Friday, September 16, 2011

What kind of Nurse are YOU?

I’ve been thinking lately about the different kind of nurses out there. There seems to be the ones that love nursing for the patient interaction. They love helping people. They just really love people.

Then there are the ones that are more technically minded. The ones that love the diseases, the machines, the procedures, the lab values, and of course they kinda like the people too.

I think I fall into the latter category. If I’m being honest, people scare me. Diseases fascinate me. When I was doing my outpatient surgery rotation I was in love with being in that procedure room. I ate up every last word the physicians said about the procedures. I loved looking at the monitors and watching the vital signs of the patient under anesthesia. Being able to see inside that patient’s body was absolutely amazing.

I’m still struggling with my patient communication thing. I have a really hard time talking to the patients. I’m pretty good at reading lab values, looking over the chart, understanding the disease process, and knowing what needs to be done, but when it comes to actually having to have a conversation with them, I still have a really hard time.

I wonder if it is something I am going to get over, or if it is something that will always be difficult for me.

So what kind of Nurse are YOU?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Hate Med/Surg

I want to start this by saying that I hope I don’t offend any med/surg nurses. It really takes a special person to be a med/surg nurse. I just don’t think that person is me.

Ya know, I have read all the horror stories about how med/surg is. NO ONE seems to like it. When I started this nursing thing I decided to put all those stories out of my head and go into it without any bias. I thought hey, I could surprise myself and actually be one of the few who actually likes it.


I think that might be why I am wavering about nursing lately. Med/Surg flat out sucks. It seems like the nurses there are just drug pushers. They run around like drug dealers trying to shove the next dose of medication down the 5 or 6 patient’s throats (or PEG tubes, or IV’s, or arms). Now I don’t mean for this to sound like anything bad toward M/S nurses at all! I have come to see the stress and the lack of time to do anything but pass meds. I get it. It’s not the nurses at all (I have meet some really great ones in M/S) it’s the job itself.

This week I had the chance to do a rotation in outpatient surgery. I absolutely LOVED it! There seemed to be more focus on the patients and less focus on the medications. It was fast paced. It was interesting. It was actually fun.

I didn’t get to see any actual surgeries, that will come in a few weeks during my OR rotation, but I did get to see an EGD with PEG tube replacement, a colonoscopy, a nerve block, and some pretty gnarly wound care. I LOVED IT! The nurses there seemed to love to teach me, and even the physicians I met were more than thrilled to explain every last detail of the procedures to me.

I’m not looking forward to getting back to the M/S floor.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Called out by a friend

The other day I was out chatting with my neighbor. We have become pretty close in the last 4 years since they moved in. I had asked her a few days earlier if she wouldn’t mind me taking some maternity photos of her to get some practice in with my camera.

She was telling me how she was talking to her husband about me wanting to do this, how he said “what is she into now?” and her responding with “Oh you know her. She can’t stay focused on one thing for too long” (I love her brutal honesty).

I thought about that for a while. She’s absolutely right. I really can’t stay focused on one thing for very long. To be honest, I am already starting to wonder what the hell I am doing in nursing school and if this is really what I want to be doing or not.

Looking back on where I have been, I did notice a pattern of focus-to-the-point-of-obsession on something, only to suddenly drop it and get focused on something completely different. I did kind of know this about myself when I started this Nursing journey. One of the reasons I picked Nursing was for the diversity it brings. Is it going to be enough for me though? Is this something I am going to be able to stay in for the long run or am I going to get bored two, maybe three years in? I’d really hate to think that I am doing all this work for nothing, but I’m only half way through the program and I am already starting to have doubts about my long term future in Nursing. Hell, I’m even already starting to think about the next thing I can focus on (photography – see, completely different direction).

I just can’t figure out what makes me do this.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I might be an overachiever

Just to give you an idea on what I have picked up during my whole 10 day break from school:

  • I have started my projects for this years big Halloween party - over the top again this year
  • I have become addicted to Pinterest and in turn, have a million and one craft projects going at once
  • I have decided I need to learn Spanish so I started Rosetta Stone to try to teach myself scratch that, too much for me so I decided to wait until Christmas break to start this again
  • I have picked my photography back up, this time I am serious
  • Oh, and I am in Nursing School
Some of this isn't so bad. Most of it really helps me deal with my stress. I love just becoming completely absorbed in some of these projects and I LOVE seeing things when they are finally complete.

Photography is the biggest one. I'm really wanting to improve and maybe if I can get a little better, I might consider doing something professionally. That is, of course, if I can improve. I'm considering starting a new blog documenting my 365 project that I am starting and my growth as a photographer. (I know, I can't even keep up with this one). We'll see.

I just worry I might be overextending myself with all of this during nursing school.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Well Hello There Stranger

I’ve been neglecting this blog. I know. I’m sorry.

When I started this blog I had every intention of keeping a day to day (or at least a few times a week) update of my journey through nursing school but as always, life and everything else gets in the way.

To say the summer semester kicked my ass would be an understatement. It was tough. There were MANY late nights studying for exams that were every week to every other week, MASSIVE amounts of paperwork to do for clinical, and TONS of information to get into my brain in just 12 short weeks. Needless to say, I had no energy or drive to blog. It took everything I had just to get through that semester.

