Posted by isntshelovlei on December 22, 2010
Armed with Starbucks and diet Mountain Dew (please no caffeine-after-dark lectures—I was a caffeine junkie when I worked days and this is now my day so I’m just adjusting my addiction accordingly), I’ve now joined the ranks of those that work night shift. The first day I was cool—I was wide awake all night just sipping away on my Mountain Dew
(while other people managed to sleep sitting straight up). I drove home the next morning still on a MD high, and couldn’t get myself to sleep. I called my husband to let him know that I survived the night and by his amused tone I knew I must have been rambling like a raving manic. I have since tweaked my nightly regimen to cut off caffeine at around 4-5am so that I am able to simmer down when I get home.
The second night (which happened to be a week or so later) didn’t go as well. First, I didn’t get a (good) pre-nap in. The kids just wouldn’t let me be—they were running around like park apes, excited about finding our escape artist cat who came home looking all mangled (and probably pregnant my husband insists). Second, I had a headache that was on the verge of escalating to migraine status. And third, I was bored to tears (knock on wood). Some things take other people hours to do, but I like to knock them out and get them over with. Then I end up sitting there twiddling my thumbs and clock-watching (which really makes the time go even slower). And with the semester being over I had no homework or care plans to do, and no tests to study for.
Cheese. On. Bread.
When I finally went on break at about 4am, to my dismay McDonald’s had already started serving breakfast and I was craving salt (in the form of fries not some processed sausage patty). They’d also run out of fruit and yogurt parfaits which are about the only two things I’ll eat out of that place (sorry Ronald). And of course I had forgotten my “lunch”—if you can even call it that when it’s consumed at 4am. So I bought an orange juice which I figured was safe and settled down to play a few rounds of Angry Birds and Cut The Rope before going back to the unit.
And is it just me or is it extra cold in the hospital at night? Snuggie anyone?…
But things have gotten better; I’m adjusting. Even though I sleep when I get home in the morning it’s important for me to get that pre-work nap in—it really does make a world of difference. Any other night-shifters with suggestions feel free to drop me a line.
Meanwhile, I am loving winter break. I’ll be back to the wonderful world of nursing school on January 19th.
Posted in Odds and Ends | Tagged: graveyard, Mountain Dew, nap, night shift, sleep, work | 1 Comment »
Posted by isntshelovlei on June 4, 2010
I know. I’ve totally neglected my blogging duties. Sorry but LIFE happens sometimes. Family drama, stuff with the kids, job gets crazy…and then you add nursing school on top of all of that. A lot of people ask me how I do it. How do I work full-time, have three children (four if you count my husband), go to nursing school, get A’s, volunteer in a NICU (among other places) and not 302 myself?!? Honestly, I can’t answer that question. I don’t know. It is what it is and I gotta do what I gotta do.
But trust and believe, nursing school will definitely weed out the shoulda-coulda-woulda’s. If you’re not here because you truly want to be, you’re probably not going to make it. If you think nursing school is “easy” because “it’s not like it’s med school or something,” prepare for a very rude awakening. I’ll try not to laugh when you run screaming from the building as if your hair was on fire. People who are in it for the so-called bottomless pit of job security—do not even get me started. If you’re lazy, unmotivated, or just have tail-between-your-legs tendencies you are eventually going to tap out. If you can’t take the heat, nursing school is definitely one kitchen you want to stay out of. Nursing school is NO JOKE. Add kids, jobs, and LIFE to that—and you’d better be prepared for some blood, sweat, and tears.
But it CAN be done.
I don’t sleep much—maybe 5-6 hours a night tops. I know that’s bad. But hey, once I’m a nurse I won’t be able to pee that often either—maybe qshift—if that. Sacrifices. Such is life. I’m always eating on the go so I make sure I have a stash of stuff like Special K bars and Garden Salsa SunChips (loving those right now) in my bag to keep me away from the fast food drive thrus. I’m a Starbucks addict—though now that I’m taking pharm I know that it’s probably more like psychologically dependent. I have to be very organized—keeping track of my schedule, the kids’ schedules, lectures, clinicals, due dates, and scheduling study time is a lot of work. I live in a world of post-it notes and color-coded everything. But above all, I try not to forget to take a little time out for myself and for my family. My son commented one day that it seemed like he hadn’t seen me for 3 days. I do get in late after those painfully long lectures; and I do creep out of the house at the crack of dawn to go to clinicals—so his words did have a ring of truth to them. We are all making sacrifices. So everytime I start to retreat under my little alienated rock I think of this little story which helps bring things back into perspective. It’s weird, but I miss my kids/husband/family even though they’re right there. The nursing school grind will sometimes make you feel like a visitor in your own home. But everyone keeps telling me—”It’ll all be worth it.” Gawd, I hope so!!
So I’m going through a rough patch right now, but I’ll be okay. “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” ~ Lance Armstrong
Posted in Nursing school | Tagged: drama, eye of the tiger, grind, life, Nursing school, nursing student, sacrifice, sleep | 4 Comments »
Posted by isntshelovlei on March 5, 2010
Health Assessment is over. Finished. Finito. We took our final exam last night and now have to wait 48 long hours for our grades (probably even longer for our final course grades). I actually didn’t think the test was that bad. And since I made benchmark on the HESI I already have an extra 10-point cushion. There were a lot of questions that looked let’s just say “familiar” and I found myself thinking “ooh! I know that!” throughout most of the exam. There were 70 questions total and I was done in about 35 minutes. My professor hesitantly took my scantron—“Are you sure???” I just smiled and shrugged. You know my motto—“Either you know it or you don’t.” I have never been one to sit and stare at test questions as if the answers are going to magically pop out all of a sudden. I have also made it my policy to never change my answers on exams. Most of the time when people change their answers they had it right the first time.
