Thursday, February 23, 2012

Things I've Learned So Far In Nursing School.

It's been an adventure so far, and I'm going to learn much much more in the whole scheme of things. Just being reflective and thinking about all I've learned thus far from being in school full time...
  • Having a supportive family is way important! Mine has been there for me from the beginning, encouraging and helping in any way they can. My ENTIRE family (close and extended) is the only reason I can do this school thing. I see how much harder it is when you don't have a family behind you, and realize that I'm so very blessed with a wonderful family!
  • I've learned that when ordering your uniforms on the 1st day of school, most definitely go up a size. Just so they're a little "roomy" and not an exact fit. These uniforms are supposed to last us through the 2 years in the program, and fluctuations HAVE happened in all our weights.
  • speaking of weight - I've learned NOT to reward good grades with cupcakes :) No one's celebrating when that extra weight appears...
  • I've learned how to IRON!! yep, not something I've ever done on a regular basis, but believe me, I can do it so fast now, I'm even surprised. I remember ironing my uniform the 1st night - it took me 2 hours - no joke. Now, I can do my whole uniform, lab coat, and dress outfit (to go pick up assignments the previous day) in about an hour total. [maybe even less...]
  • I've learned the importance of being organized and prepared for class. No one can do it for you, and there's so much to keep up with - there's no way NOT to be organized.
  • It's always a good idea to have an outlet besides school. I know we're expected to eat/sleep/breathe nursing school, but there MUST be time not spent completely in the program or major burn-out will happen.
  • I've learned that even though there are many yummy fast food options in Orangeburg to choose from for an easy lunch, it's not always the best idea. Going back to the whole extra pounds thing...
  • I see just how fast my baby is growing up - while I'm immersed in school. Time does not stop, and she's going through some crucial developmental periods right now. It is sooooo important to sit down, see her sweet face, hear her precious voice, play her little games, hold her so close, explain her "why's", laugh at her jokes, and encourage her growth. I'm going to turn around, and she'll be years older. I don't want to miss a thing.
  • I've learned that if you don't have to work/have a job while in school - don't. I'm so blessed to not have to work right now. I could do it - not on the level that I'd want to, but it is possible, not recommended.
  • Your teachers really do want you to pass, no matter how hard school is.
  • I've learned not to drink coffee past 4:30 pm, unless I plan on staying up past 1 am.
  • on that note... I've also learned that no matter how much I need to study, if I don't get sleep, I won't do well. My mind shuts off and will not accept any more information after a certain point. I gotta go with that.
  • I've learned that the people in your class understand what you're going through and that is why so many close friendships are formed in school. My classmates are all great, and I'd do anything I could for any of them. I try to contribute and help out in any way that I can, and it's all worth it. We're all headed toward the same finish line - and there's no room for competition. It is sad when people have to leave the program.
  • Nursing school costs money, no matter how many grants/loans you get. I go through so many printer cartridges and so much paper it's not funny.
  • I've learned that once someone in class gets sick, most likely, it will make it's way around the class. That is not fun. Vitamins are important. Sleep is important. Eating right is important. Exercise is important - this i have not been doing as much... I need to start back as soon as I get over this cold thing I've got going on.
  • anything from anyone else that you've learned?? any advice from those that have done this before?? ALL of it is welcomed! :)

*****

IN OTHER NEWS...

I was soooooo looking forward to sleeping in this morning. but that wasn't on the agenda for today!
Instead, Hailee started "school" :)
We're trying out the pre-school at Dutch Fork Baptist in Irmo.
She's going 2 days a week and if she does good and likes it the rest of this month, we'll let her spend a few more mornings there.
Hailee is super social and thrives with interaction. She's so smart and it's probably about time for her to start getting stimulation other than me, roger, my parents and her aunts/uncles/cousins.
My mom took her the 1st day and she jumped right in and started doing crafts with the other 2 year olds. She brought this home and when she gave it to me, she said, "Mom, you don't supposed to eat the seeds" hahahaha!! that's right :) So serious!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

My parents took her to the store to pick out a back pack, and she did just that!! She knew how to put it on and refused to take it off, even when eating and going to the potty. Silly girl!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

She picked the one with the ZhuZhu babies on it.