This semester seems to be going a little slower, or at least at a pace I feel like I can keep up with. I’m hoping (but not promising) that I will be able to blog a bit more about my experiences in nursing school, and life in general (since that seems to be just as interesting these days). This semester we will be in the OR, PACU, and preop which might make for some interesting stories.

I really have missed my outlet here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finals go a little something like this around here...

Stress r/t nursing school AEB excessive intake of coffee and NSAIDS, chronic late night studying, loss of hair, and delirium.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This time tomorrow I will be on a beach somewhere...

Yes, I might be crazy but at this point I really don't care.

It's mid-semester and my family and I are taking a mini vacation.Things are hectic to say the least. A month ago a friend from nursing school and her 3 kids moved in with me. (yes I said three, so that makes a total of 5 kids under the age of 8 in my house...somebody shoot me). She had some crazy circumstances (no she didn't get a divorce) and had no one to turn to so my husband and I took her in for a year and a half. It's been a little difficult getting used to it all. I'm the type of person who really needs my space and as you can imagine in a house of 8 people, space is limited. On top of that, this semester has been pretty stressful. I'd say I deserve a little vacation in the middle of all this madness.

So the family and I (just mine) are packing up tomorrow morning and heading off to the beach for four days to try to get some relaxation in. Maybe it won't be so bad studying for next week's test with the sand in my toes, the sun shining down on me, and the waves crashing at my feet.

Oh, and I made another A on my F&E test last week (barely). Thanks for all the offers for help! I ended up pulling another all nighter but obviously they work for me as the last two A's have proven. I have a feeling I will have yet another date with 10 cups of coffee and 3 am next week.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fluid Volume OVERLOAD!!!!

Next week is our exam on Fluid and Electrolytes.

Someone please help me...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Learning experiences come in the least expected ways

It is amazing how different the clinical experiences can be from week to week. Last week my nurse taught me quite a bit. She didn’t really let me do much, but she did teach me tons. This week, my nurse didn’t teach me a thing, or at least not like my first nurse did. She pretty much assigned me a patient and let me have at it. I suppose that in itself taught me as well.

I honestly can’t say one was better than the other. I really enjoyed learning from the nurse in that first week, and it was nice to be able to follow her around and get a feel for things rather than jumping in right from the start. It was also nice to be able to actually do things this week though. Today I was able to attempt to start an IV twice, didn’t get it on either try but neither could my clinical instructor so I didn’t feel so bad. I removed a foley, gave meds and water through a PEG, and hung IV piggyback meds/fluids. I’ve done more today than 80% of the students last semester were able to do during their entire semester.

There was something else I learned today though that I think might be even more valuable than any of these skills.

Not to let anyone scare me away from being who I need to be.

My patient today came with a sitter. A PCT that sat with him all day long, repositioning him and making sure he didn’t rip out his IV (which he did), his PEG (which had to be inserted because he kept ripping out his NG tube), or didn’t fall out of bed.

I went in early to look at my patient (yes, I actually did somewhat of an assessment this time, even though he was unresponsive) and to help my nurse and the tech reposition him. The PCT was pretty snotty with me. Snapping at me about which side of the bed I needed to be on, making snide comments about my technique (or lack thereof), didn’t even acknowledge me when I introduced myself and pretty much scared the crap out of me within my first hour on the floor. I walked out of the room very tempted to try to get my nurse to change my assignment. I sat outside his room staring at his chart and told myself “Self, you can do this. Dealing with people that are hard to get along with is part of the learning process”.

And I did just that.

When I went in next it was to try to start an IV. I was scared shitless and a lot of that fear was of the sitter and not the patient. Before I walked in the room, I tried my best to calm my nerves and just went for it. I ignored the PCT and just let my instructor help me. I have no idea what changed but after that the PCT started warming up to me. When I went in again to help reposition, she was completely opposite from the first time. She was friendly and warm, and again when I went in to remove the foley and was struggling with unclamping the drainage bag she offered to help, as friendly as can be.

If I would have let her get to me in the beginning, and got my assignment changed because of her, I would have missed so many great opportunities. I let people scare me too much. I’m not a crier. I can keep my emotions in check pretty well, but my biggest downfall is letting people scare me.

I’m actually really proud of myself for not letting that happen today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I am in Paperwork Hell

As the excitement of my first clinical rotation wears off, I am staring down the massive pile of paperwork that I need to turn in by Friday afternoon. I realized that in all the excitement of the day, I really didn’t get a thorough assessment of my patient. In fact, I didn’t get much of an assessment at all. Most of the information I did get was copied from the chart. I can probably fudge most of it for this one, since it is the first care plan we are to turn in, and it is more of a “practice” one than a strictly graded one but I am a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t get the assessment I should have.

All of this makes me realize that while I have come a long way in the self confidence department, actually talking to some people, and getting in there and doing things rather than just being a fly on the wall, I still have a ways to go before I become who I need to. The assertive, confident student nurse.

So now I will get back to this mountain of paperwork, and figure out what I need to do to make sure the next time I am in the hospital, I actually talk to and assess my patient rather than relying on the chart.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I survived.

I had my first clinical rotation today.

