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:).