Monday, March 29, 2010

never in a million

I have to say, I'm pretty happy I decided to start this blog back when I started nursing school. It enables me the ability to go back through and see how far I've come. This post made me laugh.

I didn't think I would ever get to this point, never in a million years.

Here it is 43 days until pinning and I am in disbelief. The journey's far from over, but it certainly has been quite the trip.

Today my class took the ATI Comprehensive Predictor (CP). I surpassed the benchmark set forth by our program for us. According to my score I have a 97% chance of passing NCLEX on the first attempt. Awesome, right? That's what the test is all about - a prediction. In our program we're required to take the various ATI exams and meet or surpass benchmark. I've successfully done so for all, but the pharmacology exam. Let's just say, "third time's a charm."

So, we have everything that one already has to accomplish in nursing school, what with care plan, unit exams, lab evals, stress, stress and more stress, etc., along with the pressure of passing these ATI exams. We're even graded on our attempts. In the overall scheme of our grades it doesn't take up a large percentage. That being said, you have to take the exams and you have to meet or surpass benchmark. It's not like you can get away with not taking them.

With success on your first attempt you receive 10 points, 7.5 on your second and 5 on your third. You have to do remediation before any successive attempts. That includes the CP. When I remediated for the pharm ATI all I had to do was study from the focused reviews available after each exam. It's quite a bit different for the CP, in that it's a 6-hour session, and you have to do it for the full length. I've heard that it's beneficial to do anyway and some of us have actually talked about sitting in. It couldn't hurt, could it? No.

Anyway. The problem here is it's so frustrating at this point to have this weighing so heavily on us. I'd like to see results of statistical evidence where it is proven that those who do well on the CP, do equally as well on the NCLEX. I personally think it's a load of BS. I mean, sure I passed today, but who's to say that in two-three months when I go to take the NCLEX that I am not going to have some wild and crazy extraneous factor that takes me off of my current game? I don't plan on this happening, but one never knows. It's about as fruitful for me to say, oh I passed today so I will have no problem passing NCLEX on my first try; I can rest on my laurels. I don't plan on that either.

The best thing to do is keep pushing toward the NCLEX. Keep studying. Set up a game plan for the remainder of the time left in school, and then one for post-graduation.

Now that I have that hurdle out of the way I have to write up my resume and cover letter for my professional portfolio, mentor on Wednesday, do our group project on Thursday, do my preceptorship in April and turn in the packet for it, and take the final exam the beginning of May.

gotta love him

Recently, I gave my eldest, who is a 17-year old athlete, his own bottle of One a Day Teen Advantage vitamins. He calls me up the next day to ask me how he is supposed to take them. I, in all of my infinite wisdom, and total maternal grace told him to swallow them with water. He informs me he's supposed to take them with food. Ok, that just means you need to take them when you eat.

Teens: One tablet daily, with food.

It occurred to me, that because he is a literal-minded being that maybe I should clarify exactly how he did take the tablet.

Sure enough, he took it with food. Literally, with a bite of food he chewed it up.

I just shook my head and informed him of the fact that he should swallow it whole, after he has eaten. This is the kid, that when I offered him acetaminophen for foot pain several years ago, he refused.

"The pain is not in my head!"

Yes, I did laugh. In his defense, all he'd ever taken acetaminophen for prior to that was for headaches.

Friday, March 19, 2010

spring "break"

At this very moment I'm pretty overstimulated, so much so that it's pretty much impossible to do any studying. What better time to blog, than when you're all excited about life's goings on?

First off, there's only 53 days until pinning. If I can survive this next week and a half, it's smooth sailing from April 1st onward. This next week we have a PPT project that is due, we have class on Monday, after which I plan on taking my eye & ear unit exam (or my pharmacology ATI, depending on which one I feel more confident in taking - heck, maybe both!) If I don't take the ATI Monday, I'll take it Tuesday. I have to retake the Comprehensive Predictor practice ATI this coming Sunday as I just took it and didn't quite get benchmark. (We take the CP on the 29th.) Hmmm... Wednesday we have our day in the lab with Sim Man. All the while I'm studying for NCLEX and ATIs, which is pretty much doing the same thing. After the 1st of April all that's left to do is my preceptorship, write up my resume and a cover letter for my professional portfolio, and study for our med/surg final.

What has my adrenaline pumping today? Well, let me tell ya!

I have plans.

I'm taking a couple of breaks from nursing school reality and delving into my family life. This evening LB has an away baseball game. I don't know if I've mentioned it before now, but he made the Varsity team. He started at this past Wednesday's game and played an awesome game. Tomorrow we're heading out to Baltimore to a Medieval Times dinner with some of Big B's coworkers and one of my BFFs from school, and her beau.