Here is a recent drawing of hers. She had to stop because the tip of her red crayon broke and she wasn't very pleased with it breaking. I love how her people all look the same. Head, then arms/legs/hair coming right off it.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

She made us a sweet valentine's day card too!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

It's supposed to be 80 something degrees today. This is not like any February I've ever experienced in SC - or any other winter for that matter. I'll gladly take this beautiful weather - but not all the mosquito's that are supposed to be HORRIBLE this summer. [since it hasn't gotten and stayed cold enough to completely kill them off] I have been seeing mosquito's around my house -on the outside- for the past few days now with all this rain too. Hate em.

Hope your weekend is full of good times.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

flow of thoughts.

i like to blog. even if no one reads it - it's an outlet - not a diary. maybe one day my little girl will read it. maybe.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

i am honest and try to live my life "above reproach" as the bible says - not doing anything in secret that i wouldn't want publicly known. i am the same at home, as you see me in the world. as Christians, we're supposed to shine our light for all to see.
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." -Matthew 5:16

i want my blog to be somewhere that isn't embarrassing, or full of stories, pictures, words and actions i wouldn't want to share. wholesome, good and every-day life.

i would love to share more of my heart - because it is full.
full of love for my family, full of contentment with where i am in life, full of joy because of who i'm living for [JESUS!!]. and home is where my heart stays. love abounds.

i love to write. i don't always have the time to do it. and i'd like to have more time for my family.

the one thing i will say takes the longest and is the most frustrating when it comes to my blog: photobucket!
[ohmygolygosh it's doing it right now!!! i've control-alt-deleted this thing like 5 times already. tends to get a little stuck in photobucket :|]
it can get on my last nerve trying to re-size the pics, and put them in collages.
unfortunately, this is the only site i know of that converts pics to html so i can drop them in my blog.

i love to take pictures. even though i'm not a skilled photographer. and my daughter is starting to get aggravated with my camera constantly in her face. maybe one day, i'll actually order some of the pictures i've taken. maybe.


i have a cold that i just haven't been able to shake. ever since january, it's been this cycle of getting sick then starting to get better, then maybe a day or 2 of WELL, then sick again. boo. i need to start taking vitamins regularly instead of just when i remember. it seems like i'm hacking my lungs out and i know i'm gettin on roger's nerves with all this coughing, but as hailee will say, "i gotta frog in my throat" and it just won't go away.

this semester is hard. i may have said that about last semester too, but really, there isn't a single moment in my day when i couldn't be doing something involved with school. and as if we didn't have enough to do already, we're constantly getting emails to watch this video, post on our message board, read this article, read this chapter... it doesn't end. preparing for and homework for clinical is exhausting and uber time consuming. i never would have thought so much would be involved with our clinical. that's what i get for thinking...

when i have clinical, i spend the night with my aunt and uncle in orangeburg, 10 min away from the hospital. i stay in the room my grandparents used to live in when it was their house. my aunt has done a lot with the house since they moved in. i have so many wonderful memories of that very old, very beautiful house. here is my room in my home away from home.

Photobucket

this is the house - the tall one is my cousin, my dad, his brother (uncle billy), and sister (my aunt eddie who is my namesake; middle names both elizabeth), who grew up in this beautiful old house.

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my child knows how to work my iphone. she's figured it out all on her own. i can't say i'm surprised.
playing with her is so much fun. she's very set in her ways.

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i'm still not a fan of waking up at 5:00 am, but i have to say, sunrises can be breathtaking.

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here are my 2 favorite bags, from my two favorite sister-in-law's, blair and cynthia :)

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

the smaller one comes to clinical with me every friday and is the perfect size for it, and the larger one is my spend the night bag and it's the perfect size to hold all my sleep-over supplies. best. gifts. ever.
how can you ever go wrong with getting someone a good bag?? you can't.

and i love to edit photos. it's fun. i do it through instagram, pixlromatic, frametastic, & photosplash on my iPhone (when i have a little extra time). it's a weakness of mine.

