Sunday, November 30, 2008

question about drugs... aids that is! We're starting pharmacology next semester, and there's no time like the present to start a good study guide arsenal!

I've heard Davis Drug cards are great to use. What do you recommend? I'm having trouble finding any Davis Drug cards on Amazon, but have found the following three. The Pharm Phlash cards received the best reviews on Amazon.

Any other recommended study aids?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

craving mad

We made it home this afternoon after three delightful days spent in NJ.

Wednesday we spent relaxing, and then went out to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse, with my father-in-law, his girlfriend, and a family we're friends with. They also have two boys, but their's are younger than ours. They're hilarious kids though! For instance, when my husband was down in the den, the younger one (6 year old) happened to walk in and my husband asked, "Who the hell are you?" Low and behold if the little guy didn't repeat the question verbatim, and with just as much gusto as my husband! The things kids say! That's not the worst of it. Sure, my husband shouldn't have said "hell", but that pales in comparison to some of the other things these kids said!

Thursday ended up being far more enjoyable than I would've ever guessed it could have, considering we spent it with a few people we'd never met before. We went to my father-in-law's girlfriend's house. Her son, her daughter, the daughter's husband were also there. Everyone was really nice and got along quite well.

I took a book bag with me containing my psych book and my nursing book. Did they ever see the light of day? Nope! I'll be getting back into full swing...starting tomorrow.

Today I've spent recovering from last night. I went and spent the day with some friends we had been stationed with a while back. We had a great time hanging out, eating Thanksgiving leftovers, and drinking wine.

I drank a little too much! The hangover started in the middle of the night, and lasted well into our drive home today. I was able to sleep it off, but have still not felt 100%. So I'm spending the day doing some more relaxing, which will probably be very good for me to prepare me for the next two weeks.

This week I have to do the last assignments for my psych class, and my FINAL final for my B.S. is Friday night! You probably already knew this since I've mentioned it a zillion times! Tuesday my group does our presentation for Nur100, and Wednesday is my last skills test. This one is O2 administration, trach care, urine specimen collection, and blood glucose testing. After this week I'll just be studying for my nursing class finals on the 16th.

All this and I have yet to buy a single Christmas present! Yikes! Tomorrow I'll probably go do my grocery shopping, along with some Christmas shopping. Then I"ll come home, put everything away, and start studying for everything!

About that craving, it has to do with hormones I would venture to guess. I take Quasense, a generic form of Seasonale, which is one of the birth control pill choices where the woman has only 4 periods a year. I take this sort of pill because I get menstrual migraines. So I take it to avoid having the migraines monthly. Because I've been so busy with classes, and other life matters I haven't taken the time to really sit back and think about it, but that's something I should add to my to-do list for break, and that would be figuring out how effective this really is. I still get the headaches pretty frequently, and usually at about 6 weeks prior to when I'm supposed to have my period.

That's not all, here it is a month away and I am having insane chocolate cravings! It all drives me mad!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

STBTF Tuesday and a Happy Turkey Day to you!

Well the family and I are heading out in the wee hours of the morning for New Jersey. My husband's family lives there, so we'll be spending Turkey Day with my Father-in-Law, his girlfriend, and her family.

First thing I'm thankful for today: Not having to do anything but show up and eat, when normally I'd be cooking my butt off! This year with everything (nursing school, my upcoming FINAL final for my B.S., etc.) going on I am happy to hand over the reins to someone else!

Second thing I'm thankful for today: My group came over today, and we finished the PowerPoint for our presentation, and it looks great! Now all that's left is presenting it in class on the 2nd. Easy Peasy!

Third thing I'm thankful for today: The health of me and mine! This year I've seen people lose loved ones. Our loved ones should be never taken for granted, so I'm thankful to be surrounded by people whom I love, who love me, and everyone is healthy-for the most part. We all have our vices that reduce our healthfulness! Chocolate anyone?

That's about all for now. I'm not sure when I'll be back on, so I'm hoping everyone has a safe, and happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

made some changes

let me know what you think of my new banner! I made it all by my lonesome!

I'd also like to add something else I'd like to do, to the list I made in the post earlier today. I'd like to catch up on the books I've been meaning to read. Wouldn't you know each and every one of them is about nurses!

The first is Nurses: The Human Touch by Michael Brown, R.N. I started reading it earlier in the semester when I thought I had some time. Ha! I did get halfway through it!

Next we have, A Nurse's Story: Life, Death, and In-Between in an Intensive Care Unit by Tilda Shalof.

