Monday, September 28, 2009

shut up and drive

Seriously, you'd think I was on speed or something. I'm not...let's just clarify that fact! I have one trillion things going through my mind. First, I made a B on today's test, which with the failing grade from the last one brings me up to a C. Yeah!

We have another test tomorrow on skin assessment, something, something, and dosage calcuations. Oh, I think one of the somethings is on history and physical. ??? When asked of our instructor what in particular the test would be on she replied, "Look at your syllabus". Ummm, ok. We can all read. We have no idea what this test is going to be like. She did later inform us it would be multiple choice.

I have to start my care plan for my current clinical rotation, start reading for the community health ATI that we have to take next month, read for OB...

Tomorrow the community college is holding the annual college night and I have to take LB to it.

AW came home with two Ds on his interim progress report today. The rest of the grades were great and he's probably brought the Ds up as he's turned in the missing work that caused the Ds.

Did I mention I made a B on the test today? :D

Ok, well I need to get off here, eat dinner and then go tackle those one trillion things I have on my mind.

Time to "shut up" before I drive myself crazy!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

will there ever be a time...

....when I feel like I know something?

Ok, I have to admit, there's been a few things, mainly on TV that I've identified from knowledge I've gained while in nursing school. For instance last night there was a report on the news about the 19 lb baby that was born in Indonesia. Big B called me down to see it, as I was upstairs studying. When I saw the baby I said to him that it was a macrosomia baby, and his mom most likely has diabetes. Wouldn't ya know it as ole Sheppard Smith went on to report, mom does have diabetes?

The other night on Survivor one of the castaways was feeling ill after a challenge. While the doc was assessing him she had him stand up after taking his BP, which was low. I said he's mostly likely got orthstatic hypotension, and wouldn't ya know it, he fell back as soon as he got to his feet. I actually knew about orthostatic hypotension from back in the days as an Air Force medic.

Nonetheless I am learning, or at least I feel like I am. That is, I feel that way until I take the practice tests for the textbook, online. I went through the five chapters we're studying, and it was like riding a roller coaster. One I'd bomb, the next I did great, the next eh, not so great, and so on. I try to not let those tests get to me, as they're good practice and I read the rationales for the questions I get wrong. They're not graded for gosh sakes.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

5 down, 11 to go

Yep, there's only eleven more weeks in this semester. I have to say it's moving along quite nicely. I barely have time for anything other than reading, reading, and more reading.

We started our clinicals back up at the hospital this week, and that went very well. I went in there so nervous yesterday morning, but that eased up as the morning went on. I passed meds, observed PT changing the dressing of my patient's stage 4 pressure ulcer of the heel, charted, and other fun things.

We were then excused to go to a medical ethics meeting. The initial subject was preparation for H1N1 and patient surge. Ethics comes into this say, when you have two patients needing a ventilator--in the instance that things get that bad--and one has a 50/50 chance of survival, is mid-forties and has a family, the other patient is 75/25 with no one and just so happens to be 75 years old. Who gets the last available ventilator?

Then the other issue raised came from a recent case where a woman at 24 weeks came in wanting a therapeutic abortion because of fetal anomalies, where the fetus would be non-viable upon birth. This hospital is a small community hospital, that receives private funding. The population of the local area is pretty conservative. Every OB doc who was available became a part of this issue when it happened. Some were for it, some weren't. The ethics committee was called upon to make a decision. In the end the woman was transferred to a university hospital. The issue doesn't end there as it may happen again. Yeah, big...huge...can of worm there!

Today was pretty low key. The excitement came when we were notified that the above mentioned pressure ulcer is infected with VRE. Fun times to be had in the hospital!

Thursday afternoons are one of my current favorite times of the week. There are no classes and no clinicals on Fridays, and only the weekend to look forward to...even if it's spent reading and studying for Monday's exam.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

so much to talk about, so little time

Weekends blow.