Photobucket

i'm so not a part of some of the things i previously was before school. i don't know a whole lot of what goes on unless i hear it from my husband or friends. [honestly, friends = nursing school classmates] roger is as involved in our church as he can be right now, and even though it may not be enough for his liking - he's there a good bit.
recently, he told me about spending some time with some Christian friends that were not exactly living the same way we do - in the way we are super cautious about what is in our home, how we talk to each other and the way we talk to people outside of our home. it was a little upsetting to him, which i can completely understand where he is coming from - before his life changed, he saw "Christians" and "the church" as hypocritical.
Not sure if it's right to "expect" anyone to be a certain way, but i can see where someone could be let down by it.
i understand that we are all works in progress, but in trying to justify things we shouldn't be doing, that in itself should be convicting enough. i would never judge anyone for anything they do, because chances are, i've done and will do the same thing one day. judging would be hypocritical of me.
i stand behind my husband and the decisions we make for our family.
i am proud of our family and look forward to learning and growing as a family.
we've come a long way in our 3 short years together.

now, time to go jump in the books since hailee is safely at mimi and papa's for the evening and all's quiet on the homefront. i have 2 mega-huge tests tomorrow i'm not exactly looking forward to.

Monday, February 13, 2012

process paper

ohmygosh!!

It is the middle of February - already.
I'm in the 6th week of my second semester - already.
There is a LOT going on - already.

I'm just now starting a process paper that will ULTIMATELY be due the end of March, but the 1st dates to turn things in to be proof read by my instructor is Wednesday. 2 days from NOW!

I've been sitting here for the last 2 hours and have managed to get out 3 pages so far on the 1st 2 sections (out of a total of 14 sections). I don't even know if I'm doing it right.
I guess that's the purpose for the whole "proof read" thing.

This paper is giving me heart burn, headache, anxiety, and I've only been at it for 2 hours.
I wish I didn't have to write it - or any paper for that matter...
OR maybe I just wish it would write itself :)

There are tons of other things I could be doing at the moment....
1. I need to get caught up on my lectures/notes from the respiratory system - that test is MONDAY
2. I need to go over Micro - that test is MONDAY too - and as of today, everything my professor said in class sounded like he was speaking in another language- not good. Genetics and such are not my cup of tea...
3. I need to study Pharmacology because that test is going to be the hardest one yet - NEXT WEDNESDAY
4. I need to get caught up on the laundry that's been shifting from my bed to the dryer in what has been 2 failed attempts at putting the clean clothes away.
5. I need to clean the kitchen because it's just a mess. Who am I kidding???? It's always cluttered in there!
6. I need to pick up all the Squinkies my daughter has on her bedroom floor among other tiny sharp things that really hurt when you step on them. She doesn't grasp the whole "clean up your room" thing yet...
7. I need to stay on top of my online Psychology class - right now, there's a surprising silence online with no assignments due currently, but that could change at any minute
8. and least important because it's just repetitive math stuff - I need to practice my DCT (dosage calculations) for that test in 2 weeks - but you lose it if you don't use it - am I right or am I right!! Simple math - but I had to re-teach myself this semester because I didn't do it over the break and forgot how!!!

I just had to take a minute and write it all down because next week is going to be brutal with those 3 tests.
In order to get this stuff done, I need silence.
With an almost 3 year old - that is pretty hard to come by. She's at my parents' tonight because this process paper absolutely couldn't wait any longer. Not that I'm putting it off or anything, but this semester is fast and furious. It's going to be way too easy to get behind in things - and once that happens, recovering those things that have fallen behind is a battle.

