Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Today was my first campus lab day for Ortho/Neuro. Cranial nerves, musculoskeletal issues, bursitis, arthritis, fractures, blah, blah, blah. While a very important aspect of our health, I tend to find some subject matter quite boring.

Anyway, my day didn't start off on the best foot. For this class, I have to be at my campus labs by 8am, which proves to be a little tricky when I have to take the kids to school and they can't arrive any earlier than 7:30am. I have to walk each one to class, say goodbye, get back to my car, drive to my school, park (and the parking lot is CRAZY), walk to class, and be in class by 8am. Well, my plan was to leave my house by 7am and no later in order to complete this task. At 7:15am, Grace walks into my room and tells me that it is 7:15am.

I immediately jump up out of bed. Then I put my head in my hands and say, "Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?" My awesomely helpful, and SMART, husband said he would take my car and take the kids to school for me so I can get dressed and get going. I don't know how long it would have taken me to think of that, but I'm so glad he did. So I was hoping this wasn't going to set the stage for the day to come.

Anyway, as normal on the first day of clinical/campus labs with every rotation, there is a math test. Ten questions. You have to score 90% or higher to pass, which means you can only miss 1 question. We get these practice questions for every course, with problems that are similar to how the test will be. Every step, they get a little trickier. I have to say, this was by far the worst math test ever. There were multiple steps to almost every problem. Each step needed some sort of rounding to be done. I dividing numbers like 0.133 by numbers like 0.167. Not that it's super difficult, but it's easy to make a mistake with so many numbers and decimals.

I was more nervous after this exam than any other I had been in the past. If you fail the first one, you can take a make-up exam next week, but really, who wants the pressure. I was so stressed over this exam, to have to make it up would honestly drive me beyond crazy. If you fail the make-up exam, then you have to withdraw from clinical and you have to wait until the next class, which wouldn't be until March.

Well, I passed. Deep breath. Sigh of relief. I was literally so stressed yesterday that I had a little breakdown and cried. It wasn't a long cry. It was just a put-my-head-in-my-hands-and-tear-up-a-little cry. However, it was pretty sad that Grace was trying to console me. She said that I was crying, and Nate said that I was not. Then Grace explained to him that I made a crying noise and my head was in my hands. Then Grace tried to console me by saying that it would be OK and that sometimes, when she has a test and she thinks she didn't do well, she gets 100%. She's so cute. The math exam is one exam where I don't care how well I do, I just want to pass. Unfortunately, passing means a normally "good" grade. But at any rate, it's over, it's done and I have 2 math exams left before I graduate.

Deep breath. Exhale.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Yesterday was my OB final. Other than a few hours Tuesday afternoon and a study night Thursday, I hadn't really put forth much effort studying for this exam. One of the main reasons for my slacking is that this test was cumulative and I've heard that there was more content from the first two exams then there was stuff we learned after. Another reason is that I needed a 49 to pass and I was pretty certain I would at least get that much. But I wanted a B. I needed a 79 for a B. I thought I could at least do that much.

After class, a bunch of us went to Chili's to eat and celebrate the fact that we are now considered "upper classmen." Six classes down, three to go and only six and a half months left. Some people had phones with internet, so they would check periodically to see if the grades were posted. Around 12:30 the moment of fate had arrived. the phones were passed around the table for others to be able to check their grades, too. Then my turn came. I logged in, clicked the section that contained my grades and saw the unbelievable.


Really? I missed a B by 1 point? I didn't have anyone to blame but myself. I guess I am a really bad test taker, because the two girls I study with usually get similar grades and they usually always score higher than me (except the first exam, which I will count as a fluke, ha ha). One point. Very, very stinky.

So later on that day, I get home and I decide to check my grade again, which I always do, in hopes that it will somehow magically change into a higher grade. Never happens, but I still do it. I log in.


