Monday, September 29, 2008

reflections of...

For those who have entered the nursing world, at some point in time it has been brought to your attention, if you hadn't realized it already, the fact that nursing is not represented well on television, or in movies for that matter. If you're not a RN, LPN, or student nurse you may or may not have noticed. I came across a blog earlier that discussed this issue, and the source was from The Center for Nursing Advocacy website.

It really is a sad state of affairs. But I got to thinking about what shows there have been, and there haven't been many. Recently my class was instructed to do an assignment. We were given the choice to read a book or watch a movie, and then relate it in an essay to the three attributes we feel are necessary to uphold as a nurse. One of the movie choices was MASH. I had already started reading Life Support, by Suzanne Gordon, but didn't think I would be able to finish it in time for the assignment deadline. So I rented MASH and then proceeded to watch it. I had only ever watched the TV episodes, and thought the movie would be just as good. My opinion? WRONG! The theme song was irritating in it's entirety, as it plays on and on and on for the opening sequence. "Suicide is Painless"? Whatever.

I digress. Normally I am not one to give up on a movie, but found it necessary for my existence with my only viable neuron of sanity left. I did get about half way through. The representation of nurses? Not so good! As usual they were the typical handmaiden for the doctors, or were just an object of lust for the men in general.

Even in the latest episode, the season opener of Grey's Anatomy, the one nurse shown, Rose, was seen portraying a bitter woman cast aside by McDreamy-one of the surgeons on the show.

My thoughts led me to reflect-haha-on China Beach.
Dana Delaney (you might know her from Desperate Housewives), Marg Helgenberger (of CSI fame), and a few other stars graced the TV show during its run from 1988-1991. Delaney and Helgenberger, lead actresses, played nurses, in the Vietnam War setting. One of these days I might have to partake in a DVD marathon! I only saw a few episodes here and there, and can't quite speak on the quality level of the portrayal of the nursing profession.

Delaney can also be seen in Vietnam Nurses, a documentary on the entitled subject matter.

My reflections also led me to the Internet and some of the other choices available representing nurses. Nurse Betty with Renee Zellweger was front runner. Other selections were of the R- or X- rated variety.


On a happy note there is plenty of reading material available. My latest find is Nurses: The Human Touch, by Michael Brown. As a nursing student I am finding that reading these non-fiction books about nursing help to put some of the concepts were learning into perspective.

That's all we ever want is a good perspective, right?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

let me pat my back!

We received our scores for our NUR100 test....and I got 144/150 which translates to a 96 A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We did receive extra points for the group submission, and without them I would have gotten a high B! I'm happy either way! Now if we can only keep up this momentum! Back to the books!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

maybe this will stick...

...for a bit? I constantly get bored with the appearance of my websites and blogs, so it's quite often you might find them changed up.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

it's ladies night

Went and saw Menopause the Musical last night in DC. Hilarious! They took songs we all know, well most us anyway, and remade them to fit the menopause theme. Like "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", of which many may remember from The Lion King (a weemawop a weemawop, in the jungle, the mighty jungle...) has been changed to "My Husband Sleeps Tonight". They changed “My Guy” into "My Thighs" and the lyrics go something like:“No matter what I eat, it’s always cellulite, on my thighs,” or "Nothing you could say, cuz they're stuck like glue, my thighs." I would recommend it to any woman, especially one in her late 30s and beyond!

I forgot to mention the other day that we also received our first assignments back from the dean, complete with a grade...I am proud to say I received a 49/50. Some others weren't so lucky. Our school website reports not only the grades, but the averages for the grades for the whole class. The average for that paper was 43! I'm willing to help those who might need help writing, or even with APA format. That's what is going to get us all through the next two years is teamwork!

Speaking of school I have tons to be doing, rather than typing this...but it's so much fun! Procrastinator extraordinaire? Easily distractable? Yep!

Aww well. We have our first quiz for the psych class I'm taking for my BS, better git 'r done! Have I mentioned I graduate in December...with that degree!?! Yeah, still, um, what, about 20 months (God willing) till we graduate from nursing school. Who's counting!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

messed up

that's what my blog is right now...a mess. Under construction!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

feeling testy

Five weeks into nursing school and we've had our first tests. Yes, I said, well, typed test"s". We had one in our NUR100, Intro class, and one in our NUR105, Skills lecture class. It was awesome though in the intro class, because after we completed our tests individually she had us split up into groups and retake the test as a group! Depending on how well our group did we will receive extra credit! I think I did ok, hoping for a B. As for the skills test. It went ok-they were both way more tolerable than I thought they were going to be-and I'm hoping for a B on it as well. Now we just have to wait for the grades.

Tomorrow is the skills test, for health assessment. I'm not too worried about it since we get to use note cards.

I've really been doubting my choice to become a nurse lately. I don't know if it's me doubting my abilities or if it's for real just not the right choice for me. I'm very intimidated. I am my own worst enemy and have always doubted my abilities. This is something I've been wanting for about ten years now.

