Friday, September 29, 2006

two tests in one day

Yaaaayyy! I got a 96% on my first physical assessment exam, but then she gave away some questons because the majority of people got them incorrect,so I now have a 100%!

And I got 100% on patho!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Today I was with a different nurse because my regular preceptor had the day off.
She was nice and helpful with the whole learning process, but I do like my preceptor better--I can just relate to her more on a personal level.
She had 5 patients, so I went around and did all the vitals and charted. One of our patients had some sort of trauma and she was totally out of it. She was MRSA positive too. All morning she was yelling, "Help me, help me now!" over and over and over. She was just laying in bed with a diaper, but she wasn't old or anything. I felt pretty bad for her. I had to do her BP manually because of the MRSA and I was like oh great, watch me not be able to hear anything because the steth looked crappy and old, but actually, I did her BP perfect and fast! She just kept asking me over and over about her family and showering and shaving her legs. I just tried to treat her/talk to her like she was normal. I gave her a bed bath and helped clean out her mouth, which was so dry and had crust on her teeth...I think some of it was vomit. She kept saying she felt "grungy" because she hadn't showered in awhile. It was sad. Finally, someone from her family called when we were giving her meds through her gastric tube and she started crying, "Please come visit me, I'm so lonely. Everyone has forgotten about me, please come see me." I thought I was going to cry because it was sooo sad. At one time, she was normal like me but then one moment can just screw you up. And I wonder if her family is just too overwhelmed with her to come visit anymore since she doesn't make a lot of sense, she flails about in bed and she is incontinent.
She begged me to stay with her. "Why can't you just stay here with me? You helped me feel like a human for once again!" (because I cleaned her). I was like well, I have to go do other things. It just kind of blew.

I was only on the floor until 11:30 though because our instructor let us study and then we had a guest speaker about restraints.

I got a 93% on my first PAT, woo. She kept telling other people to look at mine and the another student's because we did ours good. How embarassing.

Tomorrow is the first physical exam test, as well as patho quiz #3 (?). I haven't studied since I've been home, but I'm not too worried because I've been studying like a mad woman all week. Plus I wanted to watch Oprah because it's been awhile:)
I have a study group at 7 though.

Friday, September 22, 2006


There is NOT enough time in the day. There is so much to study and so much to read.I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO why I am wasting time by typing this? And why I am watching Deal or No Deal?! SHIT!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

remind me who I don't want to be

Yesterday was...interesting.
I finally got on the floor around 7 after waiting around for my instructor in the cafe and eventually just going up. First thing my preceptor and I did was go into this old woman's room. My preceptor uncovered the blanket and this woman had dark brown watery poop all the way down to her FEET. PUDDLES OF IT!! There was sooooooooOOOooo much. I guess she had part of her colon taken out, so it was just leaking out of her. In between her legs was a puddle of watery poop....and it was bubbling.
Wow. It took 3 of us to clean was alll over. I wasn't grossed out so much at first, but then my nurse and the PCT said something about it and I just had to look at the wall for a second and concentrate on not gagging up the oatmeal that I had for breakfast. I got through it fine after that.
I felt bad for the woman because she had no toes (diabetes) on one foot and the other she was missing her big toe. She said just they kept falling off. Also, she felt bad that we had to clean her because she said she hadn't been like that since she was a baby.
I mostly worked with the PCT, which I did not like. She was sort of nice to the patient, but behind their backs she would bitch and complain, especially about the woman who couldn't control her bowels. She kept rolling her eyes and saying how she didn't want to deal with this. She was acting like the woman was doing it on purpose!! It wasn't her fault, damn. I kept mentioning that we should go in and check on her to see if she needs to be cleaned up. I figured it is easier to clean a small mess more often than a huge one every once in awhile. She was just like, "I don't even want to know!" Hmm, well, when she is an 89 year old helpless woman laying in an ocean of her own shit, I think she might change her mind!!

Then we had another patient who was in a lot of pain, but my PCT was like "UGH, she whines too much, most people with that surgery just leave within a day, but she will be here forever!!"
wow, bitch. She has been at my hospital for 30 years--yeah, I think it is time to move on.
Then she proceeded to tell me how when she was an LPN (why is she a PCT?) none of the RN's who came out of school knew anything and the LPNs had to teach them all. I was like ohh yeah WHATEVER. She was seriously jaded.

I got to use the bladder scanner twice though, which was pretty cool. And I got to see a blood transfusion.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


WOO HOOO!! I now have a 92% on my exam because of the curve!