Had my eyes deceived me earlier? Are they deceiving me now? I got my B by the exact amount I needed. It's possible I misread it earlier on the small phone but 8 and 9 don't look that much alike, do they? At any rate, it doesn't matter that I misread it or if it changed, it's 79 now and I got a B. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter what my GPA is, but I have this issue with myself,, I suppose which stems from how bad of a student I was in high school, that I have to prove to myself that I can get good grades. But really, when I am applying for a job, they're not going to ask me my GPA. The only way its going to matter is IF I apply to grad school, but even in that case, I can get good grades in my Bachelor classes to bring up my GPA enough.

Ok enough rambling. OB is over and I got a B. Ortho/Neuro begins in a week, which is scary and exciting at the same time. I will be learning how to start IVs this rotation. Not just hanging a new bag on a line but actually taking a needle and inserting it into a vein and the whole 9 yards. Very cool and very scary.

But until then, I will start my reading for lecture and I have to attend some sort of skills check off on Monday.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wednesday was my last OB clinical, which made me sad. I have never looked forward to clinicals as much as I have for this class. I loved all aspects of mother-baby care and am even considering Newborn and NICU in some of my top choices in nursing interests. This was a great experience and I wish I could have more, but unfortunately, that is not how nursing school works.

My last day I was in Labor and Delivery. It was much slower than the first day I was there, however, there was already one lady about to deliver and another coming soon. The nurse "asked" the first mom if we (the 2 students) could come in and watch, and of course she said no. You can't just ask a lady in the process of pushing if people can watch. Its all in how you ask, or not ask. I mean, you don't ask if the nurse can come in, do you? But really, there is a way to do it that works and just coming right out and saying, "Do you mind if the students come in and watch?" isn't it.

So the other student and I took it upon ourselves to start working with the next mom to get acquainted with the mom and her family so that we could just be a part of the delivery when the time came. There were 2 more moms who were progressing rather nicely as well and they happened to share the same nurse who was the most helpful to us, the students, that day. She was great- asked us questions about the whys of things, showed us things, asked us for help. Its always great to have a nurse who didn't forget he or she was a student once, too. Anyway, the mom ended up delivering at about 10:45am and it was so awesome! I just loved watching the proud grandma's face as she watched her firstborn grandchild enter life and it did make me all teary. I loved watching the dad as his son entered the world, so very cool. I ended up even holding one of the mom's legs up as she pushed her son out, with NO epidural mind you!!! She was awesome. It was awesome. I so wished I could have been part of more deliveries.

The other 2 moms was kind of a funny thing. They had the same nurse, had the same doctor, were exactly the same amount effaced, the same dilation, everything. They were progressing about the same rate. At 2:30 they were both at 9 cm and were nearing delivery, but we were supposed to meet our instructor for our post-conference meeting and clinical evaluations (usually we left the floor at 3:30pm) so we didn't get to be there for those deliveries. I was bummed, because I had been working with one of the moms all day, they were expecting their first born, a boy and I watched as the mom made the decision to just take the epidural after she had really wanted to try not to. I also watched as her baby had some decelerations of the fetal heart rate, what's called "late decelerations" and is not a good sign. The nurse I was with immediately ran into her room, while another nurse on the floor, who was watching the monitor, called in to see if she needed help, to which she replied a yes. The other nurse came in fast and immediately started running oxygen to give to the patient and they had the patient turn on her side, left to be exact. It was a little bit of a scare, but in the end, the nurse's were able to get the baby to get the oxygen he needed to maintain his heart rate. After all of this, I really wanted to be there to see them welcome their baby into the world. Alas, this was not the case for me.

But I did get to witness at least one vaginal delivery, and for that I am thankful.

I am off from clinical for the next 2 weeks, then I begin 2 weeks of campus lab days for Ortho/Neuro (2 days each week). Four weeks from now, well more like maybe 3.5 weeks, I will start in the hospital for Ortho/Neuro and I will have 6 weeks there.

Time really is flying fast now. My final is Friday. I have 3 classes/7 months left. It was 7 months ago I started the specialty rotations and now they are done. Wow. It is amazing to me how fast this journey is going. Once I remember thinking nursing school would never begin, and here it is nearly ending.

I won't have anything to update this week, so I will be studying until my final.

I will let you know how things went then. :)
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