Sunday, April 22, 2007

the end is near!

Thanks everyone for the comments on my previous entry. I know that nursing is a tough career--physically and emotionally. I am not some idealistic nursing student with unrealistic expectations about the career I am throwing myself into.

With that, I am moving on.

This week coming up I have no exams, but then the following week I have an exam every single day, except Tuesday.
Last week I got an 86 on my MS exam, so even if I get a 100% on my final, I will only have a 92 (B) in the class. Now, I just need to make a 73% to get a B in the class, which will happen easily.
Pharm--I got a 98 on my cardiac exam. Highest grade in pharm yet. I am pretty sure I'll be getting an A in this class unless the HESI kicks my ass. Today I plan to work on the study guide.
Psych--90% on the final, so I need about an 88% on the HESI for my A. I have heard the psych HESI is easy, so I hope I can pull it off.
Time to get moving.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

hmm, disgruntled much?

I just received an email (to a place I don't normally receive email) from obviously someone who is very disgruntled and bitter about the nursing profession. I thought I would share it with you all:

Dear Nicole,

I just found your blog and have enjoyed reading it very much. You seem like a very intelligent, idealistic person with a lot to offer the world.

However, your comments regarding the person in intake who was lamenting the way things are in the nursing profession worries me. I hope you do not get too disillusioned when you graduate and start working and you get the eye-opener that is the first nursing job. I saw you were recently taking three patients. Try caring for eight or nine, all of whom are ridiculously sick and your floor is shortstaffed. When you ask management for the staff you are "supposed" to get according to the hospital's staffing grid, they will tell you they will "see what they can do" but nothing ever gets done about it and meawhile you are left holding the bag. What are you going to do if more than one of your patients start coding at the same time? If something happens, no matter how perfectly and how well reasoned your clinical skills and decision making are, if one of those people dies it will be blamed on you, and be your fault, because "you're the nurse! Why didn't you do X, Y, Z" which of course naturally would have solved the probelem of how you are going to be in two places at the same time. And why didn't you catch the DOCTOR'S mistake in time? and don't forget about your other six patients who also have problems going on.

I am very sorry to hear about your classmate getting attacked. I hope she is OK. But please don't kid yourself regarding that psych patient that attacked your friend/classmate. People with psych issues walk among us every day, not all of them are safe in the psych ward and not all the people who attack are mentally ill. Some are just mean. My first year out of school I had a co-worker whose little old lady patient (who did NOT have psych issues btw) attacked her by trying to strangle her with the stethoscope worn around her neck during her morning assessment. And even if you are not physically attacked, you will definitely be verbally attacked by patients and their families, and often physicians. And don't forget the little old men who like to pinch butts or try to 'kiss the nursie".

Anyway, if nothing else, do yourself a favor-- go to the local courthouse and listen to the malpractice cases being heard. I guarantee it will scare the hell out of you. Just last fall there was a nurse in Wisconsin who was charged with a felony with possibility of jail time for a medication mistake. While you are young, while you are still in school, and still have time to make a change, do it. I would love to be able to recommend the nursing profession as you are right, the world does need nurses, but I cannot do it because what that nurse in intake was saying is TRUE.

If you still want to be a nurse, more power to you, but please really think about what you are doing. There are other, equally wonderful ways to make a difference in medicine. Nuclear medicine, radiology-(especially CT or MRI!) , sonography, pharmacy, are great ways to contribute to the field. But please don't buy into the imagery of what the hospital industry would want you to believe nursing is, because it is all a marketing lie. Even when you are in school- even in your last practicum- you are still so INSULATED from the realities and the level of unrealistic expectations that you will not be able to see how things really are until that graduation ceremony is a well worn memory and the celebration of passing your boards is, too. You will not see it because it is intended that way. If it was shown to people training for the profession beforehand, no one would do the job, and hey, the world needs nurses. How many nurses do you see running BACK to the bedside? Not many, I bet.

The funny thing is, I used to think the way you do about nursing.

One last thought in closing: Do the math. Literally.

