Archive for Beth

Busy BSN’s

It is hard to believe that we are already nearly half way through spring semester and just a couple weeks away from Spring Break! This semester has been a tough one for sure, but we are learning a lot. It seems like we are all very busy with tests, papers, journals (especially journals), and group projects this semester. It’s all very time consuming but that’s what we expected. I just had my orientation to my psychiatric rotation at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center a couple of days ago and I think it will be very interesting. The psych rotations are much different than what we are used to in Med Surge, (I can’t speak for Peds…I haven’t crossed that bridge yet). There are lots of “outside” assignments for the psych rotation, but I think it will be very informative. I have to make the most of my time because since I am at the VA during spring break, I really only get about two and a half days there. I think I will really enjoy it, even if it’s just a change of scenery. From what I have heard, it seems like there isn’t a “bad” clinical site and that everyone is enjoying theirs. This is good! It means we aren’t tired of nursing yet! Haha! Good luck to everyone on the second Integrated exam next week!

Back at it!

Well this is the third week of being back into the swing of things since the semester started, and we have definitely hit the ground running. Running really really fast. It seems like we have SO MUCH TO DO before May! I’m still trying to get all my ducks in a row, but they’re just swimmin’ all over the place. I’m enjoying the semester so far though, I had my first day of full clinical yesterday and really loved it. I got to do so much that I have never done before: hang IVs, remove IV catheters, start heparin drips, and now I’m nearly a pro at giving meds. The 12 hours went by really quickly and I am looking forward to next week. I am at St. Joe’s this semester and am on a DEU floor, which I think is a wonderful invention. I am paired up with one nurse for the entire semester and she teaches me everything I need to know. I am able to learn so much and it is much more efficient as well. I change out for psych in three weeks and am looking forward to that as well. I will be at the VA hospital, and I have heard good things about it.
We have our first exam this coming up Monday for Integrated Science II. In addition to all that we have this semester, studying for this test has been very overwhelming. I’m hoping after this test we will have a grip on the flow of things once again and it will flow a little more smoothly. I heard last semester was supposed to be the toughest of the whole Emory nursing experience…but I don’t think that’s entirely true. It’s only been three weeks and this semester has already kicked last semester’s butt! Kicked it real hard. But things will fall into place. Good luck to everyone this semester!

The End! Temporarily…

Well folks, the time has finally come. The end of the semester is here!! I can say I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel…for a couple of miles until the next tunnel comes along anyways. But, hey I’ll take it. I am so proud of myself and of my fellow juniors. We have learned and done so much in just a few short months that it is unbelievable. I love knowing about medications and knowing so many skills that my family gets to be guinea pigs for. We only have one final left and I know we will all do great on it!..hopefully. It’s only Thursday and my brain is already mush. But anyways, this semester has been so awesome. I really feel like I am going to love being a nurse and helping the sick and those in need. Believe it or not, I really thought Professional Development was a very beneficial class for us to take. The papers we had to write really taught me a lot about my views and understanding of nursing, and how I am beginning to incorporate my own views into it as well. I thought the service learning projects were awesome. During the presentations on Monday, it really seemed to be like everybody had a really great experience at their locations and the impacts made were double-sided: the experiences left an impact on our “students” as well as on us. I know being at the Gateway Center really has stuck with me. I hope that I can go back and help there again someday. Meeting people who are less fortunate than we are, but sometimes with much brighter spirits than we have, is always so humbling and it is such a blessing to meet them every once in a while so I can be reminded of how fortunate my life is. I hope everyone has a wonderful winter break and we will be ready to rock Spring semester when we come back!

