The Dog Ate My Care Plan…

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

Archive for July, 2010

My First Podcast!!

Posted by isntshelovlei on July 30, 2010

Check me out on Insights in Nursing hosted by Jamie Davis as we discuss nursing school, the nursing shortage *enter scary music*, and the job outlook for soon-to-be grad nurses.

And back to the books it is for me…finals and a HESI next week and then I can officially call myself a SENIOR nursing student!! The countdown to the end of nursing school is on—503 days, 16 hours, 23 minutes, and 10, 9, 8, 7…

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My 1-Year Blogiversary!!

Posted by isntshelovlei on July 26, 2010

I just realized that this month is my 1-year Blogiversary!! I can hardly believe that I’ve been blogging for a whole year now (it seems like just yesterday…). Even bigger than that, is that I can now say that I’ve emerged (though I won’t go so far as to say “unscathed”) from an entire year of nursing school!! So as in true New Year spirit let me reflect upon what I have learned in nursing school this past year…

1. Nursing school is expensive. In addition to my $500/credit tuition, I still have to pay for federal and state background checks, child abuse clearances, drug tests, CPR certification, lab supplies, uniforms, parking at clinical sites (and on campus since I live off-campus), and BOOKS.

2. Are you sleeping?!? There’s no sleeping in nursing school!! (in my Jimmy Dugan/Tom Hanks voice)… At least not any quality sleep, maybe a power nap here and there. There are always some chapters to read, some exam to study for, some project to work on, some meds to look up, or some care plan to write. When I finally do put my foot down and tell myself screw that I’m going to sleep—guess what?—I dream about the stuff I should be studying!!

3. The early bird may not necessarily get the worm, but s/he may get tips and heads up as to what’s on the next test, and other helpful information that you will never know if you’re late to class or don’t bother showing up at all just because the professor doesn’t take roll.

4. Speaking of birds, pharmacology is definitely not a “bird course.” If you believe it’s “just straight memorization,” you’re in for a very rude awakening.

5. I have learned to accept (maybe even embrace) my “analness” or whatever people want to label me. I’m sorry but yes, I still want to get A’s. I’m just not wired with that whole C = RN nonsense.

6. Mnemonics are your friends.  VEAL CHOP anyone?

7. HESI exams are NOT your friend—unless you do really well on them and it gets you some extra points added to your final exam or something.

8. Med math quizzes are not so bad. True, you do have to get an A on them or you’ll fail the class (and the thought of that alone frazzles some), but meds are serious business so you’ve gotta get it right. Shift the decimal point one place the wrong way and you just overdosed your patient…

9. You know how people say “Don’t let the devil steal your joy?” Well in nursing school it’s more like “Don’t let the nurse-at-the-clinical-site steal your joy.” I have learned to navigate around (and sometimes even flat-out ignore) the Nurse Nasty’s at some of the clinical sites who would rather work a day without pay than be assigned a student nurse. Mean people suck and will drain the life out of you if you let them but I have learned to remember that I am not there for them—I am there for my patients.

10. The PCAs, on the other hand, will love you. Since you will be doing their vital signs, accu-cheks, and AM care, that will free them up to read their trash mags over a nice hot plate of home fries and bacon (and who really cares if LiLo is going to jail—again—anyway?).

11. There’s more than one way to skin a cat—or give a Z-track injection, insert a Foley catheter, or just about any other clinical skill. And the way it’s taught in the textbook may or may not differ from the way the clinical instructor will show you that they do it “in the real world.”

And last but not least…

12. Sadly, not everyone will make it to the finish line. Every semester we lose a couple. It’s messed up but we have to keep it moving. Pour out a lil’ coffee for the homies that aren’t here…

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Stuff and Dump

Posted by isntshelovlei on July 14, 2010

I’ve gotten to that point of the semester where I’m absolutely positively fried. It really feels like I’m just stuffing and dumping information now. Especially in pharmacology—we have four exams, the content doesn’t overlap, and the last exam (technically the final) is NOT cumulative (a rarity). So now that I’m studying the meds for Exam 3, I feel like what I learned for Exams 1 & 2 has already floated off to the Bermuda Triangle of my mind never to be seen again. And with the pharm HESI right around the corner (and you know I don’t take an opportunity for free/extra points lightly), that is so not a good thing. So I’m hoping that I really have retained some of this stuff, and that it’s just laying dormant somewhere in my hippocampus ready to spring into action…

July 23rd UPDATE: The pharm exam last night was beastly!! To add insult to injury, our professor told us that the class average for this particular exam is usually about a 73—but keep in mind that anything less than a 75 in my program is an F!! Now everyone gets to wait, obsessively checking Blackboard every few hours, to see if the grades are posted—and hoping that we passed!

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What Nursing Shortage???

Posted by isntshelovlei on July 13, 2010

I came across an article today about how even in this “nationwide shortage of nurses,” one of our local nursing schools’ grads can’t find jobs. So let’s have at this so-called nursing shortage thing.

Many people think it’s the economy. The hiring freezes. That nurses are working to later ages—even past retirement. Among other things. And all of those things probably do contribute to the problem. But this is my spin on the situation. I live in the Delaware Valley / Greater Philadelphia area. IMHO (and what do I know anyway?), I don’t believe there is a nursing shortage here. Why? Because this area is just too saturated with nursing schools. Diploma programs, and ADN programs, and BSN programs oh my! There are day programs and there are evening/weekend programs. There are even various accelerated programs (such as Villanova’s BSNExpress, Jefferson’s FACT, and Drexel’s ACE) that are pumping out new nurses as fast as every 11 months!

Now what surprises me most about not a single one of the AMH Dixon SON grads being able to secure a job yet is that the school is part of a hospital. A lot of their students do in fact think that gives them an edge as far as securing a job after graduation—which evidently is not the case. I have noticed job postings on AMH’s website for “Clinical Associates” (tech-type positions) which are only open to their own nursing students—why not initiate something similar for their graduates? One would think they’d be able to hire at least some of their own grad nurses.

Secondly, Abington is a diploma program. Though they have recently partnered with Jefferson to offer an RN-BSN or RN-BSN/MSN option after you’ve completed their program, that really doesn’t help the new grads right now, with their fresh diplomas in hand. And depending on where/what type of setting (hospital, etc.) you’d like to work at as an RN, know that many of the major players (at least in this area) are now moving from a “BSN-preferred” to a “BSN-required” model. Just food for thought.

Before anyone gets their panties in a twist, please know I am in no way bashing Abington or any of the other diploma or ADN programs—in fact, I almost went to Abington. It’s a great school, the faculty that I’d dealt with were great, and they have stellar NCLEX pass rates—though if it’s anything like my program the bad test-takers and flat-out slackers are weeded out of the program way before you get anywhere near the NCLEX (which is why I never really considered NCLEX pass rates as a determinant of how good a program was). But in the end I decided that it would be best for me to pursue the BSN. Besides the fact that I just couldn’t wrap my head around going to school for 2 years and just getting a diploma when I could go for an extra semester and get a BSN, again, where and what type of position I plan to pursue after graduation requires the latter. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

So is there really a nursing shortage? Maybe—in Texas, California, or the Midwest—but not so much here in the city of Brotherly Love…

Posted in Current Events, Nursing, Nursing school | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments »