"Listen to the mustn'ts child, listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me....Anything can happen child. Anything can be." Shel Silverstein
"She believed she could, so she did." R.S. Grey

“What if I Fall? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?” Erin Hanson

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Losing people is hard...

Ok after I typed the title I realized that it sounds like someone died, so let me set your mind at ease, no one has died. 

As I said in some previous posts, I am currently in the "dread" 3rd semester (of nursing school, not of school).  I know you might think I'm exaggerating the terribleness of this semester but I'm seriously not.  For some reason this is the semester that gets people.  In orientation (yes orientation) the professors talk to the new students about 3rd semester & how hard it is.  Honestly I don't remember them doing this (although I'm sure they did), but it's gotten so bad that a friend of mine said that a student completely dropped out of the program this semester after JUST GOING TO ORIENTATION because of what they said about 3rd semester! I mean come on! 

As I've stated before I in NO WAY think that 3rd semester is the hardest semester.  In fact, to me, this has by FAR been the easiest semester we've had.  I mean we've got 2 lectures & 2 clinicals.  How is this that hard people?  Honestly I feel like this is one of those things that just becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  You've heard it's the hardest semester, therefore it becomes the hardest semester.  You've dreaded it all the way up to it & now that it's here you make yourself a basket case & get behind & then guess what?  It's pretty hard.  Now before you go thinking "Oh it's just easier for her b/c she's got the time to study, or she's just really smart" (Ok you may not be thinking the last one, but you know what I mean).  Let me just say empahatically that I am by FAR not even close to being the smartest student (or even group of students) in my class & I dang sure don't put in the amount of time studying that I wish I could.  BUT, what I do is, I STAY ON TOP OF MY CRAP!! I make sure I check my calendar EVERY OTHER DAY to make sure I'm not missing an assignment.  If I have clinical coming up I MAKE sure that my paperwork is done WAY before the day before clinical. And believe it or not I actually STUDY for my tests.  THIS is how I'm getting through 3rd semester with a high B & a high C (which I'm determined to turn into 2 A's).  This is how I've already passed Med/Surg clinical & am getting through OB clinical. 

Is the Med/Surg content hard?  Well that's relative.  To me it's a lot of rehash of patho mixed in with some new content, but it's not stuff we've never heard of before.  My point is, it's doable.  I mean I have 2 kids & I sacrifice study time to take them to the ballfield for practies, go to their games, make dinner, wash their clothes, just basically be a mom.  Could I give more time to school? Of course.  Would I have straight A's right now if I did that? You bet I would! But again the point is that THIS SEMESTER IS DOABLE.  And it's doable in a big way, so it makes me super sad to know that we've already lost 3 people for sure & possibly 5 people total before this semseter is even over, and that my friends SUCKS!!

See our university opperates with the nursing students as cohort groups. Because of that we all get pretty close over these years of nursing school & when we lose someone it means that they have to leave our cohort & join the semester behind us.  Even if they only fail one part of the semester they are not allowed to move on with us, they have to stay behind & join the other semester's cohort group & just make up the part they missed. So far our group within our group has been lucky & we've stayed in tact, but not so for this semester.  This semester we just lost one of our main members of our little group & I am so super sad.  We've kind of been like the three musketeers since school has started & yesterday she dropped Med/Surg.  It broke my heart, but I knew that it was in her best interest.  I wish I could have done something to help, but I know that if I had been in her shoes I would have done the EXACT same thing.  Still, the sting of losing someone you've been mucking through the trenches with for the past year & a half really hurts and I hope that we don't lose ANY MORE this semseter.  Already our class is dwindling.  And yes we've heard from the beginning that the number we start out with probably won't be the number we graduate with, but dangit, we really wanted it to be!! 

In the end is 3rd semester the hardest semester?  I can't answer that, but I can say that it's the semester of the fallen nursing student and it completely SUCKS!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Testing one two...

So I may or may not have metioned that for school we have to wear hideous white scrubs.  Lord only knows why b/c our school colors are blue (not navy, more like a royal blue), but I digress.  For school we all have to wear all white scrubs, but thankfully we do get to pick from several different choices of the type of scrubs, and for me the only clear choice was Grey's Anatomy scrubs, they are SOOO soft.  It's truly like wearing pj's & althought they are more expensive then the other scrubs I PROMISE the extra cost is worth it....or is it? 

