Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Many things to be thankful for...

Big B's been sick with what I believe was most likely H1N1, and he is now feeling better.

Since he's feeling better I was able to sleep in my bed, with him, last night.

I'm on Thanksgiving Break, and even though we still have to study it's been nice not to have to get up and go, go, go.

Aside from Big B's bout with H1N1 everyone in my family is pretty healthy and alive for this holiday season.

Although my sons have given Big B and I a lot of stress lately they're still great kids.

We have a roof over our heads, the love of many, and a paycheck that provides us with our needs, and a few wants.

Our pets are all still alive and scampering, kicking, running and licking. This time next year I may not be able to say that about DC. He's extremely thin, but is no apparent pain. He'll even still play with a string or pipe cleaner if you put it in front of him.

This semester is almost over. After this week it's just two weeks until finals!

I'm far.

I could go on forever, because I do feel blessed. That being said I do want to keep the "I'm passing" part!

Friday, November 20, 2009

where have all the babies gone???

Two days at the family birthing center and I don't get to see any birthing! harumph! Ok, so there's five of us in my clinical group and since I was the one who admitted to having seen a c-section before the other four were split up and went in on two different c-sections. I went in on an induction. Of course the baby couldn't make an appearance on my time. I did get to hang antibiotics, and assisted the nurse I was working with on a blood draw on one of the other newborns. At least I got to touch a baby! He was a trooper about being stuck. From one of the c-sections came a macrosomic infant who was incredibly cute. Normally the babies are kept with the moms, but this one was having some neuro deficits. We were able to go into the nursery and watch the nurse care for her. She was later transported to another facility. That was all Wednesday.

Yesterday, still nada. I came close to seeing a delivery, but it was time to go (1 p.m.) and I hadn't eaten since 6 a.m. so I chose to go, although I could have stayed. She probably delivered within the hour after I left. This was the patient I worked with along with the nurse I was assigned to, so I was able to push her Stadol and Phenergan, as well as insert her Foley.

Next week we only have classes on Monday, including a test in OB/peds. We don't have our Tuesday class or clinicals. I hope the last two weeks of clinicals will be extremely eventful and that I get to see at least 1 c-section and a couple of vaginal deliveries. It's a small community hospital, so I can't expect hoards of laboring women.

As soon as I finish posting I'll be heading upstairs to study for a bit. This afternoon Big B and I are picking AW and his GF up from school and heading out on a double-date to see New Moon. The rest of the weekend will be spent studying, as usual!

Three weeks until finals!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

the reason I'm going to end up an AA member by the time my youngest graduates HS

So you understand fully my impending need for AA (I am just kidding about a future need for AA--for the most part). The first paragraph explains a status message post I'd made on Facebook about some things parents should never have to go through.

The status message: Things no parent should have to go thru: hearing "I hate you", but a 13 yr old will say it as easily as 7 year old; seeing disappointment on your child's face when they strike out, miss a goal, or are told by a "friend" that they aren't invited to a party (one they had been invited to); really bad hair cuts that you spent $ on; stitches to that baby's face; or 2 a.m. phone calls from the local sheriff's department...

LB received stitches twice when he was little, on his face both times. AW has recently told me he hates me, but he was saying it out of anger. LB plays baseball and even the best Bball players strike out. AW played soccer and missed a goal or two--it happens. LB was the one disinvited to a friends party by a "friend". He was also the one who got the bad 'do. Told the lady to take a 1/4" off, she took it down to a 1/4"!! He doesn't do buzz cuts well!

I have to laugh, which may seem demented. I remember me as a teenager though, and let's just say "payback's a bitch" :

This is THE STORY from last weekend, 11/7/09:
AW is at home grounded, so no sleepovers for him. Meanwhile LB is out with LW, supposed to be spending the night at A and A S's house. We get a phone call, about 2 a.m. asking if we own a car, plates blah, blah. I'm overhearing Big B confirm that "...yes, that is our car...", and of course you know the first thing that comes to my mind--LB had been in an accident. Nope, it was just illegally parked on *** Rd. The S's live in "one town", back behind the library--nowhere near *** Rd!!!! I get on AT&T Family Map, which is kind of like GPS and I have it locate LB. It says he's at the S's house. Mhmm.

