Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spring 5W1 Complete!!

The accelerated program is split up like this: 3 15-week intervals. Within each interval, it is split up into 3 5-week intervals. Hence we have a spring, summer and fall interval. Within each interval we have a 5W1, 5W2, 5W3. I'm happy to report Spring 5W1 is complete!! And yes that means I have successfully finished 1 class while 2 others are currently in progress (I'll finish those in 3 weeks) and am getting read to switch over to another class.

The first class: Health Assessment. Where we learn how to professional inspect, grope, and violate others ;-) Actually it's really not that bad but surely you can't be too shy to be a nurse. When daily conversations revolve around bowel and urination...

and we are eager to get our patients naked (HA jk) to inspect and palpate them, shyness can't really be too incredibly strong in any of us. In fact, our 3rd day of class we had to strip down to our bras and shorts in order to do skin assessments!! Health Assessment was in fact a fun class though, learning fun things such as how to listen to heart and lungs, what skin "normalities" should be, and hence what "abnormal" would be. We got to look at, grope, at slightly laugh at each other. And all in all, the superficialness of the world is stripped away and the support of each other really came out. You can never have true support until all 50 people have seen you walk around in class in your bra, until you've groped your professor, and until your professor has groped you. Talk about patient empathy!! But alas I got an A in the class!!
 Pharmacology is coming along...mostly well. I spend most of my time very lost in that class but luckily have some great classmates who help me figure out what's going on. However, most of the time I find myself writing random shit on my notes like this one! The professor referred to a dingo and in popped this quote...totally had to send it to a friend!!
 And of course, coffee is absolutely necessary. I am now getting up early enough every morning to shower, make coffee (in a normal coffee pot nonetheless, no more Keurig...), make myself breakfast (gasp!) and get in some studying...all before leaving for class at 7:45am. Who would have thunk I'd become so productive!! However, I am the oldest 24yo I know. I go to bed no later than 10pm every night. I know, I know. I just can't handle it!! A glass of wine almost every night is also usually a necessity!!
Other than that, I'm living the high life! I really don't know what I mean by that. Life is nothing but school. But one class down, wahoo!!

Foundations is the next class. It's where we learn patient bedside care, which is basically what I do every single day at work anyway. But then later on we also get to learn IV's, catheter's, and NG tubes. All the fun stuff :-)

Here we go for another crazy five weeks!! Only ten more weeks until our first break...giddyup!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Nursing Community

The community that has become us student nurses is wonderful, and to the outside eye probably a little disturbing. We spend so much time together, knees deep in "personal" material that support doesn't become optional, it's mandatory.

In this accelerated program, it's many times the blind-leading-the-blind. We have no idea what's going half the time and things change each week to the next. We figure out what's going on, but we do it in a group effort.

I know my classmates sex lives, their bowel movement schedule, abnormalities of their testicles, alcohol consumption, personal hygiene habits...and we all collectively share a huge lack of sleep.

It's a community unique all in its own. We have inside jokes and pick each other up when one falls behind. It's not a competition to finish first, it's a team effort to help each other cross the finish line.

Isn't that lovely?!?!

But you really know you are around your classmates all day when you hear from the stall next door: "Nicole, this is Erica. I need some toilet paper." You then hand it to her and proceed to have a conversation while urinating, buckling your belt, and walking out of the stall....only to engage in conversation with another classmate while in the bathroom.

It's amazing. And because no one else understands what we're going through, I'm glad I have my classmates :-)

Monday, February 06, 2012


There are many ways in which the Lord has blessed my road to get where I'm at. I think that unlike others, my path to nursing was delayed/altered because the Lord understood what would work best for me. These past nine months working at DH have been instrumental in helping me to understand a lot of what they are saying in class, to grasp concepts a little better because I'm immersed in the culture and system already of the hospital. Had I not had this experience, I feel that I would be floundering right now.

Yesterday was a great case in point, however, of the opportunities that I get that help me to be successful in my program. In pharmacology we are currently learning antibiotics, anti-fungals, anti-mycobacterials, and anti-infectives. Of course, being the case I was trying to hunt down patients being administered antibx to quiz myself. As well, I started asking the two nurses I was working with about IV's. More specifically inserting an IV, etc.

DH is a teaching hospital, that is great about helping to teach others, each other, and the patient. Therefore they both looked at me and said "let's do it, you can do it right now!" Upon my protests, their response was that we didn't have much to do (in fact we really didn't, we had one patient and were awaiting two patients being transferred to the floor).

So there I sat, IV tray in hand, with them walking me through how to insert IV's!!

Needless to say, it was scary and frightening all at the same time, as one day soon I'm going to be doing that exact thing in clinicals on a real patient! But it was so exciting to get to learn it and have two willing and excited nurses wanting to help coach me and teach me!! I loved it!!

Definitely helps me to feel more prepared for when we start learning IV's in foundations. Now I just need to learn about catheters a little bit more ;-)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Weeding out Happiness

One of my schroomies and I were talking about simplicity. Life is complexly simple a great majority of the time. And I think, especially as Americans, we have a tendency to emphasize the complexity instead of the simplicity.

I realize that on one hand, my life can't and won't be "simple" for a little while. But that doesn't mean I can't weed out the boldly complex.

One of the things that I value in life is happiness. And enjoyment. I think when we keep continually adding stuff into our lives, happiness can be weighed down. There's a lot to be said about simplicity.

I have been watching a documentary the past hour entitled "Enlighten Up!" Basically it's about a new yogi and his quest for understanding yoga and all that comes with it. He has a hard time grasping the "formation" that yogis always talk about and the spirituality that comes with yoga. He is visiting a yoga guru in India who is explaining to him what yoga really means. You see in India, yoga isn't about the physical aspect that we associate it here in the west. It's about connecting with God or if you don't believe in God, your true self. The guru at one point mentions that we need to strip our lives of the outerness that makes us unhappy.

I'm sensing a little bit of a theme.

One of my goals this next year is to start simplifying my life. Getting rid of the possessions and things I own that don't make me happy or don't mean anything to me. I want to start simplifying my life. I started by simplifying down my closet at home. Now I need to start simplifying everything else.

Hopefully as the year goes on, I will continue to update about this journey. Let's see what this adventure will bring....