Vent Status

Yesterday (Monday) was rough. For the first time in nursing school (I’m not including pre-reqs here) my class had two tests in one day. And those tests were absolutely, purely brutal. The kind of test that makes your head throb halfway through and makes you walk out of there thinking that you’re a failure. I can’t tell you how many times I heard those words yesterday…and after our grades went up for CCI one of the most calm people in our class literally flipped out, cussing up a storm and declaring that she doesn’t know why she’s in nursing school since her test grade shows she’s a failure. Of course all of this was in the heat of the moment and of course we all know that we’re not failures (at least I hope we do!) but it’s really hard to know that the test you had just taken was supposed to be REVIEW material for HESI/NCLEX preparation and then discover that the class average was a 79 and that the grades posted online were final grades after “extensive” adjustment to our scores. All this makes it sound like I did really bad but I didn’t…somehow I got a 90! But I feel really bad for my classmates and I’d have to agree with them that it was a crazy hard test and something needs to be done to correct the situation. Because I’m pretty sure I didn’t earn that 90 since I guessed on a lot of my answers and a TON of the questions didn’t even make sense!

And then I thought I had COMPLETELY bombed the communities test. I’m pretty sure they tested in a different language altogether because most of what was on that test was completely foreign to me. I definitely did not prepare well for that test AT ALL. I was told over and over that you have to read the textbooks in communities in order to succeed but since I never read the textbooks and I always do ok (I know I know, not great at all) then I figured that wouldn’t apply to me. WELL I WAS WRONG. I definitely should’ve read the textbooks. I’ve learned my lesson! Thankfully I pulled off a B (HOW?!) and now I know that I HAVE to read if I want to make good grades on the tests. MAN. Thankfully we have three projects in communities that will help even out my test grades by the end of the semester. I think I can maintain a B and MAYBE get an A if I work hard enough. But do I really want to work hard enough? Just being honest here…I’m SO DONE. I’m SOOOOOO ready to graduate and move on.

But looking on the brighter side…I’m almost DONE with CCI! All I have left are 5 clinicals (My last one will be on Halloween if all goes well!), the HESI, and an EBP Presentation. We don’t even have a final in that class. YES!

My Leadership and Management class is going well so far…the first test was a couple of weeks ago and I made a 97. Amazing. We only have two more tests (one during the semester and then one final) and that’s it for that class. I’m hoping for an easy A. We’ll see. 😉

And communities so far has been my nemesis. I am NOT cut out for community health, as much as I thought that I would love to get my Master’s in Public Health once I graduated. Unfortunately it just doesn’t hold my interest…not at this point in my life, anyway. And the fact that the tests are ridiculous on top of all the crazy projects we have to do makes it even worse. I’m sorry I’m whining so much but this is exactly how I feel right about now in the semester. I just want to be done.

Ok moving on to more exciting talk…graduation!! I ordered my cap, gown, and class ring last week! AHHH!!! And we finally found out when our official graduation date is: December 13, 2014. I LOVE IT! I’m going to graduate on 12/13/14! 😀 I also signed up for an NCLEX prep class with Kaplan after Christmas. I’ve heard that it’s super beneficial to take an NCLEX prep class and this one just happens to be taught by one of our S1 instructors and she has an AMAZING way of teaching. I’m so excited about it.

I think that’s all I needed to get off my chest for now. I promise a post is coming about my experiences so far in my CCI clinical ED placement! It’s been a great time so far!

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CCI Clinical Placement

I’m sitting here at work…obviously blogging because it’s extremely “Q”-word around here. I’m afraid that if I don’t do something I’m going to start dozing off!!

I finally learned where my clinical placement for my CCI –  “critical competency integration” – class is. I recieved an email on Tuesday with a list of preceptors to pick from with the message of “first come first served” included. There are five of us students precepting at the VA next semester and there were five preceptors listed, so that meant that whoever I wanted I would have to act fast to pick in order to “claim” them!

2 of the preceptors were in the MICU/CCU, one was in the PACU, one was in the TICU, and the last one was in the ED.

And for whatever reason, my first reaction was to go with the preceptor in the ED. WHAT?!?!

I happened to be the first student to respond to that email, and then I got a confirmation email yesterday that made my decision to go with the preceptor in the ED “official.”

So I’m in the ED this next semester for 120 clinical hours!! I’m actually SUPER excited about it. 🙂

But I’m SOOOOO not excited about the fact that school starts in a little over a week. 😦

I’ve been working on my cover letters for the application process – I’m almost done with one of them! I just learned that two of the healthcare systems in Dallas are opening the application process in early September. HOLY COW! That’s just under 3 weeks away!!

 I’m actually realizing more and more that I’d prefer to stay right here on the unit that I work on now. It’s a progressive cardiac care unit (PCCU) which is basically a step-down/telemetry unit for cardiac patients. I’ve talked to my boss about my desires, as I’ve mentioned before, and she said she would do her best to create a position here for me. Now that doesn’t mean that I’m guaranteed the job but it’s certainly a step in the right direction!!

However I will still be applying to other positions at other hospitals. Can’t put all your eggs in one basket! Surprisingly, I know I will be applying for these positions at most of the hospitals: ICU, ED, and NICU.

Random, right?

Random just like my crazy random thoughts are right now. Alrighty…guess I should get back to “work” – about to start reading about stock markets to keep my mind awake! 😉

HESI For the Win

I really should not be advocating not studying as much as I have in my blog. But I am trying to paint an honest picture of my journey through nursing school, and as it stands right now I am SUCH a slacker when it comes to studying. Typically I cram two days before the test and hope for the best. Definitely not the best method but somehow it’s working – and since this semester I really don’t have much time to study during the week it’s really my only option.

Took my HESI a couple of days ago (Tuesday). Too bad it is only worth 5% of my Adult 2 grade because I KILLED IT. And I did NO studying for it whatsoever. In fact, I read an entire novel this past weekend before the test. Oops. But, something can be said about how thoroughly TWU teaches us because I felt like I really knew all the information the HESI presented to me, even without studying and “brushing up.”

I ended up making an 1146, which is higher than both my J1 (1116) and my J2 (925) HESI. Converted, I made a 99.99% and was in the 93rd percentile.

I told my best friend that I wish we were in S2 and that had been my grade for HESI – because in S2 the HESI is worth 30% of your grade!

Speaking of S2, we received our “preference sheet” on Tuesday before our HESI. It had a ton of options on it for instructor led clinicals, preceptor led clinicals, and then of course our community health clinicals. For our Critical Competency Integration class (CCI) I chose preceptor-led clinicals and my #1 spot was the VA, followed by Parkland and Methodist Dallas. We shall see what happens, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get the VA this time. I already turned my preference sheet in; because the VA has to start a background check so early on those who will be “working” there then I should hear back pretty soon.

So what classes do I have next semester? I have CCI, community health, and leadership and management. CCI is the “big” one. This is where we have either instructor-led or preceptor-led (if you’re lucky) clinicals, and have to complete 120 hrs of clinical. We will be reviewing everything we have learned the past 3 semesters in the CCI lectures in order to prepare us for the exit HESI and then NCLEX. This class is worth 6 credit hours but I hear it’s tons of fun.

Community health is just what it sounds like – community health. We will be doing a couple rounds of school nursing, homeless shelters, possibly home health and hospice nursing, etc. I’ve heard that the projects in community health are a beat-down but I’m actually quite excited about this class. Especially because at one time in my college career I was contemplating getting my Masters in Public Health (MPH). We’ll see if this class revives that desire or not. (More school?? Don’t know if I can right away).

Leadership and Management is an online class mostly, with a couple of class days and I believe tests are on campus as well. I’ve heard this class is difficult but doable.

