Good Advice Karma Given Here!

  1. hello fellow students ~ i have a story that you probably haven't heard... and on this board you hear a lot.

    i'm in block 1... three weeks in to be exact.

    i have no kids or hubby/bf to juggle. i have no employer to please. i have no rent to pay.

    i acknowledge these wonderful advantages that allow me the opportunity to focus 110% on nursing school thanks to my family. i am a lucky woman and beyond all sorts of grateful for this opportunity. i was called for school and put in my 2-week notice at the desk job the following day and began preparations for the two-year journey towards the nclex.

    did you catch that last little bit critical thinkers? a desk job. i have no acronyms after my name like of the student body i attend classes with. i am not an na, lvn, abc or xyz. i'm a drop out art student from the san francisco bay who saw a call for nursing and paid my dues. completed my pre-reqs, co-reqs with high marks, and have enough humanities under my belt to give away to the needy.

    the maricopa county nursing programs generally consist of 30 students (so i understand), and my particular school has placed 40 of us due to rio's dropping the program. i've already put in many 'up till 3am' nights reading, lab module studying and so on and i just can't seem to get into the groove of this. this is like no other class i've taken (duh ). i can't even wrap my head around how to organize for this class. my lab partner asked me to pull out a print-out and i had to flip through all ten of my binder tabs thinking
    "okay, ... i would have put that under review material.. but then again, maybe it fit better under lecture printouts"

    i'm a mess. i've met a handful of very nice, very supportive people, two of which are or techs (they are the best for advice and love the opportunity to help, teach and tell gruesome stories). with 40 semi to advanced students crammed into a lab trying to learn dressing changes and sterile field setup, it's a bit hard (and discouraging) to have to brave the stampede of people fighting for faculty guidance. the faculty seems unorganized and only responsive to the people who already have a grasp on this stuff to begin with. i don't want to slow the program down and luckily i have a great partner who, like me, has zero experience in the medical field. she and i are learning together, however we're both a bit intimidated , frustrated and overwhelmed .

    bonus material: today was our first check off. vital signs. i practiced it up, down, left, right and standing on my head rehearsing. it was our first opportunity to earn points. i passed, but barely. due to a nasty cold i can't shake, my ears are plugged up and i had to retake the bp four times! i explained i wasn't making excuses, but it was very difficult for me to hear the diastolic. the one time i did nail it.. the instructor said
    "sorry, you'll have to redo it because i couldn't see the gauge because of glare from the lights."
    i walked away today with 5 points instead of 10. i cried on the way home. this is all the teachers know of me now.

    you know my story now and i apologize for the length of it, but i need some advice and encouragement here.
    how do i deal with the organizing?
    the huge crowds?
    the fact that (i'm pretty sure) i'm the only person of forty who basically failed my first check offs?
    how do i continue on knowing that i can't cut it despite all my advantages to succeed?
    thanks to anybody who can throw in their
  2. Visit alliphx profile page

    About alliphx

    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 17; Likes: 3
    Student; from US
    Specialty: Student at deciphering the acronyms.


  3. by   micajoieLAc
    First off, Don't give up!!! Bp is a learned skill, something that takes time and practice, practice, practice. I'm not a nurse yet but I do have an alphabet soup after my name, Acupuncturist & CNA. As far as how to organize, find a smart student, someone who seems to "get it" and find out how they've organized their binder. Remember, you may organize and re-organize and that's ok. As we learn we think differently and our needs will change along the way. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions, chances are someone else is wondering the same thing. You are there to do it wrong, make mistakes, that's how we learn. Just stick with it and ask more questions, and maybe form a study group. Good Luck!
  4. by   mackenziec85
    Hey alliphx! Like you, I'm also in Block 1. I did take a CNA class, but I don't have anything fancy after my name (I actually failed my skills test on my CNA exam...taking it again next month). But of my class (50 students), at least half are CNA's or PCT's. Now, I do know how to do a good amount of what we're doing now because of my CNA class, but let me tell you this. It took me almost three months to master BP. I made it so much harder than it really is. And when I took my skills test, I got really nervous and bombed. Making an occupied bed terrified me. Repositioning a patient freaked me out. But yesterday in our lab day, we made an occupied bed, and I had no problem with it. We did BP, and I did it perfectly. This stuff just takes practice and CONFIDENCE. My clinical instructor in my CNA class actually singled my friend and me out one day, saying that we were intimidated. I laughed it off at the time, but after a while, I realized that I was. I didn't think I could do these things, so I acted like I couldn't. And it is hard doing this stuff in front of so many people who already know what they're doing. But you know, they had to learn it all at some point, too.
    And our teachers keep repeating that you have to practice a skill 17 times before you're finally good at it.
    So keep your head up! You'll learn the organization just have to find the best organization skills for you. Some people like separate binders for each discussion (lab, theory, pharm), or some people just throw everything in one folder.
    So good luck to you, and I hope this helped a little bit!
    We'll be done with Block 1 before we know it!
  5. by   alliphx
    Thank you both so much for taking the time to read and respond to my rant. You got the worst kind too... a fresh rant. Since writing this I came up with a plan of attack for this weekend which inculdes a complete revision of my "organization" or lack thereof. lol
    I'm also going to keep in mind the fact that "everyone has to learn these skills at some point." Thank you for that ... it's an important point to keep in mind when I feel intimidated and left behind.
    Kudos to you both for your kind words and encouragement I hope I can repay the favors soon.
  6. by   Chechy
    You sound like me last semester, but I made it to block 2 and so can you. Let me tell you the first 4 to 5 weeks of nursing school are going to be hard mostly because even when they won't admit it, they are trying to weed out people. I only passed 2 of 4 practical exams on my first try last semester and many, many people was in the same position I was, so don't think you are the only one who didn't make it. The most dificult thing is going to be learning to think the nursing way and all the critical thinking stuff, all I can say to that is take an NCLEX book and practice, practice, practice. Don't give up and good luck to you
  7. by   alliphx
    Ahhh yes, the weeding process. I didn't think of that either. This makes sense when you look at the scheduled reading/assignments for the first four weeks compared to the fifth week forward. There is a significant drop off after the fifth week.
    So far as I can guage, there doesn't seem to be anyone in the frame of mind to drop out... but you never know what's going on in some people's heads. Very good point though!

    I need to look at this as a challenge. I'm on "Survivor - Nursing School Island!"