That is, they blow until mid-December. That's only because we have exams every Monday until then. Yesterday was my anniversary, and I spent the greater part of the day studying. See? Nursing school is rough.

Fortunately my husband is 85% on board with understanding how IT is in nursing school. He's seeing it first hand. He had to explain to the neighbor lady that 1.) I wasn't coming over to talk to her because yes, I am not thrilled with what she has done and 2.) I am studying, even on our anniversary, so that should make one understand the level of commitment...perseverance...insanity. This, as in the indiscretions of people, is one of those things that I could so go on about, but there is so little time to even be typing this post let alone explaining wondering neighbor's ways. (Evidently she's returned long enough to gather up some of her things, sign away her rights to everything, and then hit the road back to what is certainly not greener grass!)

Big B and I did go out on Friday night to the DC Improv and we laughed our arses off at the two front liners, and then especially at Greg Giraldo.

This is where the other 15% comes in. I would have been perfectly content staying in ALL WEEKEND, studying, and taking in a Patrick Swayze flick and a nice home cooked (grilled by him) dinner. Ghost would have been a good anniversary movie. We did have tons of fun though Friday night and I needed it.

Friday I did my clinical rotation at the local wound care center. Let's just say it wasn't what I had expected and nothing more really then the experience I had working as a MA at a podiatrist's office way back when. The only real cool thing about it was the hyperbaric chamber.

Other than all of that I need new nursing shoes and am leaning toward a couple of styles of New Balance, since they came so highly recommended way back when I first asked about shoes. My Grasshopper's aren't fitting the needs of longer days.

I suppose I need to get off here now and go finish studying. Tomorrow's exam is OB, which in the end, I ended up with an 83.3% on the first one. Last week's med/surg exam was even worse with a 76.6% (failure). Considering I ended up with As and Bs after my first year these poor grades aren't sitting extremely well, but I've pretty much gotten to the point where I am fine with pass/fail...intending on PASS. That may seem piss poor and lacksidasical, but after ten years of school and life with teens receiving the diploma is what's most important, not graduating with honors. Please understand normally I would be the kind of person to strive for that, but I just do't have the energy now.

Now on to more energy sapping studying...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

wedded bliss

September 19, 1992

What can I say? I married a pervert!! Still happy 17 years later!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

like kids in a candy store!

my classmate, LP, and I

Seriously, when the clinical coordinator took us back to the locker room and told us to change so we could go observe some of the morning's cases you would have thought we were two kids in a candy store. We were so excited to be putting on surgical scrubs and getting to at least observe surgeries. Today was one of my most fun clinical days by far. Not to mention I dig the whole scheme of the surgery center...and the work hours aren't so bad either! That's some food for thought for later...

I observed three cases total. The first two were Ts&As, or tubes and adenoidectomies. The CRNA, MD and RNs were awesome as far as letting me get in right over their shoulders and seeing every little thing they were doing. My last case was a GYN--hysteroscopic D&C of polyps, and what was supposed to be an operative laparoscopy. The polyps turned out to be the size of large peanut M&Ms and the lap ended up being only exploratory as the surgeon didn't find anything problematic. He was as great as the CRNA and MD from before, and so was the CRNA from the GYN case. The GYN surgeon let me get right in their over his shoulder and get a bird's eye view of the whole procedure.

Everyone we encountered today was awesome to be around. It was sort of a utopia of medical facilities! So after an exhilarating morning LP and I left as high as if we'd sucked down some gummy worms, sour patch kids, and pixie sticks!

Tomorrow (I'm going out to lunch with a friend, getting my hair trimmed and a pedicure), which would normally be a clinical day is instead a day off, since LP and I are going to a local wound care center on Friday. That's as exciting to me as all the other things I've been doing. Next week we head up to the hospital and start our regular rotations where we'll be doing med/surg, telemetry, ortho, etc. We'll have a total of about 8 weeks doing that, which should also include trips to the ED, OR, IR, and other such places if we're lucky. Then our last four weeks, which include Turkey Day break, will be spent in OB/peds. I just have to make it through the in between stuff and suck up as much good experience from it as I can. I just do not see me doing med/surg for any great length of time once I graduate. Who knows I may love it. I can't wait for the OB/peds rotation though!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

a tribute

Our local high school had a pregame tribute to all the area firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, and military personnel in honor of the remembrance of 9/11/01.
This is before it started, waiting, while everyone was lining up and the principal made the opening remarks.