Recently I was contacted by Uniformed Scrubs to see if I wanted to try out one of their Cherokee Scrub tops.  Uh hello? You're sending me a scrub top FOR FREE?  Heck yeah!  They told me to pick out a top & let them know the size & color that I wanted (actually my top 3 choices) so I emailed them back & voila, the top showed up in the mail.  Here is the top I chose:

I love this color, but unfortunately I had to choose white so that I could wear it to clinical.
The review:  The top I chose was the "Cherokee 1909 Pro-Flexible V-Neck Woman's Scrub Top"
Pro's: While not Grey's Anatomy soft, the material is still pretty comfy.  As you can see this is one of those "paneled" tops where the sides are the soft, stretchy material which I really liked.  I especially liked the fact that the side panels weren't ribbed.  The 2nd best thing about this top was all of the pockets (which was better than GA).  There was a pocket for pens, pen lights, scissors & notepads, all in separate compartments, very cool.  I have been meaning to get one of those pocket holder thingies (you know the little pocket organizer that holds all of that stuff I just mentioned), but with this top you wouldn't need one because it has all of these great little compartments. Very handy.  Con's: The only real con to me was that I would have liked for the bottom of the top not to have been so constricting.  Possibly two little v's on each side would have made this top more comfortable, at least to me.  Something.  I just didn't really care for the restriction at the bottom, but other than that this top is pretty great, and the price is even better.  Compared to my $34 GA top, this one was much more reasonable at $21.99. All in all I would say that I recommend this scrub top. 
(*Disclaimer - While I was given this scrub top free of charge to review, I was not asked to give it any kind of rating except for my own truthful, personal opinion, which this was.)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

So happy!!

Thought this happy dance was appropriate as Easter is coming :D

The two things I was dreading most this semester are DONE!!!  The first was my OB group presentation (Yuck!!) & the 2nd was my Med/Surg research paper (double yuck). But those are done & I couldn't be happier about that! So now it's just regular old clinicals & tests for the rest of the semester.  :D  Yay!!

Of course I do have two HESI's, but thank God they're only worth 5% of the total grade.  One of the HESI's is a Pharm HESI (of which we didn't learn ONE thing last semester).  So I'm pretty sure it will be the first HESI that I bomb, but the other one is an OB HESI & I'm not too worried about that.  I have a strong B in OB & I'm still thinking I can pull out an A in that class, and I've always performed strong on all of my prior HESI's, so I'm not really concerned about that one. I'm so happy that the end of this semester is in site.  Seriously it can't come fast enough.  Now I really need to get a job. 

I have applied for several PCT positions in the three hospitals surrounding my house & I've passed my resume out to several walk in clinics, but haven't heard back from any of them which kind of sucks. I am thinking of going ahead & taking my CNA test to get my license & just get a job at the local nursing home since they're always hiring.  Plus, I heard those places are pretty flexible to work around your school schedule.  I think I'll go ahead & schedule the test Tuesday since noone else is giving me a call.  I guess any kind of experience is better than none.  Plus, I just need some moolah.

I'm excited that this week is my "off" week.  I have no clinicals this week!! So I can really get some good studying in.  Well I take that back.  I do have one clinic day that is an extra day that we had to sign up for this Thursday.  But other than that I am free on Tuesday & on Wednesday & I couldn't be happier about it!!  Our OB rotation only has us going to clinical every other week, and luckily my last clinical is the week before finals so I'll have a whole week to concentrate on nothing but studying for finals!! Yeah man! Bring it on :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Started my OB rotation...

Finally had my first REAL OB rotation (not stinky skills lab) yesterday.  All in all it was alright.  I was really looking forward to it because so many of my other friends really loved it, but alas, I guess I just thought it was ok.  Now that's not to say that I disliked it, I could see myself working on that floor no problem, BUT I didn't fall in love with it like some of my friends have.  I didn't hear the angels singing when I walked through the door :)  Of course, that was just L & D.  I haven't done nursery or postpartum yet, so we'll see.  Maybe I will like those better.  If not there's always the rotations next semester. 

I'm kind of starting to get a little worried.  What if I don't fall in love with any of these areas?  What do I do then?  Maybe it's ok to just "like" what I do.  But honestly, after spending all of this time & money, I'd really like to LOVE what I'm doing.  Is that too much to ask?  Also I'm thinking that maybe I'm just viewing this wrong.  I mean when it comes down to it I'm really only seeing this through a spectator's eyes.  Maybe it will be different when I'm the one actually getting to do the job and not just watching.  I hope so.  So far I have seen many different areas of nursing where I could potentially work but none that have just grabbed me by the heart.  

Anyhoo, that's one clinical day down & 2 to go.  I am very much looking forward to my nursery day though, I can't wait to hold me some babies!! :)  Today our groups presented our OB project (thank God that's done) & this weekend I will be working on my Med/Surg paper (which is due Monday I might add). 

All in all things are going pretty good & I'm just looking forward to counting the days down until this semester is DONE!! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Looking back...

