Monday, December 14, 2009

I passed. I passed my test, and I passed my class. I have 6 nursing exams under my belt so far this semester, and I haven't failed one yet! I got an 83 on my test today, which unfortunately was two points shy of getting me a B in class, so I ended up with a C. However, I passed, and in light of the fact that 2 of my friends in my little group of 5 failed and will not go on ahead to the next course with us, I am thankful. I was going to apply for a scholarship in which you had to have a minimum of a B average in the two courses I took this semester, so its a bummer I do not qualify.

But I passed.

I passed TWO nursing school courses.

Two down, seven to go.

I have two clinical days left before I officially start my 3 week break until next semester, but my brain can rest easy as I no longer have to think about school or be studying. Next semester, my rotations are Med/Surg 1 (which we call GI/GU- gastroinstesinal/genitourinary) the first half of the semester from Jan-Mar, and Peds Mar-May. I am really excited about Peds.

But for now, I am just about on break.

And I passed.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Here are some of the things I did yesterday and today:

  • I changed the dressing on a PICC line. A PICC line is a peripherally inserted central catheter. It is a central line, which is like an IV but it goes straight into the heart instead of just being in the vein. A PICC is inserted in the arm, instead of in the chest, but it also goes all the way straight into the heart. Its quite a little procedure to change the dressing on a PICC line because it has to be very sterile since the line goes directly to the heart. I have to wear sterile gloves, a mask, I have to make sure the patient turns their head away from where the dressing is being changed so that they don't breathe over the site during the change. I have to clean the site with alcohol and betadine several times. It was very exciting to get to do such a simple yet serious little task.
  • Today I hung 2 IV piggy backs. Piggybacks are secondary IV bags with certain meds that don't need to be run all day long like saline does, for instance. In my case I had one bag that needed to run over 15 minutes time, and the other bag needed to run for just an hour. So I have to set the bag up, prime the tubing and then connect it to the primary bag's line, lower the primary bag so that gravity will automatically make the secondary bag run and shut the primary bag off, and then will resume again once the secondary fluid runs out. This way, if you're not around when the secondary fluid runs out, the primary picks up and ensures that the vein stays open and fluid is always going in.
  • I checked a patient's blood sugar with the glucometer today. I have done this on myself a few times with my mom's machine, but it was my second time ever doing it on a patient.
  • I was supposed to give an injection to my patient today, but she refused the med.
I think that is all, but if I happened to have forgotten anything, I will post it at a later time. I am excited that I am nearing the end of my first semester. I have only 1 week left until my 3 week break, so I guess that means that 4 weeks from today semester #2 begins. Scary. I remember 4 short months ago I wasn't sure I'd make it to the see the end of the semester, but here I am. My final is on Monday, but grades won't be posted until sometime Wednesday. I have my last two clinicals on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I probably won't post much until then since I really need to hit the books hard and study for my final from now until then. Wish me luck. I need an 85 on the final for a B.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It seems that I have been lagging in updating this blog as to whats been going on. Honestly, things have been crazy. We started clinicals in the hospital last week and then I left to go on vacation for Thanksgiving and then I came back and had a test, and it was back to clinicals. Its just been a whirlwind of a week. Here's what's been going on, in easy bullet format:

  • My first day of clinical (last Wednesday) I gave meds to my patient for the first time. This included giving the patient an injection. I thought I would be more nervous, but truth is, when it came time to actually do it, it went so fast, I really didn't have time to be nervous. And it wasn't nearly as bad as thought it might be.
  • This past Monday was my last pharmacology class. I had my last exam, in which I got a 46/50 which is 92% and that is an A. My overall grade for the class ended up being a B and I am extremely excited about that.
  • We had clinicals again Tuesday and Wednesday this week. I gave out meds again on Wednesday and was supposed to give another injection, however, I let my classmate give mine because she had't had the opportunity to do one yet, while everyone else had.
  • I think I am learning more and more that I do not like the med-surg floor. I hope that as I continue on through the program that I do not find that I dislike everything. I don't think that will be the case, however. I think I just need something more exciting, something that makes me feel as if I am making a difference, that I am doing something. It seems as if all the nurses do on the med-surg floor is push meds. I never aspired to be a drug pusher. ;)
  • On Tuesday I worked with a wonderful nurse. She was patient, kind, helpful, good with the patients, informative, and very open to having a student nurse working with her. I wish all the nurses were like that. She really treated the patients well, and all nurses should aspire to be like that. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I hope that I am like her one day. She is awesome.
  • My final exam is on my little Nate Nate's birthday, Monday, December 14. I am currently preparing for that.
That's all I have for now.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My second exam didn't go over so well, I am afraid to admit. Out of a possible 50 points, I scored 38, which is basically a 76%. Yes, it is passing, but barely. And while I am aware that earning a C in a class, or just barely passing tests will earn me a degree in the end, who exactly wants to be a mediocre nurse? Who wants to be a nurse who barely knows what she's doing? Not me. I want to be better than "just getting by". I want to really know and understand what I'm doing and by not doing well I feel as I am cheating the system somehow. So I am a little bummed. The only good thing about this test is that I am not the only one who didn't do well. This one was a doozy for sure. A lot of grades went down, and some people, a good handful, did NOT pass this test. They can still, however, pass the class. So I will try my best and study like crazy the next 3 weeks for my final and do what I can to do better next time.

Did I mention I only have 3 weeks left until break? Ah. Break. Such a beautiful word.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Well, I passed my skills test with flying colors. There were two portions: a medication portion and skills portion where I had to perform 3 skills.

For the medication portion, I was given a fake patient with several medical diagnoses and 3 medications. I then had 45 minutes to look up and take notes on the medications. Sometimes meds have more than one purpose, so one of the things I had to do was determine for which purpose, based on the patient's diagnosis, was the patient taking that med. I had to basically figure out anything about the meds that would be pertinent to my patient and make notes. After the 45 minutes was over, I then had to sit down with my instructor and answer 20 questions about the meds. I was allowed to use my drug book to look up anything I hadn't already written down. I passed with a 100%, which she said I was the only one so far who had passed with 100%, but we were allowed to miss 2 questions.

Next came the skills portion. First I would be asked to demonstrate one of a few skills dealing with an IV. The skill I was asked to do was back prime a piggy back. What that means is we prime the line with the IV fluid to get out all the air first before we hook it up to the patient. The piggy back is a secondary bag of IV fluid, usually something like an antibiotic that the dr. wants infused in addition to the primary IV bag. Back priming is when you prime the piggy back line with the primary IV's fluid instead of using the fluid from the piggy back. The next skill I had to do was draw up a med in a syringe and explain the technique for whatever type of injection she had asked me about and give the landmarks for the site, and demonstrate how I would give that injection into this injectapad thing. I was asked to draw up a med in what we call a Tuberculin syringe, which is a very small needle and holds a very small amount and is usually used when people are getting a TB test. The type of injection I was asked about was directly related to the med she wanted me to draw up, which is called intradermal, which is just under the skin, also usually used in TB tests. The last skill I had to do was a dressing change, and the instructor would tell me which type I had to do. The whole morning I had been saying silent prayers to do a CVC dressing change (which I will explain in a minute) and I was very happy to find out that was the dressing change I was told to do. A CVC is a catheter inserted right into a vein (subclavian vein usually) that leads right to the heart and its used to administer medication, its used for people on chemo or radiation (I think), it can be used to draw blood for lab tests, its used to administer intravenous-type nourishment. The procedure is a very sterile procedure because anything introduced to that area can cause an infection right in the heart. At any rate, I performed all 3 skills at 100%- anything less would have landed me an appointment next Tuesday for a reattempt.

I have a test tomorrow that I should go study for. I'll post my grade sometime tomorrow once they come in. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am three quarters of the way through with my first semester and as of Friday, I will have only 2 tests left. I just took my third pharmacology test last night. I got a B which I am very happy about because I really didn't study very much for it, as is typical with pharmacology, unfortunately. There's just not enough time to really devote any to pharm and its pretty much the same thing with everyone in my class. We had some extra credit that wasn't graded yet, but I am pretty certain I will be getting another 3 pts so that will end up giving me an A on the test. In two weeks, I will have my last pharm test and I will be so happy to have this class behind me so that I won't have any other classes to worry about.

Tomorrow I have my skills test- what we call "return demo". Its where we do a return demonstration of skills for our instructor. I will be looking up three medications for a pretend patient, and then I will have to answer a series of questions about those meds to my instructor. I will have to demonstrate how to change a wound dressing- they will pick from several different types dressing changes so we don't know which one we will get. We will have to draw up a med in a syringe and then demonstrate how we would give it (on a sponge) while telling the instructor the anatomical landmarks for the certain area we are told to give the injection. We will also have to demonstrate how to run an IV bag and how to "prime the tubing"- which is a fancy way to say "make sure there's no air bubbles in there!" We do NOT start IV's in the sense of taking a needle and inserting it into the veins, yet. We just start or change the bags. If I forgot anything, I will recap how my demo went tomorrow.

