Archive for August, 2009

Tain’t Cheap.

What’s not cheap? Being an “adult”. Being in nursing school. Owning a home. Having a family. Not having a trust fund back east.
Being an adult in nursing school with a home and a family and no trust fund back east really takes the cake though. (Although medical bills, emergencies, car troubles, etc etc would make the list as well).

Tain’t cheap and I am sure feeling it.
Let me warn you now that this post is not all butterflies and sunshine. It’s one of those self-reflections and observation kind-of post where I talk myself into some sort of sense.
I digress.

The last couple of months since second semester began has been kind of rough. Ishaq and I got back early from our honeymoon hoping to save money. The wedding was great (and done for under $2000 total).
School started, surprise bills came up.
We’re still trying to pay off Ishaq’s loan from our 4-year college where we left after a semester so that he can start up at my nursing school. They won’t let him in without a transcript though. And we can’t get a transcript until the loan is paid off. We can’t get the loan paid off because the financial aid was supposed to pay it in the first place. They decided not to pay it since Ishaq’s father put false numbers on the application and they got audited and dropped. After it got dropped, through no fault of our own, we got stuck with the semester’s payment. Snowball effect, much?
Anyways, last week, Ishaq’s car got broken into and one of my old debit cards stolen along with his stereo (which didn’t have the face on it mind you, meaning they stole it and can’t use it). We had 9 dollars to get us through the rest of the week. Our bank balance went negative due to an unprocessed check from a month before. We have zero in savings thanks to the wedding and school. This happened 3 days after I decided to take a day off of work each week and switch from 36 hours to 24 hours a week in the hopes that my grades would be better in school. I drove to school with my low fuel light coming on halfway there. I tried to stop at the gas station on my way home and found out my credit card was maxed out. So I drove all the way home in the 90 degree heat while speeding and praying I would not get pulled over and that I would make it home without my car dying. Luckily, Miguel (my red car) got me home safe and sound.
Ishaq was a champ and tore our house apart finding 6 bucks in dollars and 4 in change so that we could both get to work and school the next day.
Luckily we got a paid a couple of days later.

But it’s after weeks like that, that I sit back and wonder if I’m going to make it through the next year and a half. I constantly feel this fear that I’m going to fail academically or financially. If I fail academically, I have to start the whole program over since they started a new curriculum. It wouldn’t be repeating one semester, it would be a year’s tuition down the drain. And we can’t afford to repeat. Plus, Ishaq can’t go to school until I’m done. And he’s been ever-so-patient. If I fail financially, I lose everything. CONUNDRUM.

We have a plan for success. I graduate, he goes to school, I work to put him through, he graduates, works for a year, we move to Boston and then travel nurse. That’s the tentative plan.
I just want so much. I want to be stable. I want to be successful.

And I know we’ll get there. T.O from school always says that failure is not an option.
We WILL get there.

It’s just that the process tain’t cheap.



Working in a hospital, you see tons of names. Every day all day. And some of those names are less conventional than others. Nowadays, people are trying to be as creative as possible with names.
One of my coworkers is pregnant and we were looking at some names online. Some of those were names I had never heard of before as well!

So, without further ado, here are some of the most [what I find to be] unique names out there. Some I’ve seen personally, some are stories from coworkers, some are from baby name websites online. Meaning a giant mix and no one is being identified specifically, so take that HIPPA!

Neveah (heaven spelled backwards)
Lorangelo (lemon-orange jello)
kleenexia tissuette (kleenex tissue)
ABCD (prounounced ab-sih-dee)
La-a (pronounced la-dash-uh. the dash is silent)

I’m sure there are more I can’t think of now. What are the craziest names you’ve heard of?

Side note: I never realized how many people put up polls on website for people to vote for their favorite name out of a group and then [possibly] use that to name their child. Crazy!!
Here’s a website that we looked at for baby name polls:

It’s slightly addicting, beware!