I didn’t run from the floor crying.

I didn’t turn into a pile of nervous mush.

I didn’t freeze upon entering my patient’s room.

I didn’t kill anyone.

I DID have an absolutely fantastic time. The nurse I had with me was A-mazing. She used every chance she got to actually teach me. She quizzed me on things like “why does the left lung have three lobes and the right only two?” and when my patient started going south (diaphoretic, nauseous, etc) she calmly talked through checking his blood sugar, and taking his vitals. When his BP popped up at 50/30 she threw him into trendelenburg while quizzing me on why we were doing it. She talked through every step as she hung platelets for the patient who had a level of 7. Explained the reactions we needed to watch for, and talked through exactly what she was doing as she was troubleshooting the IV access line.

Other than the schizophrenic patient who was hitting the nurses, refused to wear clothes, refused his medication, and was constantly stopping his IV infusion, all the patients I had were just as great. They seemed to love having students in there and smiled every time I walked into the room.

This was NOTHING like my mind was making it out to be for the last few weeks. I went to bed last night TERRIFIED of what today was going to be like. I am so glad my fears were unfounded and I can’t wait to get back into the hospital next week!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I came, I saw, I kicked its ASS!

Final grades have been posted for my first semester of Nursing School.

Straight freaking A’s!!!!

I can’t believe I walked out of that semester with A’s in all my classes. I have to be honest though. While there were definitely some stressful moments, and times when I started feeling like I had made the wrong decision, it wasn’t as terrible as I had thought/heard it was supposed to be.

The summer semester, I think, will prove differently. It will be the first time we are all in the hospital. I have been split up from my super bad ass lab partner which really sucks and I have the one instructor that I can’t stand for clinical. Should be interesting.

In the meantime, I have two more weeks off before we start again. This week was wasted away with laziness. Next week I think I might try to hit the job market a little bit more and see what I can find.

Or maybe just keep up the laziness.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Back on the Hunt

Well, I didn't get the job. I am pretty bummed about it. Actually, I am a lot bummed about it.

I thought the interview went really well. The HR manager and I seemed to hit it off quite nicely. Apparently I am not as good at reading people as I thought.

I'm not sure why. When she called to tell me they weren't going to offer employment at this time I was shocked so I just said "ok, thank you" when I really should have added a "why" to that.

So after a few days of sulking, I decided to hit the market again. This time I have a connection at an assisted living facility so hopefully it will pan out a little better for me. It's pretty far though and not even close to a top choice but experience is experience and that is what I really need right now so I need to take what I can get.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Finals Week

Today starts the first of three finals this week. After these finals are over, and of course after I ROCK these finals, I will have made it through my first semester of Nursing School.

It really doesn't seem like I have been a real live nursing student for 5 months now. These last 5 months have completely flown by. I'm not sure if it was just the amount of work that I had to accomplish in the last 5 months, or if I have just been so oblivious to everything but the year is almost half way over and I can barely remember any of it. Either way, I am *this close* to finishing up my first semester as a nursing student.

You better believe after I walk out of that last final on Wednesday I will be heading straight for the local hole in the wall and having myself a nice tall glass of accomplishment in the name of Margarita.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!

These were a few pages in a little book my daughter made for me at school.

"Vens" = Veins

Translation: "Being a Nurse"

Makes my heart melt. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

I have a job interview!!

I got a call today from a local nursing home about an app I had sent in several weeks ago. It was a really nice on the spot phone interview and I think I really impressed the lady. She set up an in-person interview with me next Friday.

They do things a little strange though (or maybe not since this will be my first real experience in the healthcare setting). Apparently, after I interview with her, I will get a chance to interview with the Nurse Managers and such, and if we all decide we like each other, I will do something like a “shadowing” where I follow around another CNA for a day to basically interview them and see if I would like to work there.

This facility is the same chain as the one I did my clinicals at, just at a different location. I had really been holding out hope that I would snag a hospital position but I am starting to realize that is going to be next to impossible until I get some experience under my belt.

So, to all my experienced readers: Can you offer up any tips and advice for my first interview in the healthcare setting? I will be completely honest in saying I don’t have a whole lot of interview experience even outside of healthcare.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Woot! Woot!

I passed my third and final practicum of the semester!!! I could not be more excited at this point. Such a huge accomplishment for me right now and I am so excited!

Granted, I still have three finals to take before I can call this semester O.V.E.R. but still, I feel like I can take written (or computerized) tests any day of the week, but the practicums are where I struggle.

This means I have three more tests (next week) standing between me and the hospital. Three more tests before I can call myself a second semester nursing student, not quite a baby student but not a newbie anymore either. Three more tests before I get my hands on real people!!


Three more tests before I have to put my newly learned skills to use on real people.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nursing School is like running a 10K

You're really excited when you start
and have a lot of energy.

But you do get tired.

Sometimes you just need to tell yourself you can do it,
take a deep breath, and keep going.

Some parts are easy; some parts are hard.

You do get hungry.

And sometimes,

you just need to take a bathroom break.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm Overwhelmed

I keep hearing all this talk from my instructors about what is expected of us in our final semester and it makes me think to myself "I can’t do this shit. I am never going to be able to do that."

