Wednesday, September 19, 2012

First day of my very first clinical EVER!

I feel like at the start of every semester I have a "first day" post about some kind of first....and while I feel like some people might think they get old and redundant (like I mean come on how many "first days" can one girl really have)....I think first days are pretty special....and this one was no exception.... 

Me being the absolute scatterbrain crazy person that I am, I traded into an evening shift at work the day before my first day of my very first clinical ever! Don't ever think this is a good sucks...and heres why: in my exhausted state, I forgot to consult my 30 page syllabus. I thought "oh my clinical day is Wednesday...and my time is 0630...that's for sure when we first meet right?" WRONG! I wake up from my 3 hour nap, shower, get all dolled up in my super cute uniform, make the strongest cup of coffee possible and out the door I go. When I arrive on campus (we were meeting in one of the meeting rooms on campus to go over the clinical syllabus, meet our clinical instructors, and find out where exactly we were assigned before departing to our actual clinical sites)...there is no one there...and this was like 10 minutes before 0630. I frantically check my class novel (aka: the syllabus) and we aren't supposed to meet till 8am. After a few choice 4 letter words I venture out to find the closest Starbucks for coffee #2 and decide wasting an hour-ish wouldn't be the worst things to happen to me (it definitely beats over sleeping and being an hour late...which I'm pretty sure I dreamed about). So lesson learned: always read your syllabus....and never plan your day exhausted.

So our lecture class is divided in to smaller groups of about 8-10 people each assigned a clinical instructor.  There's 8 of us in my group and our clinical instructor is young and seems super nice! (I don't know why but I find older nurses to be very intimidating and slightly scary so I'm glad we have someone who is personable and closer to our age) One of my very first nursing school friends I made in class the first week (a girl who sits beside me who is super nice and also lives in Iowa City and works at the hospital--yay for friends!) is in my group...which was very exciting! The other girls seemed super nice too so I'm excited to get to know them and our patients! After going over the 10 page clinical syllabus we finally departed to our clinical site. 
As far as assisted living facilities go, this one seems to be super nice and a little on the swanky side! We toured the facility and I had this moment where I thought....I could totally see myself working in assisted living (you all know my heart will always be with the old peeps). I don't know if I'll feel this about every clinical site....but I am quite thrilled with the possibilities my first experience holds. 

Every week we'll be assigned a patient to complete an assignment on, and by the end of the class we'll be able to complete a head to toe assessment in 15 minutes. First up is the Health History assignment and I can't wait to get started!!! Hurry up next Wednesday! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I've got a feelin'....

You know that feeling you get right before you're about to do something you've been waiting FOREVER to do....those butterflies....the anxious anticipation.....the googling of EVERYTHING related to the topic of adventure.....well that's the kinda feelin I have as I anxiously await the first day of the clinical portion of nursing school.
 Shit's about to get real....and I'm stoked! 

Disclaimer: This post is about to get uber cheesy and uber nurse "moto" --- Sorry but if I don't do it moment will have eluded me and I can't bypass a chance to be a super nerd.

Every night as I lay in bed I can't help but have images of IV starting, needles, blood, and emergency situations dancing in my head. I've "liked" every nursing page possible on Facebook and am loving every minute of reading advice and words of wisdom from those who have come before me. I can't help but feeling like I'm about to truly enter a profession where my future co-workers share my passion...and that my friends is a WONDERFUL feeling.

One of my fav readings so far is this article about new nurses.
As I read peoples comments and experiences....I can't help but wonder if I will feel these things. I know my experience will be different than some when it comes to certain "firsts" because I've already had a lot of "firsts" at the hospital. I can't help but be thankful for all the desensitization I've experienced/witnessed over the past year and a half (who would have thought I would have ever said I'm thankful for poop/vomit/other forms of defecation) I now how more room on my board for other things....hopefully leaving room for a little less of those overwhelming "I want to cry" experiences (I've had those too and they really suck).

The more I read, the more I Google, the more I want to be the best nursing student/future nurse I can be. I can't wait to hit the books this year...and hopefully practice and master a few of my skills on friends and consenting loved ones.

Get ready for more future nurse cartoons and all things nursing reading material...
I've got the nursing school back to school bug!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

To say this journey has been a struggle would be the understatement of the CENTURY! What I thought would take a year or two tops....has now turned into a 3 year affair....but FINALLY there is a light at the end of the tunnel....and I'm hoping it's not a freight train.

