Close Call

I just barely scraped by. BARELY.

That adult health final was rough. I just can’t even put into words how hard that final was. It made me feel like I hadn’t learned ONE thing all semester. I certainly thought I was prepared…but let me tell you after having received As on all my previous tests, this final felt like a punch in the gut. I LOVE learning about adult health, but this final certainly wasn’t reflective of that.

I took the test and then, even though it was online, I didn’t get my grade right away. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ About an hour later, a classmate posted on Facebook that the grades were up so I booked it onto our blackboard site and scrolled down to the bottom.

I made an 80.

I felt my heart drop. I needed an 82 to get an A in the class. It was the same exact scenario from last semester with my Assessment final!!

But then I remembered that I got 2 points for my final grade due to my HESI score. So I texted my instructor to ask her if the grades had our HESI points added to them already or not.

THEY DIDN’T!!!

So I ended up making an 82 and getting an 89.5% overall course grade, which rounds to a 90, which equals an A!

Seriously, scraped by. Barely. But I’m super happy that I made an A and super excited that my Adult Health 1 class is OVER!

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Online Final!!

Due to the fact that our roads are still super icy from the ice storm that rolled into north Texas on Thursday night/Friday morning, our campus is closed once again tomorrow morning (Monday) and our Adult 1 final has been converted into a online final!! We will be taking it tomorrow morning at 10am. I’ve been super excited/happy all day. Yes, I still have to study and be prepared, but now I just feel like it’s honestly a load off my shoulders as far as how extensively I need to prepare.

Here’s to praying it goes well! After tomorrow morning I will only have one more final to go before the end of this semester!!

 

J2.15

I always know when finals are right around the corner because my stress level is THROUGH THE ROOF. This week has been stressful…there’s been some school drama that I’ve had to deal with (in regards to my transitioning as the 2014 president of the nursing student association) and plus we had two tests this past week that I barely had any time to study for. In fact, the HESI that I took yesterday I had zero time to study for.

So on Wednesday we had our third women’s health exam. I studied for a day – on Tuesday – due to wrapping up other assignments on Monday (but now my aging and groups classes are FINISHED!) and finishing up my research paper over the entire Thanksgiving break. It wasn’t really a hard test, and considering ย I studied for less than 24 hours, I’m proud to say I made an 86. But that almost guarantees me a B in my women’s health class due to the fact that I need a 100 on my final to get an A. HA! Not happening.

So that was Wednesday afternoon, and then I went to work after that test, so I was unable to study for the HESI that we took Thursday morning (yesterday). I managed to do some practice tests/case studies on the Elsevier website at work, but not much. So Thursday morning I literally went in not knowing what to expect and just praying to God I didn’t let my professors down by failing the HESI. It was a bizarre test, in my opinion, but I didn’t do to bad. Not as great as last semester (when I ended up with an 1116)…but I got enough to pass the “recommended” threshold for HESI scores – a 925. With a conversion score, that equals an 88. It was enough to get me two extra points applied toward my adult health final, so I’m pleased. ๐Ÿ™‚

And now I’m sitting at home writing this post with the fireplace going and christmas music on in the background because we had an ice storm in north Texas last night, so therefore TWU (the Denton and Dallas campuses) was closed this morning. Which means that the orientation for the new J1 students that I was supposed to be at was re-scheduled for next week, and this means an extra study day for me! My adult health final is on Monday, my women’s health final is on Wednesday, I have to complete my last research quiz by Wednesday, and then…I’LL BE DONE WITH THIS SEMESTER!!!

  • I’m done with my Groups class completely; finished with an A!
  • I’m completely done with my Aging class; just waiting on our group presentation and my last discussion board post to be graded in order to know what my final grade is. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an A though.
  • I’m almost done with my Research class; just need to finish the last quiz. I currently have an A in the class, but considering the research paper is worth 50% of the entire class grade and my instructor is a HARD grader, I can easily see that A turning into a B. Maybe even a C. Here’s to crossing my fingers that she loves it!
  • I’m almost done with Women’s Health. One last final! I need a 100 on the final for an A, and a 60 on the final to keep my B. I’m thinking that B is much more doable! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • And I’m also almost done with Adult Health. Again, only the final remains…and I need an 82 on it to keep my A. I will be studying hard! I don’t want a repeat of last semester, when I only needed an 82 on my Assessment final to keep my A, yet made an 80. :-/

So this weekend I’m going into hardcore studying mode! Ready to knock these two finals out and finish the semester. I can’t believe in just under a week I will be a SENIOR!!!

