Hello all and congrats to everyone who got in! I am already a nursing student at HCC at the Plant City campus daytime, just finishing up my first semester here. I was on this website when I first got into my program and there was so much information being thrown around that it was a bit overwhelming at first. So I'm here to help!
First off, orientation is long and boring. You will be doing your drug test on that day so be prepared. They will cover a lot of information that you will need to know, and then we had the people from our textbooks come in and shows us how to use the evolve website and get the most out of your textbooks, so pay attention. Also they gave us a coupon to use towards our book package...don’t loose it! With the coupon our package, which you will buy in the bookstore and has your fundamentals, med-surg, clinical calc, study guides and a couple pocket size books (nursing diagnosis) all in the package, mine w/the coupon came out to $500. You are also required to buy the psych book but that's not till the end of the semester so you will have time for that later on. Also for orientation since it's at Dale Mabry make sure you leave early to get there...tampa traffic sucks at that time in the morning. The first day is very informative, the second day is boring. They will split you off into your group (campuses) and do team building exercises...it was lame but at least you get to know your peers. And these people you will become VERY close with...so don’t make enemies, you’re stuck with them for four semesters
Second, you will have to purchase your uniforms off campus (ex. uniform city) and you will need to buy white scrub tops, wine bottoms, white "comfy" shoes, a stethoscope, a watch with second hand, and I encourage a small notebook that will fit into for scrub pockets for clinical. And you will have to purchase patches in the bookstore that you will need to sew onto your scrub top. They are super cheap I wanna say less than $2 each.
Third, get familiar with the new HCC blackboard all of our notes and messages are done through there.
Fourth, READ READ READ!! Once school starts it doesn’t slow down! Start off by reading your Fundamentals book our first test covered vital signs, health assessment, infection prevention & control, activity & exercise, client safety, hygiene & mobility & immobility. As you can see your tests will have multiple chapters per test. Also within the first couple weeks you will have to pass a med calculation test with an 80% or higher to be able to work in the hospital. The test isn’t that bad, but I suggest you study the first couple chapters in your clinical calculations book (1-6). So if you can get a head start on these chapters you will be ahead of the game!
Fifth, CLINICALS! Scary….yes at first, but you will learn to love them. The first 3 weeks you will spend at school in the nursing lab going over everything you need to know about taking vitals, doing a head to toe assessment, correct ways to move patients….etc. When you get to the hospital…DON’T BE LATE…or you will be sent home and have to make up your clinical day with another group. Don’t be afraid to talk to the patients, most of them are thrilled to have you helping them.
Sixth, lastly are your test. All of our test (minus the med calc) have all been in NCLEX format. Meaning unlike anatomy or micro where you have memorize everything and regurgitate it back out, you will actually have to understand what the question is asking and be able to pick out the MOST correct answer. And look at what the question is asking for (you will see soon enough what I'm talking about) lol
Okay this is getting long, if you have any questions feel free to ask! Congrats again for getting in, you’ve worked hard to get in….and it just gets harder from here so be prepared!
(Sorry if I scared any of you...but this program is hardcore and covers a lot of material...and if you fall behind...it could mean not passing the class.)