Archive for February, 2009

I haven’t disappeared, promise.

It’s just been a hectic week per usual!

I’ll be sure to update this weekend at work.

Stay tuned for my first experience with a clinical patient, the real drama that goes on in nursing school, and my one-year anniversary (today!!!), and a possible photo-op idea.

Thanks for sticking around guys, seriously.


Guess What?!

I passed. Oh yes, scraped by with an 83%. Our class average was the lowest on this test however meaning that the idea of the test being harder was not just a figment of my imagination.


I’m working on a paper about nursing theory now due for my N-1550 class.
So, for anyone working on nursing theory, i’ve got a great website for you compliments of my CRNA-friend-in-training.

I recommend Neuman Systems Model if you ever have to do a paper on metaparadigm concepts for nursing. Don’t forget the nursing metaparadigm: person, environment, health, and nursing!

And if you choose to use Neuman’s model, I recommend this website:

It really gives you everything you need. Thanks CRNA-friend-in-training!


On the first day of nursing school, they told us that we needed to have a support system to get through this program. A support system both in school and outside of school.
In school, because those peers of yours are the only ones who really know what you’re going through. You can explain it to your friends back home or tell stories, but until you feel the drop of your stomach when you go into your patients room for the first time or rifle through their records looking for information that might be valuable to you while pushing theory around in your head at the same time….well, you don’t really get it. Not fully. And that’s fine.
But outside of school, you need that support system to ground you and guide you back to earth. The earth that doesn’t involve diagnoses and new terms or abbreviations. That support system makes you feel alive and makes you feel better and stronger when you want to quit or don’t believe you’re doing well at all.

It is crucial that you have those systems to succeed in nursing. How better than to fine tune your physical assessment skills than torturing your family and friends by practicing on them over and over again?
How better to solidify the knowledge in your head than to spout off facts to your spouse and watch their eyes glaze over?

So, I’m thanking all my support systems now. I thought I totally bombed my test from yesterday. Turns out I passed with a solid 83%. Granted, it’s my lowest grade to date….but given the circumstances, passing is passing!!

Now I can relax. Just a little.

Clinical Orientation and and Awful Test

Tuesday was first day of clinicals!! Already! Time is going by so fast, man!
I mean, when we first got our calendars, it seemed like we’d never get around to clinicals. Pishaw.

So orientation was very cool. Carpooled to the VA and was there in time to get my coffee and muffin from the Starbucks in the lobby before we began at 9am. Took a tour of the facility and did a scavenger hunt along with seeing our floor. We had lunch and went over all of our paperwork. I still had so many butterflies in my stomach from the anticpation and nervousness that I could only eat a salad. I wasn’t really hungry.

Lunch was nice. Got to calm the butterflies some and talk to our clinical instructor and get some good tips for our career as a whole. My clinical instructor, Ms. L is super cool. Very down to earth and straight to the point with a willingness to share all her knowledge. And she has experience in Peds ED which I also have in interest in! So we got to talk about that some too.

We got to go upstairs afterwards and get information on our patients and then meet them if they were there. Luckily, my client was in his room! He’s a very nice gentleman who has his share of issues. But, he seemed to like me well enough! So, that’s good.

There is a ton of paperwork and preparation that goes along with clinicals. Not a ton, but enough. I’m sure it’ll seem like less once it becomes second nature. But still.

Now that clinicals have started, nursing school has become a whole different ballgame. Clinicals is it’s own class, skills lab is its own class, theory is its own class, and lecture is its own class. And each have its own set of challenges and difficulties.

Today’s test took everything to a whole new level. The wording was different- more tricky. I’m not sure if I passed to be honest. asfkhefn.fshsijsljwekfsfmlkf.
And grades are never posted until 9am the next morning. Mreh.
Most everyone in class had difficulty with this one. It was a hard one to study for too. I really hoped I passed. My average right now is a 88.3% so hopefully it wont bring it down to much. I’m trying to maintain above an 87 to get Santa Filomena (the honor society).

Alright. Off to go prepare my paperwork for Tuesday. Wish me luck!!