I realize as we go on I should get more competent and confident but I feel like a complete moron and wonder if I am going to make it.

I just have to keep telling myself “Deep breaths. Remain calm. You can do this.”

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I need a J.O.B.

We are pretty broke and it sucks. After I quit my job we continued to live like we never lost my income. (Keep in mind, when I quit, there went half our annual income). Now, it is catching up with us. We are barely making it. My husband’s check hits the bank and at the same time, bills are paid and we are left with nothing to last us half a month.

I am pretty scared about how I am going to be able to pay for not only next semesters tuition, but also how I am going to pay for books, supplies I will need, gas to get to my clinical site every week, and anything else that comes up.

I have been trying to get that CNA job I should have gotten a long time ago. I really hate the thought of having to work while I am also working my ass off in NS but I think it might become a very real possibility that I won’t have a choice.

In my area, none of the hospitals will hire a CNA/PCT without at least 6 months experience. I have been applying to some Nursing Homes and Dementia facilities in my area hoping that one of them will hire me PRN, with no experience. Maybe after I work there for several months I can move on to a hospital.

I just hope I can manage adding yet another thing to the growing hectic family schedule and I really hope that it won’t hurt my studies too much.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Let's talk about shoes, bay-bee

It's getting closer to the time where we will actually be going to a real hospital with real patients.

This means it is also time for me to get my scrubs and shoes. I have the scrubs down but am wondering about shoes. I'm not a big fan of clogs, at all, and I'm not too sure about anything made completely of rubber. I realize they would be super easy to clean but I'm just not completely sold on them.

Comfort is not my forte when it comes to shoes. I wear shoes that look good, not shoes that necessarily feel good. I have been known to go all day long with blisters the size of quarters, just because my shoes were that.freakin.awesome. I need to get over the fashion factor and find a pair that will actually make my feet not hate me after being on the floor for hours and hours.

So this is where you come in, dear readers. Help me find an amazingly awesome pair of shoes and then every time I walk around in them I promise I will think of you.

White. All white. And comfy.

Oh and for anyone who reads that is a runner, I also need suggestions on a good, decently priced, pair of running shoes. My current ones are in desperate need of retirement.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

March is over? WTH?

March just flew on by didn’t it? I can’t believe it has been so long since I have posted anything on here. I’m pretty sure this is the perfect time to bust out the bullets.

  • Spring Break came and went with me leaving the couch a maximum of three times. I cracked open a total of “0” books and watched possibly hundreds of trashy shows on TV. It was fantastic.

  • I walked away from my first two nursing classes with A’s but did pretty bad on the final exams. 80 in one, 88 in another. While these are decent grades, they aren’t up to my standards and I was kicking myself for a while about them. I studied for those things like I have never studied before. The kicker is that it was 50% comprehension, and 50% application. I still didn’t make a decent grade and am scared about the next exams which I have heard are so much harder.

  • We are now into the fun stuff in my skills class. Starting IV’s, and drawing blood. I never knew I would get so excited seeing that bright red flash when sticking a sharp object into a vein but man, that gives me a rush. (And HOLY CRAP! That 16g needle is evil!)

  • A few of my classmates and I have grouped together quite nicely. I know NS isn’t about making friends but I am sure thankful for the ones I have made so far. They know what no one else around me can understand. That NS is an all consuming beast. That dreaming about NG tubes and enemas isn’t that abnormal, and that sometimes you just need to have a margarita (or two) and forget about school.

  • Along with learning how to start IV’s, change a dressing, administer meds, I have also learned that NS is exactly like high school with all the childish drama attached. I hated high school. I really hope I can keep my low profile and get through it just like I did when I was a teenager.

  • I have started running again and I feel great about it (other than my calves cramping like a SOB after I run). My NS buddies and I go to the gym after class most days, blow off steam, and completely kick each other’s asses into shape. I love it.

That pretty much sums up the last month. Just over one more month to go and first semester is over and I will be moving on to real people, in a real hospital setting. (YIKES!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Apparently grown women still throw temper tantrums

I thought we were all adults.

I thought we could handle things maturely.

I figured that voting was the best way to handle a situation such as "Who is going to be the class rep?"

Apparently I was wrong.

We were asked to all agree on one person to be our class rep. This person would sit in on faculty meetings, discuss with the faculty issues that the class has, suggest ways to improve the program. I, along with two others stepped up and said we would do it. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me, plus I like to be a leader and I am nosey enough to want to sit in on faculty meetings.

This one chick decided to campaign for it. Posted about how she has "no other obligations in life other than Nursing School that would conflict with being able to be the class rep", I mean she obviously really wanted it enough to pull some passive agressive bullshit. The other girl and I wanted it, but not enough to beg.

As we were all sitting in the hallway, having a last minute review before our final, we decided to discuss who would be our rep. Shockingly (and a boost to my ego I might add) several of my classmates said that I would be a great person to do it.

When asked to confirm who else wanted to do it, the chick who had been campaigning decided suddenly that she was no longer interested. She threw a tantrum that would outdo my kids at times.

"Forget it, I don't want to do it anymore. Nevermind, just forget about it" while huffing and puffing and throwing her book down on the floor. She looked like she was going to cry.