92% is still a B, but I'll take it!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fundamentals #1

WELLL, I didn't do so well on my first exam (by my own standards anyway). I got a 48/60 which is an 80%, which is C. However, the average was 43, so that means like half the class failed (75 and below is failing)!
She said she doesn't normally curve, but this time she will, so I will have a B then.
I'm not really that worried or upset though since it was the first exam and I KNOW that I do understand and grasp the information--it's just those pesky NCLEX style questions!!
I don't even know what I could have done MORE to study--I feel like I really do understand everything. Sigh.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I studied this past week a little by little so that it all didn't pile up before the test--smart thing to do. I didn't think I would go home on Sat. to see Mirza, but I could not concentrate anymore until I saw him. I honestly feel like I could focus so much better once I took a break and spent time with him.
ps: I have the most amazing boyfriend in the world. We'll be together 4 years in February and it has been HARD living only 30-40 minutes away. We only see each other once a week, sometimes twice if we're lucky. It doesn't seem like we live that far, but we both just so busy with school (he's studying music education) that it is impossible to get away and be together. I probably cry everytime I leave him , which is stupid, but I can't help it. He's so much a part of me. SIIIIIIGH.
What was he point of this post again? I forget.
Oh yeah, tomorrow is my first Fund. exam at 12. I feel kind of confident, but then again I am scared because of the critical thinking type questions.


Friday, September 15, 2006

"You haven't lived until you've administered an enema."

I was successfully checked off on an enema (lucky me) and NG insertion and removal today! I still would feel scared as hell to insert an NG tube alone though, since it was only simulated on the dummies and the tube didn't go completely down.
One cool thing I did today was learn how to use a panoptic scope (or whatever the heck it's called)...holy crap!! It is so awesome when you look in the eye. It looks just like this:

I have to say it was pretty cool. Finally getting to see stuff besides vaginas, penises, and anuses! WOO

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Second Full Clinical Day

I just took a nice, hot and thorough shower and then made a quesadilla with rice and corn. Now I am going to sit here and relax for a few moments before I decide WHAT to study, since there is soooo much to do choose from.
My day went really good today. I was tired, but I pushed through it! We have to do these Patient Assessment Tools, which are reallllly long and our first one is due next Fri, so I wanted to get it done today. Fortunately, one of my patients from last week was still in the hospital, so she let me use her as my guinea pig:) I finally did vitals on a real patient, as opposed to a class mate or family member/Mirza. All was good. Then I had to interview her for my PAT, which was a lot easier than I thought--and I kind of enjoyed it. The only thing is that I didn't have as much time as I would have liked, so I kind of had to rush, but it wasn't a big deal. I had to ask a 79 year old how many sexual partners she's had, which I am sure I'll have to ask again to someone else, but it was definitely interesting the first time. Actually, it wasn't a big deal at all. My patient was pretty awesome. She was in the hospital recovering from a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo oopherectomy! Yeah, don't ask me if I can recite that later or if I even spelt it right--TIIIIIRED.
It was sad to say goodbye because I'll never ever see her again and she was sort of my first real patient. Well, not really, but the first one I got to do vitals and PAT.
Another one of our patients was a woman who just had a C-section and her 6 day old son was in the room--aaawww.
THEN there was a code blue!!! But of course it was on another floor, so I didn't see anything interesting.
However, I did hear the lullaby music about 3-4 times today, which plays throughout the hospital everytime a baby is born!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Study Marathon

The week long study marathon for me begins in a half hour.
I have fundamentals exam 1 on Monday, September 18th. Originally, we had Patho that day as well, but we convinced him to move it to Thursday. Also, on Sunday I spent all day working on medical terminology, but then yesterday we convinced her to move it to the first week of October. At least I finished almost all of it, so now I can just relax (HA!!!) and focus on Fundamentals...and Patho....aaaand physical exam..aaaand clinicals..right.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

First test

I got 100% on my first test/quiz in Patho (and first test ever in NS)!! It was 25 questions--not too difficult, but we all still studied our butts off for it.

As a reward to myself, I am not studying, but instead--eating apple pie with ice cream and kit kat bar crumpled inside.


Wednesday, September 6, 2006

My first day of clinicals!!

Okay, now that I actually have a decent moment--MY DAY!!