You were the one who taught me how to read and write.
You’re my mother’s mother’s mother.
You didn’t do everything right by any means. Nobody does everything right.
The way I knew you though was different. And the things I choose to remember, well…they’re the things I want to pass on.
Your house was home whether any of us liked it or not. I grew up there. I learned my first lessons about most things there. And spent my summer’s there.
Your house is where everyone gathered each Saturday after church like clockwork. And each holiday, it was guaranteed to be at your dining table.
I remember standing in the kitchen smelling the food on the stove and listening to the laughter and chatter. Four generations of women in one room laughing and cooking. Sometimes the laughter was so hard it turned into crying.
I remember how we didn’t have cable and my sister and I would watch PBS religiously in the den while the news played round the clock in the kitchen.
I remember homemade pound cake and southern greens and cornbread ALWAYS in the fridge.
I learned how to plant and maintain a garden. I know what good tomatoes and green beans should taste like.
I know that, when baking things, to always beat the batter by hand because electric beaters change the taste.
I also know to keep vanilla extract in my cupboard.
I know what it is to pick out the perfect cards because the ones you bought always fit the bill for whoever they were intended for.
I know to always find room in the house for family members and close friends if they need it.
Mother to daughter daily phone conversations are still kept up traditionally.
I know how important education is since you and Daddy were both teachers.
I know to say “whoever and I” not “me and whoever”.
Slippers have a distinct sound on the carpet and yours had no exception.
Politics are important and being well versed is as well, this I know.
Women ARE strong. You raised 3 and helped raise me.
You fought cancer and multiple strokes and still asked me about my day each day.
You forgot most everything else and still cheered when I closed on my house.
You knew I belonged in medicine since I was four and never let me forget it.
Whenever we found a bell in a new place, we tried to get it for you.
I know Southern tradition.
We inherited your trait for going against the grid, breaking barriers, and challenging stereotypes. You beat out all the boys in your class for that scholarship.
You helped me name my first teddy bear. He’s sitting on my nightstand.
You worked your ass off to make sure we were taken care of during your life and even after.

There were good times and there were bad.
But these are the things that stick out to me. At least at this moment.

I love you. I’m going to miss you terribly. I’ll never forget you and I promised you that days ago.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind, but now I see

BedBath, Say What?

So, lab went really well on Monday. Better than I thought. It was awkward going in but M.Y. talked me through it since her hand was hurt and she couldnt participate. She’s a repeater for health reasons, but it was good to have her knowledge. It made me less uncomfortable.
Giving good mouth care? Use a 45 degree angle when brushing your patients teeth. And don’t choke them with their own toothbrush, thanks.
Bedbath? Start with the face and use a different corner for each eye. Go distal to proximal on the extremeties and please, please, please use long strokes. It helps circulation.

We also learned how to use a quick release knot when using restraints.

Ho hum.

Oh, I also learned how to change a bed while someone is in it and make it tidy along with putting an adult diaper on. Handy!!

New Skills?

Okay, so I just looked at my overview for skills lab tomorrow and I feel a little bit tense. We’re on the section for mobility, safety, and hygiene. I’m all about safety so that’s easy. Even mobility…sure, help you get up, get down, roll over.
Hygiene… this is the difficult bit. Not that hygiene in and of itself is difficult, but in skills lab, we have to practice on each other. I know there are some people who feel more comfortable practicing this on classmates first, but for me, it’s more awkward. I’m not sure how I feel about brushing the teeth of someone who sits in front of me that I dont know to well. Or washig their arms and legs.

Oh, yes. We’re washing arms, legs, brushing and flossing teeth, providing masages, learning how to put on diapers….

For me, it would be different if it were someone I didn’t know at all and who wasn’t able. Yeah, let me step right in! Classmate? Not so much. Not to mention they’ll be brushing my teeth? Oh no.

Well, not oh no come tomorrow. Ugh.

On another note, Katherine let me watch her kid on ECMO. Fascinating. And, my friend Daniel let me listen to his pt who has a heart murmur. Wow! Never heard that before. It’s like a whooshing sound.

Bah. I feel so behind. I missed one and a half lectures. ajkdhsfklhsfhsflsfj.
Freaking. Out.