Melissa0181 1,896 Views
Joined Apr 8, '12 - from 'Texas'.
Melissa0181 is a RN.
Posts: 48 (33% Liked)
1:5-1:6 is the usual. I've had as few as 1:4 and there were a few night shifts I got 1:7 on an acute brain injury & stroke unit.
I'm in the process of applying for a FNP program and am trying to figure out how many hours I'll likely to be able to work while balancing school, family, bills, my sanity, etc. Perhaps it's just hopeful thinking but I'm wondering if you get any type of stipend/salary for the clinical hours you do/did as part of your program?
I will be coming off an 8 week unit orientation in two weeks. During this time I have had three preceptors who have all been helpful in teaching and exposing me to the processes and procedures that are likely (and less likely but important to know) that occur on the unit. As a new grad my preceptors have helped to build my confidence and made me feel comfortable on the unit. So my question is: is it appropriate to buy them each an individual gift as a thank you present? Might this look bad to the other nurses on the unit? Is a thank you card enough? I definitely do not want to 'rock the boat' in any way but I would like to show my appreciation for the time and effort they gave in teaching me.
You were smart before nursing school but more to the point - YOU ARE STILL SMART. There is no way to gloss it over, nursing school is tough. You have to learn new skills and concepts and you have to learn them quickly, often while also having to worry about work or family life. One of my professor's accurately explained the experience of nursing school as "a process to break you down, only to build you back up stronger and better than before." I wasn't sure what he meant at the time but I appreciate it now. Having struggled through nursing school myself I understand the self-doubt and near panic that comes with each test but through that process I learned about time management and setting priorities. Do the best you can, don't expect straight A's, but study and read to the best of your abilities. You'll have self doubts too but remember you got into nursing school while there are many other people out there that received rejection letters. You aren't the first person to struggle through nursing school - just remember it is doable. Now that I have a few months experience as a RN let me tell you the headaches that come with nursing school are well worth the end product. I wish you the best of luck!
Being a new grad I was in your shoes not long ago. I don't think you'll ever completely get over some anxiety when going into an unfamiliar situation but with time you should realize the flow of the unit and what to expect from the patient population. Since you know you'll be on a diabetic/renal floor than I would suggest looking over those sections in your med-surg book. Your preceptor won't expect you to know everything but I have found that I am less anxious when I feel like I am prepared. Perhaps look over the action and duration of various types of insulin, signs/symptoms of hyper & hypoglycemia, refresh yourself about the different types of dialysis, go over patient assessment and what you would expect to be abnormal in a renal patient, go over lab values, etc. I don't have experience on a renal floor so I can't provide any specifics. Just know that it is 100% normal to be nervous. Being a nurse is dang tough, there is much to know, and people count on you to make them feel better. Use the knowledge you do have, realize it is okay to ask questions, and reference your nursing books for additional information.
I received similar messages a time or two while I was applying for jobs to only get a cookie-cutter no thank you response weeks (sometimes months) later. The good news is SOMEONE had to get a good response so hopefully in this case it will be you. I would recommend continuing your job hunting. You'll get that first job just keep putting yourself out there, attend job fairs, etc...
Many of my fellow classmates did study groups but I chose not to and for me it worked best. It largely depends on your study habits. I found that I study best when I'm relaxed and in a quiet atmosphere. My experience of study groups include those one or two people that expect the rest of the group to teach them or worse the group that meets to "study" but talks about everything except schoolwork. Hopefully you'll get into a better group if you chose to. I managed one B and the rest A's without a group so it's not impossible to do well on your own.
Yikes. I can see you are in a tough situation. The problem with nursing school is something has to give...either less hours at work or less hours with your family. At the start of nursing school I had a conversation with my boyfriend (of 4 years), friends, family, and even my boss letting them know that my priority over the next two years was nursing school. I had come to the decision that by becoming a nurse I was not only doing what I love but also bettering my future. There were times it was tough and I had numerous fights with my boyfriend since I was studying more and spending less time with him. It got so bad that I finally got to the point of saying he was free to leave if he couldn't be supportive (he stayed). Your situation is more difficult than mine since I do not have children and am not married. My suggestion would be to have a heart-to-heart with your husband. Explain that this is a choice that you have made and that nursing school is only temporary. Hopefully he will be more understanding and realize that you are doing this to better your whole family.