Thats when everyone gathered around her, said they thought she really wanted it, and that she should be the rep.

Fine. I honestly really didn't care too much about it. I figured if I was able to be the rep, great, if not, no big deal, one less thing to add to my already busy schedule. HOWEVER, it kinda pisses me off that everyone wanted me to be it but because this chick decided to throw a tantrum, she got it.

What kind of class rep is that? How is she going to handle herself when faced with other similar situations? Cry? Throw another fit? I'm fine with not being the rep but would have rather lost out to the other girl who didn't throw a fit, who was more capable of doing it that the cry baby who got it was.

All of this makes me feel like I am in high school all over again. I'm almost 30 for fucks sake. I didn't realize I was going to regress in nursing school.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cue Finals Week (AKA: Hell Week)

Jumping from one stressful week to the next.

Tomorrow starts the first of three finals (well technically, one Midterm and two Finals). I have been studying like mad with my kick ass study group all weekend and will more than likely be living at the library with them for the rest of the week.

Fun times. No really. I am actually having a good time studying with my group. It's hard to find a group that you can work well with and I think we all actually compliment each other fabulously. Hopefully we can all pull out of these finals with high marks.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Now that my brain has returned to a semi-normal state

I can tell you about my practicum

I went to bed early the night before for the first time in over 2 months. I woke up early that morning, got ready and started looking over my books. I read the steps out loud to my oldest as she was getting ready for school (she loves it when I teach her stuff I am learning). I was feeling ok about everything until my mom got to my house.

That’s when I realized that this was really happening. She comes and I leave as soon as she gets there. (Love her for being there for me and able to watch my kids while I go through NS).

The normally short drive to school seemed even shorter. Before I knew it I was parked and ready to walk inside to get this going. Once inside I see several people there waiting in the hallway, some looking just as nervous as I feel, and others looking calm, cool, and collected. Bitches. The window to the lab is all blacked out which adds to my already growing nervousness. One of the examiners passes by and tries to offer some words of encouragement which I’m sure falls on deaf ears. At least mine.

0900 passes and no one has come out to get us yet.

Cue heart palpitations. I should have gone to the bathroom because I think I might pee my pants.

Finally, at 0910 the door opens and 4 names are read, including mine. It’s time.

As I walk through the doors I have a smile on my face but inside I am crying. I feel my legs getting weaker as I am putting my things away. They ask us to sign a confidentiality agreement saying we wouldn’t talk about the practicum. EVER. I am the slowest so the last to enter into a room to meet my fate. Fortunately, I got one of the instructors I am familiar with as my examiner. I thought this would help ease my nerves but it only made them worse.

I walk inside one of the lab rooms with her. She shuts the door behind us. No turning back now. I glance at her clipboard and see one of the skills she is going to ask me to do.

Thank FSM. That was one of the ones I had hoped for. She hands me a scenario, tells me my time starts at 0915. I have 25 minutes. Ready? Set. Go!

I look at the supplies laying out on the table and my mind goes completely blank. Fuck.

I stare at them for what feels like forever, touching each one of them, finally my mind kicks in and I grab what I need.

Wash hands, shut the curtain, raise the bed, perform the skills, lower the bed, give them the call bell, wash hands.

0930. I passed. Can I go throw up now?

Even though I passed, I know I sucked. I was clumsy, completely awkward and uncoordinated. For one of the skills I felt I knew really well, I didn’t perform it like I know I could have. Like I had been doing in lab and even in my sleep.

Even though I passed, I am really disappointed in my performance. Hopefully next time, I won’t be such a clown when I go through these skills.

Nevertheless, It’s done and over with and now I can move on to my finals next week.

I am still a Nursing Student. For now.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Calm before the Storm?

I am feeling calm which is strangely disconcerting considering a few days ago I was nearly in full blown panic mode.

I’m not sure that I feel 100% confident in my skills for tomorrow’s test but for some reason I just don’t have the desire to go over and over them until I get them down. Or maybe I just don’t care? Either way, I am sitting here surfing the net for something to do with my kids for Spring Break rather than reviewing the steps to my skills.

I’m hoping I won’t regret this tomorrow at 0900 when I go in for my practicum.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Please excuse me while I FREAK OUT!

Our first practicum is next week (Tue/Wed). We had sign ups yesterday. I decided to go ahead and get it over with and signed up for the very first slot on Tuesday morning.

What the hell was I thinking?!?!

Oh that’s right, that I just wanted to get it over with. Better to do it right away than sit there and stew on it longer than necessary right?

What am I thinking?!?!

I felt somewhat prepared for it until I went to open lab Wednesday night. We had a student nurse in her last semester there who decided to help us out and stage these “mock practicums”. She would give a student a list of skills to perform while she sat there and acted like one of the instructors. She did a pretty good job and it was helpful, but it really freaked me out. I mean, there were things that she said we would fail for that I never realized I needed to pay attention to. One girl would have failed the entire thing because she washed her hands for ONE SECOND less than what we are supposed to.

It all just made me realize that I might not be as prepared as I thought I was. This practicum is pass/fail. We fail this practicum, we fail the class. We fail the class, we fail the entire semester and will be repeating EVERY class over again in the fall.

Just a little pressure right?

