Wednesday, September 30, 2009


In Nursing School you have the traditional classes, clinicals and then there are the experiences. Like the ED, OR, Wound Center etc.

So far my experience in the OR has cemented my idea, that when RN-BSN, is entered after my name it will be the OR/PACU that I aspire to call my home.

I worked with two Travel Nurses and although I had heard many things about the Travel Nurse, I learned that a Traveler is most likely in my future as well.

What is a Mom, who's children are soon to fly the nest, to do when her whole life has been taking care of them. But will still be in her 30's when the youngest graduates from school?

Well if she loves to move, aka relocate, as often as I do, and has a husband who is supportive to being supported, Travel Nursing sounds like a great idea. Of course I have to get through to RN and all that but hey, with the potential for another 30 years in this career the limits are endless to what I can accomplish!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ducks in a Row

It has been a turbulent last week or so on the home front and things are about to take a turn. No idea where that will lead but like all growth it begins with small steps. I'm hoping to come out on the other end with the familial connection still intact. But for my family's sake, mostly the hubby and kids, I had to alter my plans a bit and move forward a bit sooner. I think if all goes well on Saturday and we hear what we need to hear, and get what we need to get. I think perhaps we can come out of all of this a lot wiser, and none the worse for the ware?

School is in a lull right now or rather a transition. Which is a nice break. Of course that doesn't mean there isn't anything to study. IV class is lecture this week and I am picking my first patient in clinical too. I still have yet to figure how that will make much difference considering the acuity of the patients on the floor and our current scope of practice. But perhaps I'll get a lab draw or a foley or an equally as exciting IV start this week?

The weird part is that we are not scheduled to start the OB clinicals until the middle of this month. But we will start OB lecture next week. Med Surg Theory is over, but we have a few more weeks of Med/Surg Clinicals left.

Well I suppose I will get some reading done and do some more NCLEX questions. I try and do about 50 a day at this point. I'll work my way up as the tests gets closer.

Ugh.. if only I had a one of those remotes from "Click", fast forward would be a nice option right now! I just want this phase to be OVER!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Trauma.... Drama...

I could say that this was all at the same place, but after a night filled with the excitement of a Trauma, I came home to the DRAMA!! So what else is new. Same story different day, two extremely fucked in the head men in a pissing contest and me in the middle.

I'd slit my wrists and say fuck it all to hell, but what would that solve?

So all that BS aside the Trauma night was amazing. I can see how people could get addicted to this shit! Let's just say that large amounts of ETOH, no keys to your house and a window do not make very good bed fellows. Particularly when you slice open and resect, to the bone, every nerve and artery in your limb. It does on the other hand, make for very happy Nursing Students who got to help. All that blood was awesome!

1.) Neat landing that flying contraption made.
2.) Totally cool to play real life ER followed by Grey's Anatomy
3.) I think the Circulating Nurse is a SAINT and yes I think I may want that job too!
4.) Squeezing blood into the drip chamber so it pours into the body fast as hell is hand cramping business, and my hands are outta shape.
5.) Getting to spike a IV bag, hang it and clear the line in a busy OR and have the OR team clap... is an awesome feeling! LOL

Shhhh... its a VIP

Is it really a secret when a VIP comes in if everyone knows about it in the Department? But the bigger question is... are they still a VIP if the first thing people say when they hear the name is, " Who is that? Never heard of them!" LOL

Today is my first of 3 OR days this clinical cycle. Yesterday they saw an open heart, a couple of fractured bones, some Appendectomies and some Cholecystectomies. Hope they didn't get them all done yesterday so the surgeons could have a long weekend! I'm more excited to see the set up and the take down of the room and the behind the scenes of the Circulating nurse. Not so much the surgery itself. I don't want to be a Doctor, especially a surgeon. I'll stick with Grey's Anatomy for that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Med Surg is really over?

Well for theory it is apparently. Next week starts OB and then we end with Peds. I'm hoping theory stays the same test wise. People are all freaking out because we have a new instructor and everyone hears she's tough and apparently only 14 people passed second block last term outta, I have no idea how many. But yeah people are starting to panic. I figure after last year how much harder can it be? OB is a topic I think I know alot about plus she's lectured us a few times, and we've had her for Lab, I actually prefer the way she teaches over our Med/Surg teacher. But I guess only time will tell.

We still have Med/Surg clinical until 11/6, but there are 24 hours of OB mixed in there in October. We end with 24 hours of Peds clinical, except its actually even after Pinning! There was a SNAFU with the schedule so they had to change Pinning from the 15th of December to the 9th. I wonder how that is going to work out! CRAZY!

