Wednesday, March 27, 2013

getting in: A Link Up.

I'm linking up with anna and paige today.
THANKFULLY, Nursing school and I have about 5 more weeks together.
But here is my experience on getting in to nursing school:

I had a few schools I could choose from when considering where I wanted to go to nursing school. My #1 choice: Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College!!
I liked the program because it had a competitive entrance process and no waiting list.
First, I had to attend a health sciences meeting that told you all about the different health programs offered through tech, then at the end of the meeting, you picked up a manila envelope/packet of things needed to turn in to apply for nursing school.

A few months after that very first meeting, we were able to turn in our packets and were stressed to get them in early because it was a first come first serve process where if you had a good GPA and met all the requirements, you did not have to go into a pool of other applicants that were just.. OK ... and waiting for more, better applicants to come along.

In that packet, there was paperwork, and more paper work, and instructions.
I had to take the TEAS test that I had to pay for. I cannot remember how much I paid for it, but it was a placement test that tested you on math that you hadn't used since 8th grade. And Geology?? Really?? who cares what a cumulus cloud means?? Or what kind of rock is just below the sediment??
But I passed! and did not take it again.

I had to turn in transcripts from high school - which took them all summer to get because they were in archives (c/o 1999 y'all) and were doing construction on the school and no one knew where they were...
And I needed my transcript from my stint at Midlands Tech where I was working toward my X-ray tech degree.

A $50 background check.

I turned my packet in the very earliest date I could have them in. Drive an hour to Orangeburg, turn in my packet, then drive an hour back to Lexington.

Maybe 2 weeks after I turned in my packet, I got a call asking If I'd like to come in for an interview with the dean of nursing and some other staff... um, YES!!

Went out and got a new outfit to be presentable enough to do an interview in. Went down for the interview, was honest, talked about why I wanted to be a nurse, and answered their questions. At the end of the interview, they both hugged me and told me I'd be getting a letter in the mail soon regarding acceptance into the program, and wished me luck!

I got the letter not even 2 weeks later. I was in! After that, there was other stuff I needed to fill out and get done.
Another packet of paperwork.
I needed a complete physical from my doctor, I had to get my shot records and get up to date on any shots I didn't have. I had to start getting PPD's (yearly) to test for Tuberculosis...
We needed to get certified in CPR and Basic life saving First Aid...

That was probably in November 2010 - and school didn't even start until Aug 2011.
So, I spent that time getting ready.
I should have spent that time saving more money.
I had to go out and buy all my supplies I'd need for clinical.
Then, my 1st semester books cost around $1000.
Had to buy uniforms for clinicals: 2 aprons, 1 shirt, 1 pair of pants, 1 formal nursing dress, nursing cap.

And it's good to get as many prerequisite classes out of the way as you can before you officially start. I had to end up taking Psych 203 and Microbiology while in nursing school. I would not recommend it.
Its Hard To Keep Up with it all.

But as I said earlier, I have 5 more weeks!!!!
And it will be well worth everything you have to do to get into nursing school.
I cannot wait!

next up on my list...
NCLEX-RN licensure exam.

Friday, March 8, 2013

L and D

Ok, today, I'm going to talk to you about labor.

I did not personally, myself experience the pains of labor.
I was lucky enough to endure a scheduled Cesarean Section.
Lucky. Key word.
However, I did have tons of Braxton Hix contractions.
but they did not hurt. not one bit ;)
I had a scheduled section because
a) hailee would not drop/descend at all.
b) my blood pressure wanted to keep crawling up to the point they did not like it
c) malpractice is HUGE in obstetrics and no one wants a preeclamptic/ecclamptic on their hands
d) BECAUSE of my past surgery, they opted to just have me not go through the whole pushing phases so I wouldn't mess anything up on the inside.

I cannot tell you a lie - I was not sad in the least that I had to have a C-Section.

