After weeks of looking forward to Fall break, I was less than satisfied with what I got. I spent the entire time doing a clinical write-up and catching up on work and readings that I had fell behind in. Though I was so grateful for the time off, it was just a teaser. Wednesday came and we picked right up as if nothing had happened. Now I am longing for another break!
The day I look foward to most is Thursdays when I go to clinical. I love being there! When I’m there I forget about all the work waiting for me when I get home. I have been so lucky to have such wonderful patients. Not one has been too difficult to handle. I just hope it stays that way, even though I know it will get harder. I am beginning to use my skills so often they come naturally to me. I feel like a professinal Accuchecker at this point with all the blood sugars I have taken!
I only wish I was doing more! We are learning so much in skills lab and lecture and I don’t feel like I’ve gotten to see much of it in action yet. Everything just makes sense and comes together once you witness it in person. That is how I was able to let go a lot of my anxiety from skills lab at the begnning of the semester. I talked to nurses and saw what they did as they did it and I realized that I could do that too. I wish everyday was clinical day. Unfortunately, that’s not reality.
School is slowly going by in a hurry. It feels like we’ve just started but we’ve done so much already. On the flip side, the days just drag on and there is never a break. My personal struggle is staying awake. Somehow my sleep schedule has gotten out of whack and waking up at 6am everyday is killing me! I only hope I can survive until the end of the semester. Challenge accepted!
It is really hard to believe that we are in the middle of the 8th week of our first semester of Nursing School. I don’t understand how time can go so fast when it feels like it is going so slow at the same time, (each week feels slower than the last. To me at least). It is already almost November! I think that means that things are about to get really crazy for us. We only have 7 or 8 weeks left, and that may seem like a lot, but when you look at everything we have left to do for each of our classes, then it’s not much time at all. We have one class we haven’t even started yet! I think that class handles all of the professionalism and ethics of nursing…and I think that’s where all the paper writing comes into play. I have to see if I even remember how to write a paper other than a lab report or a nursing school application essay. I don’t think it will be bad though, it can’t be too bad since we only have it 6 times once a week.
Hopefully everyone had a great fall break. I know I did. I saw two of my best friends get married after a million years of dating. It was wonderful: I love weddings. Other than that, I didn’t do anything…and it was awesome. A weekend of not stressing out about school is really nice every once in a while, and I don’t think we are going to get another one of those until December decides to get here. Hopefully no one’s break was ruined after finding out their test grades for our Integrated class. Mine was made better, thank goodness.
But now it’s time for us to buckle down again and study for the two exams we have coming up next week. I’m happy about it though because that means that we are almost done with Health Assessment! Can’t wait to be done with that class. Not because it’s hard, but just because there is so much to do for it in such a small amount of time. Just gonna start studying, studying, studying til Monday morning rolls around, while taking breaks to go tour wedding reception locations with my fiancé this weekend (which I’m stoked about), and watch my brother play in our high school’s homecoming game. Fun weekend ahead. I’m not going to let the stresses of nursing school get the best of me: I make sure I have time for fun and to see those people who mean the most to me. I hope all of you do too.
I remember this time last year I was getting excited about my first trip to visit the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. I was going to be attending an Open House for BSN’s. This was a day dedicated to anyone interested in attending the SON, for us to gather information about the program and Emory in general. It started at 8AM and went until about 4:00 in the afternoon. I remember we had the usual delicious catered breakfast in the Plaza and then sat in P01 for what seemed like hours listening to various people talking about what the program was structured around and what it stood for. We learned about all the expenses, ALL the expenses, financial aid, some of what the curriculum would be like, and I think there was a Q&A panel as well. I felt like I was where I should be. It just felt right to be sitting in that freezing cold class room listening to the things that I would be getting to do in a little less than a year—hopefully, I hadn’t been accepted yet. There were so many students that were there, so many more that we have in our class now. It’s crazy because I don’t think I remember seeing any of my classmates there. And the ones I do remember aren’t sitting in class listening to lectures with me every day. So after that, it came time to look at the application. And by that, I literally mean just look. I didn’t fill out and send my application until after the first of the year. It took me a really long time to work on it; I literally worked on it nearly every day for the last two weeks of winter break. I finally sent it and it was such a big relief. In addition to completely that monster application, I was preparing for the TEAS. I took it in early January, and I will say that I dominated that test. An exact month to the day after applications were due I checked OPUS one more time to see if the online decision had been posted…and it had. I was accepted. I was so happy that I screamed, and I normally don’t scream when I get excited. But I was in my car so it wasn’t that big of a deal. I called my fiancé first, and then my parents. Everybody was so excited for me. A couple months later was the Accepted Students Day. We did a lot of the same things on that day: pretty much got acquainted with the program all over again. I just remember being at school up in Rome and locking my keys in my car and having to figure out how to get a locksmith to my house to unlock it between classes and the time I needed to leave to make it to the SON by 2:00. I almost made it…I was just 30 minutes late-ish. That day was a lot of fun I remember. And now after the last step of the 3 day orientation process I and the rest of my classmates are here, stressed out and sleep deprived, but here nonetheless. And I think we are all very happy about that.
