About Grades…

Well let me start off by saying that my first test of my senior year was a flop. A huge one. And I was devastated.

Last Tuesday (a week ago today) I had my first test and it happened to be in Adult 2. And it happened to cover only cardiac material, which I LOVE. I also happen to love adult nursing more than psych and child health right now so I was feeling pretty confident about this test.

Well I took the test and walked out feeling…meh. Not horrible but not great. There were quite a few questions that I circled (circling means I don’t have a confident feeling about my answer, or I don’t have a freaking clue about the content material at all). But we had test review immediately after the exam (we go over the most commonly missed questions on the exam), so I focused on that and tried not to get my hopes either up or down.

Well the test review was pretty horrible. We reviewed about 10 commonly missed questions and only 2 of those questions did I answer correctly! My hope was sinking. I was already at an 84% and knew that I had probably missed even more. But there was still hope that I could keep my grade a B…

Until I got my actual grade while sitting in Mental Health lecture and my heart nearly dropped out of my chest right there.

76%!!

I didn’t want to be (and still don’t want to be) a crybaby about this grade, but it hurt so bad. I’ve never in my college career made a grade this bad. The lowest grade I’ve EVER made has been an 80%. And I really thought I was prepared for that test…had studied for that test well and LOVED the material so thought I knew it inside and out.

So, I had my first public meltdown in the middle of campus after our Mental Health exam and before our CH tutoring session. So thankful for good friends and classmates who were able to understand and to give me greatly needed hugs and words of encouragement. And remind me that grades DO NOT MAKE A GOOD NURSE. (It’s really hard to remember that when you’re a type A personality, however).

And then the week redeemed itself when I was able to observe the ongoings in a psych ICU, take care of patients in the CVICU for adult health – and watch a thoracentesis procedure while I was at it (LOVE THE ICU!!!) – and go cocktail attire shopping for a nursing gala that I have been invited to this week at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Also, due to Texas’ crazy weather, Thursday afternoon the Dallas campus closed due to icy conditions on the road (which meant we got out of clinical 2 hours early), and then our CH clinical was canceled for the next morning! Which gave me time to go shopping and study for the CH test that we had yesterday (Monday).

Our CH class is rumored to be one of the worst classes to get good grades in by those who have taken it and survived it. And I was crossing my fingers to just get a B – especially after my horrible Adult 2 grade and knowing what has been said about CH in the past. The test covered a lot of growth and development (NOT my strong suite; I learned this in developmental psychology when I took it!), respiratory, and assessment of a child. I had 13 questions circled when I walked out of that test, although I will say I felt better walking out of the test then I did the Adult 2 test.

I ended up with a 90%!!

I am just as shocked about that grade as I was about my Adult 2 grade. To tell you the truth I wasn’t even striving for an A in CH because I was just convinced it wasn’t possible (not many get As).

And I was supposed to take my first Mental Health exam today but the Dallas campus is once again closed due to icy conditions on the road. Our exam has been rescheduled to next Tuesday, which is awesome because I hadn’t had ANY time to study for this test due to having to study for child health! I’m pretty thrilled to have a day off, to tell you the truth. Of course I’ll be getting a lot done school-wise today but it was nice to sleep in and not have to go anywhere.

So there you have it…a whole post about grades. Not very exciting I know but it’s sadly amazing how much grades seem to affect how we feel about ourselves throughout the semester. I know I shouldn’t be THIS concerned about my grades but I do want to get into graduate school in the future and I want to have the GPA to do that…

Also, I was looking at new graduate nurse internships for critical care areas and they want at least a 3.5 GPA in the DFW area. WHAT??? I guess because those positions are so competitive they have to have applicants that stand out somehow. Makes me sad. So therefore, I am concerned about my grades.

So far S1 has been hard but I feel like I’m finally getting to that point in the semester where everything calms down and smooths out into a regular rhythm and routine. I don’t feel as stressed and my life doesn’t feel quite as chaotic now. And I’m already a 1/4 of the way done! I’ll be saying goodbye to this semester before I know it!

 

 

 

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ACLS Code Simulation

It’s the end of week 3! The one good thing I can say about S1 is that I’m going to stay so busy that the end of the semester will be here in a heartbeat.

My clinical group and I had an ACLS cardiac arrest code simulation this past Thursday, and I had a BLAST. To prepare, we had to do some “pre-clinical” paperwork – basically answering a bunch of questions on cardiac arrests and BLS/CPR – and complete a quiz on EKGs. When we met in the morning we watched a video detailing how a proper code should be run, we were given a schedule of our day, and then we met with our clinical instructor to dig through our crash cart and learn which supplies were stocked in it.

In addition to several break-out sessions during the day where we discussed airway/breathing, medication, and defibrillation, we ran through a code simulation 4 times. The first two times were before lunch, and even though we had no idea what we were doing I feel like those were our best codes. Of course our patient died both times but we were told that was going to happen so it wasn’t devastating. I was the recorder the first time and the one doing compressions/breathing the second time. Being a recorder is NOT fun! There are so many details to keep track of and everything happens so quickly that I felt like I was missing a lot of information in my role. The second time when I was doing compressions I could not believe how QUICKLY I got tired out! I can see why it is so vital to switch roles every two minutes to prevent exhaustion.

After lunch we went to our breakout sessions, and then came back to do our last two run-throughs. I don’t think our last two codes were as good as the first ones because by that time we were tired, we had eaten, and I think we all felt the call to our beds. πŸ˜‰ I was the defibrillator the 3rd time and the code leader the 4th time. Being on the defibrillator was fun because I had to interpret the rhythms and keep the code leader informed as to what was going on…and then of course I got to shock the patient every two minutes! Being code leader was awesome but I can see how it’d be SUPER stressful, especially during an actual code. There’s so much to keep track of and be aware of, and then you’re the one in charge of calling out when to give meds and which meds to give, when to shock, etc.

All in all it was a super fantastic learning experience and it as horrible as this sounds, I can’t wait to be involved in a real code. The adrenaline of a code situation is right up my alley!