Week Eight

Wow. Eight weeks of nursing school completed guys! I am halfway through my first semester of nursing school and I know that I have said this before, but I truly cannot believe how fast this semester is going. I feel like I waited forever to get into the program and now that I’m in it, it’s just flying by!

I wasn’t sure I would get back on here this soon, but here I am! It’s MEA break right now and so I thought I’d take the time to hop on here and give you guys a little update on my journey through nursing school. A lot has happened since week five.

To start, why I don’t tell you a little about what we’ve been learning! I won’t go into detail about it, but I’ll share the topics we’ve been going over in lectures and in lab (this does NOT include nursing nutrition):

  • Oxygenation & perfusion
  • Elimination
    • Bowel & bladder
  • Medication administration
  • Clinical reasoning
    • Oh, the joys, am I right!?
  • Therapeutic communication
  • Teaching/Learning

So that’s just the learning and lecture portion…here’s a peek at my recent clinical experiences:

  • We had our vision & hearing screening clinical at an elementary school
    • This was really neat. We worked with kids from grades K-5 and assisted with vision and hearing screenings! We had to either refer or pass the kids, depending on their results. Yes, we actually did have to “refer” some of the kids.
  • We had our first official nursing home clinical
    • This clinical was bright and early at 0630
      • Our normal clinical time is 0700 but it often varies, depending what we are doing that week
    • This clinical was ok!
      • It hasn’t been my favorite out of the bunch, but it was a good experience. I say this because I’ve been a nursing assistant for like ten years, so it wasn’t really anything new to me, except for a few things
      • I also happened to be the only CNA in my group, so I had my own patient and everybody else got put in groups of two…
        • I wasn’t super thrilled about this; yes, I know that I am experienced, so I knew what to do, but still, just because I was experienced didn’t mean I wasn’t nervous! This was a nursing school clinical, of course I was going to be nervous. But oh well, the day went well! I had one of the easier patients, so that was a little bit of a relief.
  • We had our PM simulation clinical
    • During this clinical, our sim patient had a different story from the last, so there was new prep work involved
      • I ended up playing the role of an observer since I was a nurse last time and let’s just say, it was a lot less nerve-wrecking!
    • The best part about this day? I got to sleep in! PM meant a noon start. Also, simulation is usually only about 3 hours, so that’s nice. It makes for a short day!

What else is happening? Here are the assignments and tests we’ve had:

  • My HHW and Nutrition Assessment papers were graded
    • I got A’s on both
      • (40 points each)
  • I completed a reflection journal assignment based off of the vision & hearing clinical
    • I got a 10/10
  • I handed in my health survey assignment last Friday and have yet to receive that grade back – cross your fingers for me for full points!
    • This one was based off of our nursing home experience
  • Here’s a big one – we had our second theory exam this past Monday
    • I was soooooooo stressed about this guys. I crammed all weekend long, literally to the point of brain explosion, but I still didn’t feel super confident Monday morning. HOWEVER…….
    • I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!
      • I got an 82% though, which isn’t great (it IS considered a C in nursing school). Regardless, I was just so happy with my grade because I literally felt like I was going to bomb it. Honestly, as long as I reach 78% or above on the exams throughout the semester, I’ll be happy. So far I have!
  • Another big thing – we had our head-to-toe assessment test out today! This was a pass/fail test with almost 80 bullet points or so to remember.
    • We were able to get about 8 points wrong if it was not a bolded point (missed bolded points are automatic fails) but I PASSED WITH 100%!!!!!!!!!!!! It was literally the best feeling ever
      • I don’t know what it is about those test outs, but they are so scary. Seriously.
    • For those of you that might not know, a head-to-toe assessment is basically just assessing the entire body from the top of the head to the toes. During it, we’re doing things like assessing skin integrity, listening to the heart and lungs, listening to the bowel sounds, checking vital signs, assessing pain, etc.

Ok, so remember, there is like no downtime in nursing school. It’s MEA break and there are a lot of things to be working on over the long weekend. Things I’m working on now are:

  • An informatics paper
    • This is a group assignment that is due Thursday
      • With this assignment, I found out I do NOT enjoy group projects that involve written papers. Trying to get everybody’s written paragraphs put together in good, APA format has been a trial! I definitely prefer to work on papers on my own.
  • First draft of my scholarly paper
    • This is due next Tuesday already (apparently our instructor didn’t think we deserved an MEA break off)
      • Excuse me while I go cry in a corner about that…
  • Studying for my second nutrition exam
    • The neglect for this class is real! I have been focusing so much on theory, that I’ve been completing neglecting nutrition. Now that we’ve had our theory exam and head-to-toe test outs however, I can catch up and do some studying.
    • Looking at the calendar, Nutrition is going to pick up real fast, real soon
      • I have to start focusing on taking the ATI practice proctored exam A & B
        • Remediation has to occur if we do not do well on these
      • We also probably have to start working on our group presentations soon as well – my group presents November 26th if I remember right
  • I also have to prep over the weekend for next weeks simulation clinical
    • This is going to be another whole new patient, so that means lots of prep
    • It’s also another PM clinical which means…I get to sleep in again! YAY.

Ok, so there’s that. As you can tell, I’ve learned a lot, completed a lot, and am working on a lot. Can we just discuss the stress for a minute? Nursing school is BEYOND stressful. Never have I ever stressed out so bad about exams and assignments as I have in the past eight weeks. I have mini breakdowns almost every week, with every assignment. Every point really does matter in nursing school. Remember that anything below 78% is failing in nursing school, so that makes everything that much scarier. Nursing school is SO HARD but I am so proud of myself for hanging in this long, doing as well as I am, and still continuing to keep up with my work and grades while working part time and maintaining life at home. It has definitely already been an experience I will always remember!

I would like to point something out real quick before I wrap this up! We’re at the point in the semester where we are a learning a lot, right? Well it doesn’t feel like we’ve practiced that much in the field, but I notice so much more at work now. I notice that the nurses actually ARE doing the thing we are learning and even using terms that we are learning. For instance, one of our most recent lectures was on therapeutic communication and honestly, I thought this lecture was just common sense, but there ended up being a lot of tactics behind it as well. Anyway, so I was at work a few days ago, we had this meeting, and in that meeting, they were talking about therapeutic communication of all things. I thought that was neat. I guess what I’m trying to point out, is that I’m starting to connect the dots! Things are making sense.

I AM LEARNING YOU GUYS! I am eight weeks closer to becoming the nurse that I want to be.

I got this!

*Thanks for reading and have a wonderful rest of the week!*

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