On Friday I will have my second nursing test. This one is a biggie-all about nutrition, the ever so fun bowel elimination, oxygenation, acid/base balance and the very interesting but confusing fluid and electrolyte balance. I actually like fluids and electrolytes, but I am trying to come up with a way to better organize the info into my brain. Hopefully I will do well on this test. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Time for some updates in my busy school life

  • I took my first nursing exam (of the new class I started back on October 29th) on November 6th and I got a B
  • Next week is going to be VERY busy and VERY stressful (see bullets below)
  • I have my third pharmacology exam on Monday
  • I have to go to orientation at the hospital I will be doing my clinicals at this term on Tuesday (its different than where I did clinicals at before)
  • I have my return demo on Wednesday. Return demo is where I have to go into the lab and my clinical instructor will as me to do certain skills and I have to demonstrate them for her so that I can go into the hospital and do them.
  • On Friday I have my second nursing exam
So there is a quick synopsis of my nursing school life for now. As I take the tests and get the grades, I will update the blog.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I got some cool toys at school yesterday. I got several types of needles and syringes, some saline water vials, some IV bags and some tubing. Unfortunately, we will not be starting IVs this semester, but we will be learning how to change out the meds on the IVs. So now I get to practice injecting my poor sponge at home! Too bad real people aren't really made of sponges.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Here's what's been going on:

  • I had a pharmacology test last night. Didn't do too hot, but none of my friends did either. There was a lot of material to cover for this test and when you're taking 14 credit hours (12 is considered full time student status) and your classes are very rigorous, its really hard. But hey, all excuses aside, some people managed A's and B's. Just not me. And I'm ok with that. C=RN
  • Today was our first day of clinicals, which means we get a math test. (Every class from here on out will have a math test the first day of clinical). I am happy to report I got 100%. Yay.
  • My first nursing lecture exam is next Friday. There has been so much reading for these topics. There's over 650 pages of reading just for exam 1. The topics we are covering are Medications, Wounds, Pain, Blood, Stress and IVs. All very good and interesting topics, just VERY lengthy.
  • Today I learned how to change wound dressings, to wrap 4 different ways with ace-type bandages and to change a dressing for a central line. Tomorrow I will start learning about administering medications, give injections, and hang IV meds. Unfortunately, (or fortunately), we will not be learning how to start IVs until a much later course.
  • I'm really excited because I am going to get to do some "real" stuff, but I'm very scared at the same time. I'm going to give real injections to real people. Its scary. Anyone want to come over and let me practice on them? Kidding. But really, if you want to.... :)
That's all for now. Need to get to bed for another long day in the campus lab.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today was my final exam for my very first nursing class ever! I am happy to report that I got an 87 on the final, which I hardly studied for so I am more than excited about my grade. That ended up giving me a B for the class, also something I am more than excited about, considering going in I was so afraid I would even pass -- they told us so many people fail, and hardly anyone got A's and B's and that C=RN, yadda yadda.

Friday begins a new class and a new chapter in my nursing school life. One nursing class down, only eight to go. And only eight weeks left before I get a nice three week break from school. I am really looking forward to my break, can't you tell?

Tuesday was my last clinical day for this session as well. I don't restart clinicals until next Tuesday, however while I will have campus clinicals, I will not be back at the hospital again until somewhere around Nov 25th. I am also pleased to report that I passed my clinical. It's only pass/fail so no grade is given except for either an S or a U and I'm really excited I got my S!

This next class that I am starting is pretty much a continuation of the class I just finished. Its more fundamental type stuff. This class I will be covering topics such as Medications, Blood, Aging, Wounds, Stress, Pre-op and Post-op care, Pain, Oxygenations, Fluid and Electrolyte balance and more. We will be starting to give out meds to patients in this next clinical course as well as changing dressings on patients. I'm excited to start getting more of my hands dirty, so to speak (pardon the pun, it really wasn't intended).

That's all the updates for now. Next test is next Monday for Pharmacology and then I have my next nursing test on November 6th!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Today we got to see our tests, if we wanted to, this way we can see what we got wrong and what the correct answer should have been. We get the test and a print out of our answers from the scan tron.

I check the first question. Ok. Didn't know the answer. Guessed. Got it wrong. I understand.

I check the second question. Hmmm. That's the answer I thought I picked. Look at test. I circled A. Look at printout of answers. I picked C. That was dumb. I had the right answer, just didn't mark my scan tron correctly. Dumb.

I check the third question. Huh? Again? I did it again? I know this is the right answer. I wouldn't have picked that one. Sigh.

Two of the three answers I picked I knew the correct answer, and had marked the correct answer on my test, but somehow failed to mark the correct answer on the scan tron, which is where it counts. Unfortunately, you cannot just say, "Hey, see I marked the right answer on the test. I didn't mean to mark that one." Nope. Doesn't fly in nursing school. I can, however, ask the professor to check my scan tron and see if I happened to mark it correctly. Unfortunately, she did and said I did not. What really bugs me, well there are 2 things. One, I could have gotten a 49 out of 50, which is 98%. NINETY EIGHT PERCENT on a nursing test, when in the easier pre-req classes I have taken, I have NEVER scored above a 92-94%. I am astonished with myself on the capability of even being able to do such a thing. Too bad I didn't really get a 98 though. And second, I was extra careful with this test. After I was all done answering all the questions on my scan tron, I went thru the scan tron and first counted to make sure I had 50 consecutive answers. Then, I went question by question and made sure that I had marked the correct answer on the scan tron that I had circled on the test. I thought I was completely certain this was done and all answers were accounted for accurately. I guess I missed two.

But hey. I am still really excited to know that I knew 49 of the answers to 50 questions. How cool is that?

Friday, October 2, 2009

First I must start this post off with saying that I just got a 94 on my second nursing exam. I can't even begin to express the excitement of seeing that I only missed 3 questions out of 50 on topics such as Legal, Ethical, Cultural, Death and Loss, Communication, Nursing and Healthcare, and Medical Asepsis (basically this is about infection control). I left the exam feeling like I had done REALLY well, but thought that was a bad sign since I pretty much felt that way with my first test in which I only scored a 78 on (yikes!). The good news with all of this is that I pretty much solidified the fact that I will pass the class. I need to get a 60 or higher on the final, which is cumulative by the way, in order to pass. I think I can manage that. I can also totally get a B in the class, which is what I am going to aim for. Unfortunately, I would need to get a 98 in order to get an A in the class, and while that is not impossible, it is very improbable. Nevertheless, the competitive overachiever that I am, I will try.

Now onto the good stuff- my very first clinical day.

For our first day, my clinical instructor paired us up with another student so that we wouldn't be all alone on our first day. We met up with our group (there are 9 students and 1 instructor) in the hospital cafeteria where we get our hospital assignment and an info sheet on the patient we will be seeing that day. I started reading my patient's info and immediately realized that my patient was going to be VERY complicated. Aside from his lengthy medical history, he has glaucoma, macular degeneration,(a vision problem), is hard of hearing with hearing aids in BOTH ears, and upon meeting him, found out that we would need to write every single thing down in order to communicate with him. He was a very nice and patient man but it was a real challenge and very stressful to have to communicate with someone that way, for long periods of time.

How our day is supposed to go is like this: go into the patient's room, get their morning vital signs (pulse, respiration rate, blood pressure and temperature), do a physical assessment, and then provide morning care which consists of a bath (which could be a complete bath, partial bath, or the patient will do it all them self), oral care and changing the linens on the patient's bed. If all goes as planned, this should all be complete by 10am. By then, we would start writing up a draft of our nurse's notes (we have to practice charting, but its not really going into the chart, yet). Then, for the rest of the time we are to answer call lights or follow our nurse around and do whatever needs to be done.

This was not so on our first day. Since the majority of the time it took a long time to communicate, things went very slowly. It was almost 9am before the patient started eating breakfast, and we hadn't even done our assessment or given him his bath yet. On top of that, we fed the patient since the nurse suggested that was a good idea (apparently he was able to eat by himself, but perhaps he wasn't eating as much). After he ate, we worked on our physical assessment. This assessment is a head-to-toe check up of sorts, including observing, touching, listening, the whole 9 yards! I have to say, but I think our guy was in pretty bad shape. He had been admitted 9 days prior for COPD (its an issue related to his lungs). He had edema (swelling due to fluid) in one of his arms and both of his legs. He was an insulin dependent diabetic, he had high blood pressure, on about 20 meds, and was on aspiration precautions (any liquid had to be thickened with these packets of thickening nectar because he was at risk for aspirating if he drank liquids too thin). He had to take most of his meds crushed up in applesauce. His breathing was pretty awful, too. You could hear the rhonchi (mucous in the lungs) without even needing to use the stethoscope- it was very audible. It was actually so loud that I couldn't even hear his heart sounds with the stethoscope and this was even verified by my instructor- a former cardiac nurse- she could barely hear it either. Once we finished our physical assessment, it was the better part of 11am, and he still needed to get his bath. He was unable to provide any assistance, so we had to give him a complete bath ourselves. Oh and I forgot to mention- since he couldn't get out of bed, he wore a diaper. I've changed plenty of diapers in my life, you'd think I was a pro, but it is a whole different ballgame on an adult. You can't just grab two ankles and life the feet up in the air and whip off the diaper and whip on a new one. No. You have to roll the patient onto their side and changed it. But the patient doesn't always stay up on their side. Then they roll back down. That makes it hard. Actually, I ended up asking the PCA (patient care assistant, which is another name for nurse's aide) to help us, because we just couldn't do it, the useless newbie nurse wannabes that we are. She made it look so easy. Plus, when we rolled the patient onto his side, the energy he exerted rolling onto his side caused his oxygen saturation levels to go below 90%, which isn't very good and of course made this poor little nursing student a little flustered.