Here you have everyone filing down centerfield, then lining up, while Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be An American" played.

This is just prior to the American Anthem being played.

As a veteran of the United States Air Force I was very proud to stand beside others who have served, or are still serving.

Here we have our mascot, the eagle, played by my son, LB, during the first half.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

open says me

My eyes can barely stay open and they're just watering like crazy. If this post makes no sense whatsoever chalk it up to pure exhaustion.

Monday we had off (yay!) Tuesday was a bit of a waste of time. We practiced taking health histories. We partnered up and asked each other a bunch of questions off of a health history form, that was pretty redundant in a lot of places. Then we were dismissed. Yesterday for clinicals we went to a neighboring county's health care campus and toured the long term care facility, which includes an Alzheimer's unit, sub-acute care unit, rehab unit and a couple of other units. After our tour we played balloon volleyball with about 8-10 of the female residents on the Alzheimer's unit. Then we were dismissed. The five of us that had to participate this week in my clinical group (I LOVE my clinical group!) went to lunch. Today we had to be at the same campus, but this time at the small community hospital, and we had to be there at 0630.

Did I mention this was about an hour away? I've been up since 0415.

When the instructor arrived she informed us that one would go to the ED, one would go to OR, and the other 3 would go with her up to her med/surg unit. I lucked out and got the ED!!

I saw some really cool cases including a person that was HIV positive who had had seizures; a person who was having mysterious neurological deficits (mysterious because all the tests were coming back negative/normal); and a few other minor cases. It was awkward because I knew that me being there only one dday, and a half day at that, that not much would be invested in my learning experience. The nurse I was assigned to observe was actually great to work with though, so overall it was a pretty good experience. I would elaborate a bit more but I am spent and will now be taking my tired eyes...and body to go relax...after making dinner. Thankfully spaghetti is too easy.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

lucky number thirteen

September 6th, 1996 Wichita Falls, the heat of the summer I gave birth to my second child. It was love before first sight!

A year later we were living in Virginia and celebrating his first birthday. Daddy wasn't present since he was overseas in Kuwait. We were surrounded by friends who had become surrogate family and my mom and dad had come out for the occasion.

Today we celebrate AW's thirteenth birthday. When I asked him what he wanted to do, as I was willing to let him have 10-15 of his friends over for a small party, he declined and said he just wanted to have a couple of friends spend the night. That's exactly what he did. Last night he had two friends stay over, and this morning I made them, along with LB and two of his friends, a big breakfast. AW and his friends are spending the day relaxing and watching movies. This evening we'll take him to a restaurant of his choice for his birthday dinner. So far he hasn't told us of his choice. It's kind of funny how we've gone from the big Chuck E. Cheese parties to low key celebrations where he's happy just hanging out with his closest buds!

Happy 13th Birthday AW!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy

Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy. ~Walt Disney

Plentiful, boundless amounts of curiosity.

A little short on the rest.

My confidence needs to improve and it will, as I have the courage to push past my fears of the unknown. Constancy will soon be had.

Today we had our "first" non-orientation day of clinicals. It was supposed to be our first at least. We weren't able to do any patient care because we weren't assigned passwords yet--big hold up in the staff education/computer access/gatekeeper part of the hospital.

Someone said recently that the first few weeks of the third semester are really hard to get through, but once you do it's smooth sailing. It's still touhg as it is nursing school, but it's doable.

I guess it's kind of like the first five years of marriage.

Well, I've made it through nearly seventeen years of marriage, life in the military and being married to it, and some other things that make people stronger.