Just an Update

We are almost done with our week back from Thanksgiving, then after this we only have 6 DAYS LEFT OF THE SEMESTER! It’s really crazy how quickly the semester is coming to an end. It seems as though we still have so much left to do in those 6 days of class. We had our clinical skills validations today, or I did, half of us will have them tomorrow. I had pretty easy ones: NG tube insertion and setting up a primary IV bag with new tubing. I think I did well, but I did make some mistakes. The good thing is, is that as long as you recognize your mistake and verbalize it you aren’t penalized. Thank goodness. I made a few dumb errors, like for example I popped the seal on the IV bag before I even opened the tubing. Dumb. I think I was just nervous-I never made that mistake when I was practicing. But, I did everything right on my NG tube insertion. I am thankful I had a couple of the easier skills to complete. Some of them are quite lengthy. I also had to calculate the number of drops per minute my IV needed to be set for. We had to do this on our Clinical exam and I totally blanked for the test. I don’t even think I got it right. But today I did! I miraculously remembered how to calculate drops per minute. Now I’m just hoping I picked the right answer on the exam. Didn’t have much room to miss questions on that thing…it was the hardest Clinical exam yet to me. Next week we just have one more stretch of clinical validations. I’m also nervous for this one because it is the bigger chunk of the grade. We will be meeting with our clinical instructors to evaluate a mannequin patient. Better start studying now I guess!

Time Flies When You’re Having…Tests

You know, usually around October 1st the semester begins to fly by, for me anyways. And then, around the middle of that month I start thinking, “where has time gone?!?!” Everything starts to whiz by before I really even have time to notice it was there, and all my tests and quizzes and assignments are all due at once and then it’s over and then…finals roll around and the semester is over. But not this time. This time, my first semester of nursing school seemed to drag on forever. And, I feel like I’m the only person who feels this way: everyone else said it was flying by. Now usually when something drags on and on, it’s because it isn’t enjoyable. But that’s the thing: nursing school IS enjoyable to me, very enjoyable, which is why I found it so strange that the first 2 months (plus 3 days of August) seemed to just stop. I still noticed that everything hit at one time: we went through this phase of having literally ALL of our tests one right after the other. It was terrible, but my classmates and I survived. I think that’s what made it go by so slowly, for me. The worst of it just didn’t seem like it wanted to go away: test after test, week after week, night of little sleep after night of little sleep. But now it’s November, and holy cow, I’m saying “where did time go??!” I can’t believe it’s already almost Thanksgiving. I haven’t even had time to get excited for it yet! I love Thanksgiving, so I’m not happy it has snuck up on me so fast, but I have a week to get prepped. And, my birthday is the day after. I am finally seeing the light at the end of the test tunnel vortex we were trapped in for so many weeks, and I think that’s why time has suddenly sped up. We have a paper due Friday and a test on Monday, but then we are home free (sorta) to go celebrate this wonderful holiday with our families, and then we only have 3 semesters of nursing school left. Eeek!!

A Nice Little Change in the Norm

So today, the nursing school welcomed a group of wonderful trauma experts to conduct a seminar about Trauma Informed Care. I think there was a bit of confusion at first as to what type of “trauma” this meant: some people were thinking gnarly wound trauma, others were expecting traumatic disorders, but this was about practically every type of trauma imaginable (except gnarly wounds). Today these professionals spoke to us about helping patients to properly cope with their trauma. It seems as though many people who work in clinics and other help settings don’t know the proper treatments for their patients. It seems a bit like common sense to me, but I guess, when things get heated quickly common sense isn’t the first to surface.
We heard many different types of presentations today: an overview of dealing with trauma, how to properly treat post traumatic patients, and a very special presentation from a man who suffered horrendous happenings and ineffectively dealt with his trauma for years. I always find the “true life” stories so intriguing. I also thought that this was a really interesting topic and would like to know more. I think all of the topics today are very applicable to nursing, since nursing is such an intimate occupation with people who are hurting in many types of ways. I’m very thankful that we were able to be a part of this seminar today; it was a reminder to me of how blessed I am that I was not exposed to anything so many people are, and have to go through such hurt.
I hope that during our time at nursing school brings more seminars on topics like this. Any additional insight and teaching is a great thing to have as we keep exploring for our passion. I really enjoyed today, I don’t know about anyone else. It just makes me thankful, for lots of things I guess.

Mid-Semester Review

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.

Little Bit of Reflection

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.

Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots!…..! Everybody!

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.

Not-So-Cynical Clinical

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.