My final selection is, Touched by a Nurse: Special Moments that Transform Lives by Jim Kane and Carmen Germaine Warner. This and Nurses: The Human Touch are both anthologies.

Since I'm not going to study for the rest of the evening I just may go curl up in bed with Nurses, well and the hubby, too! He'll be thrilled, I'm sure!

all i want to do

Some things I'd like to do during my upcoming winter break, Dec 17th to Jan 11th:

*clean out my closet
*give old clothes to Goodwill
*clean LB's room (he does it himself, but this will be a thorough "Ought oh! Mom's been here!" type of clean.)
*scrapbook the rest of LB's book
*clean out arts n' crafts stuff
*go through AW's clothing and ditch what he doesn't or won't wear
*organize bookshelves
*tell everyone I see that I just finished my B.S. degree
*clean up and organize the computer room
*decorate for Christmas
*spend time with family and friends
*bake holiday goodies

Nothing fancy, just some stuff that has been neglected over this past semester.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

finished! finito! terminado! fini!

Yep! I just finished the huge project we've been working on all semester in our online psych know the class...the one that is my ticket to my B.S.!? We collaboratively worked in lab groups, albeit online (yes, very difficult at times), on a lab report, as well as a psychology lab poster.

Our hypothesis was that although as we age our reaction time slows, physical acitivity will have a positive effect, reducing reaction time speeds. It was a quasi-experiment and nothing to get worked up over, except for dealing with partners you don't see face-to-face. We used the Fastball Reaction Time Test as our reaction stimulus. It simulates a baseball player swinging at a ball, and measures how fast you click the mouse when you see "swing batter" come across the screen. Give it a try! We did ten trials for both our dominant hand, and our non-dominant hand.

What do you think I'm thankful for? You've got it! Having this hurdle out of the way, and being one step closer to my B.S. makes me so happy, and for that I'm thankful!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

a shout out laden with irony

I have to give a big shout out to my awesomer than awesome old friend Robin Rivers, over at Our Big Earth, because of the latest blog feature article, "Love the Skin You're In-Say No to Dieting".

Check it out. You are sure to love this blogsite, especially if you're a parent...even more so if you're one of my Canadian buds! There's something there for many to take an interest in or even to be inspired by!

The reason I'm so excited about this feature article is, well because, as so many of us are unhappy with our bodies, I too would love to just love the skin I'm in! Our last post on our Nur100 classroom website has to do with what we plan to do, now that we're completing our first semester of nursing school, in an effort to improve how we go about our new endeavor that is nursing school.

Needless to say the stress level has been quite high. One of the best ways to combat stress is with fighting fire with fire, or in other words get out there and get active! Get those endorphins working for you! This is essentially me having a pep talk with myself, via this post! But hey, maybe it will inspire someone else as well.

I'm afraid I've fallen behind on my STBTF posts...oopsy! You better believe that not a day goes by that I am not counting my lucky stars for something or another!

Today I took some time away from my studies and did something irregular for my usual routine. I went with a friend and her daughter, the lovely girl I would love to someday call my daughter-in-law (we can dream...), to her cheer competition. We recently went to her high school competition, but today was her Cheer Dynasty competition, well one of many. You might say seeing all those kids who are in such great shape was inspirational, but this was an area I was already looking to improve....have always been looking to improve.

So now that I'm in the contemplative phase to make a behavior change, I must set up my plan of attack. That will have to wait until tomorrow, when I'm not so tired!

Today I'm thankful for having good friends who help to take my mind off the fact that I have finals coming up!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Come on tough are from Colorado!

That's what an old friend just said to me on my Facebook, in reply to what I wrote as my status message, "Kirsten learned sitting at a high school football game in 30 degree weather is NO FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Ummm...maybe my blood has thinned in my old age?

As if! I am only 37. Have been saying that a lot lately.

But yeah, sitting in 30 degree weather is just not for me! Even back in my Colorado days it wasn't. I have skiid one half day in my life. I was plowed into by an old man on the bunny slopes, and that was it for me! I went and slept in the car whilst everyone else mastered the blues? and greens? or was it blacks? of Monarch...whateva!

The three years in North Dakota didn't serve me well either. -70 degrees Fahrenheit, snowed in on Christmas day. Yeah, how romantic. Gag! That's about when you want to get out!

I was wearing thermal underwear, two shirts under a sweatshirt, under a coat, with a really thick, cable-knit beanie, scarf and gloves, two pairs of socks, and my warmest shoes...and I was still freezing!

A polar bear I am not!

thanks to you four!