THIS was my first glimpse at the most incredible thing to ever happen to my life.
I cried.
And laughed.
And never pushed no not once.
I did almost go into shock in the recover room.
They kept me back there for almost 4 hours because my BP was dropping as was my temp and I had this special blanket on me but was shivering the whole time.
Crazy, crazy.

Enough about me!!!!

Let me tell you about my very, very last day in my Maternal/Child clinical rotation.
Labor and delivery.

Well, I'll begin by telling you that Labor & delivery is a touch and go kind of thing.
It's totally unpredictable.
And, it can be A LOT of waiting around for something to happen.
which is why I don't think I'd want to be a L&D nurse.
Postpartum, YES!!
{this will actually be my 1st choice when I apply for a nursing job next week ;)

I had a VERY good L&D clinical experience.
aka there were lots of mama's in labor.
I had the privilege of helping with and watching 2 births on Monday and another 2 births on Tuesday.

it was a pure miracle.

Monday, they were both regular births - one with an epidural, one without {and OH, what a difference that epidural makes}
Tuesday, it was SUPPOSED to be one C-Section and the other, a mama I was following from that morning when she started her epidural and was supposed to be a natural birth.
not. so. much.

So, for the 1st day, I was around a lot of amniotic fluid.
Even after arriving at my home away from home and showering, I could still smell the pungent aroma of that amnion from all of the pt rooms I visited.

The miracle of bringing a new life into this world was just that - amazing and beautiful, despite it's messiness.
ALL moms and labors are different.
No one progresses the same as anyone else.
it was such an honor to be allowed in to help with and watch and care for these mothers about to welcome a(nother) child into her life.
Labor can be such a fickle process.
Painstaking to say the least - the amount of agony on these women's faces (pre-epidural) is like no other pain I've ever experienced.

Yet - yet...

I've been told that this is a pain that is easily forgotten the very moment that mom holds her squirming, crying child, covered in all the things that protected it those 40 weeks {ultimately 10 months} while she nurtured it in her womb.
and it sets in -
And I did hear the mom's utter this very phrase to those tiny bundles wrapped in their arms.

Now, we're going to transition to the second day.
The mama I followed All Day Long.
Who pushed and pushed and pushed.
I talked to her soothingly and worked her through countless excruciating contractions (pre and post epidural).
I rubbed her arms, fed her ice chips, rubbed her legs, told her she was doing GREAT!! and told her to relax her whole body through the contractions...

We did this for a while.
We did this after all but one {another who was with the the whole time} in my clinical group got to go home.
We did this while the certified nurse midwife was there, trying to deliver that sweet baby.
We did this when she had to call the Obstetrician for a consult because push as she might, that baby would not MOVE {rotate} through the birth canal.
I could see the baby's head deep in the mother.
BUT - but....

We had to prepare mama for an emergency C-Section.

Oh. My. Goodness.
From there, things just got crazier and crazier.

It seemed like time flew and stood still at the same time.
I fumbled through placing a urinary catheter in preparation for the C-Section.
Everyone was running around trying to get everything ready and keep it all sterile for the immediate surgery that was to follow.
It was like I was holding my breath in anticipation for what this mama had to go through, so unprepared, so skewed from her original birth plan.

I stayed by her side and usually with {the bane of my existance} THE MASK {you know, the one you wear over your mouth and nose w/ surgeries and around sick people} I get sick, it did not phase me.
Not one bit.

This emergency section turned CRAZY, quick.
Mom had to be completely sedated.
Put. Under.

All we could do was stand on our stool at the edge of the operating room, watching the doctor pull miracles out of her sleeves - literally elbow deep into this woman.

Oh, it was amazing.
and beautiful.
and scary, and messy.
But I was WITH that mama the whole time.
I held her hand.
I talked her through it.
What a privilege.

and she had a healthy, beautiful baby girl.
and she woke up from the surgery.
and that is all I know.


Oh, this has been long.
and the only picture is of me and my C-section baby.