We had finally finished up with the bath when physical therapy came in to move the patient out of bed and into the chair. They had come earlier, but we had really needed to get the patient bathed first and they were very cool with working it out so that they could come back and we could do what we needed to do. It was wonderful that they had orders to do this because we needed to change the sheets on the bed and even though I know how to make a bed with a person in it, I really don't want to have to do it. Once our patient was sitting in the chair, I changed the bed linens with some fresh ones very quickly because it was nearing the end of our time there. By then, the patient's lunch had arrived, and thankfully speech therapy came by to check on the patient and offered to thicken up his liquids and get him started with his lunch. His nurse was very nice and I really hope to get to work with her next week. She asked if I wanted to and was allowed to do the patient's accu-check which is a finger stick to check the patient's blood sugar before giving him his insulin. We went off to ask my instructor who gave us the green flag and I pricked the patient's finger- all by myself! (How exciting, I know, ha!).

At that point, it was time to go. I hadn't sat down once during our little shift there, and It was a good 6 hours straight on my feet non-stop. That is something I haven't done in years, so my feet were really hurting. I actually didn't even realize how much they were hurting until I sat down at our post-conference meeting and tried to get back up after a half an hour. My feet were like jello.

I was so exhausted- mentally, physically- from that day that I came home and was so drained, coupled with the fact that I really don't think I want to be the medical floor type of nurse (I still feel like L&D, peds or ER are where my interests lie right now), and I think that made Ray think that maybe I didn't want to do nursing anymore. That's not the case, although, I can see where he was getting that feeling from. Truth is, it was my first day. I could barely take care of 1 patient with a partner. These nurses- they take care of 6-8 at a time. I can do it, I will do it. But it was my first day. I've never done this before. I don't even know where they keep the pillow cases. And hopefully one day I will work on a floor I am really interested in working on. But it was my first day. It can only get better, right? A little easier, in a way, right?

No. I definitely don't want to stop. I am sure there will be times I feel like I might want to, but I really don't.

Next week, I am on my own; not completely, but I won't be paired up with anyone. I will get to take care of a patient all on my own. My instructor has promised us all easier patients since we all had a very tough first day. She admitted she thought it was tough, but she didn't know when she got the patient infos from the charge nurse that all of our groups patients were going to be difficult cases. She said she was very proud of us and that we did a good job.

I hope that eventually I will be able to NOT wonder about my patients when I am at home. I don't know if thats a good thing or a bad one, but I have found myself wondering about how my very first patient is doing right now, wondering who helped him with his dinner tonight, wondering if he has family to visit him, wondering how he is going to take care of himself once he goes back home. I hope he's doing alright and that he's not lonely- is that a bad thing? Maybe, maybe not.

I'm excited to see what next week brings.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tomorrow is day one in the hospital. However, its going to be more of an orientation and not a real day one. We will be meeting our clinical groups in the cafeteria of our hospitals and then eventually make our way over to our floors for a scavenger hunt of supplies- this is to try to orient us as to where everything is.

Wednesday is going to be the real deal. Two students will be assigned one patient, so we aren't completely on our own- yet. We will have to go in, check vital signs (pulse, respirations, blood pressure, temperature), do an assessment on the patient and give them bath, whether its a full bath (we do everything), a partial bath (they do most of it and we assist where needed), or assist them with getting into the shower and with whatever else they need so they can shower themselves (I pray this is the case with my patients- I am really NOT looking forward to this part). Then, I will probably spend the rest of my day following my nurse around, measuring any liquids that go into my patient (drinks, IV's, etc) and come out of my patient ( get the picture). I will be on a medical floor, and apparently, all of the patients on the floor are automatically hooked up to cardiac monitors whether needed or not, so I have to continuously check the leads throughout the day and make sure they are still on. Then starting next week, I'm on my own with my own patient (I say on my own, as in no other students- there is still a nurse taking care of these patients and my clinical instructor will be around bouncing in between students). I will also at some point in the 4 days I will be in the hospital during this clinical rotation perform an assessment on a patient in FRONT of my clinical instructor. Talk about nerve wracking!

Anyway, I have my second nursing lecture exam this Friday, so look for an update Friday/Saturday. I had my first Pharmacology exam last Monday and I got an 82 (not to shabby since I didn't study that much for it being that I had been so consumed with nursing lecture studying).

In sad news, I am EXTREMELY ashamed to report that I failed a math test (of all the things in the world to fail) and I now have to retake the entire math class, which begins again this Thursday. This is done because the next nursing lecture class begins 10/23 and they get the repeat math class in so that the students can repeat it and pass in time to get into the next nursing lecture class. Honestly, I am very embarrassed by this fact and am having a bit of a hard time dealing with it. There are 10 math problems related to nursing med administration. The math is very simple math, and I know how to do it, but I made two very silly mistakes, and we are only allowed to miss one question. At any rate, I will redo the math and take a new test on 10/15 and hopefully pass and move on. If not, it looks like I will have a long break until Jan, where I will then retake the Math class and then around the beginning of March I will be able to start the second nursing lecture class and clinical rotation- so I would have quite a bit of down time. So I pray, and ask your assistance in this, that this will NOT be the case. How awful to get left behind for 2 math questions.

Well, that's all for now, folks. Look for a hospital update coming soon........

Friday, September 11, 2009

I passed. Barely, but I passed. Today I got my first C on a test since college. I think I am a mixture of emotions. I am so very glad I passed, but at the same time I had hoped, and felt like, I did better. I have 2 more exams for this course, so I was hoping to have a bigger cushion but I did make it over the first obstacle. There are about 7 people I really talk to and they all mostly got similar grades. In the group, there's a 44, a 43, a 40, a 37 and a 36 (and of course my 39). The other 2 people weren't around at the time, so we couldn't talk to see how they did.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I can honestly say I do not think I have ever been so scared in my entire life. Today I am REALLY feeling it. I have that "sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, heart racing" feeling and am on the verge of tears. Tomorrow's the big day. The "make it or break it day" for some.....well, most in my class. If you fail the tomorrow's test, you can pretty much kiss this semester goodbye. I obviously don't want to become one of the failure statistics, but I feel SO unprepared and have no idea what to expect on this test. 50 Questions, 60 LLLOOONNNNGGG minutes and an even longer several hours until the grades will hopefully be posted. Oh goodness if I have to wait all weekend, I may just die. Or be committed into a mental institution. But I am scared. I know that there have been people who have passed before. I know there will be more tomorrow. I know I CAN pass. I just can't help being afraid. People are counting on me. I am counting on me. The pressure is rising. What will tomorrow bring?

For now, I think I will just hold my breath.........

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Today we found out our hospital and clinical instructor assignments. While I didn't originally get the hospital I was hoping for, I had been assigned a hospital about 10 minutes south of that. However, while in class today, my friend, who was another classroom at the time, text messaged me that someone was wanting to switch. So now I am going to the hospital 5 minutes away. My friend, who lives in my complex, got the same hospital, too. Hospital clinicals start in just 2 weeks.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Nothing but craziness here. I've been working real hard the last few days going through all of our nursing objectives and answering them. Now that I am done, I will study from them for my exam Friday. I have printed all the pages that I made to study off of and it came to a whopping 50 pages!! So, I will continue to be crazy trying to remember all 50 pages of information I made. Whew! I have a lot to remember. I am completely nervous for Friday!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Its been a busy two days since my last post, so here's a recap of what's been going on. For my nursing theory class, also referred to as lecture, I have been trying to stay ahead of the reading which is just nearly impossible. For each lecture, I try to make sure I read all the reading assignments for that topic before that class. I have one more theory class before my first exam, so thank goodness after Friday (hopefully) I will be done with my reading for a whole week! However, I have been reading over 50 pages a day to keep myself on this track. I have not completed my reading for today, but if I happen to fall behind, I have tomorrow to help catch myself up (of course, this is in addition to tomorrow's reading as well).

Also, I have been working on answering objectives for each topic. They sell this packet in the bookstore which is called a "Module." The module contains an outline of objectives (what we need to make sure we know) for each topic covered in class. Answering the objectives doesn't necessarily mean they were in question form, but I am basically making an outline with all pertinent information related to the module. Anyway, I am pretty behind in that, so I am trying my hardest to catch up in that area as well since the plan was for me to have from Friday evening until next Thursday night to do nothing but study for my exam. Hopefully, if I can't catch myself up, I won't let it get much past Saturday so I will have a great deal of time to study.

