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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Friday, June 13, 2008

The Registration Process

Durrr, no sooner were the words spoken than my registration package 'miraculously' appears.

Turns out it had come in the mail on May 23, and has been living in a pile of junk on DB's desk (darling boyfriend, that is, or perhaps damned boyfriend at this point in time). After much verbal thrashing on my part, I eagerly ripped open the package to reveal a guidebook and nursing information packet including different course and section numbers. There was also a scratchpad schedule sheet and the requirement of a pencil and eraser. Boy, did I need it.

Registration officially opened on June 5th of this year. The package was mailed out early to give students time to get their classes organized in a way they like. I guess the theory was to have everything ready to go at 22:59 on June 4th, ready to pick the classes you wanted and when.

Yes, well, that would have worked for me except that I didn't get a chance to register until today (thanks, dear). So, I had quite a time planning out a schedule that made at least a little sense and hopefully didn't have me waiting around at school for hours and hours between classes.

I spent about an hour tweaking the schedule to just where I liked it, and logged in to register for the classes... behold, they are all full. Crud. So I went back to the scratchpad and rearranged them again, to a less-perfect schedule, but workable.

So, for the first term from September 'til December, my schedule reads thus:

0800 to 1000 - The Discipline of Nursing
1100 to 1400 - Human Anatomy
1400 to 1530 - Language and Literature

1100 to 1400 - Human Physiology I
1400 to 1530 - Foundations in Health

0800 to 1000 - Discipline of Nursing again
1400 to 1530 - L&L again

1400 to 1530 - Foundations in Health again

So I really can't complain. I probably will complain, at length, to DB to try and score some extra guilt points (hee hee). No Fridays, no weekends, nothing after 1530. The only bitch is that 4 hour block of nothing on Wednesday, and the single class on Thursday. In my experience, large blocks of time waiting around and single 1.5 hour classes may lead to the GPA-lethal "I think I'll skip that one" syndrome. Especially in winter.

In the second term from January to April, it goes thus:

All day, TBD: Clinicals! a.k.a Nursing Practice Foundations
(Something about that word makes me feel just SO nursing student)

0800 to 0930: Introductory Psychology
(For which I hope to get advance credit and avoid entirely)
1100 to 1230: Professional Communication
1400 to 1700: Microbiology for Health Professionals
(Whee! That's me!)

Wednesdays are OFF!

0800 to 0930: More psychology
1100 to 1230: More communication

0800 to 0930: My clinical lecture, presumably to review how our day went
1200 to 1400: Nursing Practice Foundations Lab, no idea what this may entail. Re-enacting various procedures,  or perhaps commiserating in our confusion? :)
1400 to 1700: Human Physiology II

Yes, Friday will be pretty hard core. But days off in the middle of the week are very good for recharging batteries, or even for getting a full shift in at work.

There is a third term during May, which I'm sure I'll be very sick of by then. It's Monday to Friday, 0900 to 1200.

The total sum for (only) tuition for next year? $6,837.25 ... can't leave out that extra quarter, right? *eye roll*
Thursday, June 12, 2008

A small commentary...

On the effect that a proper uniform can have.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the 'Gina Doc for my semi-annual exam. The clinic is small, friendly, and pro-female, so I really like going there. It's got a casual sisterhood vibe. Actually, the first time I went there and an RN consulted with me on my sexual history, I got my first real glimpse into the world of nursing beyond the hospital. It seems like a great job! She was wearing some business casual slacks and jewelry, and had a little office overlooking the park. No shiftwork for her, either. That clinic is a we-close-early-on-Friday kind of place.

So getting more to the point: I went for an exam a couple of weeks ago, and a different nurse escorted me back to the exam room. This nurse was a far cry from my first nurse. It didn't even occur to me that she was a nurse, honestly.

First impression: big woman in smaaalll clothes. Tighty jeans and spaghetti strap tank. Open-toe heels, bangles, and loud rings on every finger. Lovehandles showing, complete with tramp stamp, and was that a thong strap? All-around yikes. Nice lady. Did NOT get the memo about her work attire.

Which leads me to a point brought up on I am a Nursing Student:

It always amazes me how willing people are to get naked for you once you wear a hospital uniform. I've had a good number of patients sofar this semester, and not a one objected to me lifting their shirts to listen to their chest, or helping them put on clean undies and a gown. Of course, they have no reason to worry about me seeing them naked; I am a professional. I'm going to see a million before I'm done. But what is it that makes them trust me with their body more than they would any other stranger? Surely it isn't the purple uniform... though I'm certain they'd be more uneasy if I was there wearing jeans and a tee-shirt.

