The Dog Ate My Care Plan…

Just a mom/wife/nursing student extraordinaire trying to make it in the big bad city…

Ready, Set…

Posted by isntshelovlei on August 21, 2009

NursingSchoolSurvivalIt’s been a month since my last post so I felt the need to check in. I actually wrote a quite lengthy post about the whole Creative Steps / Valley Swim Club incident but to be honest I am really tired of talking about it—Yes, we went to Disney World; Yes, we met Tyler Perry; Yes we had fun except for the fact that we were stalked by paparazzi and random people would stop us on the street because they’d seen us on television (I mean honestly how could you ever miss those bright orange shirts??). Thanks but enough already. Besides I think people have become so swept up in the hype that they’ve forgotten what this is really about and why this is all happening—that unfortunately, racism is not dead as some naïve folks would like to believe…  

Anyway, back to the next phase in my life—nursing school. I know I will regret saying this but—I cannot wait to go back to school. First of all, because I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not overextended with work and school and home and so I’ve been sleeping to the point where my body is no longer absorbing it and I still wake up exhausted. Secondly, because I will finally get to do real nursing stuff! No more art history and world civ and pottery classes in an effort to make sure I’m one of those “well-rounded” students—bring on the pharmacology and starting IVs! Okay so this semester I’m just taking Intro to Nursing and Foundations so no IVs quite yet but I’m excited anyway. And I do realize that along with all this “fun” stuff there is a dark side—body fluids and poop to name a few, but hey somebody’s gotta do it…

We finally had orientation which gave me a little taste of what I should expect for the next two and a half years—total and complete information overload. You cannot even imagine all of the information that we were infused with in those four (short) hours. This included but was not limited to the bare essentials such as attendance and dress code, and professional comportment (“you don’t have to like everyone but you do have to get along”—trust me I get plenty of practice with this at work…). If you didn’t already know the grading system is a little different in nursing school. For instance in the real world a C ranges from 70-79, but in nursing school (or at least at mine) it’s a 75-77. There is no C-. Get a 74 and you just got an F. Get two of those and you’re sent packing. Talk about pressure! And let’s not forget the dreaded math policy–you must make a 90% within three tries on the math exams or you fail. I have long heard moans and groans about various nursing program’s math policies—“but I had the right answer, I just put the decimal point in the wrong spot”. Well, HELLO. Let’s face it, the difference between giving a patient 1mL of a drug and 10mL a drug may very well kill them.

We were informed of yet more stuff we needed to buy—such as a nursing lab kit filled with all kinds of goodies–BP cuff, IV set,  tracheostomy care kit, ostomy wafer and bag (I told you there was a dark side) and so on. They even threw in 10 whole alcohol prep pads (like those’ll last long). We talked about clinical compliance and all the reasons why former victims students were failed and/or kicked out—mostly HIPAA slipups. There was one girl who decided to get into an argument with a surgeon during an operating room experience (because of course she was so much more knowledgeable than he was)—so we’re no longer allowed to go to that facility. And lastly—the big kahuna—NCLEX-RN prep. So my school’s NCLEX pass rate hasn’t been so hot these past few years so of course they need to put in supports to help get that up. And guess who’s in the guinea pig class?—yours truly. So now we will have to take a HESI exam (which is supposed to predict NCLEX success) after each subject in order to continue on in the program. This is actually not a new concept. Other schools have already been using this method to weed out the poor achievers—and this is how they keep their pass rates higher. Basically you have to obtain a certain score on the HESI or you can’t continue in the program. At the end of the program you have to take the HESI “exit” exam and pass with a certain score otherwise the school won’t sign off on you taking the NCLEX-RN. So basically the school gets to make their pass/fail rates look great because if you don’t pass the HESI to their satisfaction you never get to take the NCLEX. Oh, and I almost forgot—we also have to do (and show proof that we did) 3000 NCLEX practice questions before it’s all said and done…so I guess I’d better get started now.

In other news my uniforms finally arrived and the pants are just as horrible as I remember them the day of the fitting. They are about three shades darker than the shirt but after an hour of retail therapy they had been replaced with some pants that I could actually live with (shhh…I don’t need the uniform police citing me for being out of uniform). And I know I live under a rock sometimes but when exactly did Baby Phat start making scrubs???—Kimora Lee Simmons definitely stays on her grind.  I am also now armed with my engraved Littmann stethoscope and some white Dansko clogs I got off eBay for peanuts compared to what they cost in the store. As soon as I knock off this $1000 book list I should be ready for nursing school. But the real question is—is nursing school ready for me??? Till next time…

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