So please excuse me while I FREAK OUT and try to bring myself back down to reality enough to go back to practicing on my skills.

Friday, February 18, 2011

People aren’t really as scary as I make them out to be

We have this Geri Project in my Health Assessment class. We have to pick a person over 65 to get a health history on so we can practice our interviewing and communication skills. We are supposed to meet with them at least 4 separate times and have specific information we are supposed to collect in each visit. In true It’s Just Me fashion, I put it off until the last minute. While the entire project isn’t due for several more weeks, we do have a process recording that is part of this project due in a week.

My mother found a lady in her church that was willing to let me interview her for my project. I have had this lady’s information for about 3 weeks now. It took me about 2 days just to talk myself into picking up the phone and calling her. Stupid anxiety.

I have no idea why I get myself all worked up over the stupidest things. This lady was super nice and I really enjoyed talking with her. The interview went WAY over. We are supposed to try to keep our visits to about 30 minutes each. I was there for well over 2 hours. She talked about her children, her family, was VERY open with her health history, and her husband even joined our conversation for a bit. (Before he excused himself, he made it a point to tell me that he is happy that I am going into nursing, that good nurses are needed, especially for all the “old” people like them.) We laughed, we smiled, she almost even made me cry, but it was an absolutely fantastic eye-opening visit.

I really wish I could figure out what makes me so nervous about people and get the hell over it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm an idiot

I've had this blog for about a year and a half and it JUST NOW occured to me that my title is all wrong.

Where was the freakin' grammar police when I needed them?

I feel so stupid.

Bad grammar irritates the crap out of me.

Their, there, they're

A lot (not alot)

Here, hear

To, too, two

Whose, Who's

Oh geez. Now I must change my blog title and go slap myself for being so dumb and not even realizing it. Maybe I'm really not smart enough for this nursing stuff since I can't even create a grammatically correct blog title.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week 3 & 4 - I'm still here....barely

Case Study: 29 year old female presents with shaky hands, slurring words, and is babbling incoherantly. Dark circles are noted under eyes. Children have followed female in shouting "Mommy! Mommy!" while obvious ticks are apparent in patient. Patient assumes fetal position on the floor while saying "all research and no play makes mommy a bad mommy".

Possible Nursing Diagnosis':

Anxiety R/T inability to focus on needs of family while in school AEB twitching and assuming the fetal position

Ineffective Coping R/T situational crises AEB Insomnia

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I'm stressing big time about this stupid research paper I have to get done in a week. Oh, and my part of the group project that I need to have done at the same time. (Our group has FINALLY decided to start communicating...finally). Oh, AND I still need to contact my geri patient and start my health assessment project. So much to do and the time seems to be running out quick. I always say I work better under pressure but I really hate the stress it brings.

Other than my usual procrastination on major projects, everything else seems to be going well. We are actually learning some fun things in my Skills class. I feel like we are finally learning how to be a nurse. Call me crazy but I find the nursing process pretty interesting.

Things at home? Not so great. The kids are really whinning for some mommy time, the husband doesn't seem to be pitching in as much as he promised he would and most days he isn't even around. He seems to think because I am only in class for 4 hours a day that I have all the time in the world to do everything else. He promised me that he knew what we were in for, that he would really pick up the slack and wouldn't get on me so much about the house being clean, or laundry being done, but he has definitely backed out on that promise and doesn't understand why I am barely speaking to him when I do see him.

I gave him the last 2 years to get into his volunteering at the fire department. I put up with him running out of the house at the drop of a tone and not knowing when he would return. I put up with him choosing the fire department over his family more times than I can count. I asked him to give me my turn for 2 years. 2 years of dedication to what I want and he can't even give me a week.

Obviously I am very frustrated with the man right now. I could go on and on but I better stop before it gets any worse.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 06: 30 slightly interesting facts about me

1. I used to play the flute.

2. I was actually really good at it but my high school made us do marching band and I was too cool for marching band so I quit.

3. I never went to band camp.

4. I wish I would have sucked it up and stayed in band. I would have made so many lifelong friends if I wasn’t so worried about my non-existent high school image.

5. I retreated to the dark room instead.

6. I still use film and develop it myself.

7. There is something amazing about exposing your paper to light, putting it into chemicals and seeing the image appear.

8. I don’t do it as much in this digital world and I miss it.

9. I sing when I drive. Loudly.

10. I can’t carry a tune but wish I could because I love to sing.

11. You won’t see me on American Idol though because I know I can’t sing.

12. I also car dance.

13. My kids love it right now but I am sure as they get older it will embarrass them. It embarrasses my husband.

14. That’s why I do it every time I am in the car with him.

15. I have a HUGE fear of drowning.

16. For that reason I hate swimming but suck it up anyways because my kids love it.

17. I’d rather be on a lake than at the beach.

18. I hate getting all sandy from the beach. That shit gets everywhere and makes me feel gross.

19. I never wanted kids growing up.

20. I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything, most days.

21. I’m scared to become a nurse.

22. I don’t feel like I am smart enough for this.

23. I’m worried I am not going to know what I am doing and end up killing someone.

24. I’m pretty damn stubborn even when I know I am wrong.

25. I don’t like chocolate.

26. I live in the suburbs but wish for a high rise condo downtown.

27. My husband wants to retire in the country. With cows. The thought of that makes me crazy.

28. I have a feeling we will be retiring in two different places. The country is not my thing.

29. I’m a compulsive shopper. I call it my therapy but I think I might need an intervention.

30. I skipped day 5 because I don’t want to go there.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 04: Religion

I read something recently that pretty much sums up how I feel about religion.