So Big B and I make our way to *** Rd, meanwhile I'm calling MW, LW's mom, to let her know the situation. We get to *** Rd and low and behold there near a house, tucked in amongst trees, is LB's car. We drive up a lil further and notice the multiple cars at the house. We both get out and go up to the house. Mind you we both just rolled out of bed. I am wearing no makeup, hair's a mess, wearing turquoise lounge pants with huge siamese cats on them, with a red sweatshirt, my coat and my torn up slippers. Some kid opens the door and Big B asks for LB. He also tells the kids that the cops are out there (they weren't, at least at this point ), and it was sudden mayhem--kids darting out for their cars like bats out of hell. So LB comes up, then LW, and of course they've been drinking (which the fact that kids left-possibly drunk disturbs me).

They're both basically shitting their pants, with their tails between their legs. I agree to take LW home. On the way both boys beg to go to jail, cuz they didn't want to face the parental music. Big B took LB's car, after we'd left. Evidently the kid who's house it was did get busted cuz the deputy did show up and Big B told him about the party. I guess they'd originally been by because of noise complaints and that's how they found the car. We get to the LW's house and all 3 of us get out and go in.

Their tails are stuck so far up between their legs they'd probably have wagged out their mouths. LB apologizes to LW's parents, and LW to me. They're both, at this point, shouldering the blame. They're both old enough, LW being nearly 18 and LB nearly 17, to make wise, or dumb, decisions all on their own.

LB's phone was at the S's. He admitted it was partly due to the tracking thing. It's still in LW's car. He'll be riding the bus this week, at least, and has no phone. Hope he doesn't get it taken away after LW gives it to him at school and he attempts to check the zillion msgs that are bound to be on it! Boys are so dumb. I say that, but I did some pretty dumb stuff at his age too, though. AA here I come!

This is THE STORY about my middle schooler:
On 11/11/09 I had Mrs. D, Mr. C (AW's math seminar teacher), Mrs. M, Mrs. R's long-term sub AND Mrs. H (AW's art teacher) in AW's PT conference. Yes, even the art teacher had to get involved. He's still, or was still, missing assignments. He was supposed to have Saturday school and this time we were going to make him go, but now it's cancelled because of the power outage. [Due to weather we had from Ida, the school had a "partial power outage".] He's a great kid and they don't have a problem with utter disrespect. It's all hyperactive behavior or, a new one...he zones out. Yeah, this is a first. At least two of the teachers said he looks like he's paying attention in class, they call on him to answer a quesiton and he's all "Huh? What?" That blew me away, because I'm sitting there thinking geez, is he smoking pot or something??

Basically what it comes down to(not everything is included here, no one has that much time!), and I agree, he's exhibiting ADHD type behaviors.

He asks to go to the bathroom all the time. If they let him go he's observed wondering back from other areas...he's wondering the halls aimlessly. He even admitted, in front of the sub, (she overheard him tell a friend) that he does it to get out of class. His story--it doesn't happen as much as they say.

In the end, because Mrs. H has gone through this exact same thing with her son, medication was being suggested. I've always been against it, but am getting to the point where it may just be necessary.

I leave the conference, head out to the car, get in and commence bawling. I call Big B who is on his way to FL that. Not much he can do while out of town, but I just had to tell him what happened.

I get home and AW comes out to the car, where we sit and heatedly discuss the whole thing.

Long story short, he's on contract. I've notified all teachers involved that they should expect to see a change and if by next Thursday they didn't, further action will be taken.

He will lose his cell phonePERIOD among other things. He will go see our family docPERIOD (I won't get the school invloved because that's not the best way to handle it. It is something we'll handle privately as far as the school system's concerned, because it can get messy otherwise.)

He's got tons of other restrictions as well. If I get reports of improvement and progress he'll get privileges back as time goes on. I've even threatened/promised changing his wardrobe to unifom style, but as I told him when he wigged out on that shouldn't get to that point. Yesterday, after emailing all the teachers, I heard back from one, Mrs. M, the one that's been the most involved. She did give me a good report.