I’ve heard from several S2 classmates that this next semester is SO much better than S1. As a general rule you have a LOT more time on your hands and the content isn’t as overwhelming. I’m so ready for that! Especially because I know we’ll all be trying to apply for jobs and handles any interviews that come our way (hopefully – crossing fingers!). I also know that dealing with senioritis is going to be a huge hurdle – because I’m already feeling it! It’s really going to be hard to come back from an awesome summer off and then go into our last semester. But I’m sure it’s also much easier knowing that it’s the last semester and graduation is literally right around the corner. The thought is mind-blowing!

Well I guess I’ve rambled on quite enough now. I have a test this upcoming Monday that I’m supposed to be studying for and obviously I’m procrastinating by writing a blog post. 😉 This test – child health – is the last one before finals! Tomorrow I have my last child health clinical (last clinical for this semester, period), and next Friday I have my last simulation for this semester. Then finals. AHHH it’s all wrapping up so nicely with a neat little bow. Can’t wait!!

Winter Break!!

I’m very happy to say that my Fall 2012 semester is OVER. Thankfully, I came away with all A’s this semester, which means I’m officially beginning nursing school with a 4.0! Hopefully I can maintain a high GPA throughout nursing school as well; I am under no illusions though that I’ll come away from this journey without any B’s or C’s.

As of today it’s been a complete week without classes…and in one week all I’ve done is picked up my nursing school books, ordered some supplemental books, completed my second volunteer shift at Children’s Medical Center, gotten a hair cut, and have basically completed 5 loads of laundry while reading. Can you say laziness, anyone? 😉

This Semester is Wrapping Up…

I’m almost done!!! I’ve completed 3 out of 5 finals, and know for a fact that I got A’s in at least two of those classes with an above 100% average (women’s studies and computer science). I’m not sure about my composition class yet because 50% of my grade I made in the last week and I haven’t been graded on it yet.

I have my philosophy and pathophysiology finals left…and I’m currently procrastinating on studying for them. 😉 I need a 64% on my philosophy final to keep my A, and only a 37% on my pathophysiology final to keep my A (thank you extra credit!). Obviously, that doesn’t help with my motivation for studying!

Pathophysiology was a great class this semester. I would definitely say it’s not too difficult of a class. It’s a LOT like anatomy and physiology, in my opinion – and because I had great anatomy and physiology professors, I feel like this material was a lot easier for me to grasp than it could’ve been if I didn’t have a great foundation in A&P. Basically pathophysiology discusses the normal physiology of the body, and then compares that with pathologic (diseased) physiology. As long as you have a good understanding on the normal structures and functions of the human body, then learning the diseased structures and functions is only taking it one small step further!

Although the class isn’t necessarily hard, it is time consuming…there’s a lot of studying and memorization happening in order to pull off those great grades on the tests! I’m so so so thankful I was able to take the class before my first nursing school semester. And although this semester has been hectic and somewhat chaotic because of all the assignments and busy work thrown my way, I’m thankful because in a way it has prepared me for the chaos that I’m sure nursing school is going to bring.

But while I’m super excited to start nursing school…I’m more excited about the fact that WINTER BREAK is right around the corner!!! YAY! I definitely need the break before starting on this next chapter of my life! 🙂

Studying hard for finals...or hardly studying? ;)

Finals: studying hard, or hardly studying? 😉 

 

It’s Heeere!!

My stethoscope arrived yesterday! I ordered it online last Friday because I wanted free engraving (the diaphragm was engraved with my name). I got the Littmann Cardiology III in Burgundy. I also bought an ID tag to go around the body of the stethoscope, which the pictures don’t show – it’s black and the label was also engraved with my name so that my sloppy handwriting couldn’t ruin it. 😉

Every day is one step closer to orientation, when I get to buy the rest of my supplies and register for classes! Thankfully with the thanksgiving holiday and the last few weeks of classes and assignments, I’m staying super busy and can’t really dwell too much on the fact that nursing school starts in less than 8 weeks…crazy!