Thanks Tiffany, PJ, Maggie and Drofen for telling me about your nursing schools!

It dawned on me I hadn't shared my information for everyone to read, so here goes:

If you have a BSN, ADN, LPN (or are working towards)?

ADN, but will most likely go on for the BSN, at least

Your biggest hurdle in school?

the transition of my program has been very frustrating

Year you graduated/will graduate?

May '10

For those in school:

What classes do you take in your first semester, and how many days a week do you attend?

Nur 100, Introduction to Nursing
Nur 105, Basic Skills, lecture
Nur 105, Basic Skills, lab

Next semester:
classes start January 12 and end May 8
NUR 108, Nursing Principles & Concepts I
NUR 136, Principles of Pharmacology I
NUR 203, Intro to Mental Health Nursing
Skills lab

When do you start clinicals?

We go to clinicals starting our second semester, at the nursing home in March/April

I'd still love to hear from more people! Don't be shy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

just wondering

What do I need to do to get more people to talk to me? If you're a lurker I would love to hear from you!

Let me get the ball rolling...

Tiffany had a nifty idea in asking people about their nursing school, so here it is:

If you wouldnt mind sharing the state/country you went/go to school?

If you have a BSN, ADN, LPN (or are working towards)?

Your biggest hurdle in school?

Year you graduated/will graduate?

For those in school:
What classes do you take in your first semester, and how many days a week do you attend?

When do you start clinicals?

For those non-nursing school peeps out there...because there is life beyond nursing school...somewhere...

Do you know me?

If so, how?

If not, what brings you here?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Sometimes I wonder if maybe I'm going through super duper early menopause. I am only 37, but the mood swings I have every once in a while are driving me madder than I normally am!

Just this afternoon I felt it as it was happening.

This morning was reasonably uneventful as I readied for the day, once dragging myself out of bed for the final time. After arriving at school I was still in a pretty decent mood, you could say I was in a fairly good mood.

Then it was lunchtime, and I had just eaten....and wam-bam-thank-you-ma'am!


It was all I could do to make it through the rest of our day in lab, and then rush out the door at the end of the day without saying goodbye.

Even still this evening I feel sullen, and as if having my own pity party would be a vast improvement in my current state of mind.

The dean still hasn't posted our test grades from yesterday. Either we've been really spoiled by her having the grades posted by late afternoon on test days, or something's up.

It doesn't help that when I arrived home this afternoon I went upstairs and was greeted with a putrid diarrhea-type smell. I was not able to find the source, and pretty much gave up thinking maybe one of the dogs had passed gas...

Yeah, no such luck. Dogs have a keen sense of smell...and a need to roll themselves in that which is pretty much disgusting to us humans. I went back up to find out what Minnie was doing, and she had pulled LB's comforter off his bad and had pretty much raped it!


That's where the smell had been coming from. One of the cats had pure liquid diarrhea on it, and that's why I couldn't see anything when first looking-it had soaked through the black material of the comforter. Lovely.

It was an old ratty thing, so it automatically went into the garbage.

Risk for Insanity r/t current life stressors, and disgusting habits of live-in pets

Oh well...

It's time to go relax. It's very much indicated!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

so far we've gotten our grades for our Nur105 exam....and I pulled a B! I am so utterly shocked, you don't even know.

waddaday....What a day!

Today we had exams in both Nur100-Intro, and Nur105, Basic Skills lecture. The dean (she's teaching our Nur100 class because of the instructor turnover that happened just prior to classes starting in August) is stepping up the difficulty level of the tests with each one we've taken. I will admit this one gave me a run for my money. In fact as I walked out the door, toward one of classmates who had already left the room, I said, "There goes my A". After we did our collaborative testing and then the dean went over it, I feel a little better, not having done as poorly as first thought. We'll see what the final outcome is once grades are posted.

After all of that, and for the remainder of the class we had a guest speaker. The speaker was from the main campus and she was there talking to us about "caring communication". She had come in while we were doing the coolaborative testing and had observed our collaborative state of stress. So she at first had us do a focus exercise. She had us close our eyes, and then she spoke us through envisioning different places on our bodies-"knowing and naming, not judging". We started at our scalps, down the front, worked our way down to our feet, and then back up our backs, ending at our scalp. I have to admit it was very relaxing. Then she had us watch the following video. I highly recommend you watch it if you want to see a powerfully moving example of human fortitude.

I nearly had to leave the room because I nearly bursted into tears. That would have been just wonderful, but I maintained control. What can I say I'm emotional? I watched last week's episode of ER yesterday intending to relax before studying and I ended up bawling...sheesh!

