Starting at Phoenix College in January...

  1. ....and I have questions for all of those who have gone before me! I've been addicted to this board for the last few weeks and I've gotten some great information so far. Boomerfriend, Calzonan, thrashej, ItalianRN2b, and mattsmom64 I think you all were in my position about this time last year (I apologize if I am wrong and I know there are more of you, but you are the ones I saw on here the most often).
    Is there anything you wish you had known before you started Block I? Is it as hard as everyone says? What kind of shoes do you have for clinicals? Does anybody still wear white pants?(odd question I know, but I am tall and the caribbean blue pants don't seem to come in tall so I think I am stuck with white!)

    Thanks to anyone who has any input to give. I appreciate it and I hope to hear from you!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   mattsmom64
    :spin: :hatparty: :hatparty:
    [FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"]CONGRATULATIONS!

    I'm sure that you do have a gazillion questions lol! Some things I wish I knew about before I started......

    NS isn't as hard as I was lead to believe, however, it is VERY time consuming...you need to have excellent time management skills....You'll be given reading assignments up to 200 pages per week, preparing for clinicals (it still takes me 4-5 hours to do this), writing care plans, practicing skills, preparing for checkoffs, etc....

    Clean up your "to do" list before school starts...Do some bulk grocery shopping, give your house a good spring cleaning, buy and store some extra clean underwear for family members (you won't have as much time to do laundry...trust me on this lol!), let family members know ahead of time that you won't have as much free time so feelings don't get hurt....

    Invest in the Saunder's NCLEX book. There is a chapter in the beginning of the book that explains how to take critical thinking tests...Very helpful and a very wise investment. It has helped me do extremely well on my Process tests.....

    As for shoes, any comfortable sneakers should be fine. I have lower back problems and I do just fine with my avia's. During clinicals you are on the floor for only 6 hours at the most. Now, when I work 12 hour shifts at the hospital, I have to wear my Dansko's or I won't make it.....

    Some people are still wearing whites. Check with your instructors before you buy your pants. My school doesn't care who makes the pants, as long as they are Carribean blue and are a close match so you may be able to find another manufacturer who makes them in talls.....

    If you have anymore questions please don't hesitate to ask!
  4. by   boomerfriend
    Congratulations on getting to Phoenix College. I can try and answer some of your questions. MattsMom (aka Mary) is a great resource. She always "tells it like it is". I ditto all she said already.

    I am tall and cannot find Carribean blue pants either. I still wear the white. I would guess about 50% of the class wears the blue and the other white. It doesn't matter...no one actually cares after the first block.

    Suggestion 1: get a good stethoscope at the beginning. I recommend the Littman Lightweight. Get it online such as Allheart.com I tried using the cheap model they sell at the uniform store and couldn't hear a thing. Got the Littman and it was an amazing difference.

    Suggestion 2: Get good study habits early. There's a huge jump to be made from the way you study and test in pre-reqs to actual nursing school. NCLEX style questions TOTALLY.

    Suggestion 3: PM for more questions specifically to Phoenix College. I can give you a heads up on what to expect at the college. The instructors are all terrific - no worries there.

    Suggestion 4: stay away from negative people. By block 2 there are so many people that are doing poorly that everyone is complaining about something or other. Keep your spirits up and keep going .....no matter what. Don't get discouraged. (can you tell I'm talking to myself ???)

    You'll really enjoy it at PHX college.
  5. by   akmegs2
    Thank you both for responding. I appreciate the advice! I've already ordered a Littman online and I've started ordering some of the books from the book list. Boomerfriend, I'm happy to hear that the instructors are good, because that was one of the my worries (you hear all these things from people who go to other schools that they are mean and they want you to fail). I just registered for my classes, so if you don't mind, I'll PM you for more info about the specific instructors.
    I'm sure I'll come up with more questions, and I'll be checking these boards often (at least until school starts on January 16th and my free time will be zilch), so keep posting! Your advice is invaluable!! Thanks again!
  6. by   Calzonan RN
    Ditto what Boomerfriend and Mary have said.

    I've noticed too, that a lot of people became negative in block II and it's easy to get caught up in all of that. I've tried to steer clear of it, it just brings you down.

