Thanksgiving Break

Well I’m on Thanksgiving break until December 4th (whoop!) however it’s not going to be much of a break. I’m trying to work on my major research project – a research article critique that is worth 50% of my grade – and it’s kicking my butt. There are 50 points that we have to touch on in this critique and so far I’ve only touched on 3. I think I may working on this awhile.

Also, the Wednesday we get back from break we have our 3rd Women’s exam (ew) and the next morning (Thursday) we have our J2 HESI. And then study study study because the week after that is finals!

At least my aging group project is done! And aside from all those tests I just have one more research quiz to complete, and one more aging discussion board to do (those two will be easy-peasy).

Can’t believe I’m almost a 50% RN! 😉

Happy Thanksgiving Break, everyone!! Enjoy the day and give a prayer of thanks for your friends and family who are supporting you through your adventures in life (I know I am!).

It's hard to concentrate when all I want to do is snuggle with the pups and watch a good movie!!

It’s hard to concentrate when all I want to do is snuggle with the pups and watch a good movie!!


50 Years…

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the day that President John F. Kennedy was shot.

Living in the DFW area, I have grown up with this history and have many times been on the street on which he was shot. This semester, I stepped foot in Parkland hospital for the first time and was able to stand on the site of Trauma 1 and the place where he was declared dead.

I would have to honestly say that it was JFK who began my desire to have a career in the medical field. How is that possible? I certainly wasn’t alive when he was shot…in fact my own father was a young toddler when that occurred and not even my mother was alive!

When I was about 6 or 7 my parents gave me the booklet that they had received from the Dallas memorial for JFK. In this booklet (which I still have) there were interviews and information about the day when JFK was shot. And pictures. Many many pictures, most of which I do believe are false, but it was these pictures that spurred my interest in the medical field. They were autopsy photos and descriptions of where the bullets had entered and exited the President’s body. And the descriptions were so full of medical jargon…none of which I understood. I poured over those gruesome pictures and was enthralled with the human body and what could happen to the human body in the span of 5 seconds that would cause death. And I looked up the words that I didn’t understand. And I remained so interested in the anatomy and the mysteries of the human body that from then on I knew I wanted to be involved somehow in medicine.

My interests have certainly evolved from that point…when I was younger I wanted to be a doctor or maybe even a coroner due to my love of the human body. But for me now I realize that there is so much more than the human body, diseases, and medicine. There is also the human spirit. And the human spirit is why I am so interested in and passionate about nursing. I still LOVE the human body and am interested in the tragedies that can occur with it (which is why I think I’m so interested in trauma/ER nursing), but I also really want to be involved in the soul and spirit of the patient and their family.

Call me weird if you must (it’s certainly true) but that is my origin story. And it all revolves around JFK’s death.



I May Have Found My Specialty…

Whelp….I think I found where I want to be when I grow up.

The ER!

I loved the fast pace and the different assortment of people, ages, diagnoses, medications. I loved the idea of not knowing who you were going to see next. I loved the quick turn around. I loved that the doctors were all on the unit and anytime you needed anything you could just turn around and ask them for it. I loved the almost constant opportunity to start IVs. 😉

There were a few cons, however (as I’m sure there will be no matter where I work): the patient interaction in the ER is MUCH more limited than I’m used to. In fact the nurse sometimes wouldn’t even see the patient until she was discharging them (the turn around really WAS fast…). And I couldn’t help but feel that really the nurse was just there to dispense medication and then discharge the patient. Maybe I just wasn’t there long enough but I didn’t see much critical thinking or assessment skills happening. Or maybe it was just the certain ER I was in.

I’m sure in a bigger hospital, and especially one that is trauma level ranked, there is  plenty more for the nurses to do and I’m sure it’s nothing like what I experienced. However, I still had a wonderful experience and THOROUGHLY enjoyed being in the emergency department. Hopefully I get more rotations in an ED in the future so I can compare and gain more insight on being an ER nurse!

Moving on…yesterday I had my third Adult Health 1 test and came out almost completely unscathed with a whopping 94!! It’s the highest grade I’ve made this semester (sadly). I’m extremely thrilled. Hopefully my upcoming HESI test and finals all produce similar results.

I can’t believe I’m on the tail end of week 12! I literally have only three more weeks of classes, two more clinical days, one aging group project, one research paper, one HESI, one more women’s health test, and three finals standing between me and a very short winter break. Seems like forever away but then again it seems like such a short time given in order to get everything done before I’m finished with this semester. So close!

OB Test #2

Well, I made an 88 on my 2nd women’s health test yesterday…and I pretty sure that means I will be getting a B in the class overall. I just don’t think I can pull off two A’s in the final two tests that are high enough to give me an overall A.

Oh well…it’s  not the first B and it won’t be the last B.

But I’m still bummed about it.


Women’s Health Lab Simulation

We had our OB lab simulation on Thursday, and while I walked into it feeling not so thrilled about the fact that I was giving up my Thursday morning volunteer shift at Children’s in order to attend a mandatory clinical lab simulation, I walked out of it happy and glad to have had the opportunity.

The simulation had three stations. The first station was probably my favorite…we were taken into a “clinic” and given the woman’s chart, told to look it over & come up with an SBAR report, and then call the hospital with our report so the hospital could admit “Annie Havnbaby.” I think I liked this one the best because the collaboration of coming up with an appropriate SBAR report really made me critically think about how to put an SBAR report together, since I haven’t ever had the need to and probably won’t until I’m a new grad nurse.

We were probably at this station for about 25 minutes and then we moved on to being “labor and delivery” nurses in the hospital for our next station. We entered Annie Havnbaby’s room and supported her through her contractions. She had pitocin running so we were carefully monitoring her contractions and the FHTs (fetal heart tones). At one point during a contraction her FHTs dropped due to a late decel so we had to intervene in order to get the baby the oxygen it needed – we put mother on her side, stopped the pitocin, opened up a fluid bolus, put an oxygen mask on her at 10L/min and then called the doctor with the information that she’d had a late decel and we’d stopped the pitocin. At that point the doctor came in, examined Annie and found her to be 100% effaced and 10cm dilated, and we were told then that our simulation for that station was over.

We were given feedback about our performance and told that we did really well. The only two things that we could’ve done better was recognize the decel earlier – we were about a minute behind in recognizing it – and checking Annie after she told us that she was feeling a lot more pressure, because apparently she’d gone from a 4cm to a 10cm in that short amount of time and in the real world if we wouldn’t have checked she possibly could have had the baby right there in the bed without us even realizing it.

So then we moved on to our next station – the newborn station! There were 3 babies set up in this station. One was for us to practice giving our Vitamin K shots, one was to practice measuring and weighing the baby, and one was for us to practice getting the 1min and 5min APGAR scores on a baby. This station was fun and not too complicated. I feel like we were in there for about 10 minutes before being told we were done and feeling out a form for feedback for the instructors.

It was a fun simulation!! I really enjoy simulations because unlike in clinicals where if something were to really happen you’d step back and allow the nurses room to do their jobs, you’re actually acting as a nurse and YOU’RE the one who has to make all of the decisions and do the job that you’re training to do. They’re definitely helpful in preparing you to critically think and act like a nurse.

Onward and upward! Looking forward to the next lab simulation that comes my way – unfortunately I don’t think that’s until next semester.