Today was my second real day of clinicals. We actually only have one more learning day in the lab, and then its about 2 days of practice and then 2 days of what's called a "Return Demonstration" where we have to perform all of the skills we;ve learned in class for our instructors and then get signed off on. Then we have 1 more day after that before we actually start in the hospitals, which will end up being the end of September sometime. Yesterday we did vital signs, and today we talked about documentation and we did physical assessments. It seems so overwhleming all the information we have to remember in just a couple of weeks from now for the health assessment, including listening to heart and lung sounds. We have to do everything from memory, which isn't such a big deal really, but we have to be fully competent in doing these 2 weeks from today! Needless to say, it seems like I will be spending some time in the campus lab.

It's really exciting to finally be getting my feet wet, but at the same time its still so overwhelming and scary. Everyone I've spoken to has echoed the same thing, too. There are days when we all feel like we can do this, and there are days where we wonder what we got ourselves into. I guess the good thing is we are all feeling it, so it must be normal, right?

Well that's all the updating I have for now.

Tune in for more soon from your favorite student nurse!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Today will be my very first clinical day. I'm really excited to get this ball rolling, and nervous at the same time. In about 4 weeks we will finally make our way into the hospital, but for now, we will be working in our campus lab. I'll report more later.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tomorrow will be my very first nursing lecture, as well as my nursing math class. As of right now, I don't have much to say since I really need to be reading instead. I think I still have over 100 pages I need to read before off I go. I'll post a blog over the weekend and let you know how my lecture and nursing math class went.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

To say I am utterly overwhelmed at the moment would be an understatement. I have SO much reading to do, its not funny. So I am freaking out.....just a little. What did I get myself into?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Unfortunately, I don't have a whole lot to report on about my first day. The first 45 minutes of my 3 hour lecture was roll call. She had us line up and each come up to her to check us off her list. I'm not sure why she chose to do it this way, rather than call our names and have us say, "Here." I think its possible she wanted to have us correctly tell her the pronounciation of our names. After that we just had some basic program orientation and a rep from the books we use in the program came by to talk about the E-books that a lot of students purchased. Today and tomorrow are going to continue with Clinical and Departmental Orientations, and Friday begins the nitty gritty. My first exam is 2 weeks from Friday. The nursing class I am taking is called Nursing Process 1, and in 8 weeks its over, and I begin Nursing Process 2. Over the next 16 weeks I will have a total of 6 Nursing Process exams, and 4 Pharmacology exams.

Both professors seem very nice so far. My pharmacology professor is HILARIOUS! He is a Doctor of Pharmacy, and works with a local hospital here as their Pharmacy Residency Director. He will be incorporating real life nursing stories about meds into his lectures, which is neat.

So that's the scoop so far. I do have to be at school at 7:30 this morning, and I woke up at 4:30am in order to get some reading done since I am really bad at it at night. Can you believe I went to bed BEFORE 10pm? Craziness.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Today's the big day. Finally, after all this time, its here. I begin a journey I set out on so long ago, yet never even reached the starting point for. Today is that starting point. I am a range of emotions, to say the least. The two main emotions: Excitement and Nervousness, mostly just Nervousness.

I start with Nursing Process 1 Lecture from 9a-12p. However, it is an orientation, so we won't be getting to any lecturing until our next class, which is Friday. I also have Pharmacology from 5-7p. I plan on staying at school to start reading and studying as I have my first test in a little over 2 and a half weeks and I have close to 700 pages of reading, not to mention time needed to go over information, read lecture notes, work on nursing modules, and studying. Plus I have pharmacology class on top of it and a Nursing Math class, too.

I'll try to post soon about my day.

Until then...........

Publish Post

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Unfortunately, I will be unable to find out the grades for my lecture and lab finals, but today semester grades were posted online on the school's website. I was disappointed to see I had received a B in both my lecture and lab classes, but it's better than a C I suppose. I'm particularly bummed because I feel if I had the professor I had in the beginning AND ended up with a B, it would have been ok, but with this professor, I had no idea what I was doing and had no direction. He was the most unhelpful professor I've had, aside from the chemistry teacher I had several years ago, and especially so when saying he would not send us our grades for the finals, explaining that there was no way he could possibly email 120 students. Sigh. I guess its all water under the bridge now. My GPA was 3.64 before this semester. With A's it would have been 3.68, however, with my B's it is 3.55. I guess that's still pretty good. I'm just worried about keeping it as high as I can because I've heard so many people say with nursing school, the GPA's drop a lot because A students become C students, and if I happen to go to school past my Bachelor's degree, schools will require a 3.0 or higher.

Overall, I think Microbiology is a difficult class, but I didn't find the material ridiculously hard. I found the class very interesting, and I wish I could sit through the last 6 weeks in another semester with my old professor, not for a grade, but so I could really learn the material better. The last 6 weeks had a lot more interesting information and I feel like its all a blur.

So that's the conclusion of the Pre-nursing student story. I'm off to organize my reading for my very first nursing exam, which is on September 11, and then actually start reading it. The test will cover, NO LIE, 638 pages of information.

There really won't be much to say until August 24th after my very first class day. It will be a long one- I have class from 9am-12pm, then I have pharmacology class from 5pm-7pm and I will pretty much stay at school until my pharm class is over. I will blog about my first day sometime around the 24th. Tune in again soon!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tuesday is my last Microbiology class for lecture and lab. I have a crazy final in each class. My lab final consists of a written exam on the last 16 experiments we've done in class, plus a practical portion looking at microscope slides and having to name what I see and the stage its in, plus there will be previous experiment results that I need to identify. My lecture exam will consist of the last 7 chapters that we've covered since the new professor joined us. I'm am especially worried about this one since I need to get an 87 on the test in order to keep my A, and the last test I took, which was the first one with the new guy, I got an 82! My first B in the class ever. Sigh. So I will be studying like crazy for the next couple of days.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First off, I wanted to post an update regarding my Micro lecture exam. I didn't do too hot.....I got a B, and while most people would be happy with that B, I, in all honesty, am not. There are several reasons. One is that IF I continue on to my Bachelor's or Master's degree, my GPA will be important, and from what I've heard about nursing school is that hardly anyone gets A's. So, I am trying to keep my grades as high as I can before nursing school for that reason. Two, it comes down to the fact that I am competitive, not just with other people, but mostly with myself. I try to outdo myself everytime. Three, which is kind of related to number two, is that because of the type of student I was in high school, which was not a very good one, I am trying my hardest to do well now, and in a sense prove to myself that I can be a good student.

Soo all that to say I am not happy with my grade. Ultimately, there is no one to blame but myself, but I don't think I've adjusted well to this new professor. He's a nice guy, don't get me wrong, but he is very unorganzied with the way he presents the information. Honestly, if I just read the book myself, I would have taught myself anything he would have. With my old professor, he explained things in depth, and got you to understand them. I LOVED the challenge of his test because they got you to think critically, which is a MAJOR plus for nursing school. I think because I knew the new professor was going to be "easier" I slacked off a bit with my studying. Now I have to get a 90 on my last exam in order to keep my A in the class. Phew, that's going to be a tough task to take on!

Now for the main reason I posted a blog today. We have decided, after much deliberation, prayer, and conversations that I will be starting nursing school THIS August. August 24th will be the official day I start my journey into the unknown world of nursing school. I'll tell you what, I'm scared to death! I honestly can't remember a time in my life I was more scared. But, I really, really want this, and I have an awesome family to support me, and I have made some good friends in school that will be going through the same things as I will be, so I can definitely do this, and I will share every step of that journey here.

I have a quiz in my lab this week, a quiz next week, along with my final exam in lecture, and then the following week I will have my lab final. It's going to be a busy several weeks, since in addition to my tests, I have a lot of things to get done to start nursing school.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

As of this blog, my nursing school status is up in the air. "Up in the air?" you ask, "What does that mean? Didn't you get accepted into the nursing program?"

Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I did get accepted into the program. The plan was to start this coming January. Ray and I have done some talking, and we toyed with the idea of me starting NEXT August instead, but it still looked like January would be the time. Then Ray suggested perhaps I just start THIS August! What?!?!? Oh my gosh, I have so much to do. I want to do it....get it done, but the problem is we are not sure that I will go this August. So I can't go get my drug test, do my background check, get my fingerprints, get my physical, do my CEU courses (these are continuing education courses that I would need to work in a hospital and keep my license current), buy books, and uniforms, and a PDA, and a stethoscope and a nerdy rolling backpack. I can't do any of that yet!! I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed at this moment.

I have registered for my fall NURSING classes already, and while, under normal circumstances I would be gleefully excited, I am trying to be cautiously optimistic, because chances are I will be registering for real in January.

What's holding me up, you ask? Well, quite honestly, we're dealing with the issue of what to do about Nate. He may go to school 3 half days a week, and stay with Ray's mom some of the other time, and stay with Ray other times. My first semester will be the most hectic. I have lecture class on Momday from 9-12, then I have pharmacology class from 5-7pm. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I have clinicals from 630am-3pm. Thursday I have off, and I have lecture class again on Friday from 9-12 and a nursing math class (doasge calculations) from 1-5pm (but this class only runs 5 weeks).

