact with patients but so worried I'll be ultra awkward around them - tends to be common for me when I start doing almost anything new.

Well Im going to go to bed and snuggle up with a NOVEL! Boy have I missed reading fiction! :)

Thanks for stopping by. I'll make sure to let you know how my first day of clinical goes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ahum " I'm a Nursing Student!" :)

Sorry, I only have time for a quick post. So much reading to do!

The semester started last week with an orientation and a couple of classes. I started my nursing classes this week. So far we've pretty much just covered course outlines ect. in all my classes except my bio (anatomy & physiology) class - we dove right into that fun stuff. :P I'm feeling a little overwhelmed but hopefully I can stay on top of things and therefore stay kind of sane. :) We start our nursing labs next week - I'm really excited about that!

I've made a few friends in my classes and even formed a study group for A&P already. Haven't really met anyone who I have a "we're going be friends forever!" vibe with yet. hee hee. Hopefully soon. I think great nursing school friends will make this journey that much easier.

Well that's all for now, I'll fill you in on more details in the next week or so.

Bye for now!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

So close!

School is just around the corner! I have an orientation and one class next week. Eeek! I keep having to remind myself how much my life is about to change so that I'm slightly prepared for it.

As I worked my last few shifts as a receptionist I have to keep myself from thinking "good riddance" because I know from experience that the grass is NOT always greener. I left this job once before to go to college and I remember missing being here like crazy because, as boring as it can be, it's practically stress free... unlike school. I leave here at 5pm and don't usually think about it again until the next morning at the earliest. School/homework is always on my mind, every waking minute (and then some). Don't get me wrong though, there are definitely pros to going to school also (other then just working towards my dream career). The thing I love most about school is that I get recognized for working hard (if I choose too:)) which motivates me to work that much harder. This is something my workplace fails miserably at - which reflects in my lack of enthusiasim/drive. Tests suck but getting back a great mark rocks! :)

I picked up, & received from chapters, the rest of my books. I looked through them a little and I'm pretty excited to start going over the material in class. Most of it looks really interesting... hopefully I'm right as there are MANY pages to cover :).
I already have some stuff to do for my A&P class that our teacher put up on blackboard. Nothing too scary, just a bit of reading and a small intro assignment that I think she's using to get to know us. I did the assignment already but I haven't sent it too her yet - don't want to look like TOO much of a keener (although I'm sure I wont be able to hide that for long LOL). Bio has me so worked up that I'm praying I can keep up with it.

One of my nursing classes is up on blackboard also. I had a look though the outline etc. When I read the part about skills tests during the lab section I started getting really nervous. Written tests are bad enough but tests where I have to actually speak and perform tasks with my very own trembling hands? TERRIFYING!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I was a little worried about my CPR course (I haven't done any kind of CPR type training for years) but it ended up going great. The instructor was friendly and entertaining and of course the material was interesting. Sadly though I think my attention didn't waver mostly because I worry that I might actually have to perform CPR on a family member or friend one day. I hope I'm wrong though! At the beginning of the class we had to introduce ourselves and say why we were there, taking the course. and only two people, out of about 20, WEREN'T going into a nursing program! :)

A few people were starting at the same school I am. One girl was fresh out of high school so she's in a different section then I am. I knew there were two sections, one with students who have already done some post secondary classes and one with students with no prior post secondary experience but what I didn't realize, until today, is that the other section doesn't get to take any nursing classes until the winter semester. :( A lady who was probably 40ish was also going to my college - Yay I really wont be the oldest one in the program, it's not a myth! :)

Boy am I glad Im in the section I am - Not only because I'll get to take nursing classes but also because I think I might be able to relate a little easier to students a bit older. Don't get me wrong, I've definitely made some great friends at school who were A LOT younger then me but school wise they were somewhat on a different level. I remember a few of them thinking I was a total keener just because I'd actually study for tests and get assignments done by the due date. Haha! Not surprisingly, many weren't interested forming study groups etc.

The gal I met at CPR training wasn't at all excited to start the program which kind of blew me away. Although, I remember feeling pretty burnt out after HS and perhaps that's where she is right now. I think once you take a break or at least feel really strongly about the program you're entering it helps with your attitude & commitment. Perhaps students in a nursing program will be more studious no matter what but I think I might have a better chance of some good study buddies in the mature student section.

This girl from CPR also commented about how she dreads doing her senior clinicals because body fluids etc. gross her out. I'm hoping being in the other section will help me avoid students like that - That kind of attitude totally irritates me! I mean, I know everyone has issues with that kind of stuff (I'm sure I will be no exception at all) but hearing such an.. whats the word... immature? unprofessional? uncaring? opinion about it upset me. I wonder if these students end up making it all the way through nursing school. I hope if they do that at least their attitiudes change...