Back to the matter at hand.

The whole experience with the speaker and the video was great, except for we were still facing our second test of the day. wonderful!

If we're not stressed enough we've just watched an emotionally riveting video. Not helpful!

Since this was our first test with the "new" instructor, who is actually an old instructor...hopefully you already know the story, if not read this, we were all more nervous than we have been since we took our first nursing exams....and with good reason. I thought I'd bombed the Nur100 test??? HA!! It was a consensus! We all felt the same way. We quickly went through it after everyone had finished and returned to the room, and I think I did better than I had thought at first, but still not very good.

I'm thankful to have no more exams until the final exams.

Oh! I am also extremely thankful for the college awarding me equivalent credit for A&P I. Now I just have to take A&P II and will accomplish that during the summer next year.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Everyday I'm thankful for the health of my loved ones, especially my children.

our first trip to Venezia-2001

our trip to Ravenna, Italy-2004

These are my goofs, and it was taken in 2005. I'm a little quirky, so I definitely like abstract viewpoints.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

meme for a break

Decided to fool around in blogland for a break from the studies, and before I go to study group, and came across this meme on my newest blogfriend Tiffany's blog.

Crazy Eights
8 TV Shows I Love to Watch:
1. Greys Anatomy
2. House
3. Survivor
4. ER
6. Big Brother
7. What Not to Wear
8. Jon and Kate+8

8 Favorite Restaurants:
1. Griolis
2. Cafe Asiatique
3. Applebees
4. Bennigan's
5. Red Robin
6. Red Lobster
7. The Crab Shack
8. Joe's Crab Shack

8 Things that Happened Today:
1. woke up without a HA
2. said goodbye to LB's friend AM as he left after sleeping over
3. said goodbye to LB's friend DR as he left after sleeping over
4. wrote out more not-so-flashable cards
5. ate breakfast of cinnamon and spice oatmeal
6. organized materials for study group
7. showered
8. ate lunch

8 Things I Look Forward To:
1. becoming a nurse
2. seeing my boys grow into well-adjusted adults
3. building our own home...someday
4. sunshine
5. going to the beach next summer
6. going to CO for my HS reunion next July, 20 years!
7. seeing Mom and Dad at Christmas
8. Dec 5, my FINAL final with UMUC! and Dec 16, my last final exam for my first semester of nursing school

8 Things on My Wishlist
1. things would stop breaking down with our house and cars-it'snot like any of them are old!
2. when DC, my 15 yr old cat, passes away (it will probably be sooner than later, he's hyperthyroid) he goes peacefully and without suffering
3. when LB drives he drives with caution and care
4. to pass all my exams
5. my butt wasn't so big
6. the boys would clean up after themselves when they have sleepovers
7. Ipod
8. new carpet


Today I'm thankful that I woke up without a headache!

turning in knots

So much has gone on this past week, with the sudden departure of one of our instructors and my indecision as to whether I will transfer or not. It's pretty scarey because what if I quit my current program, apply to another one and then I don't get in!? I did receive the package from one of the other local CCs.

I've also been dealing with trying to study for the two exams we have this coming Tuesday. We have one in Nur100-Intro and Nur105-Basic Skills. The basic skills exam is over Kozier chapter 36, Wound blah, blah. Nur 100 is over 9 chapters (our biggest as far as volume of chapters goes), and they range from 15-23...documenting to growth and development, and all the stages! Yippee!

We are having a study group today. There is probably going to be about 6 of us there. I'll have to make sure we stay on task. I've been making up flash cards, which are more like not-so-flashable cards because of how much actually has to go on each. It's not always as simple as defining a term in nursing school-it's about application and concepts! I was hoping to make it into a jeopardy game, but haven't had time to do that. I would want to maintain the info on the cards as well as using them for the game, you know putting dollar amounts on each in some fashion. Not enough time I say!

Speaking of which I better get off here and get back to the not-so-flashables!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

it was awesome!

Yesterday I took part in a greater than great experience. I witnessed my first open heart surgery. I wanted to be down in the OR sooo bad!

The local high school that my son attends as a sophomore takes their Health and Medical Occupations classes to one of the major hospitals in Northern Virginia to watch open heart surgery. This hospital has a grant program that allows for this.

So the 19 students, 3 other parents, the teacher and myself headed up north at 5 a.m. Yep, we had to be at the school at 5. Evidently all the school busses in VA have been set to 45mph, and wont go over it. This was the maiden voyage going this speed to the destination we were going to, so we had to leave early to allow for traffic, and the lack of speed. We made it in about 1 hour and 10 minutes. So we had about 50 minutes to spare before we could go into the hospital.

