Monday, June 15, 2015

130 Days left...

Well, here I am again. Life has been crazy since my last post. Here are some updates on what I have been doing:

1. I have successfully finished Psych, Cardiac, Endocrine, GI, and am finishing up my pediatric rotation. Although it seems like I haven't learned anything, I continue to surprise myself through exams and reviewing for my NCLEX boards. Its crazy how much information I have absorbed...

2. I got a CNA job in the hospital! I work on a Med/Surg Oncology floor at a local hospital. I am loving it so far! I am learning something new every time I go to work and reinforcing ideas being taught in school. It has also taught me that night shift is rough... I am still not on a schedule.

3. I have set my preferences for my internship! My preferences were: emergency department, ICU, cardiac, or step-down. I start this in August for 8 weeks! (:

Until next time... here is nursing describes in memes.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Confessions from a Nursing student: Psych

Well, I have officially survived my psych rotation! It was an interesting experience to work with these people and a real challenge for me.

As I stated in my last post... I held a lot of stereotypes towards people with mental illnesses. Though some may have proven to be true, most of them were cleared by the people that I worked with.

Three things I did not like about my experience in psych:
1. Even though we were there for a period of 5 weeks we saw multiple patients come and go. It was like a revolving door. A patient would leave on week and be right back in the unit the next week. It was very discouraging to see the same patients having the same struggles.

2. It was heartbreaking to see the little kids with such sad a sad history. I mean, how can your heart not go out to the 6 year old who tried to commit suicide? I personally was at a loss for what to do to help any of them. I really felt like I wanted to comfort them give them a big hug and tell them it will all be okay--which is exactly what you are not supposed to do.

3. When a patient tells you they hear voices that tell them to carry out suicidal/homicidal actions.  There is nothing thus far that compares to the shock of someone telling you about voices that are commanding them to do something. Especially my first few days, it was really hard to get past that "what the heck do I say to that" phase.

Despite my discomfort level the first few days, I really began to enjoy myself by the end. Once you get past your first few interviews communicating with the really sick patients gets a heck of a lot easier. I feel like my communication skills have drastically improved and I am comfortable sitting down and talking to anyone--even if they are not completely connected with reality.

I really enjoyed getting to help most of the patients. This clinical really challenged my communication skills. I had to learn to discover things about the patient's mind rather than only what I can see. It was a great class, but I don't think I have a future as a psychiatric nurse.

Only 9 months left of school! I can't wait!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Welcome to Psych.

"See this dent in my nose? Yeah, that's where a patient jumped on my back and smashed my face into a wall 8 times. She broke my nose pretty good... but don't be scared."
Yet again, nursing school has me terrified. Great way to start off a class, Mrs. P. Now I am scared that I am going to get the crap beaten out of me by a patient during clinicals. I knew I should have started working out more...

Don't get me wrong, I have worked with many crazy demented older folks. But really, how much harm can a little old lady do? Dementia is easy... all you have to do is redirect their thoughts--"hey want some potato chips?" or "how about we go play a game." They will more than likely forget what they were even upset about 5 minutes later. With dementia patients you enter their world. If they are in Taiwan drinking a margarita then you nod you head and go right along with them. Working with other psych issues that really make people sick is what scares me. You can't just "go into their world" if they are having hallucinations or hearing voices. You have to pull them back to reality. That is a whole different world of care than what I am used to.

I know that in reality most of the people in the hospital are very normal people that are having trouble keeping their illness under control. I know there are a few people I know that seem perfectly normal despite the fact that they have a mental illness. I know that people are perfectly capable of functioning with mental problems, yet I am still nervous about working with them in the hospital.

I think what scares me the most is that I am still learning to be good at "therapeutic communication." I always have a hard time getting patients to explain things to me--even simple things. Working with patients who are severely depressed only makes talking to them that much harder. I am not good at asking very personal and emotional questions yet. I mean, how easy is it to ask someone about their suicide plan? That is an intense conversation to have and it is a little outside of my comfort zone (as of right now anyways...)

So for now, I am going to stay positive and get my nerves under control. I need to remember to set aside all my thoughts of what I think psych patients will be like and keep an open mind. I start my clinical rotation on Monday!

I will keep everyone posted on how my first day goes.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Labor and Delivery

Mother Baby. This class was the one I dreaded most. I have absolutely zero experience with babies as well as pregnant women. I felt completely out of my element going into my clinical at the hospital and I was sure that I would hate being a Labor and Delivery Nurse.

Boy, was I surprised when I really enjoyed myself.

For the first time in nursing school I felt like I was understanding everything. I could read the fetal monitors and tell when something was going wrong with mom or baby. I understood the medications and the parameters for using them. Finally, I felt like something clicked.

I got to see one vaginal delivery in my rotation. It was absolutely nothing like I had expected--but it was also not a normal delivery. This poor girl pushed maybe twice before that baby was out and the med students were scrambling to catch the poor little baby before it hit the bed. It was such a crazy scene to watch and be a part of. Of course, I was so nervous I am pretty sure that I was standing with my knees locked, and had to leave the room before I passed out. Oy! I didn't want the med students to have to pick me up off the floor while they were taking care of mom! Plus, I didn't want to be that girl who passed out during a delivery. The other students in my group never would have let me live that one down.