Today I think back on when this whole adventure first was quite the leap of faith. But I jumped...with both feet...into the unknown...and all I can think is.....I'm so glad David held my hand and jumped with me.
In the beginning my future looked bright....I was FINALLY doing something I knew down to my very core I was meant to do. But slowly things began to dim as road blocks were put in my path. I needed this class, and that class, and this class I needed didn't even exist yet but I needed it to move forward....soooo many confusing options and alternatives as the career of nursing itself is changing...and I couldn't help but feel caught in the middle. There were so many detours to take....and there were so many times I wondered if I took a wrong turn. But today I've reclaimed that feeling that what I'm doing is what I'm meant to be doing.....and I'm ready for this next chapter that I've waited what seems like an eternity for!

I've mentioned in previous posts about possibly trying to transfer to Mt. Mercy University in Cedar Rapids (about 30 min away) .... I wondered if it was silly for me to transfer yet again to another university....but I finally said screw it...I don't care what people think....I don't care how ridiculous my path looks on's my path to make...and I'm going to do whatever it takes to get to where I want to be.
So I met with the head of the nursing program there today (who also advises students) and let me just start by saying it was like NIGHT and DAY!!!! I wanted to scream it from the roof tops: FINALLY a program that made SENSE....lead by a woman who KNEW what she was talking about....who didn't leave me guessing and choosing....she wrote it out on a piece of paper in black and it is...take it or leave it.
She wrote out my whole entire schedule....starting this fall (as in August 31st...3 weeks from today) with my first clinical class and a few online classes....all the way through until my pending graduation December 2013. She also gave me a bunch of paperwork detailing the classes and other things I have to do to get my ducks in a row (health forms, comps I have to complete, uniform order forms...etc.). By the time our appointment was over she showed me their Sim Lab, walked me out, and I had to fight every urge in my body to hug this woman with every ounce of strength I had. I practically RAN to my car to squeal with delight like a little 5 year old school girl. FINALLY there is an end to what has been one hell of a ride!

I went into this meeting with very low expectations....and by low I mean none. By the time I had arrived I pretty much had convinced myself that we'd probably be moving back to South Carolina when our lease was up having failed at this whole endeavor. It just seemed in my head like my whole nursing career as a student was stalled out over the most boring part of the whole major....pre-reqs....I'm over them. If I never have to hear the word pre-requisite again it would be too soon... I'm ready to dive in to the good stuff. I didn't want to get my hopes up again like I had done in the past....thinking that I'd finally be done with the pre-nursing material only to be hit with more classes to take before I could advance. Even still, as I pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming, I can't help but think this somehow will all fall through and I'll wake up tomorrow with shattered dreams. For now I'm on my quest to make this more real...I've signed up for registration/orientation Tuesday at noon...and I'm placing my order for my uniform as soon as this blog post of glee is finished.
I'm ready to get this ball rolling again...and get this show back on the road....cross your fingers for a wonderful year of travel weather! 
Destination BSN here I come!
ETA: December 2013! 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Day in the Life.....of a Nursing Student

One of my friends is doing a "Day in the Life" series on her blog where she has her friends guest post on the every day goings on in their lives...and since I've neglected this blog for the most part on the count of being so freakin busy....I thought I'd take a peak into a day in the life of a nursing student... so here ya go!

Coffee. I don't know how I'd make it through 99% of my days without it. On most days....I get exhausted just thinking about all the things I have to accomplish for the day....and to be quite honest....9 times out of 10 I don't even know how I make it through. This reason alone is probably the #1 reason I have learned to fly by the seat of my pants instead of trying to actually plan my days...and flying by the seat of my pants is also why I've become quite the scatterbrain...but who knows...maybe I'll tackle that giant too one day....until then...I take things as they come....and drink lots of coffee....

This day especially applies to all the above have coffee....

Since my days usually lump together I must start out with last night/yesterday's major study session that lasted until very early morning actually get into telling you the large chunk of my day today. Microbio test#2 is in t-minus 4 hours and counting.....and I, my dears, have spent the last 24 hours studying my little heart out....which is why I'm sitting here writing this blog....because I seriously don't think I could shove one more ounce of information into my overloaded brain! I took the day off from work yesterday so I could have the whole entire day to do nothing but focus on this test...and I sure am glad I did....after finally crashing at 3am...I feel like I can come out of this test with a B....fingers crossed!

After a few hour power nap I woke up at 7 to make it to my 7:30 kettlebell workout class I take with my friend Jamie and got my booty kicked!!! I love working out...and while sometimes it exhausts me to even think about going....after I do....I'm never disappointed! Working out accomplishes something coffee never gets my blood flowing.....and on days like today....I need all the blood flow I can my brain!
 After rushing home....a quick shower and some coffee...I get the chance to study some...and procrastinate a little of my fav morning show (KLGandHoda on the 4th hour of the Today Show)  and study some more....have a little lunch....and study some more on my way to take my test.