So I didn’t pass the test. But, apparently only 6-7 people in our class made over an 85. I got a 79 which is the best you can do when failing. Bah. If only I had got one more question right.

It’s okay. They said it was tricky and a complete different format than we were used to. And supposedly the class average is a complete disaster the first test of second semester every single year. So that means to do better next time, yeah??

Simulation Lab

Well, today I’m at clinical in the simulation lab at school. I have to be honest, the Sim. Lab frightens me to know end.
Why? At the end of last semester, we had a simulation lab without ever being told what one was or what to expect. We actually didnt even know we were going to a skills lab that was any different. In this kind of lab though….anything can happen. Patients can throw up, scream, seize, die, need multiple IVs, suctioning, catheters, Hemovac drains, angry families….all at once!!! Last semester, I was in the first group to go and was trying to give meds while the patient (which had a voice box) was screaming and throwing up. Scarred for life.
The horror stories of simulation lab are pretty amazing. The first group to go this semester had multiple students crying in front of their patients apparently. And because they cried in front of their patients (which are dummies but are supposed to be treated like real patients in a real clinical setting) they got marked down. Some groups got sent home for “not coming in with any brain density” and being totally unprepared. I’m in the second group which is this week and next.
The first half went pretty well though- no tears yet!!
We have scenarios with three patients in each one. We switch roles for each patient. For the first patient, I was the silent observer which was great. For the second one, I was charge nurse overseeing all the other roles, guiding, and documenting along with talking with the doctors. I did a good job and got excellent feedback which I am very excited about!

In the last scenario I was the IV/treatment nurse and did a dressing change, trach care, and suctioning. I started off not remembering some stuff but after I got over my nerves it was a piece of cake.
Overall, a great clinical day 🙂

Some other blogs.

So, I was online last weekend at work during a slow patch and have been finding so many nursing/medical blogs out there on the worldwide web.
On the right hand column I’ve put links to a few of them. Feel free to check them out!
Nursing blogs for mental health, LPN’s, emergency room…its all totally different perspectives.

One of my posts got featured here at Grand Rounds which is very exciting!
The Examining Room

I was also featured here at Change of Shift!

Both are carnival type blogs where people are featured to get some exposure for their work. Thanks guys!


My brain is dead.

Soooo, I probably bombed that first test. Things aren’t looking promising based off of that group test.
How unfortunate.
Like mid-70s is what I’m thinking. Or hoping for. I think around a 75? If its worse I’ll just curl up in the fetal position.
Anything below an 80 is failing.

Screw you first test of the semester. You too lucky pencil. I didn’t want to be friends anyways.

See, we have 75 minutes to take the test. And then we have an additional 45 minutes to take the test again in a group. If the group gets an A, you get an additional 3 points on your test. B’s get 2 more points and C’s get 1 point.
I finished with about 15-20 minutes to spare and was only the fifth one done. I have never used so much time on the tests. Ever. Usually the whole class is done in an hour and we go ahead and get started with the group testing. EVERYONE looked horrified after it was over. Some people didn’t even finish in time. After the last question was bubbled in on my group’s test, one of the girls just put her head in her hands and bawled.


Even the brainiacs of first semester looked a bit shooken up.

Here were the topics for the test:
Fluid and Electrolytes, Electrolyte Imbalances (hyponatremia, hypernatremia, hypokalemia, hyperkalemia,etc etc), IV fluids (hypo, iso, and hypertonic), Cancer, Death and Dying, Operating Room (pre-, intra-, and post- op), PACU

All wrapped up nice and snug into 50 questions.

We then had pre-clinical conference/skills practice for 2 hours in preparation of the dreaded simulation lab which made at least 4 people cry in the last group.

My brain is dead.

Test #1

Tomorrow is our first test of the semester. It’s covering operating room (pre-, intra-, and post), cancer, fluids, electrolytes, and acid-base balance.
All that smushed into 50 questions.


It’ll be okay, right??