By no means was that delivery my only experience. We had mothers who snorted cocaine before coming in, a mother with a stillborn, and even an abusive husband who hit his wife after she had the baby. This rotation challenged me in many ways and made me push my beliefs or bias aside to understand the patients I was taking care of.

I really admired the nurses that I worked with in the hospital. They have so much courage, heart, and passion. It amazed me how they could go from one room with a still born baby to another room and not let their emotions get the best of them. They have an emotional rollercoaster everyday they go into work. But they also get the best job in the world--welcoming babies into the world and watching family's bond and grow.

Maybe I could be a Labor and Delivery nurse after all...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fall term has arrived!

Lets just say that this is the only class in nursing school that has me terrified.
I have no kids.
I am pretty sure I still have the mind of a small child.
I have zero experience with babies.
My middle name is not "graceful"
In fact, I am pretty sure I am close to being the world's biggest klutz.

That's it, I think I am destined to break a baby.

We had our clinical orientation on the "Women's Health Floor" yesterday, and I am more terrified than when the class started. We have different rotations through the unit... Labor and Delivery, Postpartum (after they have the baby), Normal nursery, and the NICU (for the high risk babies).
Of course, it's just my luck that I get assigned to the NICU babies first. It's clearly not enough to be scared to break/hurt a normal baby, they have to throw me in with the sick babies who are even more fragile than non-sick babies. OY!

Well, I ready to jump off the cliff and learn all that I can. People in class kept telling me that I will come out loving babies. I don't think my husband will be too happy about that one...

My first full clinical day is next Tuesday... I will let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ending Summer Term.

I have officially finished my summer nursing class! Yahoo!

This summer was my first Med/Surg class. I really loved it. I felt like a learned a lot and I finally felt like I was learning how to be a nurse and not just a nursing assistant. I passed a lot of medication, worked with trach tubes, helped with wound care, and gave quite a few injections.
My instructor pushed me with everything during clinicals. She would never answer my questions (which was very frustrating at first...) but told me to go find the answer for myself. She really wanted me to discover things for myself. I really finished this class with a lot more knowledge than I came in with.

I was nervous about this class. This class was no longer about the basics of nursing.. but added onto the knowledge I already had from working in the healthcare field. Thankfully, this instructor recorded her lectures so we could listen at home. I listened to each lecture twice before each test.

Despite being nervous about this class, I came out with an A! I am beginning to surprise myself. I have never been much of a studier (although I am learning to do so along my journey). I am lucky enough to have a husband who keeps me motivated to finish my homework. (Mostly because I feel lazy when I see him studying while I am watching food channel... haha!) So far, I am really loving my nursing classes and I feel like I have made the right career choice... even though I haven't completely broken my procrastination habits. I know that these classes will continue to challenge me and I am ready for whatever may come next.

Up Next is my Mother Baby class... now that should be interesting.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thinking about the future...

Lately I have been watching a lot of "Life in the ER" and "Inside Combat Rescue." Watching these shows really makes me so excited to graduate and start my life as a Nurse.
I know that I am still a newbie to the nursing world, but I have always had this draw towards ER/Trauma nursing. I don't know what it is about it, I just feel like it is something I want to be involved in. 
Doing clinicals on the Med/Surg floor was amazing, don't get me wrong--but the nurses were assigned 6-7 patients, and spent a limited amount of time with each of them. The call bells were going off like crazy and the nurses all seemed like they didn't really get to know their patients (at least from what I saw...) If the patient's status starts to go downhill--they send them off the unit to the nurses who are trained to handle more critical situations. Last week when the nurse I was with called a Rapid Response Team, you can bet that I was in that room watching everything they were doing. I was completely enjoying the chaos and learning from what others were doing.
Now, I know that working in that environment has its advantages--you learn time management, multi-tasking, how to really perfect your assessment, and learn collaboration with the whole team. There is nothing wrong with this at all--I just find myself addicted to those intense adrenaline rush moments. I find myself searching the unit for more complex and critical patients--I feel like I can learn a lot from them. 
I have been trying to plan out my course schedule for the Fall Semester to see if I can fit in time to take Emergency Medical Tech Basic courses. I think that this would be a great opportunity to step my foot into the first responder/emergency world. I don't know if I will have time this fall to complete these (although I would really love to). I am finishing up courses to start my bachelors degree. That being said, I am going to keep looking for chances to continue my education in critical care without overloading myself. Maybe I will get lucky enough to follow and ICU nurse for my preceptor ship next summer.
I guess watching ER shows in TV will have to support my obsession with the trauma field until school starts up again in the Fall. I have high hopes of where I will be going in the future. I can't wait for the day that I can tell everyone that I work in the ER....or better yet, that I will be a flight nurse. I guess I should start studying harder than I have been... (;