 

Patho…

Well I’m almost halfway through this semester (just shy of 8 weeks, at this point) and it’s going great so far! It’s challenging, as I knew it would be, because I’m consumed with tons of busy work from my liberal arts classes.

I daresay most of my classes are fun…composition II has been a breeze so far, because we’ve been able to choose our own topics for our papers and I always end up having way more to say on the subject than I’m even allowed to write, haha! Philosophy is by far the easiest class I’ve ever taken in my college career, and super interesting. Women’s studies consumes a lot of my time because of the busy work we’re assigned, but it’s very eye-opening and educational (love it!). I truly, truly hate my computer science class, however. It’s frustrating, time-consuming, and pointless. I’ll be so happy to leave that class in the dust after this semester.

Pathophysiology is intense but awesome. It’s much like anatomy and physiology – in fact every unit starts with a chapter reviewing the a&p of that system, and then goes on to describe the pathophysiology. A TON of studying is required for the class…makes me so grateful that I decided to take the  class ahead of time and not wait to take it during the first semester of nursing school. We’ve already had our first test, and with the extra credit questions that my professor put on the test, I ended up scoring a 110 out of 112 possible!! I’m thrilled with that grade. 🙂

Our second test is coming up this week though…I’ve begun studying for it but I still feel unprepared. For our second test I feel that there’s a lot more information we’re covering, and it’s a lot more technical and detailed. I understand all the processes, but trying to remember all the details of everything concerns me. All I can do is make sure I study as well as I can and then go from there, knowing I did my best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various “studying pathophysiology” pictures…and yes, sometimes it does take 3 computers to accomplish the studying, lol!

Fall 2012 Books

I have to say I was NOT expecting the patho book to be SO large!! It’s bigger than my A&P book (and I thought THAT was big!) and we’re only given one semester for this class. How are we going to cover everything?!

But I’m excited about patho because it’s a nursing class 🙂 And also I’m thankful that I was persuaded to take it now and get it out of the way for the first semester of nursing school…I can’t even imagine having to take this with pharmacology, fundamentals, and assessment at the same time.

Fall 2012 Schedule

The nursing school application opened this morning for the Spring 2013 semester. I won’t be applying anytime soon (probably not until right before or right after I take the TEAS-V) but it’s nice to know that it’s there and just waiting for me. Eek!

 I took my microbiology lab final yesterday, and I must say I walked out of there feeling pretty dang confident that I did well. YAY!! I was pretty stressed leading up to it, considering that it was comprehensive and a 110 question, fill-in-the-blank only test. But I was calm throughout the test and I felt like the answers were coming very well…so, we’ll see. I have a feeling I made an A – and even if I made a B, I would still get an overall A in the class. I’m now done with microbiology lab! And so excited because I only have a week and a half of school until summer!

 I registered for my last non-nursing semester this past week, and achieved a pretty satisfying schedule. I’m not so sure that I’m going to enjoy all the classes; I feel like I’m just doing them because they’re needed for my degree and I have to get them done and out of the way before nursing school.

 My schedule is as follows:

                 

                  Composition II: M&W at 8am-9:20am

                  Intro to Philosophy: M&W at 11am-12:20pm

                  Computer Science: M&W at 1pm-2:20pm

                  Pathophysiology: T&TH at 9:30am-11:20am

                  Gender and Social Change (Women’s Studies): Internet Instruction

The only class I’m excited about is pathophysiology, because it’s an actual nursing class that we’re allowed to take early. It’s the only one that we’re allowed to take before acceptance and we’re strongly advised to do so to make our first nursing school semester less stressful. I’m taking it now because I’m almost positive that I’ll be accepted, but If I were less sure then I’d probably wait, because this class doesn’t transfer to other schools. So if I were to apply to the other nursing schools in the area, such as TCU, UTA, Baylor Dallas, then I would’ve taken a class that I couldn’t transfer over, and I’d have to take patho all over again. So here’s to hoping I’m accepted for TWU’s nursing program in the spring!