I did some practice IV insertion this AM on a hot dog... LOL, and tonight is lab again. Hubby is coming with me and offering up his veins again.

Ok well off to do some more NCLEX questions and laundry... fun fun fun. Can you stand it?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday Torture

So I am off to take a test today in Theory. This is # 4 I think. I have pretty much lost track of time, I have no idea how many weeks we have trudged through so far. I don't feel overwhelmed right now, I just feel a bit discombobulated. I don't think I have a flow with studying this term, but I am doing very well and have a high B. I'm not stressing that its only a B. I've started to more think about the big picture of it all. Graduation, NCLEX, work, then continue school toward BSN. I've been doing allot of NCLEX questions as a study technique this term and hope that it all "clicks".

So much going on but no time to write... need to head out to school soon!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Just a note

We have company this week so its been weird around here. Not weird in a bad way... just different. I'm so tired, sleeping on the couch is NOT very restful!! But the food they cook is a nice change of pace! We had some yummy T-bone steaks and a mixed veggie rague (summer squash, zucchini, onion, green pepper & tomato) tonight for dinner.

So the first week of clinical was over I have to say that THIS is the reason I want to be a Nurse. I don't even mind med/surg!!

Next Friday I get to observe in the OR. Finally not just in Pre and Post OP. I'm actually loving my clinical instructor things are soooo different that last semester!

No sooner did I step on the floor than the Charge was said, " Ever seen an IJ d/c'd?"
me: "Nope!" and
Charge Nurse: "Gown up and come on in!"

I got to assist so that was really interesting. I also got to help dc the foley and prime a J-tube feeding. We sat in on a tough stick IV insertion and put on some ID bands. It was very interesting to see how each Nurse worked their patient load, charted and did assessments. I am really liking clinical so far. By day two last semester I was already dreading the next week. I am actually looking forward to Thursday and Fridays now!

Lesson 1 learned in clinical- The effects of a certain drain cleaner when ingested really can do a number on a person and their alimentary canal!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Beginning

So clinical begins today. We are outta the Nursing Home and into the Hospital. It should be interesting I hope. While still being HIPPA compliant, perhaps I'll have some stories. Just a sidebar,everyone in my stories will be 200 years old and a hermaphrodite Martian so as not to risk any verifying information.

In IV news, I managed to get my first "stick" yesterday outta my 5 required for certification. Step one is to find the vein, access the vein, and with or without help thread the catheter, verify placement by withdrawing on the flush, and finally DCing the IV. So with the help of my patient husband, who was stuck twice last night, I managed to complete the task. I do however still need the confidence on threading without help. But its a skill, its a process and I WILL master it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What's the Haps?

Clinical starts again tomorrow and we have yet to hear from our Instructor. The worse thing though is that our Program Director has yet to hear from her too. Wouldn't you think that they'd consider a back up plan or something?

So tomorrow we have no idea where to meet, what to bring, what we are doing for dinner, what we need to have done prior, and have never been to that location before. We don't even have an idea what she looks like. Of course she can find us. There isn't much to miss with a group of 9 girls in green scrub tops and white scrub pants all standing around looking lost!

So in other news, I have completely psyched myself out about IV insertion at this point. I totally don't want to even try. Which is stupid, I know, but the hang up is of course on the what can go wrong and what if I still don't get it. I can practice a million times on the fake arms and on the pool noodle and nail it each time. But for some reason, when the instructor is there and there is real skin I panic.

Tonight is another chance, and since I am bringing my husband to practice on maybe I'll feel more relaxed? Heck maybe I'll feel worse. Who knows.

But he has been amazingly supportive throughout all of this and I appreciate his support more than he probably even knows!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Can you believe it... I've changed my mind again!

So we started talking about the NCLEX exam in class the other day. Of course this was after our Theory Instructor was a no show. The program director, who happens to be our Peds/OB instructor, came over and covered the class for us. I am pretty frustrated with my current Med/Surg Theory Instructor and feel like this course is ALOT of self teaching. Mostly because she is constantly late.

So anyway... We covered test taking strategies and how the questions work. How the computer weighs each question and just how crazy the test will be. Nothing I haven't figured out myself of course. But it also gave me some ideas on how to study more effectively. So that made it worth it.

And the thought of NCLEX being so close got me thinking....and when I start thinking it can go either way! LOL

I have been up and down and all around trying to figure out the route that I want to take. Stop at LPN for awhile, continue to ADN instantly, or head straight to BSN and skip the middle man.

Back and forth I've swung, should I or shouldn't I? I really hate the analytical me that always over thinks, has buyers remorse, and can formulate a plan, yet feels the need to constantly research alternate routes to take. But circumstances in my life seem to change with the tides of the ocean and plans just have to be diverted for the emotinal well being of ME! Even if I happen to be a neurotic control freak at the moment!

So the conclusion I have come to is this... I have no idea exactly what is going to happen!

I know do know this tho...

1. ) I dropped the idea of cramming Micro and Chem in this semester. I want to be successful in this program. I'll worry about the RN portion after I pass the HESI.

2.) I really need to get back to work,make some money, and MOVE! I appreciate the help and support I have been offered and the chance this has given me to be successful and to fulfil my dream of becoming a Nurse. However,I do not like being beholden to the good graces and the constant worry that the object being held over my head is going to drop on me and crush a fragile familial relationship.

3.) With the current job market I really think going the BSN route to complete my RN makes more sense. I can work as an LPN and go to school at the same time via the LPN-BSN route. Where as alternately, the RN ADN route would not afford me the chance to work full time like I need to the way it is currently offered. Besides in 18 months I'd have a BSN!

4.)I would really love some employer support to help pay for the RN portion of my degree!!

5) And lastly have I mentioned that I want to MOVE!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

IV not to be... at least not for me... YET!

Yup IV was not an easy feat! I tried twice and both times I did not get a successful PASS. Of course we have many more attempts as this was only day one. But it was a big fat disappointment for me.

So the first time I thought I had a vein and it was a big juicy one, but I may have gone in at an odd angle and did not anchor it and it rolled away. So no flashback and advancing it did not help. I did not want to dig around or anything.

Then I tried again on another person. It was a hidden median cephalic and POP it went in, awesome flashback, but I panicked and could not figure out how to safely advance the catheter with one finger in a smooth motion. SUCKS!!!

So anyway, I will be going early on Wednesday with the veins of my hubby, who bribed with the new Madden game, has agreed to be a supportive husband to his student nurse wife!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nervous excited... freaked out!

Tonight is the night that we are supposed to get our first "live" sticks in IV class!!

1.) I am so nervous about advancing the catheter correctly with 1 finger, while holding the stylet so that it does not reinsert!
2.) I am afraid my angle will be too deep and I'll blow the vein or something.
3.) I'm freaked out about the saline lock having a bubble when I flush it. Even with priming a bubble can happen!!


4.) I'm relieved at least its not on a real patient and its just on a, just as nervous, classmate!

So... How did you do on your first IV attempt?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Here we go again...

The study group drama and the please teach me pleadings have begun.

What the heck people! I am a procrastinating last minute, grab the info from the recesses of my brain kind of studier! I simply take lecture notes and add them to the photographic remnants of memory that have not been turned into Swiss cheese by anesthesia amnesia.

I don't know how I know this stuff! I don't know how I get it to stick in my brain! Heck I don't even think it does stick in my brain sometimes. I'm just a good critical thinker and sometimes that's what these questions require.

I read what you read, I practice what you practice, and I research as needed, and yes that does include frequent trips to the bookstore for any additional aide that's recommended to me.

Yet most importantly, I want that A but I am not overkilling to get it. I think of it as I need a C and everything above and beyond that is gravy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sweet 16

My daughter is getting her class ring soon. The first real sign that she is not too far away from graduating. First driving and now this? Where has the time gone since my baby was a baby? She'll be 16 in 21 days ! WOW

Virtual IV Virtually sucks!

So I got to try the virtual IV and lets just say it DID NOT go over very big. It looks really cool in theory, but I did not fair so well. I think its because I had no idea how the thing worked, but now I am VERY freaked out about my first live stick on Wednesday! So many things can happen, can go wrong!

Clinical starts on the 17th. The hospital. So that should be interesting. I've had two tests in Theory and two in lab and am managing a high B and a high A respectively.

My first assignment in Microbiology is due tomorrow and here is the first interruption of family plans that has caused some negative feedback. Hubby wants to go up north for the day to check out the area I was thinking of applying after graduation. Except I have to do homework.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

To Honors or not to Honors?

I was offered a chance to become a member of the Honors program and Phi Theta Kappa this week. Of course heck yeah I want Phi Theta Kappa, I'm just not sure if I want the Honors designation and the extra class work that comes along with it.

The scholarships available would be nice and the tuition reimbursement would be awesome, but I have no idea if an additional research project is the best idea with the crazy schedule I have this semester. All I need is a B in the class but an additional paper worth 10-20% of my grade? The pressure!

So at this point I have to go and meet with the advisor to see about what to do next and I have to do it pretty quick!

I'd feel better if I didn't feel like my GPA was teetering on the tip of my perpetual procrastination habit!