Today I was looking back at the beginning of my posts & I came across the one where I had to get my CPR certification before school started & it was so cute.  As I was reading the post I was talking about meeting "Greg" an Asian guy in my CPR class.  Well as my longer time readers know Gregory (he hates to be called Greg) has since then become my nursing bestie!! It's so cute to look back at the posts at the beginning of this journey.  I can't wait until I'm finished with school, I am totally going to print this out into a book.  I'm glad I have this blog to look back on.  Also, there were 2 other people in my CPR class that I didn't know at the time that I now now very well.  Well, all of them except one.  I do know her but not very well.  We have a fairly large class of about 62 or so people (we've lost/gained a few so I'm not sure the exact number at this point) so I don't always talk to all of them all of the time, but I am pleased that I have gotten to know so many of my classmates & I hope that some of these relationships last beyond school, but we'll see I guess. 

Anyhoo, tomorrow starts my L&D rotation.  Well actually tomorrow is just skills lab, then the real deal starts Thursday with L&D.  I'm very excited/nervous.  It's always a little nerve wracking starting something new isnt' it?

I'll let you know how it goes for sure.  Hope everyone is having a great week!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I feel so inadequate...

So today I was reading Sophia's blog over at All Things NP, she's a NP student at Penn State.  As I was reading about her interview process with Penn State & her rotations & her Sim Man day I started thinking, I am nowhere NEAR as smart as she is.  I still struggle with what lab values are correct, much less IF they're off then why??!!  I know that I don't put in as much time studying as some of my other classmates do and all of this makes me really doubt myself.  When will this stuff start to really click? When will I start to KNOW this stuff?  I wish I could spend more time studying than I do & in all honesty I probably could, but I also have a very busy life.  I know that's not an excuse as everyone has their own "stuff", but I was seriously thinking as I was reading over her blog that I really need to buckle down & start reading a bit more.  I definitely need to start studying more.  I mean, I'm doing fine in my classes but PERSONALLY I just feel that I don't KNOW enough.  Do you think this is because I've only had 2 1/2 semesters of nursing school, or SHOULD I know more than I do?

I hate that I waited this long to go back to school & get my nursing degree.  I know that there's nothing I can do about that now, but I feel such a rush to get my BSN and get started on my MSN (NP).  I constantly feel like I'm racing the clock.  I know everyone says to wait before getting my MSN, most nurses say at least 2 years, some say more like 5 but I just don't feel like I have that amount of time.  Not if I want to get graduated & actually WORK for a while.  It's so frustrating, but I'd have to say the most frustrating part is just simply feeling like I'm don't know enough to actually be a nurse.  I'm really hoping that I'm only feeling this way becuase of where I'm at in my schooling process & not because I truly am an inadequate nursing student...

When did this stuff start to click for you?  When were you able to look at lab results & realize what was going on??? 

Ok, enough of my pity party of one, back to doing something consructive.  Studying perhaps??

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring Break...

Spring Break is halfway over & I haven't been as productive as I'd hoped, but maybe I can rectify that today.  Hubby was off from work yesterday so of course I wasn't about to leave & head up to the library on his one day off this week.  Today though I have a LIST of things I need to get done.  I have several OB quizzes that I need to take, a couple of case studies that I need to do & a fetal heart strip that I have to "read" (yeah ok) & then I need to work on my paper that's due in a little over a week.  I finally finished HAND WRITING all 56 of my "Critical to Remember" cards (and they were the big index cards, not the little ones) for OB. 

Whew, instead of calling it Spring Break they should call it Spring Catch Up.  That's ok though, at least I'll have all of this stuff done before I start OB.  Some of my friends didn't do their Critical to Remember cards ahead of time & they were up REALLY late doing them the night before clinical, uh no thanks.  Also, once we get back it's full steam ahead, we've got a paper due, an OB group project due (yuck) & then back to back tests to the end of the semester.  Don't forget the Pharmacology HESI (booo, hissss).  Thank God OB clinical is only one day every other week & not 2 days every week like Med/Surg was. I would really feel the time crunch then.  Oh I forgot I also have to get my OB med list done....hmm, anything else I can think of?

Alright well off to the library for me. Hope everyone else is getting to ENJOY their spring break (ok who am I kidding, the nerd in me loves having things to do over spring break)!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Very sad...

Ok so as most of you know I just got done with my Med/Surg rotation.  For the first 3 weeks we had one instructor & for the last 3 weeks we had another.  Well this morning I found out that the instructor I JUST had passed away this weekend.  I am so shocked and saddened by the loss.  She was a GREAT instructor.  She only taught clinicals and she did it so well.  As you all know Med/Surg has been our "bane", but she made it not only bearable but completely fun.  I was honored to have her as my instructor and was better off for it. 