"Religion is like a penis: it's fine to have one, it's fine to be proud of it - but please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around. And PLEASE don't try to shove it down my or my children's throats"
– anonymous

Needless to say, I am not a religious person.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 03: Alcohol: Love to hate you

Drugs. Don’t do them unless prescribed. Drugs are bad, m’kay?

Alcohol is tricky for me. I was never around alcohol growing up. I was raised Mormon. No one in my family drank. I didn’t have my first taste of alcohol until I was 18 and in college and even then I wasn’t really a big drinker. During my adult years, after my first kid, was when I started drinking more. We used to hang out with a two different couples at each other’s house every weekend and drink. It was actually a really great time in my life. Care free, fun.

Then things fell apart. My best friend and I had a falling out. We stopped speaking and I woke up one morning after Christmas to a phone call telling me her and her husband were killed.

By a drunk driver.

Coincidentally, she had just picked her husband up from the bar because he was too drunk to drive home.

I have never looked at alcohol the same again.

I still drink occasionally. Mostly, it is to self medicate. I never drink alone but I find when I do feel like having a drink, it is when I am feeling low. While it gives me a pick-me-up during, it throws me back down lower for weeks after.

I am actually considering giving up the juice but I still enjoy having a random beer or glass of wine with the neighbor while we wind down from the busy week.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 02: 10 Years from now…

It's early in the morning. I feel like I had just gotten home from my 12 hour shift the day before. I walk into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee before I get in the shower to get ready for another long shift.

I am working in the CCU of one of the top hospitals in the city. I love my job. I have great coworkers and great rapport with the physicians on my unit. I am confident, but not cocky. I finally feel like I have a grasp on this nursing business and I am so thankful for the risks I took 10 years prior to become a nurse. I am so thankful I stuck it out in the hell that is nursing school so I can become what I am now.

My oldest daughter is in her senior year of high school. She is in the process of picking out which college she wants to go to. My heart swells with pride and my eyes swell with tears knowing she is all grown up. She wants to be a teacher. I saw it in her 10 years ago. The way she loved to learn. The way she loved to “teach” her sister and all the little kids in the cul-de-sac. She is going to be amazing. She IS amazing.

My youngest daughter is in that awkward stage between pre-teen and teen. She is just as beautiful as her sister is but not quite as independent. I can really see a lot of myself in her. Shy, but outgoing with her close group of friends. Smart but doesn’t realize it. She has a big heart and I am really looking forward to what the next 10 years with her brings.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Group projects can suck my...

I hate them.

I hate them so much that I would rather just do everything myself than have to deal with working with other people.

You would think since my program is so competitve (you really have to be on top of your game to get in) that I wouldn't have to worry so much about other people not doing their part.

You would think.

I always get stuck with a sucky group. No one is communicating. No one is working with anyone else. I have sent out several emails and no one responds. Or they respond DAYS later. We have to do a group culture project where we all have to go out, as a group, and "experience the culture". One of the girls thinks it doesn't have to be done as a group. Another is working any time she isn't in school (how is that fair to the rest of us) and another guy works every weekend.

Fine, whatever. I plan a meeting with the three others that CAN meet and it's done.

That is until I get an email from the first girl who was under the impression that it could be done individually. She now all of a sudden realizes that yes, it does need to be a group effort, only she can't meet the day the rest of us have planned.

Somebody shoot me.

It took me two weeks just to set up this time with the ones who were willing to work on the group project as a group.

I freakin' hate group projects.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 01: My Relationship

I met my husband my freshman year of high school in gym class. I guess those sexy uniforms and all that teenage sweat did him in. He used to leave little stuffed animals and flowers on my doorstep. He would call and tell me to look outside and I would find them sitting there.

We were friends first. We had a group of friends that would hang out and ride my go cart, swim in my parent’s pool, beat each other up playing basketball in gym. Before he got his truck he would ride his bike to my house all the time. We would go to the nearby park and just hang out.

Toward the end of my freshman year he passed me a note that said “I am asking you this in a note because I don't have the balls to do it in person. Would you go out with me?” (Thank God he didn’t put “check yes or no”)

I said no.

We remained friends.

Summer came and we continued to hang out all.the.time. One day, I saw him differently. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what changed, but I realized I had feelings for him. I hoped I didn’t ruin my chances by saying no before and wished he would ask me again.

He did.

This time in person.

I said yes.

I went to a different high school after that but we continued to “go out” throughout high school. I moved about 2 hours away for college and he drove up there nearly every weekend to see me. A year later, he proposed. (I am still not entirely convinced that it wasn’t because he was tired of putting all those miles on his truck and just wanted to get me closer, but I digress...)

I SO wish I was that skinny again...

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for almost 9 years now. (OMG that just made me feel so old - and the fact that we look like we were 12 in that pic doesn't help).