I will need to do A LOT of studying in the in between time. But the biggest concern is that Nate says he doesn't want me to "be a nurse" and go to school. Sometimes when I leave now for my Micro class, he says he doesn't want me to leave, he wants me to say, etc. I mean, what do I do? Unfortunately, I can't really grasp how much this would really affect him because this is just how he is with everything. When Ray leaves for work, he tells him he doesn't want him to go. Tonight, Ray took Grace out to dinner, just the two of them, and Nate said he wanted to go, too. I asked him if he wanted to go out on a date with me, and he says he wanted Ray to be there, too. So needless to say, we're trying to figure things out. Part of me feels guilty.....I'm his mom, he's only young once, etc. etc. But another part of me feels like he'll be ok. He won't be with strangers, he will be with people who love him and care for him, and this is a really good thing for our family.....a steady income, a secure job, health insurance. At this point, its all still up in the air.

I told the Health Science Admissions Coordinator that I would let her know by this Thursday if I needed to defer my seat, this way they can offer it to someone else still waiting to get in. The up side to starting now is that I have a lot of people I know through A&P class, as well as Micro class that will be a familiar face to seek out and study with in the program. One of my friends, who is also my neighbor, only living a few buildings away from me, will also go in January, and we could carpool and stuff sometimes, so that is a plus. Also, starting now would mean that I only have to attend ONE summer semester which is a 4 week shorter semester and if I start in Jan (or May, as that is third start time the school offers) I would have to attend TWO summer semesters.

Anyway, just keep me and my family in youtr thoughts and prayers while we figure this out.

Look for an update about my lab quiz and lecture exam coming around Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

To start off, I need to update my Micro Lecture Exam. I last blogged that I got a 43/50, which is basically an 86, which is a B. It ended up that I actually got a 46/50, which is an A, and basically a 92. I got some extra credit points that I didn't expect when I first found out my grade. So thats 2 A's out of 2 exams. Yay.

I had to take my lab midterm last Tuesday, which I had not studied more than 5 minutes for because I was sick with the Flu the week before and then found out the day of midterm I had come down with pneumonia as well. I went into school to take my midterm anyway after unsuccessfully trying to reach my professor to find out about when I could retake the exam. So Thursday comes around, and we get our grades for the midterm. NOT good. I got 38/50, which is a 76 which is a C. Yuck! I come to find out that EVERYONE did horrible. The highest grade was a 44 (an 88), and there was one person with that grade. THe next highest was an 82. A lot of A and B students had C's and D's on this exam. Not just my class, but all of the lab classes, not one person got an A. And most of the grades were in the B/C border range.

Today I got a very pleasant surprise. The professor (the new guy) said he was going to bring the tests so we could look them over. Apparently, he went back through the test, that was created by my old professor, and a lot of answers changed. He regraded the tests, and just about everyone's grade went up! Mine went up 9 points and I ended up getting 47/50, which is obviously an A (94%). I was so excited. I can't believe I did so well after being SOOOOO sick and not studying.

I already have a quiz next Tuesday for lab and my third exam in lecture next Thursday. I only have 3 quizzes and my final left in lab, and 2 exams left in lecture. One more month and this class will be done!! I'm really excited.

We're doing some super cool things right now in lab. Last week we inoculated plates with several different bacteria (one type each plate), and then we put these little discs full of antibiotics (each disc was a separate antibiotic) and we put them in the incubator for a few days. Today we got to see the results and what happens is, if the antibiotic works, there will be a cleared circle around the disc. If not, the bacteria will have continued growth around the disc. This was really neat.

Today we did a very similar experiment. We took several plates and inoculated them with several different bacteria (one bacteria each plate), and then separated each plate into three different zones (by drawing a line on the outside). Then we took a disc that was soaked in lysol, another disc that was soaked in hydrogen peroxide, and one that was soaked in listerine and placed them in one of the three separate areas on each plate. Currently, they are in the incubator and we will see the results on Thursday. This, too, will be interesting to see. We were basically testing the antiseptic capabilities of these chemicals.

As far as that, not much else is going on. Next week we start our "Unknown" experiment, which will be fun. We will be given a bacteria, and we will start testing it, step by step, and we have to figure out what bacteria we were given. Each step we do, it will help eliminate any bacteria that it won't be. Sounds fun. I am looking forward to this part of the class.

Until next time.......

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I didn't do so hot on my 3rd lab quiz or my lecture test. I got a 40/50 on my quiz (which equates to an 80) and I got a 43/50 on my lecture exam (which is an 86). My average in my lab class is about a 92 while in my lecture class its about an 89.

We've reached the midway point in the semester, and that means that our other professor takes over starting next week. Apparently, he is an easier tester than my current professor, but while I am relieved at this fact, and I also disappointed to no longer have the challenge of my current professor. From his own word's, if you pass his class with a decent grade, you will do fine in the nursing program. I had wanted to complete HIS class with an A or a B, just for my own satisfaction, and having the new professor kind of nullifies that.

At any rate, I do think no matter who a person takes for Microbiology, it is still a very interesting yet difficult course and I will be proud of my A or B no matter what (Ok, so maybe I'd be slightly prouder with an A, but hey.....).

On another note, I FINALLY received my email acceptance from school this afternoon. Apparently, they were having email issues and not everyone was receiving their emails. There were 748 applicants and only 325 were accepted, with an additional 30 or so put onto the alternate list.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It seems like the wait is officially over.

I started hearing that word was finally getting out today. After you apply, you can log in to the school website and check your application status. As of this morning, the status said "Application in Review" for everyone's status. This afternoon I checked, and my status has now been changed to


So, you are looking at the blog of someone who is a real future nursing student now. I can't even begin to say how exciting this is.
I'm still waiting to hear back about whether or not I was accepted into the program. While I am pretty confident I will get in, there is always that part of me that isn't sure. Since it wasn't guaranteed that I would get in, I can't help but to be a little anxious, and when I'm anxious, I really hate to wait.

I should be hearing something this week. Today marks a month, and the 31st day, and on the application it says they can take up to 30 days to get back to us. I hope to start hearing the letters started going out soon. Mostly everyone in my micro class is waiting, so I am sure I'll be hearing others have received some news soon even if I didn't yet.

And so I will continue to wait.

(I have 2 tests next Tuesday and another test the following Tuesday. Yikes!)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Well, my absent-minded professor regraded my quiz. My grade went from a 40/50 to a 53/50, which is an A if I just confused you with all those numbers.

Also, today was my big 4 chapter micro lecture exam, and I got an A on that as well. I got a 45/50, which is the equivalent of a 90. Now, I am confused because I got an extra credit question correct, so it should have been a 46/50 (92) but when he emailed the grades to everyone, he only put 45. At any rate, I am super ecstatic. This was the test he said over 60% of students in the past have failed. The number of students who, unfortunately, failed, equated out to about 46%, so I guess thats better than the average. What's most important is that not only did I not fail, I passed, and I passed with an A!!

Until next time........

Monday, June 8, 2009

School seems to be going pretty well so far, but I guess this could be answered better tomorrow after taking my first of 4 exams in my Micro lecture class. The test is going to cover 4 chapters, so I am feeling a little crazed at the moment. I just keep telling myself that it is NOT going to get any easier once I am in the nursing program.

I am having issues in my lab class with the way my quizzes are being graded. My issue isn't so much with the "way" they are graded but more so the fact that there are mistakes in the actual grading. My first quiz, I missed 3, or so that's what it seemed like at first. However, my professor allows us to come into his office to go over the exams and quizzes during his office hours. My first quiz I had one question that I had erased and made a new mark for the correct answer, but the computer marked me wrong because it picked up the erasure mark as my answer. I understand that was the computer's mistake, but in the past, other professors would pick up on those things and correct them before the grade was reported. The good thing is my professor will correct any mistakes like that, so instead of getting an 80 on my quiz, I ended up with an 86, and quite frankly I am a little perturbed with myself because I definitely knew the answers to the other 2 questions I missed. My second test I was told I got an 80, again.....including the 2 extra credit questions which basically are each worth half of what one non-extra credit quiz question is worth. I felt pretty good after my quiz and figured I probably had got an A only to see the big fat 40 (out of 50, which equates to an 80) in my email inbox. On Saturday I had gone into school for our lecture exam review, and after the review, several of the students, myself included, went to look at our quizzes from Thursday. I had received the extra credit, but missed 4 questions, and after checking the answers to those questions, I found out they were actually correct!! Another student from my class checked hers as well, and we had the exact same answers wrong. Apparently, he graded ours with the wrong answer key, and now needs to regrade them. So, the jury is still out on how I did, but I feel a little better knowing I may have done as well as I originally thought and didn't get another B. We'll see. I should know my grade within the next day or so, as well as my lecture exam grade, too.

On a side note, I found out a friend of mine who is in my lecture class, and takes the same professor for a lab class that meets at a different time than my lab class, lives a few buildings away from me. What a coincidence, huh? I mean, of all the places and all the people you can run into at a college, you end up being practically next-door-neighbors with a friend? This worked out very well for us today when we needed to study together. Anyway, small world.

