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1) What has been the hardest nursing class for you and why?
The hardest portion for me was GI and neuro. GI has so many things...enzymes, organs, chemistry, metabolism, cancers, hormones...it seemed endless. And neuro...so many specifics and so many complicated pathways. Just reviewing a nerve impulse with a muscle contraction (with all the chemical messengers and thresholds) made my head spin. I hated learning the cranial nerves and what nerve innervates with what. And neuro is big chunk of it. This hormones causes this neurological reaction and a parasympathetic reaction does this. Blah...
2) How often do you have to study for tests?
I studied every day. It was endless. You have to learn how to take nursing exams and think like a nurse. Totally different strategy. My brain was always fried and I was happy to get a nap here and there (keep in mind I was working while in school). Sometimes, you feel like you don't have enough time to study. You just say oh well and take the test. But, after a while, you will become a pro and you will learn how to study in a more efficient manner. The terminology will thankfully start looking repetitive and your reading will begin to flow. In the beginning, it's a gut check.
3) What are the most comfy scrubs
and shoes for clinicals?
I had to buy scrubs from the bookstore but if you can buy your own scrubs, Dickies scrubs are awesome. So comfy. Landau is really nice too (it's a little more expensive). I wear sneakers at work. I swear buy Nike Shox. Never got into crocs. I move around better in my Shox.
4) What are clinicals like and are they scary?
I loved clinicals. It's scary at first, but your hand it going to be held right from the beginning. They will lead you. The scary part is taking to patients. But they don't care. They are happy to get extra help to the bathroom and a hospital bed can be lonely. I think you will find that they will talk your ear off if you let them. If the patient hasn't seen a nurse in 2 hrs, they love having a students there. I think your confidence will be more of a fear factor then actual clinicals. The work will be overwhelming but you will also become a pro with that as time goes on. I was more afraid of my instructors than patients. And some of the nurses can be great or mean. Just take it for what it is. I thought clinicals were fun because I got to apply what I did in the lab.
5) What's your favorite and least favorite aspect of nursing classes?
Favorite: When everything starts to click. I love nursing and I love medicine. The more I learned, the more I wanted. It's cool to finally understand hypertension or watch a surgery. The things you read in books start happening in real life. You get to see what actual labs look like and you get to witness the effects of diseases and how people heal. You get to feel the value of education and people start looking up to you.
Least Favorite: The endless studying. Having no time with my friends. I had no life. I was always tired despite how much sleep I got. Knowing that no matter how well I did this semester, there was a whole other beast that I had to overcome next semester. Lectures seemed long. Some of the info seemed too fast. There was always some other medical term that just didn't make sense at the time.
After you graduate, get some sleep, and hang out with your friends, it's totally worth it. Then, when you begin working at the bedside and your trade craft starts to make a real difference with your patients, nothing is worth more.