Nursing school is HARD. I was able to get A's in my prerequisite courses by doing minimal work and reading (I'm not bragging since that isn't a good habit but it is true). I had to completely change my study habits for nursing school. I had to read then go over it a second time to make sure I understood what I was reading. I had to take notes in class, ask my professors when I had questions, and find decent webpages that could clarify information I still didn't get. The premise is if you are an A student prior to nursing school you'll be lucky to get C's in nursing school....the classes move fast, the material is intense, and the professor's don't put up with BS. With that being said it is not impossible to get A's in nursing school but you'll find you had to study harder then any other classes you've ever taken. I bet the premise behind 'C's being the new A's in nursing school' is spread by students as a defense mechanism for rationalizing why they are doing poorly.
Congratulations. From my experience I would say you will have your hands full but with determination and tenacity you will get through nursing school. The fundamentals and med-surg books I used had an opening section dedicated to A&P and I found that I recalled a lot more from my previous classes that I thought possible. It would be unrealistic to go over all info covered in your previous classes but I do recommend looking up information as you come across it. For example, if you are going over the cardiovascular system but can't remember the flow of blood through the heart - grab your A&P book to jog your memory. I bought multiple pocket guides during nursing school but truth be told I didn't use any of them. I would recommend a decent drug guide that includes a section on nursing implications for each med. You'll have to find what works best for you. Buckle down, study hard, and one day you'll be a nurse...just remember that during your times of stress and self doubt.
I would imagine EKG strips would be a higer level of difficulty but I can't say that with any authority. My exam cut off at 75 with no EKG strips. Regardless, the results of your exam are already recorded whether you check the PVT trick now or in a day so take a deep breath and check...best of luck to you.
Review lab values and brush up on problem areas. Other than that eat balanced meals, exercise, and get enough rest. Stay positive you can do this!
Care plans were the end all and be all of our clinical rotations. We would go to our assigned hospital setting the day prior to clinical to pick out a patient to "work up". We would gather information on the patient's medical diagnoses and treatment plan, write down all meds (including prn's), the results of blood work and radiology testing, and what history we could find in the chart then interview the patient for additional background information. No hands on touching of the patient during this preclinical info gather session. After that the real "fun" begins. Writing a separate page on the pathophysiology, risk factors, medical management, and prognosis behind each medical diagnoses. Looking up pertinent information on each medication the patient is taking including its pharmacological class, onset/peak/duration, side effects, and appropriate interventions. Looking up reasons why lab values would be high or low and what this indicates. Looking up what abnormal radiology tests meant. This all has to be written out. From that information we could develop as many pertinent nursing diagnoses as our instructors wanted. Then you decide your interventions based on the nursing diagnoses you came up with. Each student nurse had to pick their own patient so there was no overlap. Everything is patient specific so at each step you must link the information you learned to your patient's condition. Expect this to take at least 8+ hours in the beginning and closer to 6+ hours towards the end of nursing school. It's stressful and time consuming but you learn valuable information in the process. Oh, and I think my typical care plan was right around 18-20 pages in length using 12 pont font and 1 inch page borders.
I would say it all depends on your finances. An older book is better than no book but realize there will be some changes that occur with each addition. These changes may include new chapters or new/deleted/updated pictures and tables plus confusion over page numbers that your instructors may be referring to. I had several classmates that used older edition books and they did just fine academically speaking.
My nursing school offered morning and evening classes. Due to work I was always in the evening classes with weekend clinicals so my schedule usually involved theory classes from 5p to 9p several days a week and clinicals for 3p to 11p on either Saturdays or Sundays. Perhaps look at other nursing schools in your area to see if any have evening classes already in place. I wish you the best of luck.
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