What to expect for your Fundamentals & your first clinicals!

  1. 0 Hey everyone-

    I'm about to start my nursing classes FINALLY! NO MORE pre-reqs for me! However, some people at my school are making me really nervous about what to expect for the next two terms. In a week I start Nursing Fundamentals & Pharmacology. What can I expect from these classes? Is it as horrible as I'm hearing?? Then, my next term is Med/Surg Class & Clinical along with some leadership class. What can I expect to do in my first clinical? What exactly do you do in Med/Surg? What units?

    I'm just getting really excited and I guess I want some information from people other than those at my school... Sometimes they just want an easy ride, while I want a good education, good professors and I don't necessarily want it to be easy...

    Any info would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks all!
  2. Visit  NICURN2013 profile page

    About NICURN2013

    From 'Jefferson City, TN'; Joined Oct '10; Posts: 87; Likes: 16.

    33 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  cmonkey profile page
    0
    Fundamentals isn't awesome, I'll say that much. I'm passing. I don't have to get a crazy high score on the fluids and electrolytes test, which is reputed to be the killer test this semester. I'm already boning up for it though. We only have four tests to base our grade on, so failing one sets you up for an uphill climb the rest of the semester.

    Pharm is pretty self-directed in our program, so YMMV, but it's not too hard. Do the readings, study the ppts, and apply the knowledge and it's not hard to pass all the tests, some with a pretty high grade.

    I don't know. It really depends on you. Good luck and congratulations!
  4. Visit  lolasmomma2bLVN profile page
    0
    Thats funny that you say the toughie test is Fluid and Electrolyte's in Fundamentals...It is the same thing in our program, many students get dropped after that examination!
  5. Visit  NICURN2013 profile page
    0
    Thanks for your feedback. I'm not too worried about Pharm, I've heard it's pretty "self-taught" at my school too. Is the fluid & electrolyte test the "math" test? That's what everyone complains about at my school.
  6. Visit  ImThatGuy profile page
    0
    I'm taking that now only it's called Foundations here. Corequisites are pharmacology, geriatrics, and health assessment. Those three are three credites each and foundations is six.

    Foundations teaches the nursing process. There's not really any disease process or treatments to be learned in it at least not here although the pee and poop chapters had some and the upcoming skin and oxygenation chapters have some as well. Very few of the chapters pertain to anything physiological which stinks to me. We've done two or three clinical days (runs together), and we've got four and a half left. We're in a nursing home so there's not a lot to do that's interesting. Bear in mind the only clinical area of nursing that appeals to me is the emergency setting so I'm biased although I do look forward to the critical care and surgical setting once we get to that point. I've rotated through those before in another walk of life, and they weren't too bad.

    Foundations isn't interesting enough to make me dig into the book. I've got an 87 or 88 average in there right now, and I'm ok with that. The other three are A's. The foundations book has a lot of chapters that deal with things like cultural awareness, stress, the family, and things you've had before. To be a review of that type of thing it sure is wordy. I can't read it all in one setting because of what it is. If it was teaching me something completely new or interesting I'd be more into it. I get by in there by listening to the lecture, and that's about it.

    There were some things covered like popping pills, giving shots, dropping NG tubes, shoving in foleys, etc, and that's ok but with the exception of foleys I've done all that so it wasn't that sweet for me. Then there's all the different tube feedings, and they want you to make a bed a certain way although we only had to do it once.

    I can tell for the new kids that it's a lot. Many of them are overwhelmed by it all. I guess I would be too if i hadn't already had training in pharm and assessment plus a lot of the non-nurse specific stuff in foundations.

    Honestly, my post is negative because I'm just not that into this semester. Next semester we have pathophysiology which I'm totally stoked about, mental health which may be ok since I like abnormal psych when I took it back in 2001, and then we've got acute care which a lot of the instructors call med/surg. They say that's more in depth, and that's exactly what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, we also have research methods next semester, lol. Gotta hate that! I'll also take the nutrition class I should've already taken, and I'll take it online. I had all the other prereqs before beginning the program. Shouldn't be hard.

