I can't believe I've been in school for 6 weeks already. It seems like I just started...which I kind of did...but as of today I've completed 2 of my 6 classes for this semester. It has been a whirlwind for sure. I feel like I have just a little bit of knowledge about a whole lot of things. It's kind of scary. So here are a couple highlights from my greenest time in nursing school.
To give you a better idea about my program, it's 80 students (actually I think we lost 1 in week 4, so 79) who are all pursuing nursing as a second career. Everyone in the program has at least one 4-year degree. I kind of assumed everyone would be like me, coming from a job of 5+ years, totally starting over, etc.
That would prove to be the case for about 1/2 of the students. The rest are folks who have either worked in healthcare settings (maybe as a CNA, tech, LPN, etc) or those who just graduated in May from college and decided not to face the crummy job market. So I'd say the class ranges from 21-60. The oldest person is actually a man who has been a carpenter and graduated from college back in 1974. The youngest are some gals who are still lucky enough to live in their childhood bedrooms while they go through this year.
I knew a few students going in from my pre-requisite courses. I say "knew," but really, how much do you "know" someone you've only had a night class with? This brings us to the first class, Assessment, which was a lecture/lab where we learned what "normal" is supposed to be when assessing a patient from head to toe. Then came lab, and we all know that word can only mean one thing...lab partner. So, as I read the list of names of those assigned to my group, I frantically searched for someone familiar.
Yep, I'm the 29 yr-old-definitely-not-in-the-greatest-shape-of-my-life-lucky-if-I-even-shaved-my-legs-today girl. And who was my one familiar face? Why, the 24 yr-old-zero-percent-body-fat-oops-I-wore-my-see-through-thong-today girl, of course!
So there I was, stripped to my bra and undies (which didn't match, of course) behind a curtain with my total opposite. I felt bad for her at first - I mean, it was probably really weird for her to touch actual fat tissue. But modesty goes right out the door when your grade depends on it, so she was stuck with me. Things went fairly smoothly until abdomen day. I guess it had been awhile since anyone had deeply palpated (pushed on) my stomach. So you can only imagine the sound that came out of me when she pushed a little too hard in the lower right quadrant. Yep, the whooooole lab heard it. Awesome.
The other class I just finished was called Foundations. It was another lecture/lab where we learned basic procedures. Everything from the simple stuff like sterile technique and injections, to a little more brain-busting stuff like calculating doses & starting IVs, inserting catheters, suctioning trach tubes, etc. Nothing too embarrassing from this one...I did gross everyone out the first week though when I licked my finger after getting it "dirty" during the bed-changing chapter. Come on people, I knew it was chocolate pudding all along.
Oh another grand thing about nursing school, their grading scale is totally screwy, so an A is 95-100, A- 92-94, B+ 89-91, and so on. So I'm feeling pretty good about my A's in each class. Granted, Foundations was a 95.1...so I pushed it on that one, but I'll take it!
Next week, we begin 4 new courses, Pharmacology, Mental Health, Professional Concepts and Adult Health, which includes our clinical rotations. In an actual hospital. With actual patients. Zoiks.
I've been assigned to a neuro/ortho floor, which I'm really excited about since I've grown up with both my parents in the ortho field. I'm nervous as heck that I'm going to screw up something major, but I've been assured that won't happen since we'll be with an RN at all times.
OK, that was waaaay too much info for one post. They will only get more amusing from here, I'm certain. More to come once I start dealing with real poo instead of pudding poo.