I would be a liar if I said our relationship was perfect. That we are best friends. We have definitely had our share of hard times but so far have managed to pull through them, I wouldn’t say stronger, but definitely wiser.

I will say that our relationship is a work in progress. That I do love him. That it scares me every time he runs out of the house to fight a fire. I really can't imagine life without him. I am content.

He gave me two amazing children.

He has a huge heart and he makes me proud to be his wife.
(For the record. This was from an 80's party. I don't normally dress in fishnets)

Monday, January 31, 2011

As if I didn't have enough going on

Estelle over at Word Lust found this little blog challenge that she is going to start and I thought what the hell, it would be fun to copy play along. Might give some of my readers more insight into my life outside of nursing school. I know you all are just dying to learn more about me. (Not really? Well too bad).

So here's the list:

There are no guarantees that I will post every day, or that I will even finish this challenge, but I am still going to try nonetheless. Feel free to copy play along too!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I did a bit of self reflection this weekend. I was really trying to figure out what was getting to me so much about NS. I realized it wasn’t so much the amount of work we are doing (even though it is a bit insane) it is more about the communication we are doing.

I have learned over my short 2 weeks as a nursing student that communication is a HUGE thing in Nursing. I knew this going in to it but never imagined it would be so hard for me to get over. I have mentioned before about how much of an introvert  I am and how I am worried about the way this will play out in school and in my career. Even during my CNA class I felt the same feelings I am feeling now.

All of these projects, mainly my geri project, and partnering up with someone I don’t even know to practice my skills, oh and evaluating my communication (more like lack thereof) are really putting a rise on my anxiety levels. Research paper? I can handle that. Finals and midterms? No problem. A practicum where I have to perform in front of an instructor using a classmate? Oh, there you are sweat. How I have missed my heart beating out of my chest and my legs turning to jelly.

I keep telling myself that everyone is feeling this way but it doesn’t seem to help. I can’t even get a good practice in on lab days (where all we do is practice on the mannequins) because I am so nervous about just practicing in front of one of my new classmates. How crazy is that?!?

I need to get control of this. I made it through my CNA class. I can make it through this too. I just need to go in there and put all of my stage fright behind me and get done what needs to be done. Stop worrying about how much of an idiot I am looking like in front of other people (who are learning just the same as I am) and just do it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Week 2 - Freak the Freak Out!

Things are starting to catch up with me in NS. There is an unbelievable amount of work expected out of us, with not much direction to go on. I have 2 research papers, a group project (ugh!), health promotion plan, weekly discussion posts, midterm and final for one class. A Geriatric assessment project (4 separate visits to the elder of my choosing), process recording, 2 practicums (pass/fail), a midterm and final for another class, then a practicum (pass/fail), random math tests, and a final in my other class. Did I mention this is all in the first 8 WEEKS?!?! I will have two new classes in, now 6 weeks, and who knows what exciting busy work those are going to bring.

To say I am overwhelmed at this point would be an understatement. I know I can do it. I am just not sure how at this point. We really don’t have much direction in our classes. Our skills class is all hands on, and like I said, no demonstration beforehand (unless you count the silly videos we are supposed to watch before class) and really no lecture (what the hell is going to be on the final then??) Our Intro class is a hybrid. Which means most of our time is spent learning the material on our own. I am fine with online classes. Hell, most of the classes I took to get where I am now were online. The problem is, I don’t remember a damn thing from those classes. I learned enough to get my A and then left it all at the final. I know in Nursing that isn’t possible. You have to KNOW the material and APPLY it. It is really taking a lot to get myself to readjust to this. To try to train myself to actually retain what I am essentially self teaching myself. I have only been to my Health Assessment class once. I hope it will be different but I have the feeling it is going to be a lot like my skills class. Lecture for a few minutes and then let us go to learn on our own. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind getting the hands on practice, but I feel like I need a little more direction. Maybe I am not the “mature learner” I thought I was.

We already had one girl in our class drop. She was terrified after just two days. I saw it in her eyes on Friday and by Tuesday of the next week she was gone.

I’m sure she won’t be the last.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Since someone got their panties in a wad over my last post, I feel a disclaimer is neccessary (some people take all the fun out of things)

No animals (aka: husband and/or children) will be harmed during the making of this nursing student. Any questions asked by this nursing student to the animals, related to the performance of invasive procedures on said animals, are only to be used to get a rise out of them and are intended for pure entertainment value only. I (the nursing student) reserve the right to use threats of performing said invasive procedures on any and all animals (mostly the husband) if and when they get out of line.

Thank you and good day.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Conversation with a 30 year old

My husband has (unwillingly) become my "at home dummy" (no pun intented). I am getting tons of practice dealing with noncompliant patients. :)

Our conversation the other night:

Me: Can I practice putting in a NG tube on you?

Him: Huh? Wait, is that like the thing that goes up your nose?

Me: Yep

Him: Um, HELL NO!

....maybe I could have put my knowledge of restraints to use?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Conversation with a 2 year old:

Her: Momma go school?

Me: Yes


Me: So I can be a nurse


Me: So I can help sick people

Her: WWHH...Oh, like MMMEEE?????
Yes, she is trying to put the glove on her foot.