Binghamton Applicants- BAT Fall 2013 - page 3

by eca2493

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Hi all, I just submitted my application to Binghamton for the BAT program for next fall. Didn't see a discussion board yet so figured I would start one. Any other applicants out there?... Read More


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    Quote from spiritedkidd
    Also, just to confirm, the BAT program gives you a BACHELOR'S in nursing, correct? Or is it associate? And how well did they prepare you for NCLEX or did you have to mostly do it on your own? (Granted, you had to do most of the studying, but did they give you any resources or anything like that?)
    Oh and spiritedkidd - yes it is a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. I would say it prepared me fairly well. It's sort of hard to say though. They required us to sign up for Kaplan's nclex prep program. There were mini kaplan tests that we had to take all year, but there were ways to zip through them without working too hard. Honestly, it didnt count toward a grade, you just had to do them and so it wasn't at the top of my priority list. At the end though, I was glad that I had been forced to pay because the kaplan materials, quizzes, tests, videos, etc that they provide I believe are what helped me pass in the first try with 75 questions. It's a great program. I think it cost $500. I also spent a solid two months studying - all day, nearly every day, using Kaplan and the Saunders prep book. So in the end, I'm not sure how much credit should go to Bing. I recognized most of the material in the review stuff, so I would say they gave me a good start.
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    Quote from midwifetobe85
    Hey cbrubaker05,

    No problem! I know how invaluable this kind of info can be as a prospective student. Thankfully, there are NO classes on the weekends. It's hard to remember the schedule exactly at this point, but here's a rough idea:

    Summer I: classes mon-fri, 9-4ish, clinical lab on campus once a week
    Summer II: classes 5 days a week, 9-5, plus clinicals twice a week (geriatrics)
    Fall I: class all day on monday 9-9, clinicals 5:30am - 12:30/1pm four days a week, classes also on a couple afternoons after clinical
    Fall II: same as above but drops down to clinicals two days a week
    Spring I&II: same as fall I & II

    As I said before, I felt patho I and II during the summer sessions were the hardest content-wise. Make sure you know your physiology. Summer II is also a little crazy because you have patho and you start your first clinical. I had no medical background and I definitely experienced culture shock. It's a cliched expression - but, I thought I knew, but I had no idea. If you can, try to work as a nurse's aid before starting school, it will help prepare you a lot.

    Intensity-wise, the beginning of the fall and the beginning of the spring semesters are really crazy because of the early morning clinicals four days a week and having classes. Then there's the whole nightmare of care plans. If you don't know what that is (as I didn't) and youre serious about attending this program - look them up. Basically, you're assessing your patient's condition and writing down what you'd like to accomplish with them to improve their condition and you create goals for them. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, they're bizarrely simple to the point that it becomes difficult. Unfortunately, they are a staple of nursing school. If you have some spare time research them a little. It might help out.

    The other odd thing about this program is the way every few weeks is a major exam - one that will dramatically impact your grade. This is a little tough to get used to. Ever taken summer semester courses? The BAT program is basically a year of non-stop summer semester courses. Except each "semester" your taking 18 credits.

    Did I ever have moments for myself? Yes. I made sure of it. You'll need to do that for your sanity. But essentially, for that year, the program owns you. Hope that helps!
    ___
    @midwifetobe85: your responses are so helpful!! I hope one day, I will be able to do what you're doing now and help other BAT hopefuls. Thank you for taking the time to address our concerns - they seem to be growing as 2013 gets closer and closer! lols

    Also, how were your clinicals and instructors? There was another user who posted on another thread about how she was disappointed that it wasnt as "hands on" as she had hoped it would be. What's your take on clinicals? Were you able to learn how to do the procedures and such? How supportive were the lecture and clinical instructors?
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    Generally, it depends on what type of housing you are looking for. A one bedroom apartment could be anywhere from 550-650 a month, give or take. If you lived in a 2 bedroom with a roommate, it'd probably be around 325-400 dollars a person/per month depending on how nice the place is. It should be relatively easy to find an apartment ... I found mine through craigslist, although there is an off campus housing website through the Binghamton University website that shows housing options as well. Binghamton is relatively easy to navigate with a car. Most housing is 10-15 minutes from campus and there are buses that run all throughout binghamton so it should be relatively easy to get around without a car. Hope this helps!
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    Quote from spiritedkidd
    ___
    @midwifetobe85: your responses are so helpful!! I hope one day, I will be able to do what you're doing now and help other BAT hopefuls. Thank you for taking the time to address our concerns - they seem to be growing as 2013 gets closer and closer! lols

    Also, how were your clinicals and instructors? There was another user who posted on another thread about how she was disappointed that it wasnt as "hands on" as she had hoped it would be. What's your take on clinicals? Were you able to learn how to do the procedures and such? How supportive were the lecture and clinical instructors?
    Hey spiritedkidd,

    I know the post you're referring to. I would say to some degree, what she wrote is true. But, in Binghamton's defense, I think most (if not all) BSN nursing programs are up against the same problems - not having enough instructors/profs and also trying to fit in a lot of nursing theory which takes away from clinical time...personally, I feel all of the nursing theory/socialization courses are an attempt to quickly teach social sophistication and maturity to the nursing students. The problem is, it's not well presented and it's not really necessary for most second degree adult students, who may already have another undergrad degree and real life experience. To us BATs, the nursing theory material seemed really trite and lacking depth. It's part of the degree requirements though, so you just have to muddle through it.