I should have skin thicker than any elephant's or rhinoceros's!

When you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all. We all need some form of deeply rooted, powerful motivation -- it empowers us to overcome obstacles so we can live our dreams. ~Les Brown

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

how freakin' fabulous!!

One of my newest Blogworld friends has honored me with this wonderful award!! How freakin' fabulous! Raspberry Scrubs is pretty freakin' fabulous herself!

Rules of the Award:

List five current obsessions.
Pass the award on to five more fabulous blogs.
On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.
When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well.
Don’t forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by leaving a comment on their blog.

I'm going to have to keep this short and sweet, because I have some serious hours of reading in my textbooks to put in, but here goes...

5 obsessions
1. my guys
2. chocolate
3. flowers/gardening
4. medical/nursing shows
5. photography

5 freakin' fabulous bloggers:
1. Chasing Myself
2. Running Wildly
3. Nursapalooza
4. Life is Full of Blessings
5. Lorie's Corner

I really could have listed everyone on my blogroll, because everyone on there is freakin' fabulous--so if you don't find yourself on here, know that because I've placed you on my blogroll I think you're amazing...however, I really have to get reading!

how about some kibble with that neosporin?

I walked into the house to a small mess of a shredded up sandwich bag, bandaids and some other unidentifiable something-or-another. I knew it had to have come from my clinical bag sitting innocently on the computer room floor, and I knew who the culprit had to be.

Nope, not Sandi. Sandi goes for truly edible items or garbage from food. Nope, it wasn't Sandi.

This had to be a Minnie mess. Minnie rummages through the upstairs bathroom garbage and pulls out anything she finds tempting. I won't mention the unmentionables she's dined on a time or two.

The "unidentifiable something-or-another"? A massacred tube of neopsorin.


Aside from that mess the earlier part of the morning was a success. I went and paid for and picked up my ATI books. Bottom's up: Med/Surg, child, maternal/newborn, and community health. We don't even take the med/surg ATI test this semester, but considering the girth of the book it behooves one to start reading...yesterday.

I passed the dosage calculations test. I did have trouble with the IV calculations, just as I thought I would. So, obviously I"ll be emphasizing on that area in my studies of pharmacology.

As I sit here typing I can say my bottom is quite comfortable on my new cushion. It's actually a neck massager, with vibrator. I'm not using it for that though, just sitting on it makes me feel better! It took forever to find it in Walmart. I looked in the baby section for a Boppy and came up with nothing, then went to the fitness sections--still nothing, then onto the pillows--zippo, and then it occured to me that they might have something near the pharmacy in the medical equipment section. Wrong, but on the next aisle over was the selection of massagers and such...voila! Best part is, it was on sale!

Although I have, figuratively speaking, pain-in-the-butt dog(s) and nursing school exams, my hiney is feeling more finey!

on a mission

After class today I'm heading straight for the nearest Walmart to buy a Boppy or butt cushion because I can't take the "study butt" any longer! Even in class I'm sitting there in agony. Maybe I'll just get one of those airline pillows that goes around your neck. That way it's a little more transportable than something larger.

Yesterday we took our first exam in maternal/child nursing and I passed (barely) with an 82. That's much better than I thought I was going to do, so I'm happy. I did promptly after a day filled with lecture, go to my local Borders and bought the Prentice Hall Maternal/Newborn Reviews and Rationales book. Our textbook is monstrous and just too hard to weed through, so I figure this will be a good supplement. I'll probably have to buy the one on child health as well. Whatever it takes to make the grade!

I have to go pay for ATIs this week. Yeah, we do have to pay $183...still not understanding how it jumped to more than double what we paid the past two semesters.

Today we have our first dosage calculations test of the semester. I think I'll do ok. I have trouble with the IV drips that call for meds. I really don't have all that much trouble, but it's more like when I sit down with the test I'm going to mix it all up in my head as to what I'm supposed to be doing. Extraneous information confuses me!