I know I'm forgetting some details, as I've pretty much lost my mind over this,but you get the gist.

AW got a B on his last Algebra test and had a B homework average....but an F in classwork. WTF??? How hard is it to do the work in class to make up a decent grade. Ok, stopping now before I get pissed again.

(The above stories have been copied, pasted and edited from messages I sent to a friend on Facebook.)

All this and nursing school too!

Friday, November 13, 2009

wham bam thank ya ma'am!

I have some great news concerning my nursing program. It appears that our discussion with our instructor paid off and they will be making changes! The changes will be taking place next semester even! They're working it out so that one of the primary RNs on the floor will make the patient assignments, and we'll be given 2 patients. It is gong to be based on readiness, so they're taking that into account, which I think is great. It's awesome when you take part in effecting change that is for the positive.

In other news we finished our med/surg rotation. Our care plans were due Wednesday and the instructor grades them the night they're due. (We still haven't received our graded care plans from the previous rotation--in fact no one has, even from the beginning of the semester. That's really the only downside to that particular instructor. It's easy to swallow though considering what you gain from her. You don't mind waiting for your care plan, at least not so much.) I did swimmingly well on both my care plan and my evaluation, with 99s on both. I would have gotten a 100 % on my care plan except I left out past surgical history. I really can't remember there being any and in going over the paperwork I had didn't find any, but I didn't state that either. Oh well, one point isn't going to send me into respiratory alkalosis or anything.

Four weeks until finals!!

It's so unbelievable how it feels to be able to say that and to know that unless I really F things up between now and then I'll survive what is our hardest semester!

Next week we start our OB/newborn rotation. My whole group is incredibly excited to get our hands on those babies. We know it's not always fun though. One of our classmates witnessed a fetal demise the other day, and sadly he knew the family. I've been waiting all semester for this, because it is one area I've felt a draw toward. So, I am full of anticipation for experience as a whole.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Something to be thankful for...

I am extremely grateful that we only have 4 more regular Mondays (which are preceded by a hellish weekend spent studying) until finals week!

suppozin' I should mention...

Thanks to all who have chimed in on clinicals. It was very enlightening.

I should have mentioned what we do do during our fourth semester, so that we don't look as unfortunate as I might have made us out to look like. We do an advanced med/surg rotation, which includes leadership building, as well as a 3 week preceptorship. We'll have clinicals all the way through up until our preceptorship at which time we will become a RNs right hand woman or man. I look forward to this as I think it will be the most valuable experience of all, up to that point.

I'm off to health assessment class this morning. Tuesdays are usually our fun days. Another student and I, whom I've become close friends with, may as well be called Lucy and Ethel. We have a blast.

Last week we got a great laugh when she went to carry one of the mannequins off the bed we needed to use for practicing respiratory assessments on each other. Up she pulls Sheman and plop!! right out onto the bed falls Sheman's unmentionables. It was just so unexpected we found it pretty comical.

Oh well, if you can't keep your sense of humor through nursing school you may as well throw in the proverbial white towel!

Friday, November 6, 2009

brainstorming to battle hindrances

Yesterday we spent some down time during clinicals talking to our clinical instructor about other possible clinical opportunities. Our program is very limited in the opportunities we have. First semester we do nothing clinically speaking, other than lab learning. Second semester we spend 6 weeks (maybe it's 8 weeks, dont quite remember), at a long-term care facility. Third semester we do med/surg/ortho/tele, OB/newborn, and we're supposed to do an observation-only Peds rotation at a local practice. Because of H1N1, those of us that are supposed to be going during the latter part of this semester have been prohibited from going. There is also a time period during this semester where each group has been "orphaned". We do not have enough clinical instructors in our local, small community hospital, and there are no contracts out for any of the larger hospitals or medical centers in the region. (Let's not forget I live in the DC/Northern VA region where there is a plethora of all that is medical.)

The other two community college's programs go to vast medical centers for their clinical experiences, and oh, you might have heard me mention in the past one of those programs is also sharing our local, small community hospital. It's not an extremely large group invading our territory; however, their instructor has asked one of our two instructors if they can take the one floor that one of our groups was supposed to have! From what I heard our instructor (our group wasn't with her at this point in time) conceded!!!!

