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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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hiatus: clarity ensues!

Well, sometimes.

I really do apologize for the dearth of posts in the last couple of months (wow, has it really been that long?). I was/am still dealing with some personal stuff that I'd rather not air on the interweb but school-wise everything is going very well! We finished off the second semester in mid-April and I did decently, still hopefully in the running for a second year scholarship although I lost my tenuous grip on Dean's list. But I'm okay with that - the semester was intense!

Oh wow, our last class in Physiology was very exciting! Note to future students - do not plan to have a 3 hour class on Friday from 2 to 5. It feels more like a 6 hour class. She was about 6 or 7 months pregnant and I'm sure she was as glad to be done as we were. She was a great prof, really knowledgable, but she had the most unfortunate monotone voice. I ended up being conditioned to fall asleep at the sound of her lecturing :)

The Micro test was the hardest of all the finals. I studied like I'd studied for her previous tests but unfortunately she amped the difficulty like 35% for the final. It was really hard and I came out of there feeling like I'd been punched in the gut. There were short answer questions on there that I didn't see coming and unfortunately a zillion questions on the actions of antimicrobial drugs. Luckily I "diagnosed" the short answer infection correctly as malaria and was able to answer all the related questions semi-correctly. Yup, it was a challenge. Of course, going through the class had me convinced that I either previously or currently was infected with any number of terrible organisms. Like diptheria or rubella! Scarlet fever anyone?

Psych, Communications, and Nursing 175 were just more of the same as last semester. Kind of fluffy, no real hard knowledge required. Nursing was mostly regurgitated factoids from Potter & Perry that anyone who had been awake during clinical should know - what is the proper positioning of the BP cuff? Where can you clamp the Sp02 monitor? Mrs. Brown looks like she's about to keel over, what do you do? And some of the more tricky memorized parts, such as bed positioning and the according names.

I actually enjoyed Communications more than I thought I would. I didn't really learn anything - does anyone actually have moments in those classes where they're like, ohhhh, now I understand human behaviour? The prof was a lot of fun and very spot-on in her statements. She also refused to play politically correct so we got to hear some really good stories about life as a nurse in a hospital and running a nursing home. The best part about that class was that I made some really good friends who have been pretty much awesome in helping me out with my personal life. Heart you guys! To celebrate the (almost) end of the first year, piles of nursing students went out drinking and dancing. We did a lot of fun things together in a week that will forever be known as Nursing Students Gone Wild, Parts 1, 2, and 3. I'd have to recommend that to every student as a way to end the school year! It felt so good, after a month of locked in the library studying for hours, to let go and just be 24 again. Or 19, in most cases :) One night I got a lot of free drinks for a variety of reasons - first, I got socked in the eye by a guy giving his friend a vigorous ILOVEYOUMAN hug, and all my friends ordered him to buy me a drink immediately, and thereafter mostly by guys trying to get with my beautiful, and single, friend Tina from our clinical group. Not that it worked but I appreciated the gesture! ;) We also tried out our nursing student pickup moves. These must be as old as time. We'd tell anyone who would listen that we were first year students and would subsequently impress them with our brachial-pulse-finding skills, and tell them they were experiencing tachycardia. Even if they weren't. More free drinks for Tina and I. There you go, you learned it from UgRN first :)

On May 5th we started our third and final semester of Year 1. It was a condensed Psych 105 class that was the follow up to Psych 104. 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, 3 weeks long. Actually, I just wrote the final exam a week ago.

Boy, do I have a story about this instructor. Maybe it's a requisite that psych instructors need to be batshit crazy - you tell me!

So on the first day I sat in the front because I was kind of late and the class was packed. So I sit within "saliva distance" of this very enunciative man and listened to him regale the class with tales of his residency in gynecology and how NOBODY should go into gynecology as it is clearly the worst field imaginable.

Nursing students present exchange uncomfortable glances.

So, okay. He's a physician who left medicine to pursue psychology. I could see it, and at any rate if he didn't like labia that was his own problem.

Then he proposed that we change the class time from 0900 to 0830 because, and I quote, "the lineup is shorter at Tim Hortons and I'll have a better chance at getting a parking spot." Uh, right. Well I have a problem with that because I work evenings from 2-10 and any half hour in the morning that I get, I'm going to cherish. Also hanging out downtown for yet another half hour before work isn't really appealing. Also I don't drive, I don't give a rip about your parking spot or your coffee, and this just might be the most self-centered thing I've ever heard a prof say.

"Does anyone strongly oppose this change?" (Note use of the words 'STRONGLY oppose'. Because minor opposition will just have to suck it up, princess!)

Nursing students present exchange uncomfortable glances.

Then, suddenly, a hand shoots in the air! A single, stalwart hand that, yes, strongly opposes self-serving suggestions by college professors whom we are paying to listen to!

I look up. OH MY GOD IT'S MY HAND! I turn bright pink but I keep my hand up. He looks at me with contempt and suddenly there's more hands out there. Yes, more evening shift workers who don't want to come in earlier and make their days even longer. Whew!

"Please step outside so we can discuss your excuses, uh, reasons."

We then form in a semicircle of determination while he goes through us, one by one, trying to discredit our reasons for not wanting to change the class time. Because the class time on the roster is the one we signed up for, we say, and because we work late to put ourselves through this class. Not that we should have had to defend ourselves at all. But I was still bright pink from being the Class Dissenter.

"Can't you change your shifts?"

Uh, WHAT? Change our shifts so you can get coffee? The shifts I planned around this class? Can I get a hell no?

Thus was the start to our semester.

More epic tales of Dr. Uncongeniality to follow :)
Friday, May 8, 2009

Dear world

I am still here. Life is insane these days. Weekend update to follow... I promise!