We stayed on the bus to allow the kids some more sleep time, and then we headed in.

We were ushered into a conference room where the nurse in charge had us sign the privacy statements, and then she told us the particulars of the procedures to be performed-mitral valve replacement and MAZE procedure. She then took us into the room. In the center of the room is a huge rectagular dome of windows, on two levels.

The bottom level you can sit right up against the glass and watch, the upper level you sit in a chair and lean into the railing as far as you possibly can so you can see as much as you can. You can move around the room so as to see different things.

We missed them opening up the chest, much to my displeasure-I wanted to see EVERYTHING!

At first I sat up on the upper level, with a bird's eye view of the heart. I saw the first surgeon go in and prepare the area directly around the heart. After the first surgeon did his thing another stepped in and took over. He did the MAZE procedure. He also did the mitral valve replacement.

Come to find out they also had to do an aortic VR. The first surgeon came back in to complete ths aortic VR. Awesome, awesome stuff I tell ya! If you're a medical freak like me, who can't get enough of this kind of thing, you will love to see these procedures.

The MAZE is cool and everything, but becomes a little boring after a while. They're just going around the heart freezing off certain nerve pathweays, because those nerves keep firing in more than one direction.

The VR's were exceptionally spectacular! They first of all go in and put a ring of suture around the area just superior to where the valve is located. It looks like a web with a hole in the center...or maybe some sort of embroidery project. Then they set the new valve into the bottom of the web, suture into the fabric ring around the top of the new valve, and then push it into its new permanent location. Intricate would be the word to use to describe valve replacements.

I watched as much as I could, including the nurses, the perfusionist, the CRNA, and anybody else who did anything in that OR!

The kids had various different reactions. Mostly they were in awe and were very fascinated. So many of them in the class are planning careers in the medical field, so they weren't as incredibly mortified or grossed out as one might assume. They did become bored, about the time of the duration of the MAZE procedure, since it took a while. Some slept, some just chatted. Some flirted.

We had a couple of people come in that were other surgical staff. One in particular is a perfusionist who was getting ready to go in on another case. Needless to say HE was kind of cute, and the girls could not ask him enough questions! Funny stuff. He was very accomodating though, and answered tons of questions, including mine and other parents' inquiries.

After the aortic VR was completed they attempted to start to close, but the area surrounding it kept bleeding so they had to keep waiting, and packing in gauze sponges in the mean time.

When I say packing, I mean packing. It was shocking to me in my surgical virgin state. I've assisted in minor surgeries, mainly of the podiatric variety, as well as stood in on some other surgeries, but nothing like this! They stuffed gauze into that area to where you couldn't see the heart any longer, it just looked like a package ready to be mailed! They couldn't get the bleeding to stop, and by this time we had stayed even past the arranged departure time, so we had to head out.

We not only didn't get to see them open, we didn't get to see them close either! BUMMER!

Friday, November 14, 2008

today's the day!

Today I am thankful that the day for the local high school's Health and Medical Occupations class's field trip to go watch open heart surgery is finally here! I'm going as a chaperone!!! Yippee! More later....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

weirdest thing

At least once a month I head to Quantico to do our grocery shopping at the commissary. The route we take is all rural highway and is about a 45 minute drive, usually. Today it took a little longer.

As I'm rounding a curve I see some vehicles up ahead that are creeping along at a snail's pace, so I figured there was an accident since it was raining. As I get closer I see a sheriff's car with it's lights going, but there's no mangled automobile anywhere to be found. Instead it was this monstrosity, as you can see from the following pictures. It was in a line of vehicles, from the rear forward, that included the sheriff's car I just mentioned, the monstrosity being pulled by some whacked out semi, some weird looking truck in front of it, and another sheriff's car.

When I say creeping, I mean creeping. We were going about 10 mph at best! It was wild! There was no point in getting mad, since there was nothing that could be done about it!

Now I've seen my fair share of oversized loads, but never one that takes up the whole road, being led by the sheriff's car that was ahead by at least 1/2 mile. The deputy was signaling to oncoming drivers to pull over. That's easier said than done considering there aren't anything you could call shoulders on this roadway, for a good part of it. Many times they had to pull off into the sporadic driveway or a patch of grass.

We've been stationed in places where it's not uncommon to come upon a military movement transporting nukes. This didn't look like a nuke anyway. It kind of spooked me because I had never seen anything like it. I did take notice of the fact that there were no army tanks around. So that was reassuring.