If you think about it, it is pretty ironic. Back when I separated from the Air Force, after three years as a medic I swore I would never step foot into a hospital, other than as a patient, ever again. But as time went on it became apparent to me that the medical field is where I'm supposed to be.

How do you know if something is your calling? Is it when you have a lingering desire, or ambition to do something?

Friday, September 19, 2008

sweet sixteen

No, no one is turning sixteen today...except my marriage. Yep, 16 years ago Brian and tied the know! He has something planned for this evening, and it's a surprise. All I know is I don't have to get dressed up, just casual, and that I have to be ready to leave by 3. Meanwhile, I'm typing this and need to go study! Big tests next week!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I'm pasting an email I sent recently concerning my dilemma:

I thought I'd email you concerning something that is bothering me. As you know I'm enrolled with LFCC in the nursing program. Last week we were informed that LFCC's nursing program is not accredited. The dean reassured us that there is only one VA school, that being VCU, that it will be a problem when trying to go for our RN-BSN. No problems there, never intended on attending VCU. My problem is when looking at the local hospital job site it says "graduate of an accredited school of nursing". Do they hire LFCC graduate nurses, or not?

Expounding upon this I have gone to look at GM University's, Accelerated, Second Degree BSN Pathway, on their website, and come to find out there are only a couple of prerequisite courses I need to be admitted into their program. The information states those courses are to be completed by the end of the spring semester for which you are applying for fall admission that same year. I am finishing up my current baccalaureate degree this semester, and will graduate in December. So I could apply for that pathway, finish up the prereqs in the spring, transfer to their program and still graduate summer 2010 (the currently planned graduation date.) My dilemma? Why trudge through a non-accredited program when I could end up with a BSN in the same time period?

Financially speaking LFCC is the better choice; however, if I do go on to get my RN-BSN I would still end up at a school with higher tuition, and I would end up taking classes beyond 2010. All along I've said to myself I was fine with the ADN, but I think my subconscious ambition wants more. Another con to transferring would be driving distance. What campus do they teach nursing courses at anyway?

Bottom line should I really worry about this whole accreditation thing? What is your honest opinion regarding nursing education/professionalization?

There you have it. I'm also in a state of uncertainty as to whether or not I actually want to be a nurse. Is it just normal nervousness? Or am I really questioning what I want to be when I grow up? For years now I've wanted to be a nurse. I'm very intimidated about the job itself. I keep going back to the diversity nursing offers.

Sometimes it would be nice to be three years old again and be told what to do!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

feeling ninety

There's definitely something to be said for those of us who are older than most nursing students. I am 37. In my class of twenty there are about 6 of us who are 35 and up.

For the past few days I've been writing out index cards for my health assessment skills lab, and for my intro class. First test, September 23rd! Wish me luck or be hexed.

So, back to the cards. My hands hurt! Like, really hurt! Is it arthritis? How will I make it through 2 years of writing index cards along with care plans, chart notes, etc.? Oh well, back to the cards...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

watch out world

Another teenager (my 15 year old) has received his learner's permit and is now legal to drive...well, with a responsible adult in the passenger seat! I ended up with a migraine headache last night after we returned home from the momentous occasion of passing the test, receiving the permit, and driving home. I didn't have any gray hairs before yesterday...sure to have one or twenty growing in soon!

He's actually doing very well behind the wheel. He may be a little too sure of himself, but other than that he's impressing his father and I with his skill. So now we have until he turns 16 and 3 months, in June, until he gets his regular license...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


student nurses rock Pictures, Images and PhotosYesterday was my first skills test, and it was on vital signs. Even though I've taken a zillion VS in my previous medical careers I was still so very nervous. It's a good thing no one was home, before I left for school, as they would have suffered my wrath!

My partner and I were the last two to go for the day, and we rocked! I even gave the answer no one else had and that was where glass theremometers are usually used, if used at all, that being isolation.

We've also turned in our first assignment. Mine was on the book Life Support. I'm still reading it, but had read through enough of it to enable me to write my paper. We had to write on three qualities that make a good nurse, made evident from the characters in the book or movie one chose to read or watch. Of all the qualities that do make a good nurse I chose to write on compassion, patience, and empathy.

Next week, for skills, we move on to health assessment. It is supposedly one of the hardest skills at this level, and it's not even the in depth health assessment that we'll learn in second year! For Intro to NSNG we're still in history, law, ethics, etc.

I did drop the Orientation to the Health Professions class. As I thought more and more, and after talking with a classmate, I realize I probably don't need the class. My advisor will give me the final determination in the next week. Nonetheless, with these first semester nursing classes and my last class for my B.S., which is research based, I feel it's best to focus on the tougher coursework now. If I do have to take the orientation class it can always be accomplished during the summer '09 semester, when there are no nursing classes to take.

My family is succumbing to being my guinea pigs. I've listened to both the boys apical (over the heart) pulses. Tried to listen to the dogs'...with Labradors that's pretty much impossible! I was able to listen to DC's (my cat). He was probably the best behaved of all of them! Oh! And Irwin, my beardie-he let me try on him too! But the stethoscope is too large for his tiny little chest.