Check back soon for grade updates.

Monday, May 25, 2009

(otherwise known as E. coli) That's what I grew in my petri dish in the lab. How cool is that? I also grew something called Micrococcus Luteus, but everyone knows what E. coli is, so I figured I'd mention that.

Anyway, my microbiology class is REALLY cool, but it's not easy. I got a B on my first quiz, so I was a little bummed about that. I have my second lab quiz and my first lecture test next Thursday the 4th, so I am hoping to do well on those. My professor is a great teacher, but he is definitely one to make you really think by the way he asks his questions, which is definitely a good thing.

Some of the things we've been learning lately is how to prepare slides. The slides have to be stained because otherwise, you would not be able to see the bacteria, so we've been learning the various staining techniques. I am one of the few people in class that does not have a lab partner, and actually, I like it that way. I get to do the entire experiment by myself and believe it or not, its faster that way. I had to work with someone last lab, and it took me more time to clean up and get out of class than the other times when I am alone.

On a completely different topic, I can't believe that I could be hearing from school about making it into the Nursing program or not in as little as a week. While I am pretty confident I will make it in, there's still that bit of uncertainty that makes me a little anxious. But, I am really excited and I will be very relieved when the emails go out. As of now, the plan still stands at me deferring my seat for August and starting in January. However, while that plan seems pretty firm, anything can happen and change, but that is the plan. I will keep you posted.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I am growing bacteria in the lab. Pretty cool, eh? I streaked some bacteria onto a little petri dish and now its in the back of my class room incubating. I wonder if I did it right.... I wonder what it will look like......

Guess we'll see.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is scary.

Yet, it seems like it will be interesting.

But I'm still scared.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sorry I haven't updated here in a while. Things have been crazy with my finals, then going out of town, and then trying to get some things accomplished around the house before the new semester starts. Here are some quick bullet point updates:

  • I got a 92 on my A&P2 lecture final
  • My final grade for my A&P2 lecture class is an A
  • I got a 97 on my A&P2 lab final
  • My final grade for my A&P2 lab class is an A
  • On Tuesday I start Microbiology lecture AND lab (the classes are back to back)
  • On Wednesday, I start Lifespan Development (this is a developmental psychology class)
  • This past Friday I turned in my application for the nursing program
  • I should find out by the end of the month if I am "IN"
  • My GPA for my pre-reqs is 3.57
  • My overall GPA is 3.64
  • I am proud of my GPA's even though they don't seem that "high" because I had a much lower GPA in high school (I didn't say those weren't good GPAs, just not that high)
  • I'm nervous about Microbiology, but I think it will be fun

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I have a total of 5 classes left for this semester and it is over. I have one more lab class left which is Thursday, and I have 4 lecture classes left. Next week, I will be D-O-N-E!!

I got the results of my test from lecture and I got an 88. While this is good, there were 4 questions that I second guessed on that I should have gotten correct. And the stinky thing was that 2 questions were tied together and the other two were tied together, so if you got one wrong then you got the other one wrong, too. Ugh. I am so frustrated with myself. I'd be happy with that 88 if I got that without all the second guessing, but I know I could have done better than that!! So, I'm frustrated. The good news is that I have figured out that I could get an 80 or higher on the last test, and I will have an A in the class. I should be fine with getting at least that.

I'm really glad I was able to get into this class, as when I first went to register, the class was already full. But I really enjoyed this professor, I learned a lot, and I've worked on my test taking skills some. I'm looking forward to next semester when I take Microbiology and I am hoping it is as interesting as it seems its going to be.

I had my last quiz in my lab class last Thursday and all that's left is my Final Practical test. I went to the lab at the library today to study the models and the slides. I think I've got just about everything down, except for a few slides which I will be working on just about every night this week. Technically, I can probably get a 70 on the final and still make it out of the class with an A, but, I would like to hold onto having the highest grade out of either of my professor's two classes for both the mid-term and finals both last semester and this semester. Really does it matter? No. But it kind of makes me feel like I've accomplished something, considering I graduated high school with a 2.9 GPA and got a 930 on the SAT's! Not very impressive.

While I know it is a lot harder to go to school while I am a mother to two kids, I am almost certain I would not have done as well as I am doing now had I gone to college right out of high school. Now, I guess there's always the possibility I would have been able to figure things out and pull up the grades, but I still think I'm doing better than I would have done if I had gone then.

We're finishing up the semester in the Reproductive System and I think its great since right now I think I want to work in OB. I feel very strongly about this, however, I am keeping an open mind through nursing school to the other fields I will be exposed to for anything else that may peak my interest. Honestly though, I feel like I will come out on the other side still wanting to work in OB. I'm already learning a lot in the Reproductive System, and its really fascinating.

That's about all I have to say today. I will have a glorious 2 weeks off starting the 29th until I have to start the new semester, and I can't wait. It's amazing what a little time off does for you.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Things have been pretty busy and boring in the school department. Tomorrow I have my second to last test in my A&P lecture class. This test covers the Digestive and Urinary Systems. I have a lot to remember, and am actually going to go over some notes shortly, but I am hoping to get at least a high B on this test to help keep my A average. I got a 92 on my last test, which was Respiratory and Lymphatic Systems. I tried really hard to not correct any answers that I started second guessing, and I tried to think about my answers. I went with my first instinct and I think it helped. There was one question I knew the answer to, but I tricked myself into thinking it was a trick, and it wasn't. Oh well. I am going to work on my critical thinking skills during my downtime between Winter and Summer semester, between Summer and Fall semester, and between Fall and Winter semester (the time right before I start the nursing program). I have a really neat looking book I saw at my school's bookstore that I bought online cheaper that I am going to use. The nursing program is going to really hone in on nothing BUT critical thinking, so I need to make sure I do well in that aspect.

As for my lab class, I only have two more classes left! This Thursday, I have a quiz, and then we will be reviewing for our Final Practical, which is a fancy name for a test, but its all models and microscopes. I actually have been behind on my studying for my final, but my grades are very good, so even if I do so-so, I will still get an A. I currently have 237 pts out of 244, and I only need a total of 358 to get an A. My quiz is worth 48 pts, and the final is worth 100, and there is about 8-12 extra credit points I can earn as well between the two tests. I would still like to do well, however, I don't have to completely freak out about it.

In other news, I have about 3 weeks left before I turn in my nursing school application. I will probably receive an answer within two weeks of that, however, they say it could take a month, even though its always been sooner than that. I'm feeling pretty good about it and so far, I am not stressing over it too much. But that can all change as the time gets closer. Good thing is that I only have about 2 weeks off, and then Summer semester begins, so I will have my mind occupied with school to help keep my mind of nursing school acceptance emails.

Check back in a few days for a test grade update, and anything else I may have to say.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Well, I have my 3rd of 5 tests in my A&P2 lecture class on Monday. This test will be on the Lymphatic and the Respiratory Systems. I must say, I learned quite a bit of information, and I am hoping to do well on this test. I have a lot of studying to do this weekend, and I'm just hoping that when I'm actually taking the test that I don't make the silly, second-guessing mistakes I usually make. I've learned that they aren't lying when they say, "Go with your first instinct/answer." Every time I've doubted myself and went back and changed the answer, the new answer was wrong and the first one was correct, yet, somehow when I am taking the test, I convince myself that "this time" the new answer will be the correct one.

In my lab, I have been trying to keep it on the DL that I was the one who got the 104, yet one of my classmates from last semester has now changed my name to 104. "Hi, 104, how are you today?" "What's up 104?" Sigh. Our next test is this week as well on Thursday. This test is on the Digestive and Urinary Systems. Guess what I can do? I can tell you the flow of bile from your Liver (and Gallbaldder) to your small intestines. Yay. After some studying this week, I will also be able to tell you the flow of urine from your kidneys and out of your bladder, as I am sure you were interested in knowing.

After this, in lab, the next thing we are doing is the Reproductive System and Embyology. I am BEYOND excited about this part and I can't wait. In my lecture class, we will be starting the Digestive and Urinary Systems next, and then we will also conclude with the Reproductive System as well.

I was able to register for next semester FINALLY this week. I registered for Microbiology lecture and lab, and Human Growth and Developement, which is a pyschology class that I will eventually need for a Bachelor's degree. I am pretty excited about my Micro class, but I heard that it will be EXTREMELY challenging. Apparently, the professor, who is great, so I hear, basically tells the class that if you can pass him with a C or higher, you will make it in nursing school. So, we'll see. It's a lot of critical thinking, which, I am horrible at. I never think outside the box. And when I do, I am too afraid to answer the question wrong, I don't try. I am really going to have to push myself with this class. I won't be too worried about this "grade" in this class as I am with my others, since it is not a pre-req for the program. The only GPA they look at is from the pre-reqs, but at the same time, I am going to work hard and try to do my best. I am just going to try to be happy with B's and C's (hopefully not too many of these). I think Micro is going to be interesting, so I hope I am not disappointed.