I digress; so when we're orphaned, we go to other clinical experiences, which are usually observation-only or very limited hands-on experiences. They've been overall wonderful opportunities. Most everyone's enjoyed going to interventional radiology, the infusion center, wound care center, a local same day surgery center, staff development, ICU, (no, we don't get that as a regular rotation), etc. It's usually only been one day here or there.

In our bigger rotations (med/surg/ortho/tele, OB/newborn) we are only given one patient at a time. For instance, my patient yesterday was admitted with a GI bleed with anemia. He was completely independent, so all I did was vital signs, get his cup of ice chips (he was NPO as they were waiting on GI to get in to consult, and send him down for a procedure--didn't happen on my time), straighten up his bed (he'd been admitted the night before), and do his assessment, I&O and flow chart.

We're talking lots of down time. We bent our instructor's ear something fierce, because we want better opportunities next semester, and for future students. The program is being overhauled and this is a major need. Our instructor had spent some time earlier in the morning talking with the other program's instructor (OPI). The OPI informed our instructor of all the things they do clinically and that by their third semester they're taking on at least 2 patients.

Our mental health rotation is incorporated in as part of our LTC rotation because we work with patient's with dementia. We do have a mental health facility within 40 minutes--which in this area 40 minutes is nothing. All 5+1 (we had an orphan for the day) of us sitting there voiced that we would be willing to drive to other locations, at a distance, to be given better learning opportunities.

Bottom line is we want to feel somewhat comfortable when we're interviewing for our first nursing jobs that we we'll be a little more comfortable taking on our responsibilities. We know that we'll be oriented to the facility. We know that you really don't have your true nursing groove until you've been at it for at least 6 months. We just want the same opportunities as others.

I'm wondering: what clinical opportunities were you or are you being given as a student nurse?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

she told us so

Yep. In fact she wasn't the only one to forewarn us, several others did as well. "Third semester is the hardest" she said, and do we ever agree now! "She" would be our instructor and the others would be those who went before us. The sad reality is this is the semester that can make or break you. Evidently we've lost two already. One withdrew from the program by choice as her grades weren't so hot and she had differences with our instructor. The other has, I don't even want to say it, but she's failed out, and at this point it is too late. So she has gone into audit status. It's heartwrenching; no, it's gutwrenching. There were only 26 of us at the beginning of this semester. The first student I mentioned was an LPN transtion, so she didn't start with us from the beginning of this journey, the other one did. We're bound to lose others as well. It's hard with such a small group.

Some of us are choosing to think positively and have even started discussing certain things about next semester, and have even gotten bold enough to talk about preparations for graduation. With the way time is flying we can't help but look forward.

First things first. As of right now we have 5 more exams before our finals. My clinical group has one care plan left to do, and then a clinical evaluation work-up for our OB rotation which we have the last four weeks (minus the week of Thanksgiving). We have one assignment left for our health assessment class and one for our OB/peds class. We also have med/surg practice ATI tests we're required to take, and pass with at least the benchmark, of 65, for a grade. Five tests equal 50 points. Those 50 points could go a long way toward making the grade. We then have the OB/newborn and child health ATI proctored exams we have to pass. It seems like a lot left to do, and is in a way. That being said, it's not insurmountable.

Two clinical days left for this week, and then it's five weeks until finals.

I've been thinking about how things have changed over the past year and a few months. Nursing school is such an evolutionary process. I've changed, not entirely, but a little. I look at certain things differently. I've grown. I still have my doubts,fears and insecurities, but I'm also more comfortable with a lot of things that I feared concerning nursing.

I can remember that young medic who thought it was an unattainable dream. One thing I learned long ago though is, if there's a will, there's a way!

Certain things may get in your way, but they're just speed bumps on your road to success. You just need to slow down, cross the hurdle, and press on.

Last year, when I had the time to post nearly daily I did something I called "STBTF", something to be thankful for, in honor of Thanksgiving. I don't have the time to give thanks everyday (at least in blog form), but today I am thankful for the opportunity I've been given and the support of those who've stood alongside me, whether in person or from afar.

I'd also like to thank for listing me as one of the blogs they like! What an honor!