    Anyway, regarding the clinical experience. It's a mixed bag. At school, there are labs and simulation. The simulations are pretty..sad. They make a big deal about it, but it's they're over-hyping it for sure. There are these very expensive mannequins on which you can measure heart rate and blood pressure and listen to lung sounds reading their o2 sat and temp on the monitor. You're assigned a part to play before walking into the room - a family member or nurse, etc. If you're the nurse you have to assess the patient, usually while dealing with a "family member" (your classmate) who might be upset/yelling loudly,etc. It's meant to prepare you for real life situations. But to be honest, they only ever felt like bad acting classes. Dealing with a "hysterical mother" only works if your classmate commits to her role and yells, but most of the time (understandably) people are quiet and ackward and it's not clear what's supposed to be happening. For me, the simulations never helped my clinical skills and I personally did not need to practice interacting with people. It would be fantastic if they gave you access to the mannequins to practice your assessment skills, but they don't.

    The labs were in my opinion way to short/infrequent. They take up much of day because they can only teach in small groups and so there was a lot of waiting around, but the actual time spent learning was pretty short. During the first summer semester, you learn basic nurse's aid work. Bedmaking, hand hygiene, bed baths, etc. as well as how to take vital signs and assess heart and lung sounds. It's not difficult material, but because there's no actual practice time it ends up being more nerve-racking than you would think. (You watch videos at home and are expected to come in knowing how to do everything for the day and then are "checked off" for that skill.) It's also at a CRAZY pace. Later in the labs you learn med admin, catheter placements, IV skills, trach care, etc. But they are short presentations followed by "check offs". It never feels like enough practice.

    Clinical experience in the hospitals is also extremely varied because it depends on several factors. 1.) What conditions/medical/nursing needs your patient has 2.) How available your instructor is to observe you doing the procedure (like inserting a cath) and 3.) How accommodating the floor nurses are (if they want you out of the way, you will not be doing it). To get a varied clinical experience I recommend the following:

    1.) KNOW how to do a procedure cold. Whether it's inserting a foley catheter, an IV or cleaning a trach watch the Decker videos multiple times and read about it. They also allow you to make appointments to come in to the lab and practice skills like IV insertion, so if youre a hands on learner that may help. Make sure you know exactly what you would do. This is highly important not only because you want to be a safe student nurse, but also because you want to have the confidence to jump in when the opportunity presents itself. I was pretty sure I knew how to insert a foley cath but I definitely could have been more confident. When the opportunity came up during my OB rotation I was super nervous and thought "maybe I should wait until I watch that video a few more times before I try.." but I decided to go for it anyway. It was a good thing I did because it was the only time I got a chance to do one during nursing school! It just never came up again.
    2.) This is an extension of the first recommendation - Be brave. This may be the only time you get to do this skill..so go for it! Speak up right away. "Who would like to start this IV" "I would!!"

    What you will end up learning also hugely depends on where your capstone placement is. This is your final placement and you are more confident from the start and you spend several months on the same floor. If you're on an ICU, you will learn totally difficult skills than if you're on an OB unit. I never once did trach care, but I am fantastic at postpartum and newborn assessments.

    As far as instructors go, I will say I had mostly great experiences. Several were brilliant and supportive and made the crazy pace less scary. Not every instructor is perfect though, and there are a few difficult ones, but you don't really have any control over who you are placed with, so it's pointless to worry about it. My recommendation is find out what your instructor's expectations are at the beginning of clinical - when do they want the paperwork (database) by? Which sections of the paperwork are most important to them? Requirements definitely vary a little by instructor so find out what they're looking for and you'll do fine.

    Hope all this helps!
    Last edit by midwifetobe85 on Dec 11, '12
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    Well I just got an e-mail that I was accepted! Quicker than I thought would happen. They said to expect an official letter in a few weeks and she would start a Facebook group for accepted students in January. Good luck to everyone!
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    wow! congratulations cbrubaker! thats so exciting. i can't believe a decision came so early. i heard it was usually late! when did you apply? i am a bit nervous as didn't get mine in until end of november because of some delay from hurricane. i probably won't know for a while...
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    Quote from cbrubaker05
    Well I just got an e-mail that I was accepted! Quicker than I thought would happen. They said to expect an official letter in a few weeks and she would start a Facebook group for accepted students in January. Good luck to everyone!
    congrats cbrubaker!! thats great news and definitely surprising that it came so early. mid dec is like unheard of lols. i finished mine mine october. when did you finish yours? an acceptance would be a great way to end 2012 lols
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    mid october*
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    Hello All,

    I have applied to BAT program 2013 as well, and I am from Denver CO. I am still waiting for the offer and really hope I get in!! I have also applied to the accelerated program @ NYU. I am really excited but the same time nervous! Hope to know some of the BAT students here! Good Luck to everybody!
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    Hello All!

    I also applied for the 2013 BAT program. I am currently at BCC finishing my pre reqs. I completed my undergrad at BU as well. Midwife, your responses within this group are invaluable and greatly appreciated. In my opinion, you have given the most thorough review of the program and have answered so many of the questions that I had about the program! THANK YOU! The only other question that I have for you concerns working and life after graduation and licensure. How has working as a nurse been so far? When you started working in the field did you feel prepared/ that you had enough experience?
    midwifetobe85 likes this.


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