But those 2 days on Labor and Delivery were amazing.

And I learned stuff I've never known before.
And I got to perform my nursing skillz like CRAZY!!!

Sorry I didn't put my postpartum experience up here.
It was a good one too!!
It was THE REASON I want to be a Postpartum nurse.
The nurses on the Postpartum section were AH.Mazing.

And made me feel welcomed, and taught me, and Made me realize THAT is what I want to do!!!



It is officially SPRING BREAK!!!!

And I celebrated by taking my {almost} 4 year old on a date to get fingerprinted for the NCLEX-RN and then to the mall for Build-A-Bear and lunch.
By the way, the new bear's name is "Cherry".
She is pink with snowflakes on her and has a dress, panties, shoes, bows, and if Hailee had her way, ... a bed, a car, and a headband..
But we stopped at the bows.

I feel like I'm finally getting caught up!!!

More later on the transition to the halfway point in my FINAL SEMESTER of nursing school!!!!

I'm gonna be a nurse y'all ;)

scrub top review

I have a little treat for you!!
{more of a treat for me}

The nice people at Uniformed Scrubs sent me an email and asked if I would try out and review one of the scrub tops from the Cherokee body collection. {new spring line of scrubs}

Ummmm, SURE I WILL!!!

 photo 5876b381-e3ce-4ef1-8eec-32eaeec27aef_zps0bc38a86.jpg

How cool is it to be asked if someone can send you their product so you can review it??

THIS is the actual page where you can find the very same, exact shirt I was sent.

So, I got the top in the mail and it was a short sleeved light blue almost exactly like this one

I asked for a large.
PROBABLY should have gone with the XL but I underestimated the size of "the girls".
Yes, that is the only reason it's a bit snug.
Other than that, it's great!

It's comfortable and stretchy!!
I don't feel confined in it like I do in the uniform top I have to wear for school right now.
Another super plus = it shows NO cleavage! 
I like that because as a nurse (or in my case, about to be a nurse), you find yourself (your body) in positions that you wouldn't normally be in if you were to just work a desk job. 
I'm talking, on the floor, measuring out urine from someone's foley bag, leaning over people and tugging on their sheets to change their sheets while they're still in the bed, up under someone's arm, helping them walk/move wherever they need to go, or even last week, pushing a laboring woman's legs into their chest so they can birth their baby (more on that one later...)
but you get it.
I like the pockets because you know we have to be somewhat prepared for everything when walking into a patient's room - pockets full of all sorts of necessary medical equipment.
And the front and back layout - 
The back has a stretchy band that just lets you move and go where you need to without it tugging or tightening up on you!!

I also liked the length of it. 
When standing, the tips of my fingers fall just below the bottom of the shirt.
This hides all kinds of stuff and won't show the top of your pants!!

Overall, it's a great new addition to Cherokee's new spring line ;)
It's way flattering!
This is good because it's helping me to be able to decide what kind of scrubs I'll be most comfortable in when I start working in (hopefully) the next 2 and a half more months!!!

Cherokee, thank you for sending this broke nursing student some of your clothes!!
I love the shirt. 
My only complaint is...
it's not white, so I can't wear it to finish out these last 5 weeks of clinicals in the hospital.
But hey, it just may be an okay color for my future job uniform!
And the whole size thing... I'm hoping with the conclusion of nursing school, I'll be able to get back on track with losing this extra weight - then, won't be a problem in the least.
Unless it becomes too big to wear ;)

 photo F1A0B6A1-5611-4713-8750-CE757FC25901-4572-00000345F2550FC8_zpsadebc5a2.jpg

** And please, disregard the fact that I'm standing on the toilet!
this is the only place in the house I could get the full pic {almost}.**

Again, great top!!
And if you want to get something from them over at uniformed scrubs, I have a sweet coupon code:


to use at checkout.
15% off valid until 31st May 2013.

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