    Good luck with it. You sound eager, and that's a plus.
  7. Visit  cmonkey profile page
    0
    Pathyphysiology is COOL and I can't believe all programs don't require it. I think I have a real leg up on the rest of my class because I took it for fun. Well, and because if I go on for the BSN, it's required so I took it when I had lots of time.
  8. Visit  Tyler77 profile page
    33
    Your fundamentals class will introduce you to the world of the world of annoying and obnoxious students, nurses that think the sun don't rise 'till they wake up in the morning, and classmates that make you wonder "How did they get into this program?"

    Here's the down low:

    You will have AT LEAST 2 students in your class that have someone in their family that has experienced whatever pathology you're studying. So if you're studying carcinoma of the pubic hairs, guaranteed someon'e uncle's stepbrother from Utah has experienced it.

    You will have AT LEAST 2 students in your class that will challenge the teacher on exam question(s). The question can be taken VERBATIM from your text and still, they'll whine about how it was "grammatically incorrect" or "the answer choices were misleading."

    You will have SEVERAL students that think coming into class with Dora the Explorer lunchboxes and Spongebob pajama bottoms co-ordinated with Uggs are the gosh-darndest cutest thing. Just let them be. It'll take them a few semesters to realize why no one like them.

    Everyone and their brother in your class will have a 4.0 (which is a lie).

    Some students in your class will claim to "have turned down medical school because they feel they can do more as a nurse." (Truth: they either flunked out or got rejected from medical school).

    The older students are either: single moms with a gaggle of kids, a second career individual, or someone who's in it just for the money. Once again, don't believe everything they say. They don't know how to "fit in" so they'll brag ad infinitum to make themselves look good.

    Then, finally, the post high school kids that are not mentally ready for nursing school. They text during class an clinicals, complain about everything, spread untrue gossip about others, and they should just be home watching "Glee" because they have no use as nurses.


    The End.
  9. Visit  DarkBluePhoenix profile page
    0
    Quote from Tyler77
    Your fundamentals class will introduce you to the world of the world of annoying and obnoxious students, nurses that think the sun don't rise 'till they wake up in the morning, and classmates that make you wonder "How did they get into this program?"

    Here's the down low:

    You will have AT LEAST 2 students in your class that have someone in their family that has experienced whatever pathology you're studying. So if you're studying carcinoma of the pubic hairs, guaranteed someon'e uncle's stepbrother from Utah has experienced it.

    You will have AT LEAST 2 students in your class that will challenge the teacher on exam question(s). The question can be taken VERBATIM from your text and still, they'll whine about how it was "grammatically incorrect" or "the answer choices were misleading."

    You will have SEVERAL students that think coming into class with Dora the Explorer lunchboxes and Spongebob pajama bottoms co-ordinated with Uggs are the gosh-darndest cutest thing. Just let them be. It'll take them a few semesters to realize why no one like them.

    Everyone and their brother in your class will have a 4.0 (which is a lie).

    Some students in your class will claim to "have turned down medical school because they feel they can do more as a nurse." (Truth: they either flunked out or got rejected from medical school).

    The older students are either: single moms with a gaggle of kids, a second career individual, or someone who's in it just for the money. Once again, don't believe everything they say. They don't know how to "fit in" so they'll brag ad infinitum to make themselves look good.

    Then, finally, the post high school kids that are not mentally ready for nursing school. They text during class an clinicals, complain about everything, spread untrue gossip about others, and they should just be home watching "Glee" because they have no use as nurses.