    There were a couple of recommended books that I bought and I've never even opened them!! I would definitely recommend buying your books online through Barnes and Noble. I had a membership and they shipped everything to my door. There was no tax, free shipping, and I also got 10% off. I saved over $100 that way.

    Half my class wears the white pants 'cause the blue ones fit sort of weird. The white ones are a little more stylish, with the boot cut and slit. I bought Dansko shoes and it took a couple of shifts to get used to them, but now I never even notice my feet after a 10 hour shift.

    If you can afford it (or remember xmas is right around the corner) I'd highly recommend a PDA. I have Tabers, RN constellation (which has Davis's drug guide) and some other things on mine and it's invaluable. I can look up a drug way faster than someone using a book.

    GET ORGANIZED!!! Before school starts. Clean up your computer, make files for drugs, care plans, pathos anything you can to make it easier once you're in school. In school, make sure you stay on top of the homework, it's easy to get behind. If you have kids come up with two or three back-up plans in case they're sick, or you have to study, you need lots of help for odd hours. I have to be at clinicals at 6:30 so that means I leave my house at 5 AM, it's sort of hard to find someone to watch my kids at that hour (luckily dh is here for that).

    Learn to be very flexible (or you'll make yourself crazy). Things can change with school, dates to do things, times to test etc. We were told that we just had to be at school on Fridays and Sat's, but then by block II we were having to go there to test on Thurs and Sundays, so that sort of threw a wrench in things.

    Make good friends with people who want to succeed in school....and study with those people. My carpool buddies are excellent students and we quiz each other on the way to school. There are a couple of people in my class who get real negative before a test, and you can just see the confidence shrinking in those around those people.

    And last but not least....have fun. The worst part is over (getting in) and it's all exciting and new from now on. Make the most of it and be a sponge!!
    Keli
  7. by   boomerfriend
    Buy LOTS of printer cartridges. I think we've been through at least 10 since I started a year ago.
  8. by   mattsmom64
    Quote from boomerfriend
    Buy LOTS of printer cartridges. I think we've been through at least 10 since I started a year ago.
    :yeahthat:

    and paper, highlighters, index cards and sticky notes.......it seems like all I do is make Walmart runs for this stuff....while you're in there check out the storage clipboard with calculator, it's abot 10.00 and you can find it in the office supplies area.....
  9. by   Curious1alwys
    First off:

    :smiley_aa :flowersfo


    When the BS gets to you, just realize it is all ONE BIG TEST. It is like bootcamp. They put you through the worst of it to toughen you up for the real world, especially in the latter blocks. So much of it is just designed to weed out the undisciplined, not the stupid. Nursing school is tough, but the academics of it is not too hard. It is getting through all the busywork, dealing with the crap, and trying to not get overwhelmed. You will have weak moments, when you think it is soooo not worth it, but get someone to talk you out of that. Many of my classmates are working full time as well and are just damn weary at this point, ha ha. Some got LPN jobs FT, have small children, and are coming to clinicals irritated and comatose. I feel for them. Simplify your life as much as possible. It will help you in the long run. The real learning starts after you graduate.

    You figure out your own groove soon enough. I have never owned a PDA and that is just fine with me. Careplans still take me forever, they just aren't my strong point. Load up all those CD's so you can make "copy and paste" your middle name!!

    All said and done, I am so thankful for the experience in nursing school. It is no secret that I have had my doubts, and honestly still do, but I have grown so much as a person since I started. There is not much that bothers me now. Working in the hospital, being absolutely inundated with medical everything in the past year and a half has really taught me how to deal with anxiety. Now I am like "yeah, whatever". Mucus? Feces? Been there done that, yesterdays news. You get like that. Remember: Breathe through your mouth!!!
  10. by   Curious1alwys
    Quote from boomerfriend
    Buy LOTS of printer cartridges. I think we've been through at least 10 since I started a year ago.

    Better yet, find a different printer to print on!! Make the school pay for all that!
  11. by   Curious1alwys
    megs,
    wanted to send you a PM. Please enable your profile to accept these...
  12. by   Mursetoo
    Did you purchase your books yet? I just transfered to Gateway and want to sell all of my books. Email me and let me know. Not sure how all of this works as this is my first post.

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