Clinical is going great :)
I'm learning so so so much and was more comfortable this time around. I do have to admit, I had my 1st clean-up-poop experience (3 times) Friday, and was fine with it. HOWEVER, for reasons unknown to me, while cleaning my daughter's out of her little potty the other day, I gagged twice. Not normal. let's hope that doesn't happen any more!!
All my clinical paperwork was finished last night - I have to turn it in tomorrow.
My feet weren't as sore this time, but I did FIGHT to keep my eyes open past 9:30 pm Friday night. Lost that battle before Hailee even went to bed.

I haven't even had time to take pictures this week.

Okay, I really gotta get back to writing this paper. I'm heading into the caring interventions section and have NO CLUE what I'm about to write.

There is paperwork all over my desk and it's spilling over to the glider beside me - oh yeah, it's on the floor behind me too.
I could be here a while.

Friday, February 3, 2012

learning curves ;)

today was my 1st day of clinical this semester.
ready or not, there we were!!!

our clinical group went to the hospital the day before and got our "assignment" room number.
We learned everything we could about our patients, researched their charts, and had to fill out a medication sheet with LOTS of info. Mine ended up being 6 pages for 8 meds ;)

So, I'll admit - I was slightly terrified this morning (hence the mere 3 - 4 hours of sleep last night)
I got to the hospital at about 5:30 AM to make sure I had everything I needed - and that nothing changed from the night before.
We had to take vitals 1st thing. With a dinamap - those machines that do it all in one: blood pressure, temp, pulse, oxygen. I'd NEVER used one before in my life.
I laugh now, but when I asked my instructor what to do, she said, "just turn it on" ohmygosh!!!! If it seemed that easy, I wouldn't have asked. [btw, so far, love my instructor, she's great!]

I get in my patient's room and run the dinamap into anything that's remotely in it's way (they are not small machines), then I fumble around with the BP cuff, trying to screw the thing together while my patient is just sitting there holding their arm out... yeah, super new at all this...
I put the oxygen saturation meter on the wrong finger. But that doesn't matter, because it wasn't even plugged into the machine anyway.
I couldn't get the temperature probe to go into the plastic throw-away cover (so I probably didn't even get an accurate temp)
GOT THE PULSE RIGHT THE 1st TIME :)
Then, I had to do respirations for a whole minute - without her knowing I was doing them, because who can breathe normally if someone tells you they're counting how many breaths you're taking a minute?? So, that was ALSO awkward... I mean, I was just staring at her. (counting how many breaths she took...)
My 1st blood sugar stick - let's just say I was incredibly glad my instructor was right there with me.

We checked vitals, gave meds, started doing head to toe assessments, assisted with ADL's - activities of daily living, sat with them, talked with them, charted on the computer... We were all running up and down the halls looking for this or that.

It's pretty safe to say that as the day wore on, I became more in my element and started getting comfortable doing it all. I could take vitals with confidence (I found the "on" button ;)
Taking blood sugars was pretty easy too.
Assessment was very interesting too - there's so much involved, that I know I didn't get all the info I should have, but that skill will come with time.


I had an amazing patient who was super understanding and I hated to leave at the end of my shift!

It was an exhausting day.
My feet were on fire.
Drove home in 4:30 Friday traffic (in a daze from being so tired)
Got home, showered the hospital off me.
Made some soup for myself (hailee wanted breakfast, which was easy) because I didn't want to stand there and prepare some lavish meal.
Spent some time with the loves of my life, and hoping this night comes to a close rather quickly.
Pretty sure I won't have any trouble falling asleep tonight.

Photobucket

our photoshoot in her messy room. my child keeps me laughing.

School is really getting REAL now. Someone told me from here on out, we have at least one test every week. I know of 3 JUST next week.
1. Renal
2. DCT (I think)
3. Pharmacology

and our process paper due the end of March (done in APA format)
Along with all the paper work we have to do before and after our clinical every week.

My sweet sweet husband had ALL the dishes done when I got home. There were lots. And the microwave was immaculately clean :) thanks honey! Means the world to me when I get home from a long day and just want to get off my feet. Oh yeah, and the laundry was done too.



this is one of hailee's favorite songs at the moment. We had fun this night (note: the same clothes as in the photoshoot above)

Looking forward to a weekend full of studying!
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