The Dog Ate My Care Plan…

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

Archive for August, 2010

Ape to Man

Posted by isntshelovlei on August 28, 2010

My books arrived from Amazon.com yesterday. Now I’m starting to get the pre-semester jitters. I already felt like I was hanging on by a thread this past summer—I was (am?) beyond burnt out. But I know I need to start taking better care of ME and just push through it. 

It’s also a little disturbing to see how much our cohort has dwindled over these past three semesters. We started out with two classes of about 35 students each. We lost a couple here and there for various reasons, but after pharmacology this summer we’re down to about 40 students—TOTAL. The two sections of our cohort have now been combined into one class. With 4 more semesters to go, it kind of makes you wonder if that person sitting next to you now will walk with you at commencment.  Nursing school really is survival of the fittest.

Though class doesn’t officially start until Monday, I was glad to see that our professor (well one of them anyway) posted the syllabus and the powerpoints on Blackboard early. I like to (try to) read the chapters before the actual lecture so I can halfway know what’s going on. It’s hard to sit still for three hours when you have no clue what the instructor is talking about. But when you don’t get the syllabus until the first day of class you’re already behind in the reading.

So back to the books it is. As Erykah Badu says, “They sleep. We grind.”

Posted in Nursing school | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Insights in Nursing Podcast, Episode 11

Posted by isntshelovlei on August 27, 2010

Can you believe that a patient who’d just had a C-section two days prior was actually asked to “tidy up” her hospital room before she was discharged? One of the midwifes (allegedly) described the task as “those bits that we don’t have time for.” Wow. Just wow. Maybe that equal access, government-funded health care isn’t all it’s cracked up to be… And what about nurses with doctorates??—Are they doctors? Are they nurses? What do we call them? Paging Dr. Nurse? Check out these topics and more on the latest episode of Insights in Nursing with Kim from the Emergiblog, Terri over at Nurse Ratched’s Place, host and jack of all trades Jamie Davis, and yours truly.

Posted in Nursing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sorry, You’re Overqualified

Posted by isntshelovlei on August 26, 2010

I know the sucky job market is probably a sore topic at this point, but I figured I might as well add my own sucky experience to the heap…

I’ve decided that I want a tech job—like yesterday. Some people think I’m nuts—I get a lot of “You’re lucky to even HAVE a job” or “You work at a top health care facility—people would KILL to get a job there.” And they may be right. Though it may fall under the colorful umbrella of a facility that many SNs (including myself) would kill to work at as a nurse, right now I have a boring desk job. I sit in a dark corner of a very tall building and push papers all day (and I have the paper cuts to prove it). This is not to say that I am ungrateful for having this job. I do appreciate that said job allows me to pay the mortgage, bills, daycare, among other things. It’s just not what I want to do. I am, as Iyanla Vanzant would say, “in the meantime.” In my heart, I am a nurse. Though I still have four semesters to finish and boards to pass to make it official, those are just mere technicalities. I am nurse—hear me roar. 😉

I am so craving patient care at this point it is driving me nuts. Clinical rotations are a tease—wham bam thank you ma’am and they’re over. And since I can’t legally work as a nurse yet, I figure that a tech position will satiate me “in the meantime.” But just like everyone else out there looking for a job right now—I can’t find one either.

My biggest obstacle and the somewhat of a Catch-22 of it all is that I’m in nursing school. The very thing that makes me more qualified (or at least so I think), and gives me more experience (I also have a Medical Assistant background) also makes me seen as a risk. The first thing they gravitate to on my resume is when I finish school.”December 2011 eh? So that means you would be here what—a year and a half or so?…” They’re already thinking that I’m going to have my way with them and then leave the money (or the position rather) on the nightstand. And then they’ll be right back where they started—interviewing again. But I don’t look at it that way. I always apply for positions where theoretically there’d be an opportunity for me to stay on as a nurse after I complete my BSN. What would be better than hiring this awesome student nurse as a tech and then when she’s finished school hiring her as one of your nurses? By then she’ll have almost 2 years in at your department/unit, and will know the people, the policies, and the politics. It’s a win-win situation right? Apparently they don’t seem to think so…

So I’ve been on a couple interviews. During the last one, I had the opportunity to interview with the departments’ NP. The NP and I really clicked (at least I thought so anyway) and I could tell that I would love working with her and would learn a lot. So I had a good feeling about this one. She looked me in the eye and said she wanted to give it to me straight—”I looked at your resume and I thought ‘WOW, she’d be great!!’ But honestly, I think you’re overqualified—I think you’d be bored.”

*crickets chirping*

Huh—what?? Overqualified?!? 

Well alrighty then…

So after a brief episode of apnea, I pulled my palsied mouth shut.