The point we were at where I was able to take the photos was a turn. It took forever for the semi to make the turn, and once it did they pulled off to the side and let the line of us that had become a part of the caravan move on. Thank heavens! That was definitely STBTF!

As I passed I took notice of the GE logo, so it's apparent it is just a big component from some power plant around here.

In the second and third photos you might notice the poor guy who was riding on some sort of seat at the rear of the trailer.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Yesterday we had parent-teacher conferences. I couldn't have been more proud walking away from AW's. Four of his teachers sat in on my conference, and they all had great things to say about him. The one "bad" thing, across the board, is he needs to improve his study habits to improve his test grades. Otherwise he's doing very well turning in most homework assignments, completing classwork, and everyone just loves him-the teachers and the kids!

This is special, and I am thankful, because he was tested for autism when he was in kindergarten, based on his speech problems and social deficits.

He's come a long way! No deficits now!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

a hit with the proverbial monkey wrench

So much for the great mood I was in this morning!

This morning as I'm hurriedly walking into the building where my classes are held I happen to see a lady whom I recognize as one of the previous instructors, who had resigned just before classes started this August. Low and behold, she's walking into my classroom.

I started a post a while back, and never posted's the time, because a lot of what I said is now coming to a head:

If you're following my blog, a lot of what is about to be said is repetitive, (such as here, KLS, Student Nurse: dilemma, or here, KLS, Student Nurse: to be or not to be, but I'm hoping to pick the brains of newer readers, as well as anyone else who makes it through this whole thing.

I intend to lay it all out, even if it's just for me to see it all in black and white. Please bare with me.

First and foremost, let me say I have wanted to become a nurse for nearly ten years. A wrench was thrown into my first attempt at nursing school, back in 2000, when we received orders to go overseas.

At the point when we had settled into our new home in Italy I started taking classes toward a B.S. in Psych, that was the fall of '01. It was then my intention of either articulating that degree into a possible career in education, which for me was the next bext thing, or nursing, if I so chose to swing back that way.

After arriving back in the states I applied for the local public schools and was finally hired as an instructional assistant, for the local high school special ed department, for the '06-'07 school year. By this itme I was pretty much leaning toward teaching.

Fast forward to '07-'08, during which I decided to go back to my first career aspiration-nursing.

Many factors came into play, a major one being that it's always been an itch that couldn't be scratched away. I applied in February, and received my acceptance letter in May.

September 9th we were notified by our dean, during lecture (Our dean is teaching our Nur100-Intro to Nsg class. There was a huge instructor turn-over right before classes started), that our program is not accredited. This has caused me a lot of stress since then. I've researched other local programs and toyed with the idea of transferring.

Then there is the idea that if I'm going to do that why not just transfer into one of the BSN programs. I have a leg up because I will be able to transfer in as a junior, or even into an accelerated program.

Because I have been going to school since 1999, when I first started in a pre-nursing program, I am burning out at the speed of light. Part of me just wants to be lazy. I could be done with school in December!! Done, finito...finished, at least for a little bit.

Or...I could take the next year off. Once you're in the program you have a total of four years to complete, so I could take a break and start up again. I could even work during that time.

Which leads me to one of my other issues. I've mentioned before, there are a lot of things I want to do. There are home improvements to be made...a lot. We are not going to remain in this house forever, and so we'll eventually need to sell. Improvements need to be made prior to putting the house on the market.

Or...just stay where I'm at, what's two years? I would graduate in May '10, and then be able to get a great job...or would I?

Back to today...

I walk into the classroom after this instructor, only to notice the normal instructor is not present.

I arrive at my desk, and one of my classmates tells me one of the new instructors (one of the ones who just started prior to classes beginning this semester), had walked out, hence the other instructor's presence. Walked out!? Yeah, as in quit...or was she fired? Who really knows!

Can we have a big ole WTF!?

Just last week I had resigned myself to stay in this program, because after all, I am in this program...not to mention they are accepting credits that another school might not.

So this newer instructor who just left, yeah, well, she was the one I really, truly thought was going to be the one to turn our program around. We were in the VA State Board of Nursing's report, from this July, as one of the schools with a less than 80%pass rate!

Who needs the stress of a program that isn't accredited, there is no guarantee of passing the NCLEX (not that there ever is, but you have a better chance with some schools), and now who's to say the old instructor is here to stay for the long haul? Or is she just here as a temporary fix? And if that's the case were going to have to deal with another new instructor come Spring semester who needs to get his or her act together.

What's a student nurse to do?


I found it! And I am so happy! You might be wondering what I lost that could make me so happy to have found it. It would be my Fundamentals of Nursing DVD-ROM!!! I was just looking online for a replacement and decided to look around the desk, thinking it just had to be here somewhere, and voila! It was on top of the computer tower under our envelopes!!!!!!!!!!! So I am thankful for whomever placed it there, although its MIA status has caused a lot of concern for many days now!

I was so happy I even kissed it. That is sad...sad, sad nursing student!

Something else that makes me happy, and that I am grateful for, is my newfound friendships here in blogland. Thanks to those of you who have been keeping in touch and offering your support. It means a lot!

Monday, November 10, 2008


I woke up with a headache in the middle of the night, took acetaminophen, and then woke up with it again this morning, took my Allegra-D, hoping it would just be my sinuses. That didn't work, so I took some ibuprofen...and am still not relieved of this headache! Yeah, it's probably time to go see the doctor, but who has time!?

So today I am thankful for my husband, who made me laugh. It was very much needed. It went something like this:

(I forwarded the email between myself, and our eldest's teacher in reference to the open heart surgery field trip on Friday, to my husband.)

Me: I just wanted to make sure there's still room for me to go on Friday. BZ said something about the bus being full. Can you let me know please?
Teacher: I am not sure where the bus being full came from, but you are on the list to attend if you are still able to go. He will get a memo today with details.
Me: I think it's probably a matter of he doesn't want mom to go. I told him I was on the list! He's such a booger! Yes, I'd still love to go...I'm thrilled to have the chance!!! Thank you!
Teacher: I did tell him you had emailed and he said, “Oh, I just told her that”.

See you bright and early Friday morning.

(I forwarded it to my husband because the other night the subject of the field trip came up and that's when The Teenager (mis)informed me. I felt it was necessary to prove I am not going insane, since I had responded to The Teenager that I was on the list.)

Me, to Big B: Didn't I tell him!?
Big B: He is a dork... Can I Go?
Me: nope! you'd probably pass out anyway! it is open heart surgery! they'll use a saw to open up the sternum, and then dive right into the chest...after spreading it open with huge spreaders! crank, crank, crank...and then they'll pull the heart up for access, and then slice it open! i can't wait!
Big B: Sounds like marriage.


Sunday, November 9, 2008


Today I'm thankful for the "abundant sunshine," as reported by for our local area. I will take out all my frustrations on my flowerbeds that have been sadly lacking my attention lately!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


have to love Anne Geddes photography

Before I head upstairs to delve into my nursing books I thought I'd post my daily STBTF. Today I'm thankful I had what was basically a full night's sleep last night...with the help of some diphenhydramine. I've been avoiding the use of a sleep aid, but after yesterday felt it was necessary, since I couldnt quite shake the feeling that my lack of sleep was finally creeping back up on me.


Yesterday afternoon I met with two of the other members from my group to plan our required Nur100 group presentation. Two of the members were unable to make it. So the three of us planned. We're presenting on animal assisted therapy. After doing some preliminary research we're all very excited, there's so much to cover! I'm gong to handle the programs, such as R.E.A.D. and youth at risk. I look forward to working on this, and justmay shareour Powerpoint on here after all is said and done.

Next weekend I'm holding a study group at my house. We have a few people who are struggling and I want to do what I can to help. I'm thinking of doing a Jeopardy style game. It should be fun.

more Anne Geddes

Friday, November 7, 2008


I'm thankful for the three years I was able to spend in the US Air Force, proudly serving our country. I'm thankful for my husband who just retired after 21 years in the USAF. I'm thankful that he came home after serving in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq, just the way he left, well maybe a little thinner. I'm thankful to those who serve, and for those who have died for us to be able to cherish the freedom we so do.

Yes, this was a campaign ad. My point in posting it now is I hope that when President Elect Obama speaks of change, he means for the better, and that he'll make the right decisions regarding Iraq, and our military.

night/morning numero due

Yep, I'm awake, but with nothing illustrious to say.

I really like Kanye West's "Stronger"

From LYRICSMODE.COM lyrics archive
Song lyrics | Stronger lyrics

I also like Martina McBride's "Independence Day"

From LYRICSMODE.COM lyrics archive
Song lyrics | Independence Day lyrics

I have, guess you might say, ecclectic tastes in music. Prepare for mindless, insomnia-induced blather...

My cat, DC, who is 15 years old, loves it when I'm awake like this. He has someone to talk to, but doesn't understand humans aren't very conversational when their sleep has been interrupted.

my assistant, DC

Poor thing is having trouble jumping up onto the washing machine these days. It even came to the point where we have a small cooler sitting in front of it as a booster.

He's having trouble jumping from it now, and I just heard him trying to jump up, miss, and try again. Then he just started meowing I helped him up there. We have to leave the food on the washer, otherwise the girls will eat it.

the girls

photos taken with a crappy, old Minolta Dimage

It's great having a mini-zoo!

Yes, I'm on the verge of delirium. Not getting enough sleep will do that!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

something to be thankful for

In the spirit of Thanksgiving I am going to post about something I am thankful for everyday, time and spirit willing! It will be known as "STBTF" tomorrow and in future days.

Today I am thankful for the credits my school has transferred in, hence my not needing to take the required PE class or the required how-to-be-a-college-student class. They pulled two credits from my military career, and after searching a little I think it's based on military basic training/boot camp. Um, I went through basic training in 1989, but who's complaining!? I only needed one credit for that. They also awarded me the one credit from my university level how-to-be-a-college-student class! I also noticed they gave me 28 credits from my psych degree. Don't know how that all fits into the ball game. Need to research that one!

That would all be equivalent to time, money and energy. Thank you to the powers that be. Now I'm only hoping they also transfer my 5 A&P credits and am still awaiting that decision.

sleep habits of an infant

Insomnia: trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early.

How about all the above?

That's me! It goes in cycles. I'll have a few nights where I either wake up in the middle of the night, such as tonight, or I wake up around 4 a.m.

Either way, not good!

Then I guess because I am so exhausted I'll have a few nights where I'll sleep like a log, and every parent's dream...
through the night! Too bad I'm 37 years old! Might as well be an infant!

One cause of insomnia is stress. No!? You don't say!

"Having un-refreshing sleep (not feeling well rested), even after sleeping 7 to 8 hours at night". 7-8 hours!? If only! My average these days is probably more like 5 and that's a stretch many nights.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

boys have cooties, but so do girls...

...and more of them!?

I'm awake at this ungodly hour, at first so disoriented as not to even remember the hoopla that is November 4th, 2008, when I logged on and there it was: "Change has come to America". Indeed it has, and if nothing else can be said, we as Americans have all been a part of this monumental day in history.

Wanting to see the news via various domains (I dig pomp and circumstance. What can I say?), I clicked onto the ABC news link and saw this article. Of course, being a student nurse who has just recently (re)learned about infection control it peaked my interests!

Womens' hands are dirtier than mens'!? The article brings up some good points, but I'd never had thunk it!

Speaking of things girls have more of, they have more of a chance of becoming president of the good ole US of A! Thank you President Elect Obama!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

i rocked the vote-have you?

Just returned home from classes, and also my obligation as a proud American, casting my vote. What was extremely great about today's vote was NOT waiting in a line! There's been a lot of hype about how many people would be turning out this year, causing extended waits in line at the polls. It's probably the advantage of living in a rural, small town. Everyone was out there this morning, waiting in line, so those of us who showed up later walked right in, voted and walked right back out.

This nursing student is grateful!

We took our third test in Nur105,basic nursing skills lecture, today. I received a 91%, which in our program is one point away from an A. We have one more test in that class, and then the final exam. For that matter, the same holds true for Nur100, Intro to Nursing. Along with those tests, and the final exams we have two more skills practical exams, a group project to do for 100, one more online entry, and I have the last portion of my community service to do.

We have to do six hours of community service in our program. I received permission to count the field trip I'm going on with the local high school's Health and Medical Occupations class to see open heart surgery, as part of my hours. The other portion was fulfilled working at the free clinic for two hours. Many people have done that, in three 2 hour increments, or they worked a blood drive, or the "drive-thru flu shot" program the college put on. Those both would have been great experiences, but so will the open heart surgery, even if I'm just observing.

Tomorrow in skills lab we're going to be learning about skin integrity and wound care.

This all doesn't include the mountain of work left to do in the horrid psych class. This week alone we have 3 assignments (a quiz, a cultural activity, and our individual aubmission for the roundtable we'll be doing next week.) I still have the conclusion that was due last week, from our group, to start and finish. I had emailed the professor about this dilemma, that being that the other two group members had yet to submit literature reviews, and the results section, which are necessary to base a conclusion-discussion on! He is permitting us to turn it in late. That took a huge load of my shoulders since I had to spend the weekend studying.