Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Grade Update...Yay!

I am super happy cuz I got a 97 on my big theory paper!!! Yay and more yay. And I got an 89 on my Med Surg Exam which my fellow classmate coined as "the hardest exam ever!" It was pretty hard, but clearly this student has never attempted Organic Chemistry at Harvard Extension School.

So now onto Pedi exam. And I should stop writing in my blog so I can get my theory reflection paper done for tomorrow.

A note about HIPAA

You many have noticed that I do not write a whole lot about my clinical experiences other than very vague references. There is a reason for this. No, it is not because nothing ever interesting happpens, nor is it that I don't have time to write about it all. (okay, well maybe the last part is true.) The main reason is because of an excellent law called HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). HIPAA is our friend and is very very important because it protects our privacy, gives us rights to our medical records and helps promote continuity of care. It can be slightly annoying only because it is yet another piece of paper that one has to sign before getting actual treatment.

Just wanted to keep you in the loop!

Nursing Fashion 101

Tonight I got to shadow in the Cath Lab and it was pretty darn cool. It is really neat to watch...the screen is all grainy and you have no idea what part of the body you are actually looking at, and BAM, they inject the dye and all of a sudden you have a textbook-perfect image of all the cardiac arteries. Super super cool. Plus it was nice to be away from the floor for an evening.

Although the evening was pretty heavy, and I mean that littorally. We have to wear a set of matching lead SKIRTS and VESTS. Mine was the plain old peacock blue variety, but my friend Sara got to wear the LEOPARD Print set. Yes, they make leopard print protective wear. Who knew. Oh, and to complete the outfit we had to wear those sexy blue shower cap looking headpieces. But yeah, we rocked it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Flu Clinic

Today I had the opportunity to work a shift at the Flu Clinic at school. That means I got to give lots of IM (Intramuscular) Injections. Lots and lots of them. It was a really good experience and I now feel infinitely more comfortable. Plus I let one of my friends practice on me, so I am immunized too!

And you should all get them too!!! They don't hurt at all!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mish Mash

Today was a very full day of classes. We started out in MedSurg discussing signs & symptoms and treatment options for Congestive Heart Failure. It was an interesting lecture because we get a lot of patients with CHF. As our teacher rattled off the many S&S, I could picture each one. Kinda like the images and tables and figures in the text book coming to life. I felt good about last night's clinical. I developed a good relationship with my patient, had a thorough understanding of his condition and knew exactly what I should have been looking for regarding signs of exacerbations/complications. Fortuneately he did not have any. I also got to do some solid patient teaching which I love to do. All and all a successful evening (except the fact that we got out late, after deciding that we would skip dinner so we could get out early). So we ended up staying until after 9PM and were all hungry and cranky. And then we all had to go home and write out theory reflection paper for this morning. That part was poopy.

Speaking of theory....and I know I complain a lot about it:). We have been discussing the big nursing theorists (you know, the ones who spend years on a subject and come up with a grand theory like "Caring is the essence of Nursing." Today we talked about the Theory of Human Becoming and even the teacher admitted parts of it were pretty far out there. Following is, no joke, an actual excerpt from one of her propositions: "Transforming emerges with the languaging of connecting-separating." If anyone has any ideas on what this might mean, please let me know. Otherwise, if it appears on our final exam, I am screwed:)

And then in Pedi class we discussed fun things like acne, contact dermititis, LICE, AND SCABIES. By the end of the lecture we were all so freaked out that we had bugs on us that we were all itching and scratching up a storm. The amazing power of the mind.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I am so smart. S.M.R.T....I mean S.M.A.R.T.

(Random Simpsons Reference from when Homer goes to college)

I just had to post that I got a 92 on my Psych Exam. Yahoo!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Infinitely better!

Thank you for your words of support! Means so much to me!! I am infinitely better now that this week is done. I survived my Psych Exam (grades are still pending) but I know I did reasonably well. My big theory paper is pretty much done except for some formatting changes. Got my other theory paper done and my pedi paper done. But the best part is that my Pedi exam is postponed until nov 1. Yahoo! That means I only have one exam next week! Plus my clinical tonight got cancelled (which is why I am writing in my blog as opposed to try to attach a pulse oximeter to toddler's wiggly toes.)

And yesterday the trees on Sleeping Giant were absolutely breathtaking, and I was glad I took the time to notice them.

Phew. Survived another week! Now onto MedSurg....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I miss you!

Yes you. Everyone. I miss everyone very very much. Being stuck behind a computer/book/IV pump/stethoscope for the last few weeks has made me kinda lonely. So, please know that I am thinking about you, love you, and wish you well. And I can't wait to see you, whenever that will be. And I can't wait until the time I am not so overwhelmed with stress and really just want to crawl under a blanket and watch Bring It On snuggled up with my kitties. But for now I will bunker down and learn about extra-pyramidal side effects of anti-psychotic medications. Blerg.

Just keep swimming swimmingswimming

I'm trying my darndest to stay upstream of the massive amounts of work ahead of me. So far this week I have written three papers (okay, one of the was only 1 page long but still), and have a exam on Thursday that I am feeling Monumentally unprepared for, and then an exam next week and the week after that. If I can get through the next few weeks I should be golden! On the upside, the view from campus of Sleeping Giant Mountain is becoming spectacular as the leaves are reaching peak color. At least I have something nice to look at as I trudge my way back and forth from the library every day! And that's all. Off to read about psychotic disorders. And the medications used to treat them. And the medications used to treat the side effects of the first medications. And the side effects of the meds used to treat the side effects of the first meds. I'm not joking.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


My friend Betsy had her twin girls!! The girls are named Molly & Emma. They are doing fine, mom and dad are doing fine, and I can't wait to meet them!!! Congratulations Betsy!!!

Another Week Survived!

Hooray for another week completed! I survived my Pedi exam (although not as spectacularly as my previous two exams). But still a victory. And tonight I had a great time at pedi clinical. My patient was an adorable little girl who was so sweet. At report, I was told that she did not like any of the nurses and wouldn't let any of them near her without screaming. But I managed to win her over and she even let me take her to the playroom so I could give Mom and Dad a well-deserved rest. (Don't get me wrong - she still screamed when i had to take her vital signs, but after they were done, she was all smiles and giggles.)

This morning in lab it was drilled into us just how scary it is to give meds to children. Because they are so tiny, just the smallest dosage or timing error can have huge ramifications. It was good, because you know, we weren't scared enough already. No exams next week, thank god, but the following two weeks are absolutely insane: 3 midterms, plus 2 papers. Plus all the clincial papers and the accompanying paperwork. Oh and a quiz in Med Surg. I don't expect to sleep next week.

But that's okay, cuz today I made a little girl smile, and that made it all worth it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I'm back!

Sorry, sorry, sorry! I took a little blog vacation while I was trying to settle into the fall schedule. Remember all that whining I did about how hard the summer was? Well, apparently I didn't realize how good we had it. This is TOUGH. I don't remember working this hard at Colby, but maybe cuz that I was younger and had more stamina. Also there wasn't a lot of studying for my theater Improv classes.

So what the heck have I been up to? Here is a week in the life of the Nursing Student:

8-10A MedSurg Lab. We are learning how to interpret EKGs which is pretty darn cool. We got to practice on ourselves, which was fun. Apparently my heart is doing just fine, electrically.

10A-2PM. Frantically try to complete the paperwork due at MedSurg Clinical

2-9P: MedSurg Clinical. At the Cardiac Unit of Hartford Hospital. So far only 1 of the 3 patients I have seen has been there with an actual heart problem.

8-9:15A MedSurg Lecture. Learn wide range of topics ranging from Chakras to Burn Victims to Hospice Care to Cirrhosis. It is a pretty broad class. Oh, and there was more singing and dancing today.
9:30-10:45A: Pediatrics Lecture. Take home message here is that where adults have more cardiac related emergencies, kids have respiratory emergencies. Oh, and regardless of what illness they have/what the affected body system is - vomiting will be a symptom. Oh, and never tell I sick child that you are going to "take" his temperature. He will think you are actually taking it away from him.

10:45-11A: Frantically run to the cafeteria and purchase lousy premade sandwich to eat during the 15 minute lunch break during theory class. If you wait until aforementioned break, the lines at the cafe are WAY too long.

11A-1:45P. Theory Class. AKA Bane of My Existence.

2-3:15P: Behavorial Health AKA Psych Nursing AKA BEST CLASS EVER. The professor is one of the best I have ever had, and the material is fascinating.

7A-2P: Psych Clincial. Usually fun, never dull. Often includes coloring, pictionary and/or wheel of fortune. Playing pictionary with the mentally ill brings the game to a whole new level.

Same as Tuesday, minus Theory. The 11-2 slot is filled with lunch, followed by studying. Or napping. Sometimes the napping is disguised as studying. Other times the napping is out in the open.

8-10A: Pediatrics Lab. Very cool instructor who told us she wouldn't speak to us again if we ever called her "Professor"
10A-2PM. Frantically try to complete the paperwork due at Pediatrics Clinical
2-10P: Pediatrics Clinical. Bridgeport Hospital. Very cool floor - complete with a well executed circus theme throughout. I am actually really enjoying my peds rotation which was a nice surprise.

Evenings when not at clincial are spend reading/studying. Weekends spent sleeping, cleaning and watching TiVo'd shows from the week. Oh and actually spending time with Jane when we are both awake.

So right now I am procrastinating studying for our first Pedi Exam on Thursday. It is an overwhelming amount of information and I am a little intimidated by it. The teacher actually told us she felt sorry for us. Nice, right! But I got a 94 on my Psych Exam and a 92 on my Med Surg Exam, so that's happiness!!

Okay, I can't avoid Pedi for any longer. But I will try to be better about keeping up with my blog. Fleen - i don't know how you do it. You are in inspiration!!