7 months

My last post is over 2 months old and I have been thinking about writing an update here for days. I did the math the other day and I have been in nursing school for 7 months. That’s pretty crazy! My concept of time is all over the place. Some days I don’t even know what the date is and before I know it, the month is over! The amount of material and the experiences I have had so far have been life-changing. There is not a single doubt in my mind that I am exactly where I belong. So let’s catch up…

The last post I talked about taking my Pharm comps. That Friday, we were leaving for California for a weekend family vacation to Disneyland and so I was focused on studying and packing. My comps were in the morning and I was ready but very nervous. I always get nervous before I have to perform (more on this later). My scenario was pretty straight forward and I passed! So we left the hospital and headed to the airport for a whirlwind vacation to California with my cousins and despite how quick it was, we enjoyed every second of it. It was also a great treat before starting my Med/Surg class.

Med/Surg was a class that I had been so looking forward to. It was as if I had been through these basic classes to get to the real deal when it comes to nursing medicine and practice. I love learning about diseases and why they happen and am rarely grossed out from things. Week 5 we had comps before we were to head into clinicals. The week of comps was a disaster for me. I had so much happening with work and class that I had no time to practice my skills (NG tube, trach care/cleaning, wound care). I had one day to get it right and I just prayed that I would do well.

I was in the first group of the morning to go. I was up early and ready to rock it. I knew my scenario and just didn’t know what skills or meds I would be giving. Long story short, I failed. I was absolutely devastated! I just had poor time management. I wasn’t organized and I let my anxiety get the best of me. Thankfully, my proctor was so sweet and reassuring that I would get it the next time. She had tons of great tips and I worked on those things and my skills all weekend. By Tuesday, I was ready to really rock my comps and I did. I was, however, terrified that I wouldn’t pass. Another fail and I’d be out. It’s that strict. I get it. Nursing has to be strict because we are dealing with the life of another human and our skills have to be perfect.

After week 5 comps, we started our clinicals in the hospital. I was SO excited to finally get my hands on real people with real issues to apply what I had learned so far. That is how I learn best. Our clinical instructor is wonderful. She told us right away that our time in clinicals was about learning and not about the care plan, though we still needed to do them, she wanted us to focus on the experience. So my first day of clinicals I went to the OR! I followed an awesome OR nurse who was willing and happy to teach. I got to learn more about sterile procedures. I did try to insert a folly cath and I missed but it was a good try! Last week I was able to see an EGD, colonoscopy and a heart cath with stents! I have had great patients with really complicated issues, all of which have really helped me through the critical thinking process. I also placed two IVs with success! Overall, great experience so far.

After fighting off every other germ this fall, my body finally succumbed to strep this weekend. I have been in bed for 2 days and I haven’t had strep since I was a kid! I cannot believe how miserable this is! The timing could not be worse! Next week we have two finals and finish our clinical rotation so send up prayers and good vibes that I can get through the next two weeks PASSING exams and clinicals so I can enjoy Christmas.

I’m hoping that it won’t be another two months before I write again, but that is just a testament to how busy nursing school keeps me. I am so proud of myself. I have never worked so hard in my life and I know that all the blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice is well worth the reward in the end.

Surviving Pharm

(Sunrise on my drive to school last week.)

The last 4 weeks and 3 days have been nothing short of insanity for me and my fellow nursing buddies. I knew that pharm would be hard but I never imagined I’d fail my first exam in nursing school in this class. When I say fail, I don’t mean under 59% like most standard grading scales. I mean under 75%. Yes, you will not pass the class or an exam if you cannot maintain a 75% or better. In general, this makes sense. I don’t think most people want an average nurse caring for them who doesn’t even know 80% of her or his job. 

It’s absolutely unrealistic to think that I could ever learn everything about every drug, but understanding basics….I’m there. In two days I will take my first med passing comps and I’m exhausted! The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stress I’ve gone through has been so hard. I’ve cried more this month than I have in a long time BUT it’s a good way to get rid of stress! ๐Ÿ˜œ 

Next week we start a new class and I’ll have my second round of clinicals at the end of November. It’s mind blowing how fast this goes. I have no clue what day of the week it is. But I have my family and friends supporting me and I couldn’t do any of this without them. 

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.

 

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!

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.

Pathoย 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

busy.

The last several months have been so busy I haven’t even thought about posting a blog. This will be a short one and I hope to write more later. For now, school has been going well. I am just about to finish Stats with an A (assuming I do well on the written final). I am right in the middle of Genetics and that has been going well too, however, it is a lot harder content wise than I was expecting. That class will go all the way through the Christmas break and I will then take Patho, Informatics, and World Views–then ALL my prerecs are done!

In October I had my interview with the school of nursing and that was also great. I loved meeting two wonderful women who help run the program. One even said she could see how passionate I am about this. I will hopefully hear for sure about my official admittance into the program by Christmas–fingers crossed! However, it may be as late as the middle of January, which is fine. I actually feel really great about everything, no matter what happens. I have done my best, and continue to do my best throughout the last 3 years of getting to this moment. As soon as I hear, I will update.

Thanksgiving was great. I had a lot of fun with my family. I cannot even express how grateful I am for the love we have and the people I get to share this life with. My husband is my #1 supporter, along with many others, but he gets to endure all the ups and downs of this process with me, on top of other normal life adventures, and I could not do any of this without him.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

xoxo