To end this post on a happy note: I did find out this week that I’m going to be the new Concepts/Fundamentals Peer Tutor for the next two semesters! WHOOP!!

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ย 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!

The Face Of…

I have the day off from women’s OB clinical today (we only go every other week) so I figured I could get ahead today and complete ALL of my paperwork for the next two clinicals. So far I have only thought this and haven’t begun any of it…procrastination at its finest.

I also have to complete a research quiz that opened yesterday,

Find an article for my third research assignment to send to my instructors for approval,

Begin working on my aging group project,

And study for my 2nd women’s health test next week and 3rd adult 1 test the week after.

AND this week I have my women’s health lab simulation (which is bound to be quite fun and exciting, I’m sure). But along with it comes all the paperwork to be completed prior to and during the simulation.

So far my day off isn’t looking quite so enjoyable anymore. But hey, at least I got to sleep in (until 10!! WHAT??).

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J2.7

Well I’ve made it through the seventh week of J2! Which means I’m approximately 43% finished with this semester. Whoop!

I’m going to bullet point this update so that it doesn’t end up being too long:

  • I made an 86 on my first Women’s Health test last week. Not bad, especially considering I studied maybe one full day.
  • I was in the Women’s ER at Parkland this week for OB clinical. It was such an awesome experience. According to the nurses it’s not quite as crazy as Parkland’s main ER, but it did open my eyes up to the possibility of working in the ER and I have to say I can truly see myself enjoying it.
  • In the above-mentioned Women’s ER, I got to start my first IV!! It wasn’t a complete IV start since I hit a valve and the nurse had to re-start the IV in the wrist (the woman was severely dehydrated) – however I did get blood return and was actually able to draw blood from the vein for labs so I still consider it an IV start. It is just really difficult for me to coordinate my hand movements as I put in an IV…I never thought it would be so hard! It definitely requires hand dexterity.
  • I know I haven’t written anything about it yet, but my Adult 1 clinicals are going well. I am taking care of two patients this semester every week, and while it’s a bit more of a challenge as far as time management, I’m still not able to practice within the full scope of a nurse so I find myself with a lot of down time on my hands. I end up talking to my patients quite a bit which is awesome, but I’m really wanting to get some more skills experiences! Next week though I shadow in the OR so I’m pretty excited about that.
  • I am running for the presidential position of my nursing student association at TWU, and because I am running uncontested, I have unofficially gotten the position! It will be official on the 21st; I’m super thrilled about it. ๐Ÿ˜€
  • The Mayo Clinic Summer III summer externship applications open on the 15th and I will definitely be applying! I’m afraid to get my hopes up for the job but at the same time I’m REALLY REALLY hoping that I’m one of the 100 chosen. I will have to write a couple of really great essays!!
  • I will also be applying for the UTSW summer externship and the VA Residency externship for next summer as well. If you couldn’t tell, I really want a summer nursing externship! I know they are great opportunities to get much more experience and I want to do everything possible to have an edge up before I graduate as a new nurse.
  • I have my second Adult 1 test on Wednesday…so I guess it’s time to start studying. Especially since I work on Monday so there’s one less day that I have. We’re covering Diabetes, Respiratory, and Neuro though so I’m not feeling tooooo worried. Hopefully that doesn’t come back to bite me!

My Week in a Nutshell

As per my usual…today’s Saturday so I’m updating. I don’t mean to only post once a week, but this week has been absolutely hectic and even though I wanted to post on Tuesday evening about my OB clinical, I was just too tired and instead sat in front of the TV for the evening. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not a good idea, mind you, but awesome nonetheless.

My week in a quick nutshell:

Saturday & Sunday: spent the time completing my first research assignment, which took almost all day on Saturday; two quizzes; a discussion board post with 2 replies to other posts; and my OB pre-clinical paperwork (which took FOREVER!).

Monday: worked a 12 hour shift, then came home and ate a quick dinner, made sure I was ready for my first OB clinical the next day, and went to bed (around 2145).

Tuesday: got up at 0345 for my first OB clinical at Parkland!! AND IT WAS AWESOME! (Details to come in my next post.) We were there until 1700, and then began the long trek home with all of us carpoolers. I didn’t get home until 1830. And as I said before, I didn’t do anything that night besides watch some mindless TV and veg.