After much frantic test taking...its all over...the stress...the buildup...the maddness that I put David and other loved ones through because of my stress....its over...just like that.
{ Ha! I wish!}

That's the thing about nursing school....its not like you can just forget everything after the test is over....because guess'll get another "test" in a few years when you're on the floor and you want to be a rock star nurse and "suggest" to the doctor which antibiotic you think would be best for the patients nasty fungal infection. I want to try hard now to learn all I that later on in my career I can actually use it and all this studying won't all be for nothing....but hey...that's just me. It's why I strive to do my best on every test I's why I don't want to be an average nursing student....because I want to be a rock star 24hour study sessions....bring em on!

I'll get off my soap box now and get on with my day....after test's not over...its back home to start the next section of lecture notes....taught by another professor who (I'm sorry as much as I hate to admit not from America and I can't understand ANYTHING he says) has already started on the next topic...Immunology!! There's no rest for the weary in the day in the life of a nursing's time to get ahead...before I get behind again....and before I have to head off to work....8hours at the hospital is like a whole entire different day....I make it home by midnight...just enough time to crash before I rinse and repeat....bring on the coffee!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Never the same.....

There are few instances where one experiences a true tragedy in life.....however in my's all around me....what seems like all the time....and mind just won't let me escape it.Somedays it seems that for every joy a person feels, someone else at that exact moment is experiencing an equal and opposite emotion....tragedy. I can honestly say, I've never had to experience true tragedy in my life....and if I'm lucky...maybe I never will. But to see death all around see loved ones hurt so see pain from difficult it must be to make a loved ones last decision.....and on the other side of the same coin it must be as equally hard to let them go.

In March I will have worked as an nursing assistant for one whole year....and I can honestly say.... I will forever be changed..... the patients and the nurses who have taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined, and by the everyday happenings of a Medical Cardiology unit.....all of experience I never would have even imagined for myself a year ago....
There are moments during this year that I will remember for the rest of my life....and there are moments I will be trying to forget for the rest of my life.....but I know the stories of tragedy will always tug at my heart strings as I try and remember the stories of triumph and strength. There is one thing I know for sure....I will hold my loved ones a little closer to my heart....and cherish every single matter how big or only takes an instant for our lives to change.....and after they do....we're never the same......

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Microbes Microbes Everywhere....

....except for on my cell phone.....

With a few weeks of lab already under my belt....I have alot to share!!!! The biggest news being...that my cell phone is "germ" (read microbe) free! And of course I have proof! But I'm getting ahead of myself... let me catch you up....our first lab activity was to swab any surface we wanted....spread it on an agar plate...and let it incubate for a week....I swabbed my cell phone (my lab partners swabbed the trash can lid, the bottom of a shoe, and a house key)....this is what we grew.....

That's the plate from my cell phone...completely clean folks! Which doesn't surprise me too much...considering I wipe down my phone at least a couple of times a week with Clorox wipes or PDI wipes at work. But still glad to know sanitizing practices work!

...not much can be said for the good ole germy garbage can lid.....
 See those circles...yea that's a fungus....there are smaller circles too...probably some sort of bacteria.... trash = gross

Some people swabbed the toilet handle from the don't even want to see that one....WASH YOUR HANDS PEOPLE!!!!

I'm already in love with this's more of an observation lab with some hands on activities....which is AWESOME! Especially after chemistry where you spent the whole entire lab mixing crap and doing a whole bunch of stuff that you didn't even know what the heck you were doing...only to end up at the end of the day learning absolutely nothing! This lab is completely different.... not only are most of the slides and agar plates already prepared...but all you have to do is your "pre lab" work and get your learn on! So refreshing! Not to mention all of the labs really bring home the important points of the lecture....and all of which are relative to nursing (and pharmacology). I think it's safe to say...this will be the first science class where I had a lab and I actually learned something!

We have our first test coming up next it's time to hit the books....this being my only class....I really have no excuse to make anything but an A!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Spring 2012--- Microbio here I come!

Classes start back on Tuesday...and big news....I'm finishing my last science class!!! I'm so ready to put these prereqs to bed and get on with the exciting nursing classes again....I know once I get back into those classes my passion for the profession will be say I'm getting a little burnt out with all these science classes is an understatement!!! (But I'm glad to be getting a good solid foundation on which all of nursing and health care jobs are built)

I have lecture Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (2:30-3:20) and Lab on Thursdays (9:30-10:20)  --- Working on Tuesdays and Thursday afternoon (and every other weekend) will definately keep me busy!!! I'm super stoked to only be taking one class (and working) this semester...especially with Microbio being a pretty tough class (the syllabus says that a 60% is a passing C--- umm hello the real world 60% should be an F...but who am I). My goal this semester is to stay on top of things and not get behind...and since it's my only class...I'm hoping that will be super easy!!! Stay tuned on updates through out the semester!!!!!!!!!!!