Seriously, it was so much better than I had anticipated. I thought I was going to feel so stupid and dumb, but my preceptor rocks. Today I did a lot of shadowing, but I also helped too. Basically, she had 4 patients, all who had just come back from surgery. She showed me how to chart everything (so much), how to organize time, etc. I learned a lot today. I got to do a glucose check! woo lol. I didn't really do any vitals on my own because I was watching my preceptor do it. OO and I got to watch an NG tube come out. And the thing that holds the drainage is pretty gross--it was filled almost to the top with like dark black, green, and white stuff *shudder* Glad I didn't smell it!!
Overall, I had a great great great day!!

wooo. Now I am going to shower, clean, and then study for my patho quiz, which is tomorrow and then SLEEP.
Somewhere in that time I am eating apple pie though.

One more thing--today was very reassuring for me that nursing is what I want to do. All day I kept thinking, okay, I could totally do this and like it. Maybe not work on this type of floor exactly, but some form of this--definitely. It feels good. Now I have more motivation.
Also, at the end of each clinical, we have to give our preceptor a little form to fill out about us with ratings and comments on things we did good and things we need to improve on. She didn't comment on things needed to be improved since it was my first day, but she did write something along the lines of, "Nicole was very motivated the first day on the floor. She was a pleasure to work with."

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Good news for dorky nursing students who have to wear white from head to toe: According to the TODAY show, it is now fashionably acceptable to wear white after labor day!

I guess that is one less thing to worry about..whew.



aaaaah IT'S FREEZING!!!
I was really hot last night in bed, so I got up and turned the AC down, but it was dark, so I couldn't see. When I woke up, it was like 62 in my apartment!!!!!
It feels like freaking winter!

Oh, and none of my roommates have been here all weekend--it is niiiice.
What's on the agenda for today?
I woke up at 7am, so I will be tired tonight and sleep soundly, as opposed to last Tuesday night when I only slept for 3 hours. I'll be waking up at 4:30am..aaaah. I'm nervous about clinical now because I don't even know what to do!! I've been checked off on some things, but I don't know. I hope I don't annoy my preceptor--well, too bad.
Back to the agenda, I'll be trying to study for Patho (first quiz on Thurs) and then at 4:30 today we have a review.
I wish the air would hurry up and get warmer!!!

Saturday, September 2, 2006

The Nurses' Pledge

Inside our pocket skills book is The Nurses' Pledge. We'll probably have to say this when we're graduating.

I solemnly pledge myself in the presence of this
assembly to faithfully practice my profession of
nursing. I will do all in my power to make and
maintain the highest standards and practices of
my profession

I will hold in confidence all personal matters
committed to my keeping in the practice of my
calling. I will devote myself to the welfare of my
patients, my family, and my community.

I will endeavor to fulfill my rights and privileges
as a good citizen and take my share of
responsibility in promoting the health and
welfare of my community.

I will constantly endeavor to increase my
knowledge and skills in nursing and to use them
wisely. I will zealously seek to nurse those who
are ill wherever they may be and whenever they
are in need.

I wil be active in assisting others in
safeguarding and promoting the health and
happiness of humankind.