Wednesday: got up late for class because I really wanted the extra sleep – even if it meant getting to school later than usual, not having a place to park, and having to rush to print the day’s lecture powerpoints. Was at school from 0800-1800, and then went to work from 1900-2300. Came home and collapsed in bed.

Thursday: woke up and rolled out of bed around 0600 in order to be at a friend/classmate’s house by 0700 – so we could carpool together to THR Denton and give flu shots in their employee health fair!! It was SUCH GREAT EXPERIENCE!! I probably gave upwards of 30-35 IM shots that morning. I even gave a shot to a PCT there who happened to be in nursing school as well…and she told me that she was a seniorย 2ย at UTA and STILL HAD NOT GIVEN AN IM SHOT! Woah. Then my classmate and I stayed afterward to pick out our patient for the next morning’s Adult 1 clinical. Came home afterward and did all my pre-clinical paperwork (took about 3 hours), and then watched the 2-hour season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy. So glad it’s back on!!! (And afterward went to bed, of course. Too tired to do anything else that night!)

Friday: Got up around 0400 for Adult 1 clinical. Clinical was great; albeit a bit slow, attended post-conference, and headed home. Arrived home around 1600, realized I was locked out of my house, and sat on my front porch for an hour waiting for the hubby to get home. And then around 1900 met up with 7 other classmates so we could all go out to dinner and freak ourselves out at a haunted house. It was my first haunted house ever and I had a blast!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Unfortunately we were out until 0100 in the morning and by the time I got home it was a little past 0200.

This morning: The hubby woke me up around 0800 so we could go get breakfast together since we’ve not seen each other hardly at all this week and he has to work today. I am so sleep deprived that I was barely able to pull myself together and keep my eyes open during breakfast. We stopped at Starbucks on the way home and I got myself more coffee – a cinnamon dulce latte (my fav) – and I proceeded to try not to fall asleep again once we got back home as he was getting ready for work. And I’m pretty sure I did dose off there for a couple of minutes…but then finished my coffee and I’m feeling MUCH MORE AWAKE NOW.

Unfortunately, last week since my life turned into a whirlwind of pre- and post-clinical paperwork, clinicals, work, and classes, I did not do any studying or reading for anything. And I have my first OB test next week on Wednesday! So, here’s what I have to do today:

  • Complete my Research quiz
  • Complete my Aging quiz
  • Finish all the Parkland modules
  • STUDY FOR MY WOMEN’S TEST

I have to work tomorrow, and I have school for half of the day on Monday, so that really only leaves the rest of today and all of Tuesday to hopefully cram as much OB in my head as I can for the test. I’m crossing my fingers that I can pull it off.

And to everybody reading this, my one piece of advice is….

LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME NOW. AND DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!!!

Wish me luck on this test! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Adult 1 Lab Simulation

First of all, let me just tell you that it is currently 62 degrees outside here in DFW, and I am so giddy about it that I actually woke up EARLY this morning (on a Saturday!) just to enjoy the weather!!

Yesterday we had our J2 math test and our adult 1 lab simulation. The lab simulation was a ton of fun and I really felt way more confident during this one than I did when we had our first lab simulation last semester.

So the morning started out with our math test – a ten question test covering a few concepts from last semester and then the IV concepts from this semester. I felt pretty confident; I’m great with math and I had covered all the modules that we were supposed to review with ease. So myself and some classmates got to school about 0700 to have time to do some practice problems and we got through them just fine…and then we gave ourselves a pat on the back, sucked in a deep breath, and walked into the classroom.

We’re supposed to pass our math tests with a 90% and we have three chances to take the math test and pass. If we don’t get at least a 90% during any one of those three times, then we are kicked from the program. Honestly I walked in there expecting to get a 100% but I walked out with a 90%. Which is fine by me because I passed! A few of my other classmates weren’t so lucky. So they will have to take the retake and hope that it goes better next time.

Then we started our “clinical” day in the lab right after that. For the first hour, we had to get report for our patient and then make a quick care-map on him. (I will tell you right now that I like the care-map format better than the care plans we were doing last semester!). Afterwards, we had an hour spent in the skills lab reviewing oxygen therapy and pushing IV meds. I was one of the lucky two who was made to demonstrate pushing IV lasix in front of my other classmates! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But it was AWESOME. I can’t wait until I’m doing this for real in the hospital.

