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!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

School posts start January 5th, so come back soon! Happy New Year!
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