    The End.
    That is so true! I am not even a nursing student but a student nurse assistant and the class has everyone u listed. Wow I wouldn't think nursing school is exactly the same. I mean especially the one about people that got in but shouldnt of.
    The excitement awaits!
  10. Visit  OB-nurse2013 profile page
    0
    Tyler77 your post had me cracking up I've had every one of those people in my classes!
  11. Visit  NICURN2013 profile page
    0
    Haha Tyler77, you're totally right and I'm sure it's going to just get worse.. lol ImThatGuy, I understand what you mean.. I love patho and I'm really excited for clinicals. I guess I'll just have to get through fundamentals.. I am excited though.

    What kind of things did everyone do in their first clinical rotation? Any funny/encouraging stories? I don't actual go to clinicals during fundamentals, but I have my first ones in Feb, so pretty soon!

    Thanks for the feedback!
  12. Visit  BellsRNBSN profile page
    3
    This semester I'm taking fundamentals, pharmacology, med/surg, and pathophysiology, and I have found fundamentals to be the easiest of the four. You do need to pay attention in class and at least skim the readings, but I found a lot of our test questions to be nursing common sense. Understanding the fluid and electrolytes portion does take some extra studying, but just do a lot of practice questions, memorize the normal lab values, and you'll be fine. I didn't find fluid and electrolytes to be nearly as difficult as I was expecting, from what I had read on AN.

    Med/surg is a whole other story! We never really know what to expect on our med/surg tests. Our professor covers SO much material and we are often asked random, specific questions on our tests from material that makes up maybe 2 sentences out of the 100 pages of possible material from our textbook. I feel like med/surg is a mixture of everything. We go over pathophysiology, normal physiology, nursing fundamentals, and even a little bit of pharmacology one body system at a time. But our focus is always on the older adult.

    Everyone has such different clinical experiences, so it's hard to generalize what your first experience will be like. For my class, on our first clinical shift, there wasn't much we could do to help the nurses (we had only been signed off on bedmaking, bathing and changing patients, and taking vital signs), so we mostly just helped the PCTs or just shadowed the nurses - more watching than doing. Your first shift will probably be focused on orientating to your clinical site and performing the very basics of nursing.

    And it's likely there will be students in your class that annoy and frustrate you, but it's not necessarily a given. After reading posts on these boards, I started NS expecting to see a lot of the types of people that posters on here complain about. However, I was pleasantly surprised - my classmates are amazing and I have the utmost respect for every single one of them. But we are all post-baccalaureate students, so maybe that has something to do with it. Just make sure you don't judge a book by its cover. Be kind and helpful to all of your classmates. You never know when you might need their help someday (especially in clinicals or with difficult projects). It's amazing how much better NS can be when all of your classmates support each other!

    Oh, and you have nothing to worry about, nursing school will NOT be easy!
  13. Visit  NICURN2013 profile page
    0
    That's a large class load.. I only have two classes at one (in school class/lab or clinical and another class), so I'm finishing up Microbiology and Pathophysiology then I'm on to Fundamentals class and lab & Pharmacology in 2 weeks, then I go to Med/Surg and a leadership class. However, my classes are only 9 weeks a piece, so they're over pretty fast and there's A LOT of material to cover. I like it all so far. I've noticed a mix of students in my school, there's some very serious students, some overly serious students, and some students that I wonder why they are in nursing school because they don't seem to care too much. :P

    Thanks for your feedback. I'm really excited. I hope I get enough clinical experience.. I'm just worried that with the classes only being 9 weeks that it won't be enough time to actually learn everything, but I guess they wouldn't do it this way if they didn't think it worked.

  14. Visit  ImThatGuy profile page
    0
    Interesting that leadership is so early. That comes at the end of our curriculum. We've got:

    Fundamentals, Geriatrics, Pharmacology, and Health Assessment now

    Pathophysiology, Mental Health, Acute Care, and Research Methods next sem.

    Ob/Peds, Public/Community Health, Issues & Trends in Healthcare Fall '11.

    Complex Care, Leadership & Management, Informatics, and Synthesis Spr. '12.

    The idea, or so we're told, is that in the leadership and management class that we'll go out and run a department in conjuntion with the dept. mgr. for our clinicals.

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