A humorous depiction of a care-map reflecting the nursing student's condition. ;)

A humorous depiction of a care-map reflecting the nursing student’s condition. ๐Ÿ˜‰

When this picture was taken I had just ended up spraying 1 ml of the saline flush straight up into the air due to the fact that the syringe was sticky and I was trying to get the pesky air bubble out! LOL!

When this picture was taken I had just ended up spraying 1 ml of the saline flush straight up into the air due to the fact that the syringe was sticky and I was trying to get the pesky air bubble out! LOL!

After our skills lab we were then given the go-ahead to take care of our “patient.” We walked into the high-fidelity lab and were introduced to our patient, who was currently in respiratory distress due to the fact that he had congestive heart failure and had not been taking his “water pills” (lasix) for the past few days. His shortness of breath was what landed him in the hospital and we were there to get his condition back under control.

We had orders for a nasal cannula at 2-5 LPM until his O2 sats were higher than 90, and if his O2 sats didn’t improve with that we were to call the doctor. When we first walked into his room his sats were at 86, so we immediately put the cannula on him and watched for any results. Nada.

As one of my classmates went to the pyxis to get his mornings meds, I ended up calling the doctor to ask what she wanted done about our patients O2 sats. She basically told me to give the patient his meds and gave me an oral order to push 40mg IV lasix. I repeated the order back to her and then hung up, relaying that information to my other classmate getting the meds.

All the while, the patient is complaining that he can’t breath and isn’t comfortable and we’re trying to calm him down, while I have another classmate studying the patient’s labs and making sure that he is ok to take the meds he’s been prescribed (his potassium value was ok, so he could take his digoxin and lasix).

We ended up giving him all of his meds and his lasix; we noted his O2 sats come up and his tachycardia and hypertension resolve due to the ACE inhibitor and beta blocker. We thought we were doing great until his O2 sats dropped below 90 again and when he urinated he only gave us an output of 200ml.

So we called the doctor again and asked her if we could put him on a simple rebreather mask and give him another dose of lasix. She agreed with us so we put on the simple rebreather mask at 8 LPM and gave the patient 80mg IV lasix. After the slow 4-minute push, within half an hour the patient urinated 500ml and his O2 sats finally were up to 98. He was no longer cyanotic and he was thanking us profusely for making him feel better!

So yeah. We rocked that simulation and our instructor was practically beaming when she came to get us (our simulations are all being seen through cameras in the ceiling). She was so excited about our performance and only had a few constructive tips to give (don’t handle the urinal without gloves on!!).

Soooooo AFTER our simulation we then had to demonstrate patient discharge teaching. Taking turns, we each had to be the patient and the nurse giving the discharge teaching. The fun part about all this? We were being TAPED. Our instructor is going to end up pulling the best one and showing it to us in class. EEEK!

And then we were done! And it was an awesome day at school. Our next simulation is in L&D next month and I’m super excited about that one too. I’m sure it’ll be hilarious! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

First Adult 1 Test

Whelp, I took my first Adult 1 test this morning! I walked into the test probably WAY less nervous than I should’ve been, and walked out of the test feeling nothing but relief that it was done. At that point I seriously didn’t even care how I did. That’s how bad my apathy towards this first test of the semester was.

I knew that if I’d gotten a bad grade – or a grade that was below my expectations – that I deserved it. I literally spent a few hours on Saturday and some onย Sunday studying for this test. I worked Monday, and then I had orientation for my Women’s class at Parkland all day yesterday (Tuesday). Of course I came home last night and studied as much as I could…but really, for the amount of time and effort that I put into studying for this test I really wasn’t expecting a lot.

I actually did discover something amazing last night while I was studying though…I was on YouTube trying to find a good video that would help me better understand arterial blood gases and in the process stumbled onto a GOLD MINE of videos for nursing students! The username is “Simple Nursing” and I probably ended up watching about 10 videos last night (yes, while I was supposed to be studying) on ABGs and cardiac meds. I understand the RAAS so much better now, and therefore clearly understand ACE inhibitors and ARBs! And I watched videos on beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics that made these meds so simple to me. And in actuality, I feel like because I watched these videos I was able to do better on my test today.

So last night I was up until aboutย 0100 studying (more like last-minute cramming. Not a good idea…really, it’s not.) and then woke up atย 0400 so I could get a shower in and get to school early and continue studying.

Well I don’t know what I did but something paid off, because I got a 92 on my test!

๐Ÿ˜€