FML.

Posted in Nursing, Odds and Ends | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Posted by isntshelovlei on August 18, 2010

Has anyone else noticed that all of a sudden textbook ISBN’s are actually posted on the school bookstores’ website? I no longer have to trek to campus in stealth-mode, iPhone 4 camera poised and ready, to snap pictures of those pesky little bar codes while the student employees are breathing down my neck trying to intercept me (once they even had the textbook section roped off “unless you are actually buying something”).

So what’s the deal?

Most of you have heard my frequent rantings about the school bookstore’s crack prices and my refusal to pay them—well the Higher Education Opportunity Act recently made that a little easier. New textbook provisions went into effect July 1, 2010; and you can find a pretty nice summary of them here

First, it makes the professors (who actually select our textbooks) aware of how much we are paying. Textbook pricing was previously withheld from professors so many of them truly didn’t realize how much students are actually paying for their books. Professors can now (and hopefully will) take cost into consideration when selecting textbooks for their courses.

Second is the issue with “bundles” (don’t you just hate shrinkwrap?!?). More often than not, the stuff that comes in those packages you will barely (if ever) use and yet you have to pay an arm and a leg for them. I remember having a bundle for A&P that included about 7 books—we used 2 of them—and one of those was for an extra credit project. With the new regulations, the components of a bundle (including software such as CDs and DVDs) must also be sold separately as individual items. Don’t want the accompanying study guide (I rarely ever use them anyway)—then don’t buy it. School bookstore price cheaper for one book, but Amazon.com has the better deal for another?—then mix-and-match and buy accordingly.

And last but not least, schools are now supposed to have textbook lists posted the semester prior—not 2 weeks before the semester begins like they like to do now and then you’re left scrambling to find the books anyway and end up HAVING to buy them from the school bookstore because you can’t find them anywhere else. Now students will actually have time to bargain shop—”do their homework” so-to-speak. 😉

Those rebellious little institutions who decide not to comply with the new regulations will be risking the student aid that they receive from the federal government.

There are other options. Renting textbooks (through rental companies such as Chegg.com or even through your own institution) also seems to be on the rise. I am also starting to see e-textbooks as required course material. And with the advent of e-readers such as the iPad and Kindle I hope that we’ll start to see more actual textbooks in these formats as well. I would love to be able to hold some of my 3,000-page textbooks in a neat little 1.5 lb package…

The idea is that all of this will help drive textbook prices down and/or make them more reasonable/competitive. At minimum, we as students will now have a little more control over our textbook purchases.

For some other great tips on reducing your textbook expenses check out Coupon Sherpa’s Your Complete Guide to Cheap College Textbooks. Happy shopping!

Posted in Current Events, Nursing school | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Another One Down

Posted by isntshelovlei on August 6, 2010

I survived summer semester. With two B+’s as final grades, it wasn’t my most stellar performance, but despite various things going wrong and additional hurdles (more like gauntlets) being thrown at me I still made it. I even did surprisingly well on my pharmacology HESI and earned six extra points on my final exam. Even with all of the stuffing and dumping apparently some of it actually did stick.

So for the next three weeks I will eat, drink (yes Starbucks—after all, I DO still have to go to work), sleep, and be merry.

Though there are no classes in session there are still many things I need to do to prepare for fall. I haven’t bought any of my textbooks yet as I’m still waiting on my tuition assistance to come through from the summer semester. Since it takes forever and a day for the whole financial aid drama to reconcile itself and for me to actually receive my refund check, I usually use the funds I get for the next semester. So I’ll use my summer semester refund (if it ever gets here) to buy my books, parking pass, and so on for my fall courses. My Amazon Prime membership will come in handy once I finally do decide to order my textbooks—they have lightning fast shipping for cheap. Students should join if they haven’t already—Amazon recently introduced Amazon Student where students get an Amazon Prime membership for FREE for one year (it usually costs $79/year). As most of you already know I refuse to pay the school bookstores’ crack prices and order all of my textbooks online—Amazon.com seems to have the most competitive prices plus you can’t beat their cheap, fast shipping. And yes that would be me you see in the school bookstore snapping pictures of the ISBN’s with my Evernote app…

Second, I am currently without a computer—that is a huge problem. Though my iPhone 4 is handy for a lot of things—Nursing Central, email, Blackboard, and a few rounds of Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja before an exam to reduce my test anxiety—it is not so useful for things such as making care plans (which of course need to be typed because “they’re just easier to read”—as if they really read them anyway…), writing papers in APA format, or doing case studies in Evolve. And I definitely plan to go Mac this time…

Next up, Peds and Mental Health…

Posted in Nursing school | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »