About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Last break I'll get for a while

So wow, my road trip was fabulous. I shall detail it shortly... But first, the information you nursing-students-to-be are clearly dying to hear about: how the N95 mask fitting went!

Ok, so this isn't a pic of my group, but it was essentially the same thing: standing around with spaceman bags on our heads, with the masks on. There was a hole in the front of each head-bag that the tester would spray some Bittrex (super bitter airborne chemical) into, and she instructed each of us to breathe deeply through our mouths with the masks on.

There were 3 different sizes to choose from. I originally had the medium sized one on, but it was really hard to get a seal around my nose and my glasses kept fogging up. It was weird, none of the other people had an issue (or appeared to have an issue) with their masks, so I felt a little self-conscious with all my trouble. I just kept in mind that one day I would be caring for a TB/SARS/H5N1 patient and I would be sorry then if I wasn't honest now!

So the tester downgraded me to the small mask, 3M 8110S. That was a much better fit and I was able to wear my glasses comfortably. And I didn't taste any Bittrex, hooray!

So here's my $40 mask. As in, it's technically worthless now that I've worn it, but they let me keep it, and I paid $40 for them to spray chemicals in my face. Cool, huh? The warning label is a little scary: Misuse may result in sickness or death.

Now for the road trip details: I went to work until 9, and came home to pack my bags. The list was a little exhaustive, what with the changeable weather in the mountains, but I have a gianormous backpack that I used while traveling through Europe. It can fit pretty much my whole life in it when packed correctly. Well, I ended up taking so long with the packing that I didn't get to bed until midnight. I had to set my alarm for 0345!! We had to meet at the school for 0430 and the city buses weren't running that early, so I ended up taking a cab. The cabbie was really nice and I was kind of pumped so I kept chatting away and I'm sure he was just thinking God, I hate college kids.

There ended up being 30 students on the trip, and we took a charter bus to the teeny-tiny-town of Nordegg, where we dropped off half of the group to go rafting and the rest of us headed to the rock climbing place. Turned out there was a good hour's hike to get to the actual spot, which I was sooo not in shape for but was game anyway, up through a canyon and along a mountainside. It was incredible how the weather changed so dramatically. When we were in the canyon I literally was dripping sweat from under my helmet, but we then got up to the rock face and it was raining and hailing and freezing in general. I had a lot of fun with the canyoneering part but when it came to do the actual climbing, I wasn't so into it. The rain and sleet made the rock face slick and freezing cold, and even though I was wearing triple-layer snow gear complete with toque and skidoo mitts, I was drenched and pretty much miserable. I did give it a fair shot though; I belayed someone up a climb even with hail falling into my eyes. I also took a stab at the easier climb (I am deathly afraid of heights, and climbing a real cliff is not quite the same as a climbing wall) but I slipped while making a big step and fell. That was a good enough try for me :)

That night at the hostel, there was a great deal of drinking and rabble-rousing by most of the students but I pretty much hung out in my room and studied Anatomy. I crashed at 2230 and that was all I remember, except one girl in my room (who, interestingly, is also in the Nursing program) somehow rolled off of the top bunk, over the rail, onto the floor. She was pretty drunk, lucky for her.

The next day it was a little warmer and we went rafting down the mighty North Saskatchewan. The water was pretty much hypothermic and, even though I love rafting (in the summer), I was not feeling it. We went down once and I was in the front, which is splash central. The run took about an hour and we got back to camp, where there was a fire and a picnic. They wanted to go again but I stayed at the camp and had a nap in the sunshine on the beach - somewhere along the way, it got super nice and sunny outside! I was there watching some kayakers and snoozing for a couple of hours until the group got back and said the water was way better now that the sun was out, and I should go for the third and last run. I agreed and got all of my gear back on, and down we went again! It was so much fun when I wasn't freaking about the water temperature! Our two raft crews were feeling pretty goofy and we had a guy on each raft stick his head out the front and bashed them together. They then went face first into the rapids. It was really fun and a great way to end the trip.

All in all, I can't believe that only cost me $50 because it was a fantastic escape from the city and cheap-cheap-cheap.

Anyway, I have midterms coming up in a week and I'm pretty much just going to study hardcore for the rest of the week.

AND, I thought I was all ready for class today because I stayed up last night, after getting home, in order to finish a paper for English (yes, that English). Picture my expression when I discovered that I missed one of the five online reading exams for my Discipline of Nursing class!! It had closed at 0700 this morning. I am so ashamed - that is 2% off of my final grade. Believe me, that's not a mistake I will make twice.

Forgotten test notwithstanding, I hope your weekend was as good as mine!


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