head to toe

On Friday, my lab partner and I had our first lab comps where we had to perform a full head to toe assessment on each other. We had to memorize and perform all the assessments for each system and do it in less than 20 minutes. If there is anything I hate, it’s being timed. Also, being watched at timed. So I am not your typical Leo who likes to perform and be the center of attention–in fact, I hate it! So this is something I really need to get used to and I’m sure it will get easier but the first time was stressful.

The good news? We PASSED! It was pass/fail and remediation for failing was to be done next week and we are so glad that we nailed it! We both certainly made a few minor mistakes but nothing that would have put the patient in any harm. We celebrated by heading up to a famous cinnamon role breakfast spot and had some food all the while in disbelief that we had passed.

Next week we start foundations. We are half way through our transforming care class and our first clinicals start in August.

 

one month done!

Nursing school has kicked off to a wild, intense, fun start! I really cannot believe it has already been a month. We have had this past week off which has been much needed and frightening…I have realized that a week off is not a week off of school–ever. I need to ensure that while I have some nice time off from going to class two days a week, that I need to ensure that I am doing SOMETHING everyday. And, dare I say, I miss class. I’m sure this feeling may not last and it may change over the next 23 months, but for now, I still love it despite how hard it is.

A few things I have already learned since nursing school started:

  • Make time for studying, even if for an hour, every day.
  • Write power point notes out (this is for all you tactile/visual learners)
  • Connect with 2-4 people in class–they will become lifelong friends (I can already feel this happening!)
  • Take a break at least every hour on long study days.
  • Practice lab sims and procedures on your spouse, mom, boyfriend–whoever will let you do a head to toe on them, over and over again.
  • Kids are a lot easier to listen to than adults (great lung and heart sounds!)
  • Sim mannequins are as ridiculous as they sound-lots of pretending and acting involved so just let that nervous performance energy go.

The biggest challenge for me so far has been figuring out the best way to study for me. This is not like any other schooling and education I’ve had before and the study techniques I used in previous classes are not enough for what I’m doing now for nursing school.

The best thing so far is the relationships I’ve already made with a few amazing ladies in class. We are all different ages in different stages of life and we have two huge things in common: we love God and we are passionate about nursing. These two factors alone, I know, will help get me through this rigorous program.

I’m doing my best to update often but once a month may be all I can manage between classes, work, and family.

The First 2 Weeks

Nursing school has officially started! I cannot believe it has already been two weeks. I have been wanting to write since the end of the first week and already realize that posting once a week may be more challenging than I had hoped.  In preparation for school starting, I was able to order my scrubs and books ahead of time. I was also able to access the online portion of the class a week before. Even that slight advantage has not given me a head start! You dive right into everything at 100mph and there is no stopping in sight!

The first week was great. My general excitement was at an all-time high. I was getting to now the other people in my class. Our first lab was on vital signs so I felt very confident in the first exam, which we had this past week. I got an A! This second week, however, has been a lot harder and more intense. There is so much to learn! We have been working on skin and neuro assessments. For me, these are not hard tasks. What is hard is memorizing the steps and the methods without forgetting anything. Today I really felt the pressure. I cried. It was a good cry. An overwhelming cry of realization that this is real and it’s going to be real hard. I’m ready, but damn this will be a crazy 24 months!

I am still working on my study methodes so that is part of some of the frustration I’ve had. I am hard on myself and I do overthink sometimes so my amazing tutor keeps bringing me back into the sandbox.πŸ˜‰

Anyone else just starting nursing school? Please share your experience! I will do my best to keep this blog updated often. I’m taking Health Assessment and Transforming Care right now. This is one of the rare times I will be taking more than one class at a time. I’m already thankful there are only 3 weeks left in health assessment, not because I don’t like it (I LOVE IT!), but because balancing more than one class at a time is hard.

That’s all for now!

orientation

I am 30 days away from startin nursing school. For the past 3 months since I found out about my admission into the program, I have felt veryexcited, yet anxious because I wanted to know everything about the program but I had to wait until orientation. In the mean time, I praticed doing some dosing modules online. I have an amazing tutor for nursing school and she helped me grasp the concepts quickly. I was truly worried I would never figure it out! Math is not my strong suit.

On Friday, I woke up early, curled my hair, put some make up on, grabbed my water, snacks and welcomed the sunrise as I drove south down the freeway to the school I will call home for the next 24 months. I arrived 15 minutes early. I do hope that this is something I can accomplish every time I go down, as tardiness is one of my biggst pet peeves. Others had already arrived and once we were ushered through the line I received my folder for the day, took my student photo for my badge, and munched on a bagel.

The entire day was wonderful. I could feel a lot of anticipation and stress flow away as I had questions answered and chatted with new friends. My excitement for this program has only grown. We learned about some rules and regs, how clinical placements take place, how to build relationships with the faculty and other students, and how to survive the next two years without failing out or losing our minds. I admit, I have been pretty nervous about doing well but I KNOW that I have what it takes to get through it. One day at a time. Plus, my husband has been an amazing rock. He knows that things will change and that sacrifices will be made. I could not do any of this without his love and support, or that of other friends and family.

My dreams of becoming a nurse midwife become more real every day. Every class, every credit, every cinical will bring me closer to that dream. Thanks for being her with me.

Sarah

last week of patho

Hi friends. It’s been a busy 9 weeks and here I am, finishing up the last week of my patho class. I have everything done other than the final, which I am not totally ready for. Hopefully in a couple more days. I am hoping that I will start writing here more often. I want this space to hold the memories of this time while also being a form of guidance for others entering the same career path.

PathoΒ has been the hardest class I’ve taken since Biology 111. There is so much content to learn and the amount of time we are expected to learn it is outragous. Ten weeks is not long enough to cover 39 chapters and over 1000 pages. I’m keeping my book and making flash cards for all the ailments so I can learn more as I go.

Less than 2 months until nursing school begins! I am so excited–and also very nervous! Doing something new has always been a hard transition for me. BUT. I know this will be great. It will be hard but it will be great. The 24 months that follow will go so fast. I’ll be working as an L&D nurse before I know it.πŸ˜‰

Monday I start my very last pre-rec class: World Views. This is a university required course that is only 5 weeks long. I am so ready to finally be done with all these prep classes and dive into nursing! Thanks for following along…

xoxo

Breast MRI

In case you’re new here….here is a little background on why I need breast MRIs at the ripe young age of 31:

My mom was diagnosed with stage 2b breast cancer a year ago October. She, however, is not the only female in my family that has had to hear such terrible news. My paternal aunt, and several other great aunts have also had breast cancer. After speaking with my midwife and a genetics counselor, it was determined that I needed to be screened every six months. That screening started a year ago with a mammogram. I have very dense breasts and density is pretty hard to see through on a mammo. It’s not impossible, but further screening with an MRI is even better than a mammo.

I had my first MRI last June. That was horrible. I cannot even recall if I wrote about it–I don’t think I did. The worst part was laying prone (face down) in a tube for 45 minutes. I did take some medication to help me relax but it did not work very well. The sound alone was terrible and that first time, I was not offered any music.

This time, I had music and different medication to help me relax. I was also able to rest my arms in a different position which was more comfortable. Also, my mom came with me. Knowing that she was there and waiting for me made me feel so much better. She was able to go with me to get my IV for the contrast and waited until it was time for me to go back.

The rest of the day I was very tired from the meds, but I am so thankful for how well this last time went. And the best part? The results are normal! They had me do this 2nd MRI so they could monitor some nodules that may have been worrisome and and no worrying is necessary! I am so thankful for this news and even more thankful to the amazing team of medical professionals I have behind me, encouraging me to screen more often. I am also so grateful for my family. I could not have done any of this without their support and love.