I got my first of the vaccines I need the other day- Hepatitis B. This series in particular, requires 3 seperate shots. You get the first one, then come back a month later for the second, and then six months later for the third. So, I started on this one for now, since its going to take a while to complete. I am starting to get all my ducks in a row. I can't even believe its near time to get ducks in their rows, but I am trying to be as organized as I can. I've even already filled out my nursing program application, which was actually just a form asking my name and address and a few other questions.

Anyway, that's all for now. T-Minus 48 days until I turn in my application in.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Since I was away on vacation, I completely forgot my professor said we could email him for our midterm grades sometime after this past Monday. Well, today I remembered, so I emailed him to find out. I got his response within a couple of hours and this is what his email said:
"Best one. 104. Good job. Suuuuuuuuuper.
Enjoy the break.
See you soon."
The most you can get was 106, I believe, since there was 3 extra credit questions. While I figured I had an A, I was very excited to see I had the highest grade. I don't know what it is about the anatomy models, but for some reason I do really well with them, and that is basically what my midterm and final practicals are made up of. There were several microscopes in which I had to answer questions based on looking at slides, and there were two stations I believe that had a real pig heart that I had to identify whatever he was pointing at. There was on station with a question on identifying the blood type based on what was set out for us to look at (a tray with fake blood that had A, B and Rh antibodies added and based on what we saw, or didn't see, we can determine the blood type) .Other than that, they were all anatomy models.

School starts back up again on Monday, so look for more updates coming up next week. Next test: World Religion on Saturday, March 14th. Sigh. This is seeming to be my hardest class this semester.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Well, some of them, at least. Tonight I took my midterm practical. I won't have those results until sometime next week, thanks to my professor, who offered to email us our grades after the weekend. This is good news to me, who is a very impatient when waiting for exam grades.

Anyway, yesterday I had my lecture class and the grades for our second test was posted. I knew there were a few questions I absolutely made mistakes on once I walked out of class that day. I knew the right answers but second guessed some and I was careless. So there was at least 2-3 questions I knew I could have gotten correct but didn't. I ended up with an 86, which, is indeed a very decent score. I will probably complain about these types of scores because I really need an A in this class. As I have mentioned before, the program is getting more and more competitive and its based on GPA not a waiting list. If I were to get a B in this class, that may be the factor that earns me a denial email letter rather than an acceptance email letter.

Tonight after my midterm, we were given our quiz grades. I got a 43/48, which basically translates to a 90. I do feel that I did very well on the midterm, so I am excited to be getting that grade back soon.

Check back sometime next week to see if there is an update with my midterm grade. Otherwise, I am officially on Spring Break. No school until March 15th, which means no updates until after that.

After Spring Break, we will be studying the Lymphatic System and the Respiratory System in my lecture class. In my lab class, we will be starting the Digestive System.

Well, that's all for now, folks. I am pretty beat, and I have a lot to do for my Spring Break trip tomorrow!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Well, it's Monday, and I now only have one more test left to take on Thursday night. I almost feel like I am done because this will be the easiest of the 4 tests, at least I think. Its a big one, no doubt, but I do REALLY well on the mid-term and final practicals. There's just something about the models that I seem to just get. I pick up the parts easily, and then I'm pretty much just reviewing and reviewing over and over because I am scared I don't know it. Then I take my test, and I realized I knew it all along. So, I'm not nearly as stressed as I had been, but I gather come Thursday, I may feel a little stressed out. Just a little. Actually, I probably will feel incredibly stressed out, because on Friday, Ray and I are taking a little trip out to see his sister and her hubby for almost a week. With out the kids. Nice. Well, nice and not nice. We will miss them dearly, but I can say that after this week, I will definitely need a little vacation time.

Anyway, this blog it about school, and I'm not really talking about school, so I better get back on task. I had my A&P lecture exam today, and felt pretty bummed after taking it. I know that I passed. I'm pretty sure I did at least OK enough to snag myself a B. But I know that I made a couple of mistakes and it really got me down. How can I take a test where I have to think critically, and not answer the questions correctly and expect to pass nursing school where I am thinking critically ALL THE TIME?? My problem is I know the answers (well, some of the time) but I second and third guess myself, and I don't trust myself, and then I change my answers, only to find out that usually, the answers I changed were right the first time. Go figure.

I must take this time to share with you how incredibly wonderful my husband is. While I was expressing these same feelings and emotions with him on the phone after class, he told me how much he believes that I can do this and that I will do this, and it was so touching. He said that if he had any doubt whatsoever, I wouldn't even be in school right now, and that he knows I make it, and I will finish. Is that a great guy, or what? I am pretty lucky, huh?

But I still have my fears. I've never done anything like this before. I've never got all A's and B's in school before. I've never applied to a program that was pretty competitive to get into and that requires a pretty decent GPA. I can't believe I may be applying as early as a little over 2 months from now, and I'll tell you what, I'm scared. I'm afraid. I won't lie. But I know I'll get through it. Surely there have been others who have survived nursing school before, right?

(As of now, I do not know any results from 2 out of my 3 tests I've taken so far. I did get an 80 on my World Religion test, but it was my fault for not putting much time into studying, so I will definitely be putting more time in for the next test. I'll post the other results as soon as I get them).

Friday, February 20, 2009

The hectic week has arrived. Last night was the first of 4 tests I have this week. Ironically, the one I am most worried about is the one I have tomorrow morning in my World Religion class. I guess mostly it's due the the "fear of the unknown." I haven't had a test in this class before, so I don't know what to expect on the test. I'm sure that after tomorrow, I will be fine, but I am a worry wort and I can't help it. I have a test on Monday and my last test is my midterm practical exam on Thursday. After that, I will go on vacation with Ray for a week, and man, will I need it! I'll post test score updates as I get them. I don't know when I will get tomorrow's grade since I don't have class again until March 14th in that class. My midterm I will get about 2 weeks later- the week after we don't have class due to Spring Break, so I have to wait until the week after when I have class again, unless my professor is gracious enough to email it to me.

That's all for now. Must. Go. Study!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Well it's Monday and I have now received both my lab quiz and my lecture test grades. On Thursday night I had lab and we got our quizzes back. I got a 44 out of 48, which is an A. It's actually my lowest quiz grade I've had from A&P1, but hey, its still an A, so I am definitely NOT complaining. Today, I had lecture class and I wasn't sure how the grades would be given in this class since it is my first time taking this professor AND it was our first test. She puts the grades on a sheet of paper and you are identified by the last 4 numbers of your school student ID (which is NOT your social security number). Those numbers are put in numerical order. I got an A, but not just any A, it is the highest A I got in an A&P lecture class (last semester, I believe my highest grade was a 92, and all the rest were B's). So I was excited. Not only that, from looking at the grades, there were only 3 A's out of 40 people: Me with a 96, and 2 94's (one of them happened to belong to a friend of mine). The rest of the class did fairly well, I think, from what I could see. It looked like there were a lot of B's. I felt I had done well, thinking I had at least a B, so I was very happy to get an A. I REALLY REALLY need an A in this class. The nursing program is getting to be so competitive to get into at my school, so I don't want to mess around with my GPA. I think the cutoff for the last round of applications was anywhere from 3.2-3.4 and as long as I end up with an A in both my lecture and lab this semester, I will have a 3.57. The GPA they look at is the pre-requisite classes ONLY, so that is where I will stand with just the pre-reqs. I think my GPA will be slightly higher overall, but they don't look at that. They only look at general education classes if you are involved in a tie. Then they first look to see what general education classes you've completed, then they look at your GPA in those classes if need be.

I am almost done with my health core class I am taking online. I have to do one more powerpoint presentation on Domestic Violence and take that test, and I have to write two short essays on Elder Abuse and Child Abuse. Then I will be done with all the lessons/tests, and then I will be able to take the final exam, and I just have to go in on Friday to practice CPR and do my skills test, and I am done. Yay. I will be glad to have this under my belt.

I am glad to have this out of the way, really. And all the classes I am taking that are wrapped up into this one online course would have cost me more than another $370 for classes and books on top of what I paid. And the best thing is that this class was cheaper than just the health core class was ALONE, with OUT the books needed for that class. Crazy. I will have to update some parts of this course every two years (Domestic Violence, Prevention of Medical Errors, etc) but I can do that at places that offer continuing education courses failrly cheaply, plus at my school it is not that expensive for those courses either.

Next test is a little over a week away. Then its crazy test time here in the land of the wannabe nurse.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I say "almost" because I passed the written exam and just have to pass the skills exam. I have to go to a skills practice class next Friday and then at the end of that class I will be tested by showing my skills off! Then I will be BLS certified. I will know CPR, I will know how to stop people from choking, and I will know how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). Yay.

I had my first test in my lecture class yesterday. It seemed to go well, but I won't find out for sure until Monday. Tonight, I have my lab class, and I will find out the results of my quiz from last week. I can't believe that in three weeks I will have my mid-term practical already! Anyway, I'm always so anxious to find out my test scores. I hate waiting on them. Good thing I have my lecture twice a week, so I will never have to wait a whole week to find out my test scores in that class.

