Any Words of Wisdom- Starting 1st Sem.of Nursing School - page 4

hello all! i will be starting nursing school in august. i was wondering if i could get some words of wisdom as i step into this new journey of life!! thanks:rolleyes:... Read More

  1. by   nursingismydream
    I just want to say, "THANK YOU"! All this advice is so great. I start the program this coming fall and have been wanting to get myself prepared but didn't know how. The program at our school is a very hush, hush operation. They do not tell you anything until the June before you start. Since we only start a new program every fall, it makes for a lot of mystery. I would love to start buying study guides, but wouldn't even know where to start. This thread is awesome.


    Crystal
  2. by   NurseFirst
    Quote from nursingismydream
    I just want to say, "THANK YOU"! All this advice is so great. I start the program this coming fall and have been wanting to get myself prepared but didn't know how. The program at our school is a very hush, hush operation. They do not tell you anything until the June before you start. Since we only start a new program every fall, it makes for a lot of mystery. I would love to start buying study guides, but wouldn't even know where to start. This thread is awesome.


    Crystal
    First...keep your Anatomy & Physiology book(s) close at hand; they can be helpful in understanding what is happening. I said in another thread that a lot of Nursing is simply Applied Anatomy and Physiology. Some of the things you learned in A&P (remember osmosis?) will come back.

    Second...I HIGHLY recommend taking 1 or more med term courses. There are a number which are taught online at various community colleges. If you don't take a course, there are some excellent med term books out there. I don't recall the author, but there is one that is very popular and used quite a bit in med term courses.

    Third...if you can take some other med related courses while waiting, they can't hurt. I am an EMT and also in my school's phlebotomy program, as well as having taken a lab math class and a "med lab tech" intro course. I learned all kinds of interesting things, and became familiar with things I still haven't heard much about in school yet, but I'm sure I will! (e.g., anion gap. Also learned that Creatinine Clearance tests require the patient to collect ALL their urine for 24 hours...)

    Fourth...if you are really good at one of the pre-req courses (like A & P), see if you can be a tutor...it will re-inforce the knowledge you already have and can be a source of some additional income.

    Fifth...join nursing organizations. It's not too early. I just went to a bang-up meeting for our local chapter of AACN. Be active, if possible.

    Sixth...it's also not too early to start looking at scholarships. You may not be able to apply for them yet, but you might be able to get applications and start writing your personal statements.

    Seventh...read, read whatever in medicine or nursing interests you. Surf the web. If someone you know has a disease, look it up on the 'net and learn about it. Learn about the technical stuff as you desire, but don't forget about the political environment that healthcare exists in. Read Oliver Sacks ("The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat"), Berton Roueche (short vignettes on epidemiology; short medical mysteries, actually); "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down"--a book about how cultural differences can lead to mis-understanding in healthcare--a true story.

    Eighth...practice your skills. Practice, practice, practice. Practice until you can do them in your sleep. Keep practicing. You just never know when that skill they taught you in first semester will come in handy, and you will be able to perform it on a real patient (like, for instance, inserting a foley catheter.)

    Ninth...some may disagree, but I think learning as much medical short hand as you can will help you; it will help you when you take notes for your classes. For instance, today our instructor mentioned something having to do with patients with end-stage renal disease. Well, my fellow classmates who didn't know the abbreviation had to write that all out. I just wrote ESRD. Medicine is FULL of abbreviations. Some of the handiest are those for "with" (c with a line over it), "without"(s with a line over it), increasing (an up-arrow), decreasing (a down-arrow). This overlaps a bit with med term, but not completely. If you can get a chance to see real medical charts, your curiosity will likely inspire you to want to learn what all those abbreviations are on the chart. (Good reason for getting a part-time clinic or hospital job.)

    Tenth...totally agree on study buddies.

    Eleventh...the med math book we used said there were basically two ways to do medical calculations. One is what I call the "quantity on hand" "quantity ordered" calculations and the other is using ratios. The book said find the one that works for you and, really, basically, forget the other way of doing it. You only need to know ONE WAY.

    Twelth...never lose your sense of common sense. Think...does what I see or hear fit with everything else? This also is helpful for math calcs. When you do your calc, also do a rough estimate. If you know that you have something which is 5 mg/1.2 ml and you are giving 8mg, you KNOW (or should know) that your answer HAS TO BE more than 1.2 ml. I've had blood pressures which didn't make sense for my patient (though were not out of "normal" range), temperatures which were too low; and blood sugars that weren't realistic for the patient. "THE TREND IS YOUR FRIEND" -- this means that even sick patients will generally have "trends" in their vital signs, and it's more important to know what the trend is for your patient. A temp of 99 can mean a fever for some of our older folks.

    Thirteenth--you will be taught how to do things in school. Do them the way you were taught. You will see lots of different variations on a theme. This will be especially true in clinical. Don't be quick to judge that someone is doing something wrong. I have seen the same thing taught in two opposite ways. Just learn the way your school expects and you will be fine--you can worry about other ways when you get your RN.

    I could go on and on....but I better stop now for the moment and let all this be digested!!!

    NurseFirst
    Last edit by NurseFirst on Nov 18, '04
  3. by   SJW
    Any suggestions for an Old student who is nervous about the math part of nursing? Are calculators or computers used at all to determine correct dosages?

    SJW
  4. by   manna
    Quote from SJW
    Any suggestions for an Old student who is nervous about the math part of nursing? Are calculators or computers used at all to determine correct dosages?

    SJW
    We used calculators. I found that I personally thought people really got over-stressed about med calc. Once you get the formulas memorized, it's not that complicated at all!
  5. by   SJW
    Manna,

    I know that math skills should be strong when you're in nursing and I'm afraid mine aren't. I really do think I can learn what I need to learn if I get over the fear of it. I am encouraged by your response. If a patient had to wait for me to figure out a calculation on paper and in an emergency, s/he might die! Calculators sound great!

    I am doing great with pre-reqs and refuse to let a little thing like math scare me off. It's great to get positive support.

    Thanks again!

    SJW
  6. by   JenNJFLCA
    Now, repeat after me....... "Sleep is for the weak!! A 'B' is NOT a bad grade! It's OKAY to cry at the drop of hat! Doing school work on a Friday night while all of my friends are having fun is fine with me! My house is a mess, who cares!! My boyfriend/husband/kids/family feel neglected but that's OKAY!"
    Say that to yourself enough times and you'll be just fine.

    Look at the light at the end of the tunnel. It may seem dim, or not even there at all at times, but it will be SO worth it in the end.

    You'll have good and bad moments, but I can honestly say I am enjoying the ride. (but won't be too sad when it's over )
  7. by   Mandylpn
    Quote from studentnurse04
    hello all! i will be starting nursing school in august. i was wondering if i could get some words of wisdom as i step into this new journey of life!!

    thanks
    you really came to the right website to ask! let's see, plan on giving up most of your regular life, stockpile the chocolate, get good shoes, have a good family/friend for a support system, if you are sensitive - you better toughen up now, don't let the ------ nurses at the clinical sites give you a headache, never let an instructor see you cry, :chuckle , don't get behind in your assignments, study, study, study, take some time for yourself away from studying each week. never, never, never give up on your dream. one more thing, come back to this website for support, most of us have been there.

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