Injection Validation. Need I say more? Yes, but only because this is a blog entry. My time was scheduled for 9:30. I left my house at the time I usually do for my 9:30 (which got changed to 7:30) lab, but traffic was HORRIBLE. I always get there 15 minutes early, but today I barely got there with 5 to spare. (And of course we were told to be there 15 minutes early.) But I don’t think my tardiness really mattered, as everyone in both 9:30 groups were waiting outside the rooms, with no instructors in sight. We went in the tiny little exam rooms when it was time for the validation. I don’t know why I was getting nervous. Oh wait, yes I do, because I was about to give a shot…a real shot…to a real person. So we all stumbled our way through preparing the syringes. That was great. Then the time to administer arrived. I got to watch first and the first round went great. Then it was my turn to play patient. I got a little nervous because I just kept remembering the last time I got my immunizations I passed out. Ended up on the floor and everything. I don’t know why I did, I had never had a problem with shots before that and had never gotten nauseous or nervous because of them ever in my whole entire life. So of course today I was a little hesitant about being someone’s injection guinea pig. But my partner did a great job. But, I jumped when she injected the needle. It didn’t hurt, I just felt the syringe hit my skin after the needle went in and I guess I wasn’t expecting that. So I bled a little bit. I think I did a good job when I did mine. I just need to push a little harder on initial impact. But I got it! Subcutaneous weren’t that bad. I have never had a subQ injection before and neither had either of my partners so we all had our first experiences together. It stung a little. But I lived. We all did. And we passed. Gold stars for everyone! So now we get to look forward to giving FLU SHOTS to real people in a couple of weeks. I’m nervous about that too. But I think if we just smile and say “yes I have done this before,” to anyone that asks, we will be fine.
You know how I know nursing is the profession for me? Because I was excited about waking up at 5 AM and heading to the hospital by 6:15 even though I’m as far from the description of a “morning person” as anybody can be. But, I got up while the rest of the earth was sound asleep, put on my scrubs, packed up my leftovers and headed out to greet the dark chilly morning with my roommate as we headed to Emory Midtown for our first clinical rotation…ever. I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect—I had never been to this hospital before. But, I have been to the Shakespeare Tavern which is right across the street. Definitely not the same thing though. When we arrived we parked on…Floor F…of the parking deck next to the Emergency Room, assured that we had 100% not gotten lost or turned around the entire drive over. I met my group in the cafeteria next to the big wall with a clichéd fruit mural on it. We talked for a few minutes and introduced ourselves. Everybody in my group was really nice, and even if everybody in my group wasn’t nice, I’d still say they were for blogging purposes. We finally found out what the ominous Unit 21 translates to: Second Floor Medical Surgical Unit. So, we tour. And we stick out like matching navy blue sore thumbs. I thought that the nurses would be nicer, or more excited that we were there, I guess. But they weren’t. I think we all kind of got the vibe that we were an annoyance. Maybe that’s just because they were understaffed that day. I’m sure they are all very nice ladies.
I definitely got broken in to nursing quickly. During my time to shadow the RN, I got to enter both Contact Precaution rooms, set up a blood transfusion, and…I saw an indwelling urinary catheter be removed. All of it was very interesting. I was not scared away from the nursing profession, which is a good thing. Then after lunch the group went on a scavenger hunt around the hospital. We had an hour to find like…50 things, all over the hospital. Most of them were pretty easy. I think we will all agree that finding the morgue was the most difficult, and most creepy. There was an autopsy in progress when we found it. I kind of wish we could have gone in. Key words: Kind of.
Overall it was a great day, and I really think that each week will bring something greater. We are getting to meet our patients next week. That will be interesting and I hope that goes well for all of us.