I have a very busy test schedule at the end of this month, right before spring break. In the span of a week's time, I will have to take 4 tests in 3 classes!! I have a quiz in my lab class on 2/19, then I have a World Religion's test on 2/21, then a test in my lecture class on 2/23, then my mid-term practical on 2/26, then I leave for Cali on 2/27. I am REALLY going to need that break, ha ha!

Stay tuned....

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Right now, I am currently WAY TOO busy! I'm taking a Health Careers Core class that is needed to get into the nursing program here at my school. Its basic skills and fundamentals for the health care industry. Also included in the class is BLS (Basic Life Support) for Healthcare Providers, which I think is a CPR course that includes some extras that aren't needed for the average person wanting to be certified in CPR. The class is offered at my school, but the schedule for it REALLY stinks. It's a once a week class that runs half a semester long, and it is 6 hours long each class. On top of that, it starts at 4 pm and its only held at one campus, which is about 30-40 minutes from here. This makes it really hard to take because ensuring that Ray is home by 3-3:30pm once a week is nearly impossible. Then, thats the time I need to pick up Grace, so we would somehow need to switch cars earlier than that so he can get her in time. It just seemed like an incredibly big hassle, but it is a class I need in order to put my nursing application in. I found out that I can take this course elsewhere- one of the technical schools offers it, however it so happened to be the school that is the furthest away from my house. The good thing is it is a 3 week course and its all online, except for the CPR skills practice and skills test class. So I don't have to go in for this, except that one time, which makes things a lot easier on me with regards to travelling, but it is a very fast paced course. I basically need to be reading modules, and taking tests nearly everyday. The great thing is that by February 17th, I will be done with class and I will have one less thing off my plate.

What makes this is even more especially good is the fact that about 2 days later I will have my second quiz in my A&P lab, and the following week will be my second exam in my lecture class as well as my lab mid-term practical exam.

Today was my first World Religion's class. This class meets for 4 hours a class but only on 5 occasions. I have 4 classes left between now and April 25th. I have 3 quizzes (1 each class) and then the last class I have a final exam. I have to write one 4-6 page paper, and I have one short 500 word assigment due (which are due at the end of March and the other at the end of April). I'm not too worried about this, as I can study for this at some inbetween times of the tests in my other classes.

I took my first quiz in my lab on Thursday, but I will not know the result until next Thursday. I also have my first exam in my lecture class on Wednesday. So right now I am a very busy little bee.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Currently, I have a lot of A&P going on. In my lecture class we just finished up the Endocrine System. It's really fascinating to me, and I learned a lot I didn't already know. Like the Pituitary consists of two lobes: Anterior and Posterior. Didn't know that. And I always thought the Pituitary Gland was the main gland in charge, but its not. Well it's important but the Hypothalamus does the controlling. It secretes releasing or inhibiting hormones (hormones that cause a release in another hormone, or that inhibit the release of another hormone) that are used to regulate the Anterior Pituitary. The Anterior Pituitary secretes hormones that act on other Endocrine glands, such as the Thyroid which will then produce its own hormones. The Posterior Pituitary actually secretes two hormones that are made by the Hypothalamus. Wow.

We are about to start Blood in my lecture class, while we just finished it in my lab class. In lab, we tested blood (well, it was actually some chemical of some sort) to find out its RH blood grouping (which tells you the positive or negative aspect of your blood type) and we also tested it to determine Type A, B, AB or O. Then we took sheep's blood and put it in thin plastic tubes, called capillary tubes, that you see when you are trying to give blood and they want to see if you are anemic. We then ran the capillary tubes through a centrifuge-a machine that spins the blood to pack all the red cells together. We then took these tubes and placed them on this scale-like contraption that allowed us to determine the hematocrit. We also learned how to do a differential white blood cell count, and how to tell the white blood cells apart. There are 5 different types of white blood cells.

Now we are on to the heart in my lab class. Tonight we dissected a pig heart. While it was cool, I felt completely lost because I did not know all that I was looking at. I would have enjoyed it more if I had already learned all the parts I need to know. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the heart, but I know that will pass. I always feel overwhelmed with a new subject that I have to learn all the parts to, but then once I start going over it and learning what and where everything is, I realize there was no reason to feel overwhelmed in the first place. Hey, I thought I would never learn the bones or muscles, or heck even all the parts of the brain that I needed to know, and I ended up scoring the highest grade of my lab professor's two classes for both the midterm AND the final, so I really didn't need to be that worried. I am trying to remind myself that I do well with the models. Right now, I am feeling that I won't be doing as well in lab as last semester, and I am hoping I am wrong. So I will tell myself again that the overwhelming feeling I am feeling is premature and I will do well.

I have my first quiz in lab next Thursday (Blood and heart). The following Wednesday I will have my first exam in lecture class (Endocrine and Blood). Next week we begin blood vessels in lab. Whew.

Oh, I am really liking my lecture professor so far. As I have said before, she was highly recommended by many people, and she really seems to want to make sure we know what's going on. If we're just not getting it, after we've gone over things many times, she encourages us to set up an appointment with her during her office hours. But in class she will go over a concept, and then go over it again. She will ask us direct questions to see if we get it, and then she will go over it ever more. I guess the first exam will tell.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Yesterday was the first day of my Anatomy and Physiology 2 class. So far, it seems like its going to be a really great class. I am taking a professor who comes very highly recommended, and some people even wait a semester or two just to get into her class. She only has about 40 seats in the class, and only teaches one A&P2 class, so it fills up VERY quickly. Not even one week after registration started for continuing students, her class was filled. I was able to register a week after registration began, and was unable to do so for her class. I tried VERY hard to get in. I called every campus asking if there was some way for them to register me for just this one class. I went to talk to someone in person to two different campuses, but to no avail. I even emailed the teacher and asked if she would let me in, but she all had replied was that eventually a seat would open. Then one morning I happened to say to my self, "Self. It's 8am, why don't you try to see if anything's open. I heard 8am was the best time to check. Can't hurt to look." And sure enough, there it was. One seat open. I couldn't even believe it. I registered for that class so fast I think my head spun around. So here I am, now at the beginning of the semester and it seems like my hard work may have paid off. It's only been the first class, but she does seem like she's going to be a great professor.

Besides that, the campus is great. I'm going to the Downtown Campus and its got such a different feel than the other campuses. Its makes me feel like I'm in a bigger city (I mean, I live in a pretty big city area overall, but its mostly residential areas that I'm used to). I have to park on the top floor of the parking garage that gives me a great view of downtown. There are so many restaurants and shops around, and the main county library is right there, along with the Sun-Sentinel building and I know the courthouse is somewhere nearby. The building itself inside is way cleaner than the North Campus. It really looks like they take care of things there. The tables are nice, and each student has an outlet to plug in their laptops to, and really comfy rolling chairs. At North Campus, I've had classes were I sat in desks like high school (not comfy, no outlets for laptops), I've sat in auditorium style seats (not comfy, no outlets for laptops unless you're by the wall), and tables with chairs (not comfy, and no outlets). The marker board the professor used was also pretty sweet. The board had a built in computer screen for her powerpoint presentations, and the screen allows you to draw on it as well. (Here is a picture for an example: CLICK HERE).

Tonight I have my first A&P2 Lab class. I'm taking the same professor I took for A&P1 so I feel pretty confident I will enjoy this class and will do well. More to come soon.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

For some reason, I thought school started on Monday, but in actuality it starts on Tuesday. Who would have figured school wouldn't start on a Monday, silly me! But I don't have classes on Tuesday, so first day for me is Wednesday. Oh well, I was actually looking forward to it. In case you weren't already aware, the classes I am taking this semester are:
  • Anatomy and Physiology 2
  • Anatomy and Physiology 2 Lab
  • World Religions (I need a writing credit and a humanities credit and this kills two bird with one stone, however, not exactly my first choice of classes)
I will also be taking a non-credit 75 hour health career core class that I need to have completed by the time I "apply" to the nursing program. Its basically a fundamentals class that introduces skills and basic knowledge for health care career students. I am pretty sure I will be taking this online at another school because BCC's schedule for the class REALLY stinks. Its only offered from 4-10pm once a week for 8 weeks, and its virtually impossible for me to take a class where Ray has to be home by 3:30pm for me to be able to go. So I found a local technical school that actually offers the class specifically for BCC students (these classes fill up quickly) and its all online except for an hour orientation and a one time CPR class.

I'm looking forward to A&P2. I've heard from several people that they enjoyed this class better than A&P1. We're starting with the Endocrine system which I am expecting to be really fascinating. Next is the Circulatory System and Blood, and then I think Circulatory System and the Heart, both of which I find interesting as well, especially since I've spent 3 years working in a cardiology office. Towards the end is the Reproductive System, which I am really looking forward to, because at this point, with no nursing experience of course, I am really leaning towards working in the Labor and Delivery department after graduating. I know that things can and may change once I get into the program and begin learning different things and getting my hands dirty, so to speak, but I feel fairly confident that this will still interest me later on. Currently, my only other interests are pediatrics or NICU, and possibly ER.

So there, I think I've babbled quite enough. More to come in a few days. Have a great weekend!
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