Friday, September 1, 2006

First WEEK recap of nursing school

The week has finally ended--it's Friday!!!
So how was my first week of nursing school? Well, besides long--it was GREAT!!!
I am impressed with my program--all of the instructors and faculty are amazingly nice and supportive. They're constantly complimenting us and saying we're the best. As a student you can feel that they want you to succeed and it's quite refreshing.
My first class began at 12:00: Fundamentals of Nursing. This is basically where we learn the basic things that are needed to know when it comes to Nursing. The book is gigantic. Our professor is a nun, but no she doesn't walk around in full head dress and a ruler, slapping students on the wrist! In fact, she is a nurse practitioner (I am pretty sure all my professors are, except Patho) and she is soooooo NICE. I mean, she is serious about the profession of nursing, but you can tell she wants us to succeed. In fact, every single instructor and faculty member that I've come across so far has been this way--as I mentioned.
At the end of this class, we have a HESI, so it's definitely an IMPORTANT class (well, all of them are).
At 4:30 I had Pathophysiology with a retired Gastroenterologist. He told us to guess how many patients he has had over 20 years. Most people guessed around 10,000. He put the figure up on the board--100,000. And 20,000 colonoscopies!! He's an awesome professor because he has a lot of real life stories to go along with each disorder that we study. Also, he isn't crazy and doesn't expect us to know every single detail from the book. He told us to read the chapters once--then look at his slides, answer review questions in the study book, and then he will tell us which slides to focus on from his powerpoints. I have my first quiz on chapters 1-4 next Thursday. It covers the cell biology, genes and genetic diseases, altered cellular and tissue biology, and fluids and electrolytes (and acids/bases). I'm nervous since this is the first real test so far. Also, our grading scales is 93-100=A, so it will be tough. I just need to study hard and not focus so much on the number so much as retaining the information.
I have this day off, but I went to a meeting of the Internation Health Service collaborative. I was the only nursing student out of like 100 medical and college of public health students. I definitely joined and I hope to MAYBE go to the Dominican Republic in December to help.
This was a good day. We had our hospital orientation! The only sucky part is that my hospital is an hour away, sooooo we car pooled and got there quite early so we wouldn't get stuck in traffic. Basically, we sat around and talked about hospital policy while filling out forms. During lunch, the nurse recruiters brought us free food and then spoke about the hospital and how awesome it is. It's a magnet hospital and also it is one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the US...woohoo. At first I did not want this hospital at all, but now I think it is an excellent choice for me. I could even see myself working there after graduation. We'll see.
One cool thing about orientation is that we got to do Accucheck glucose checks on each other. It was fun to see blood and all that neat stuff. That was the first skill I ever got checked off on! See, we have these tiny little spiral bound laminated books that are color-coded according to our semester (Semester 1=Green, Semester 2=Yellow, Semester 3=Red, Semester 4=Blue, and Semester 5=Black) with a list of every skill we will have to master. There are three boxes next to each skill. The first box represents a skill that was completed in the lab correctly. The second box (level 2) is for the actual patient, which our preceptor (nurse) will check off, and the third level or box is when we do it independently on a patient without prompting need. It is a very cool thing to keep track off for my entire nursing school career.
Anyway, back to the orientation--we did glucose checks and isolation gowning, etc. Finally, we got to visit the floors we'll be working on this semester. I don't know how every other nursing school works, but mine is something like this: At the beginning of nursing school you're assigned a hospital with 11 other students--this becomes your TEAM. You are then a part of that hospital for the entire 5 semesters. It becomes like home and the team members sort of become like a little family within nursing school. THEN, you're assigned to a preceptor who is a nurse that works in the hospital. Basically, you follow that nurse around and she is your instructor and ...guidance. I was afraid of this because what if the preceptor didn't want a student? Well, it turns out that my hospital only picks nurses who actually WANT to be preceptors.
I am on the Gynecology/Women's Med Surg/Pediatrics (kind of confusing!) floor. My preceptor is so awesome and nice--she seems quite down-to-earth, so I am relieved.
It was scary at first because our task was to complete a seek-and-find while we were on the floor. My team brought me up there, introduced me to my preceptor, and then left me all alone! haha. I am the only student from my team on the floor. Some students have others with them, but not me. I think this will be beneficial because then I won't rely so much on another student as a crutch, you know?
During my seek-and-find a woman came back from surgery, so I got to go in the room and watch them transfer her to another bed and do vitals!! yayyyyyy for seeing things.
Once the day was over, I was pretty damn tired. The night before I had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep somehow, so I went home, read one chapter of physical exam, and then went to bed at 7pm. I slept for 14 hours!! It felt GOOD!!
Physical examination and assessment at 12:30--awesome professor. She's upbeat, happy, and has a sense of humor. This seems like it will be a class where I learn a lot, but it will be fun,so it won't seem like learning.
4:30 was Patho again.
We had to wake up early to take "pre-HESI" exams, which have no effect on our grades. They're just to "see where we are," which is a lot of pressure!!They covered math, vocab, grammar, biology, Anatomy and physio, and reading comprehension.
Meh. I did pretty bad on math--74. The rest I got like 85, 88, 89, 89, and 93--not in that order. I got the highest in grammar, go figure. I think second highest was AP and then biology. I guess that is average. Whatever. I happened to glance over at the girl's screen next to me and she was getting like 95's and crap...making me feel pretty inadequate and STUPID. Tests suck.
Once that was over, I got to go home and read for about an hour and a half (because I sort of wasted a lot of time making food). Lab was at 1:00, which was what I had been waiting for!!
First, we had to go into these virtual labs and do some BP's, pulse, temperature, and respirations on the computer, which was kind of weird. Finally, we got in the lab and did the things.
One thing we had to do was go behind the curtain and "observe" the SIM man and now we have to write some sort of report--I'm not quire sure because I haven't looked at the workbook yet.

So far I have been checked off for:
-Glucose monitoring
-Isolation cap and mask
-Isolation gowning and gloving
-Temperature :Axillary
-Temperature: Oral-electronic thermometer

Now I must go begin reading 4455235235 pages. Hope next week is even better!