My interview for the nurse extern program was today—I think it went pretty well. It was initially a group info session and then we broke out to tour and interview with the managers of our preferred units. They received almost 600 applications for the program and can only take 32-34 externs so my fingers are crossed—matter of fact while we’re at it, cross yours too! My only concern is the scheduling of it all. They would like for you to work as an extern fulltime—which of course I can’t do or I’ll lose my benefits. So I would have to work my extern schedule around dropping down to a 0.5 FTE at my “real job” (*smirk*), plus my lectures and clinicals since my nursing program runs all year round. Not an easy task, but it can be done!
And so spring break it is—sadly there will not be any sandy beaches in my forecast. I will say it is starting to warm up a little since that record-breaking snow we got but it’s still probably only about 45 degrees on a good day. But at least I’ll get to go to sleep at a normal hour for a few days…
Posted in Nursing school | Tagged: clinicals, exam, extern, health assessment, HESI, interview, nurse, Nursing, Nursing school, nursing student, sleep, spring break | Leave a Comment »
Posted by isntshelovlei on February 6, 2010
I figured since clinicals were snowed out this morning, I’d do a quick blog catch-up before I hit the books.
Health Assessment does not seem to be getting any better. Some were optimistic that okay we got that first shocker exam, we would adjust our studying methods, and the next four exams (plus the HESI) would be better. Well we just got back our second exam this past Thursday and the class average was a 69–for both evening classes taking the course! And keep in mind that a 74 or less is a FAILING grade in our program (there is no such thing as a C- or a D). So for the second time the class grilled our instructor for over an hour, going through each answer on the 43-question exam (who makes a 43-question test anyway?), challenging probably a third of them. I think there ended up being only one question that was actually amended and credit given for.
So needless to say, this class “ain’t been no crystal stair.” But this is only one class out of thirteen, the second semester out of seven. Everyone’s all fired up and stressed out which doesn’t help matters any. After they’re done chewing out the professor (who is only playing the hand she was dealt by the higher-ups), they want to march on down to the Director and Dean’s offices to give them a piece of their minds as well. But really, what is that going to accomplish? If you got a 40 on the exam, you’re still going have a 40 on the exam after you’re done running off at the mouth. So now what are you gonna do? Sure some of the teaching methods could probably be improved, and the amount of information involved would definitely be better spread out over fourteen weeks instead of seven, but those changes most likely won’t happen in the next three weeks. So stop focusing on them and start focusing on YOU. Maybe you have to study a little more, sleep a little less–whatever it takes. I understand that this is a supposedly part-time program geared toward working individuals with outside responsibilities so we already feel spread a bit thin. I am still working a full-time job and have three kids, so trust me, I know. But it all boils down to how much you really want it and what you’re willing to do to get it. I for one will be damned if I’m gonna let this one class stop me from becoming a nurse!
So as Dory from Finding Nemo would sing, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…”
Posted in Nursing school | Tagged: average, class, dean, director, Dory, exam, failing, full time, grade, health assessment, Nemo, Nursing, Nursing school, nursing student, part time, responsibilities, sleep, study, swimming, working | 1 Comment »
Posted by isntshelovlei on September 24, 2009
It’s all true…what they say about nursing school that is. The reading is gargantuan, you’re sleep-deprived and cranky, and if I could drag an IV drip of Starbucks around with me all day I would. People take one look at me and know I’m in nursing school—there must be a certain “look” that we have. The past three weeks have been a whirlwind of trying to keep up with reading the non-sequential chapters, watching gillions of videos, practicing skills in lab, quizzes, NCLEX practice questions, drug dose calculations, and writing journal reflections (“What Is Nursing?”—are you kidding me?)—in addition to balancing the circus act that is already my life. I am a total and complete rattled mess. All in one week, I lost my wallet, car keys, and threw my iPhone 3G in the trash! My brain is absolutely overloaded—there is just no more room to store anything else. As one of my friends on Twitter @GoStudentNurse so eloquently put it—“It’s not an issue of ‘hard’ or ‘overwhelming.’ It’s stuffing 10 lbs into a 5 lbs bag.” Couldn’t have said it better myself…
So let’s see what we’ve covered so far—Patient Safety, Hygiene, Medication Administration, and Wound Care in Fundamentals; plus the history and humble beginnings of nursing in my Intro to Professional Nursing course—no, I did not know that the first nurses were prostitutes… This weekend in clinical/lab we’ll be doing catheter insertion, wound care/culture, and administering injections–into an orange no less. I wonder when we aspirate and get juice are we still supposed to inject? 😀
All in all I have to say I am developing a love/hate relationship with nursing school. When I have a clear and quiet 30 seconds (which is about all I can spare these days) I can actually sit back and think—“wow, this stuff I’m learning is really interesting and I can’t wait to actually put some of it to good use.” But when I’ve only had about four hours of sleep and am still three chapters behind in my reading, I’m running late for class/work, there’s a pile up on the expressway, and I’ve been reviewing for a lab day on hygiene only to find out it’s now on vital signs instead…I certainly do not feel any of those warm and fuzzies…
Till next time…
Posted in Nursing school | Tagged: clinicals, NCLEX questions, Nursing, Nursing school, nursing student, sleep, sleep deprivation, Starbucks, twitter | 1 Comment »