Friday, February 29, 2008

Latin praise

I am delighted to report that I have been invited to join Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society for nursing! I am very very happy about this as it was one of my goals in completing this program. All my hard work and studying has paid off! Yahoo! The Quinnipiac chapter of the honor society is called Tau Rho. If you care to learn more about Sigma Theta Tau, go here:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

This week escaped me

Hi all,

So this week flew by faster than the blink of an eye. Classes have really heated up and we are in the middle of midterms, so most of my time has spend reading and studying and not sleeping. But now I will in fact go to sleep, and hopefully tomorrow I will be more coherent and have something slightly more meaningful to post!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscar Watch

Tonight is the oscars. I have always enjoyed the oscar telecast and look forward to it every year. This year I have only seen one of the movie nominated for Best Picture (Go Juno!!!) but I am sure I will enjoy the evening none the less. I just to get really really into it, having oscar parties with home-made ballots and would serve food "inspired" by the nominated films. Sometimes this was easy (Chocolat) and sometimes more difficult (A Beautiful Mind). And Jon Stewart is hosting, and he is my hero, so I am very excited about the showing. Now I just have to get some solid studying in before it starts. And because of the snow day, I have class tomorrow at 8AM, so I hope the show ends before midnight. Okay, wish Ellen Page good luck tonight!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Yahoo! No classes due to large amounts of snow on the ground. But poor Jane had to go in. You know the saying, "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, not gloom of night..." And I guess I should enjoy it while I can cuz you certainly don't get any snow days at the hospital. Sometimes they don't even let you leave. Okay, I think some hot cocoa is in order!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What I learned today

I learned a new term today. For severe pain experienced during ovulation. Ready for it? Mittelschmerz. The pain part, that's not funny. But the name? Makes me giggle.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Another day, another clinical

So today I actually got to see some patients in my community clinical. What's nice about community nursing is the schedule is a LOT more flexible. In the hospital, you have to be there 7 on the dot, and then are frantically going about your day trying to give your meds on time, get your assessments on time, your reporting on time so that you can finish everyone before the next shift comes in. In contrast, today we got to the office at 8:30, chatted for awhile, left around 9-ish for the visits and took our time. There was no mad rush, no frantic thoughts in the back of your mind like "I need to go hang that blood in the next room, and then Mr. Smith is due for dialysis in 10 minutes" while your patient goes on and on about their granddaughter. With community, you have the time to listen to their stories about their grandkids. And it's nice. I love the stories. Cuz the stories are funny, and moving, and heartbreaking, and frustrating. But they are all about people, and sometime what they need most in the world is someone to talk to. And that can inspire us to do more good.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Exciting news

With all my venting and catching up I did on my last post, I forgot to mention some happy news!
I am delighted to report that I have already been offered and have accepted a nursing position for after graduation!! I will be working at The Hospital of Central Connecticut on the Medical Telemetry floor (meaning they have been diagnosed with some medical condition like pnuemonia, GI bleed, DKA, organ failure, etc but also have an underlying cardiac condition that requires them to be on a heart monitor.) This is the same floor I did my internship at over the winter break and absolutely loved it there.
I guess the feelings were mutual cuz on my second to last day, the Nurse Manager tracked me down on the floor to ask me how I had enjoyed the internship. When I told her I had a great experience, she replied, "Good, because I set up an interview for you tomorrow with me and the Director." And that interview went well, cuz 15 minutes after, the manager tracked me down again to tell me "to be sure to call HR to set up a follow-up interview to discuss payroll and benefits, and that they would be expecting my
So I did, and had a great chat with HR and left with a job offer. Which I have now accepted. And let me tell you, it is a HUGE relief already knowing I have a job lined up. And now I can sit back and relax as most of the other students are frantically getting letters of recommendations and updating their resumes. (Kinda like the feeling I had when I got accepted into Colby's early decision program).
So that makes me happy. I really love the hospital. It is the perfect size for me It is not gynormous and overwhelming like Yale or Hartford (or Mass General) but not a tiny rinky-dink neighborhood hospital. Everyone on my floor was really friendly and supportive (which sadly is not always the case with new nurses), and the hospital really values education and has a great tuition program. So I am very very happy about this. Plus several of my friends from school who also did the winter internship program also got job offers (on different floors). So i will have some freindly faces with me throughout the orientation. Yay for me!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Long time no blog

I'm back. Apologies for the lengthy vacation I took from the blogosphere! I have lots of catching up to do! Warning, this is LONG!
All is well for the most part. School has started up again, and I am going through my usual early-semester anxieties of trying to settle into a schedule, figuring out how the professors like to teach, what their priorities are, and most importantly if we REALLY have to do all the readings they assign. I try to do as much as possible, I do. But sometimes I'll come across a textbook that no matter the time of day, how much sleep I've had, whether I'm hooked up to my coffee just makes me fall asleep. Like, within minutes. Like, at the desk, hunched over the book with my highlighter still in my hand. And then the drooling starts and blurs all the words on the pages.
But things are starting to settle down and I am getting into a groove. Exams have already started. We had our first exam in MedSurg III last week. I think I did okay. Next week is our "Issues in Nursing" exam. I am a little concerned about only because I don't really know what we are going to be tested on. I really like the class, don't get me wrong. It is taught by my favorite professor here and is primarily a discussion class. We discuss things like the state of nursing education, and the differences between associate-prepared nurses and baccalaureate-prepared nurses. And how nurses are the only health care professionals that don't require a minimum of 4 years of school. We discussed issues of leadership, teamwork, management and conflict resolution. Which is all great and makes for an interesting class discussion, but I am not quite sure how this will translate into a multiple choice exam. But I have been keeping up with all the readings for this class, as I know this prof. tests material covered in the readings that does not get covered in class.
Then there is the community-nursing class. It is generally very interesting class, and I really like the professor. It's just that the material can get a little dry at time. We spent an entire class discussing the economics of the healthcare system. And it is an interesting topic considering the disaster that is the US health care system, but then when we start to discuss the history and which law passed in whatever year created the basis for the HIPAA law. I am a little freaked for that first exam which is in two weeks. Cuz that text falls into the category of "sleeping-aid". The clinical portion of the class should be interesting though, if we ever actually get to practice some nursing. The clinical is run out of the CT VNA (visiting nurse association) so we will be doing home visits. This presents a whole new level of problems, caring for patients in their homes. But we have had three weeks of clinicals, and still haven't seen any patients, as they keep making us go through various orientations. I feel very oriented and would like to start doing some nursing. Plus, I got a fancy new stethoscope that I can actually hear heart and lung sounds from. (Unlike the student stethoscope that is included in our "nursing kit" they make us get at the beginning of the program.)
But really, my main concern is the giant monster looming over me at all times...the NCLEX exam.
I have never been so freaked out by an exam, obviously because the ramifications involved. And it is hard. Really hard. Which it should be, absolutely. We are going to have people's lives in our hands and this exam makes sure we can demonstrate the minimum requirements of safe and effective nursing care. But man, is it difficult. Not only is it like the mother of all final exams, testing everything we have ever learned about nursing, it also tests things we haven't learned. And it is all at the application level. So not only do you have to be able to recall the information for each question, you need to be able to apply it. I did a practice exam last night and got a question about the therapeutic serum levels for theophylline. I have never heard of theophylline. So I had no idea what kind of drug it was, what it is used to treat, what the side effects are, and I most certainly did not know what the therapeutic serum level was. But then even if I did miraculously remember the details of this drug, I wouldn't necessarily have been able to answer the question. Cuz it asked, what is the MOST appropriate nursing action if the serum level is X. And all the answers are correct. You have to figure out which is the best answer based on the other circumstances in the question.
So I have a lot of work cut out for me. I studied for about 12 hours yesterday just on lab values. And then I took the practice exam, and still failed. Plus, we have a “lab” portion of our med-surg class that is dedicated to NCLEX prep. And each week we do a practice exam. The first two weeks I got “warnings” (i.e. failed the exam). But I moved up last night and got an “average” ie I just squeaked by. But it seems like everyone else is that the same boat as me at this point. But at least I have already started studying. This is good for me considering I could be president of the EPC (Elite Procrastinator's Club). And the exam is not until July, so I have time. I am sure I will master all there is to know about theophylline and pheothylline and all the many, many other drugs out there. And their serum levels and side effects and contraindications and mechanisms of action and signs of toxicity and the antidotes for toxicity. But it is a long dark road ahead.
Okay, off to do my Research homework. Grr Argh.