Until my nurse introduced herself as one, I had no idea what her role in this clinic might be. I thought she was a receptionist who needed a visit from Stacy and Clinton. My mind, already attuned to the healthcare industry, did not jump to "Healthcare Professional".

This is not a commentary on how she did her job. She was nice, sounded professional, and she obviously has some brains.

This is a commentary on the power of first impressions. I would not have felt as comfortable dropping my pants for her as I would have for someone in scrubs, regardless of level of training. I would, at first blush, rather have a student in scrubs assist in my exam than an RN dressed like a hoochie mama.

Strange, no?

[Picture Credit]

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just in case you were wondering,

I am done everything on my to-do for school list, for now. 

I know some of you read regularly (although you never comment! boo!) and maybe you wonder why the hell I never update. By never, I mean less than once a week. After all, blogs are supposed to be web logs, right? I think people who blog should be writing something at least twice a week, if not more.

The reason I don't is that I know of too many 'themed' blogs that go completely off topic a lot of the time. I can think of more than a few nurse/student blogs that are more of a life play-by-play with a side of nursing. It's certainly their prerogative (it's their blog!) but I personally prefer when they stick to the central theme. I really like the way Heather Keys blogs: she has her personal blog and her nursing student blog, two completely separate entities. Too bad she isn't a student any more, because her blog is what made me want to start my own. I think hers is pretty much the gold standard.

Since I'm not actually in school yet, I only want to update when there is something to update. Which isn't often. Not yet, anyway.

So to those of you who read currently and those who may find me later, there will be updates, many updates, when I have something relevant to talk about. DivaCups notwithstanding, because I thought those were important enough to be mentioned in spite of my self-made subject restrictions. 'Sides, they're kinda healthcare related :)

Next scheduled update: When I receive my registration package, possibly in a few weeks.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The List

Yesterday I decided it was go time for the remaining items on my to-do list.

I've been trying to get in for a combination First Aid/CPR for HCP (health care providers) course at my school's Life Support Training department. Unfortunately, it would appear that I missed the last spot for the last course they have scheduled by about a month. I tried to call in my registration about 2 weeks ago and the guy at the registrar's office was not hearing what I was saying. He was trying to register me for a re-cert or something. I finally just decided to call the department directly.

The thing is that while the first aid requirement can come from any agency, the CPR (aka BLS - basic life support) can only be taken by a Heart & Stroke approved agency. I spent a few hours researching this topic and it turns out there are exactly 2 providers of Heart & Stroke approved BLS for HCP in my city. One of which was my school, who is sold out. The other is this really schiesty homegrown facility that doesn't offer a combination of First Aid and HCP/BLS. So I'd end up having to take the two courses separately over 4 days. Blech.

I did, however, take my first aid through St. John Ambulance just under 3 years ago, when I first moved to the city and was working as a personal support worker in rehabilitation. The thing is I have noooo idea what might have happened to the certificate that I got. It's good for 3 years, so it would be enough for my entrance into the program. I called the customer service desk and they were able to pull my records, so they will mail me a copy of my certificate. The nice thing about all of this is the first aid is necessary for admittance into the program only, so after I'm in, I can sign up for the combination course through my school and save a lot of hassle.

I also went to the police headquarters for a criminal record check. Something about going there, although I haven't done anything wrong, gives me the heebie-jeebies. Maybe (probably) because the guy at reception talks through glass using a scary microphone. Makes sense for him, I know, but it freaks ME out :) So I should be receiving that in the mail in the next few weeks, and then I am done all my conditional acceptance requirements, yay!
Monday, June 2, 2008

The Diva Update

Well, it's been 4 days shared ever-so-intimately between me and my DivaCup.

Bottom line: If you have a uterus and are pre-menopausal, go. Now. Run. To your nearest vendor of menstrual cups. Purchase one for yourself and one for each of your female friends.

No leaks at all, after bathing, biking, toileting, or sneezing. It kinda suctions itself to the vaginal wall and makes a supergood seal. For the first time, my white undies stayed that way, without the whole soak/wash regime! The discomfort I had on the first day was due to the long stem. I cut about 1/4" from the bottom of the stem and now I can't feel a thing. It's like a revelation down there. No tampons sucking up all the moisture. No giant mess due to pads. No ewwwwww, not even when emptying out the cup. But I'm good like that.

The learning curve I have yet to master is the art of insertion, but I discovered there are about a million ways to put that thing in, so I just need more practice.

Anyway, back to your regular scheduled program of Undergrad RN, posting on meaningfully student-nurse-related subjects.