Median wage of a nurse= in Florida about $24. New grads of course, start MUUUUUCH lower. MAybe $18. But start with the median.

$24 divided by the number of patients assigned to you as a full assignment (conservatively 7 on med surg) remember, you are responsible for these peoples' LIVES.
Grand total? $3.42

Yep, the hospitals are paying you $3.42 per patient per hour for all those nursing skills you are studying so diligently to acquire. A babysitter gets more than that. And the approximate base charge to the patient for a day's stay in hospital bed, not counting meds, treatment, etc= $1500/day. What's wrong with this picture???

Just a thought.

Good luck to you in however you choose. But choose wisely, as said in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


Why this person chose to pick me out of all the 4353543 different student nurse blogs, I don't know. All I do know is that I really do not care, so please do not email me again. Also, I find it quite disturbing to think this person took such the time to write out this letter. Honestly, I didn't even have time to read all of it when I posted it. What are people thinking writing something like this to me??

OH OK, I THINK I WILL CHANGE MY ENTIRE CAREER NOW BASED ON WHAT YOU SAID!! Yeah, Mom, I decided to quit nursing school because KELLY sent me an email telling me how shitty my life is going to be? You know, I should just jump off a bridge now because my life is obviously going to suck a lot. What? Who is Kelly? Yeah, no idea.
C'mon people, seriously.
Also, I am only semester 2 and we're only supposed to have 2 patients, so when I took 3, I was pretty damn proud of myself, so please do not take that away from me, whoever the hell you are. And why do people always comment on the entry about the guy attacking my friend? And yes, I realize psych patients are everywhere, they have reiterated this point to us over and over and over and over to the point if I hear it one more time, I just might vomit.

Now, it is 7am and I need to go dry my hair because I have class at 8 am and an exam at 12pm. I hope I pass so I can make
$3.42 an hour!!! wow, what a dream.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


I know, it's been far too long since my last post. I've been keeping extremely busy with school, but everything is beginning to come to a rapid end.
Let me recap.
Last week I finished almost everything that needed to be done for both MS and psych clinicals: case studies x 2, AA meetings, SOAP notes, etc. I am now technically done with MS, but since I missed one day, I need to return this Tuesday. Psych though? FINISHED! woo. I am happy. I did not enjoy psych clinicals all that much. It was pretty boring and when it wasn't boring, it was more scary. Not fun for me.
As far as MS clinicals, I am happy and sad it will be over soon. Happy so I can sleep in and not wake up at 4am on Tuesdays, as well as two days in a row off from school, but sad because I know I am missing out on opportunities to grow and learn more skills. I actually feel like I've been learning a lot. I attempted another IV insertion. Got it in, got the flash of blood, but when I went to hook up the flush thinger, accidently dislogded the catheter--woops. At least I got blood, right??

As far as classes--
-I have a high B, but since we only have one more exam and the final, the only way to bring it up to that 93% would be if I scored like 98% on both, which is highly unlikely. I can live with my B, thank you!
-Had a low A, now I have a 91, but we still amazingly have 50% of our grade to go, including the HESI, so I think I can definitely bring it up to an A *crosses fingers*
-Grades so far: 87.5, 100, 96. This averages to about a 94.5, which is an A. We have one more exam (final) and then the HESI. I think and HOPE I can pull off the A. I heard the HESI for psych is a lot easier.

What's in store for this week? Amazingly--nothing! An entire week of no tests or presentations. I'm enthused. However, the following week is going to be PURE HELL. 3 exams in one week--ms, pharm, and psych. I doubt you'll be hearing from me until hell week is over.

My last day is May 4th, then I am off for about 10 days and summer session starts. I am taking Ethical-legal nursing online, as well the community lecture and a special geriatric based clinical. Usually, community is taken during 4th semester with peds/womens/ob stuff, but we can opt to get it over with early. I thought I might miss out of some aspects of community by taking the geriatric focused one, but I figure I will get it done now with less hassle 4th semester. Also, I live in Florida, so it can't help to learn as much as I can about geriatrics!

OH YEAH and I've applied to a few jobs for the summer.