It is so crazy to think that such a vibrant, hilarious woman, who seemed completely healthy, could just so suddenly be gone.  It is a shock to say the least.  We had a really great rapport and I hope that she knew how much I respected her. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Can it be true?

Can tomorrow really be my last day of my Med/Surg clinical rotation??? YOU BET IT CAN!!

Here's the count so far for this semester.  Two OB tests down, B's on both.  Two Med/Surg tests down, C's on both :( (but they were sooo close to B's), whatev, and Med/Surg clinical in the bag!!  Woohoo!  So far so good.  Friday marks the end of this first half of 3rd semester & then next week is Spring break & I will be almost done with the most feared semester of nursing school. 

I have to say I should probably listen to my very wise husband more often.  Say when I'm totally freaking & dreading something coming up in the future.  He tells me all the time to stop listening to what other people say & wait & judge for myself, but do I listen?  Not usually.  Should I? Apparantely so.  This semester has had me tore up since the middle of LAST semester & for what?  Well so far, nothing yet.  Either I'm am just getting used to the hecticness (yes I made that word up) that is nursing school, or this semester isn't really as bad as EVERYONE before us made it out to be.  Then there is the rumor going around that the teachers were getting flack for people failing & therefore this semester is easier than it was before we got there.  Either way I guess we'll never know the reason why, but for now I am actually enjoying my 3rd semester of nursing school. 

Like I said tomorrow is the last day of my Med/Surg rotation & I'm shadowing at a surgery center for my periop rotation.  I have to say I kind of enjoyed it.  Although the jobs are a bit repetetive in nature I could see where this would be a good job if you wanted to work "business hours", M-F.  One of the best things about the day was the plastic surgeon whose case I watched, he was pretty funny.  Once we got in the surgery room they plugged in an ipod & got to work.  It was a very jovial, laid back experience, and I was pretty impressed.  Also, the first assist's job was pretty cool, I could see that being a pretty neat job.  Of course they were sitting & the surgery took only about 45 minutes, but I don't think it would be that fun if you had to stand for 4 hours or longer.  All in all it was alright.  We go back tomorrow for more surgery fun & then Friday is our last day of class & I'm FREE for a whole week.  Well, sort of free.  I actually have TONS of stuff I will be doing over spring break in order to get prepared for OB, but still, at least I won't have class or clinicals for that week!! Yay me!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Chosen for a Top 50 Nursing Blog!!!

I am so super excited to have been chosen by Nursing Degree.org as one of the Top 50 Nursing Blogs under the category of "Student"!!!  That is so cool! I got the email the other day & I just went & viewed my write up, so super cool!!! If you want to check out the other great blogs go here & you can see the whole list.  Of course I also want to send a big shout out to AZ mom as her blog was nominated, as well as many other blogs that I follow (Adventures of a PICU nurse, Hood Nurse)!!! So very happy to have been chosen with these other great blogs.  Very cool.

Monday is my 2nd Med/Surg test.  It covers diabetes & the heart.  Have I mentioned before how much I dislike the heart?  I love the fact that my keeps pumping for me, of course, but the intricasies of the heart are more than I can wrap my head around usually.  Thank goodness it's not about the patho of the heart, maybe this time I can get it.  Everyone has told me that it takes at least a week to prepare for these Med/Surg tests but alas, I only have 2 days once again.  Hopefully I can at least pull a B out of this one! An A would be great, but a C would totally suck, so a B is acceptable at this point.  Thankfully once Med/Surg clinicals are done I will have much more time.  In our program we have 2 clinical days for Med/Surg & it's every week, but once I hit OB I'll only have to go for one day every other week, so I'll have much more time to study...hopefully. 

Spring break is coming up, which I am totally looking foward to, especially after yesterday's preview of OB.  We had a meeting JUST to set up our notebooks.  I mean seriously? A three hour meeting to just go over the forms we were going to need for FOUR clinicals.  Yes, there were a lot of forms!  Kind of makes me nervous, I mean I thought OB was supposed to be "easier" than Med/Surg??  We'll see I guess.  Looks like a LOT of paperwork to me, but I'm very excited to get to that rotation. 

And lastly, the other night my hubby & I were talking about this guy that he works with & that guy's wife is a nurse.  He was saying how she works PRN, and that got me to thinking.  The reason she can work PRN is b/c where my husand works we have really good benefits, so technically I don't need a job that offers insurance, so I could potentially work PRN as well.  I'm thinking this will be beneficial to me since I'll still be in school full time while I'm working.  The only thing I worry about is being a new nurse (who doesn't know anything) how hard would it be to go from place to place, or more importantly from floor to floor.  For those of you with experience out there, do you think PRN work would be too hard for a new nurse?  And I mean hard as far as knowledge is concerned.  What are your thoughts??