I am so excited. I've been working my butt off and have decided to take a little bit of a time-out of my Spring "Break", that has been nothing of a break from studying, to have a little fun and to be re-energized. Rest assured the remainder of the time will be spent with my nose in the books and online doing practice ATIs.

Monday, March 15, 2010

savings time

I seriously don't think there's any time being saved as of late. It's whipping by faster than any hurricane force winds.

Earlier this semester I made a list of the things that needed to be accomplished prior to pinning in May. I'm happy to report I'm nearly halfway down the list. It includes exams, ATIs, projects, discussion boards, care studies, reports and so on.

As of today I have the pharmacology ATI, along with the Comprehensive Predictor and the critical thinking ATI; an exam for the eye and ear unit, a professional portfolio that consists of my resume, and cover letter; a day in lab with Sim Man, a day in lab doing a group project, a day of mentoring first year students at the LTC facility I did my LTC rotation at, a group project PowerPoint to complete, all to be done before the 1st of April on the respective due dates. Then April 4th-24th I have my preceptorship. I'm incredibly delighted to report I'm going to the family birthing center for my preceptorship!!! I'll be on nights, which I'm hoping I live through, but it is only for 3 weeks. Next week I'll get to meet my preceptor.

Then our final exam is the week of May 3rd. Then May 11th is pinning. Wow. I can't believe how fast it's going!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

she'll be coming around

So, it's been nearly a month since I last posted. "Time flies...", as they say.

What's been up with me?

Hmmm. I have been busy. School has me running ragged and it's about all I can do to make it through these last 69 days until pinning. 69 days?? Yes. Can you believe it? My how time has flown!

Clinicals have been lack luster. I've had some pretty good experiences, just nothing to write home to mom, or to post on my blog, about. That is, until yesterday, I should say. Yesterday I took care of my first cancer patient. Breast cancer that's metastasized all over, and it was heart wrenching. I was at such a loss as to what to do. The woman is in pain beyond anything I've ever known myself. They're working on getting it controlled, so she can go be at home with her family. Needless to say, I cried my first tears as I was overcome by grief for her that went back to my days grieving for my aunt, and then just thinking about my own mom.

It took me back to when I was seventeen and I still remember that night like it was last night. My aunt laid there on her bed, unresponsive, and that was it. She had lost her battle. My mom hasn't had cancer, thank God, but I still worry. It's hard since she lives in Texas, so far away.

I'm supposed to be in class today, but succumbed to another migraine. They don't happen as frequently as they were when I was on Seasonale, but I do get them every so often. It's the first day I missed this semester, of class, so I'm not too worried. Clinicals, on the other hand have been a different story.

I've missed a total of six days. Now don't get your panties in a bunch. Three of those days were acts of God. I'm sure you heard about "Snowmageddon"? Yes, well thanks to being snowed in for days at a time this lovely winter, we didn't have clinicals for three days. The other three days were my own personal reasons, two for illness and well, last week...

Last week, just as I was about to leave my across-the-street-neighbor backed into LB's car. Sooo, I had to take care of that situation and then I headed to the hospital. After I arrived LB calls and says his car won't start. Sooo, I take off to take him to school. In the meantime I call Big B, who then calls LB, who then calls me back to let me know Dad saved the day. By this time I was far enough away from the hospital I knew I would not be able to get back up to the third floor before missing report, which is our end-all-to-be-all for missing a day.

This Friday I get to play make-up and go to clinicals during a PN class time. The instructor, who just so happens to be my current rotation's instructor, told me that our main instructor wanted me to be supervisor for the day, but instead she's just going to give me a patient. That's fine with me.

Over the past month I have missed DC dreadfully. I keep thinking I see him at different spots he would easily be found at, but it's just my mind playing tricks on me. Snooki has fit in like a dream with our family. It's as if she's been with us since she was a kitten. It's kind of funny because she's taken quite a liking to bathing the dogs. They'll look back at her as if she's nuts, but then they just lie there and bask in the glory of being licked (read: given attention).

In other news I converted from my Blackberry to an iPhone. After getting an iPod Touch for Christmas, and realizing how much more they can do, it was a no-brainer. I love it. I just received it yesterday and have switched everything over from the Touch and the Blackberry, and now all that's left to do is search for apps that will help with the remainder of nursing school and possibly just nursing.

I should find out at the end of this month where I'll be doing my preceptorship at. For my choices, I put, #1, the family birthing center, #2, the ER, and #3, the OR. After spending considerable time in med/surg now, I've decided it is not my cup of tea. Any of my choices would be divine for me. As I've previously admitted I do have a pull towards woman's health/labor and delivery, but there's also the trauma junkie in me. As far as finding a job in the next few months I've even gotten to the point that I might be fine with working in a doctor's office, or school if the chance arises. I'm torn in a couple of directions because I do have my career aspirations, but then I do have my boys to think of. We'll just have to wait and see what jobs come open.