Any Words of Wisdom- Starting 1st Sem.of Nursing School - page 3
hello all! i will be starting nursing school in august. i was wondering if i could get some words of wisdom as i step into this new journey of life!! thanks:rolleyes:... Read More
May 4, '04Occupation: FINALLY! NICU RN Specialty: NICU!! ; Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 423; Likes: 5Thanks to everyone and please keep the advice coming!!!
May 4, '04Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 549; Likes: 19Don't get overwhelmed by the amount of work. Set aside some time every day to study, even if some days it is only 30 mins, and stick to it. Time management is so important, especially if you have children or work.
Nursing tests are unlike any other tests you have taken. You will rarely be asked a straight forward question. It is usually some scenario and you have to make a judgement based on the data provided and what you have learned. Often two answers are right, one is just more right.
Test question hints
Airway, Breathing, Circulation, in that order
Assess before you act
Remember Maslow's hierarchy
Use textbook answers, not what really happens in a hospital
Look for words like most, least, best in the question
Go to open lab and practice your skills, preferably with a friend. The more you practice, the less nervous you will be when the instructor is watching you with a stopwatch in one hand and a red pen in the other.
You will need a lot of emotional support, especially from fellow students. They are the ones who will understand how scary your first check off is and know what it feels like to drop a med on the floor in front of your instructor.
No one expects you for be Florence Nightengale your 1st day at clinical. Do the research on your pt so you can answer your instructors questions about their condition and meds. Be respectful of the nurses on the floor and remember they are not there to teach you, but if they will, be a sponge. If you do nothing more than smile, fill the water pitcher, straighten the sheets and give a bed bath, you have made a positive impact on your patient.
Remember, you can do anything for 16 weeks.
May 10, '04Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 28I think that says it all and is really looking at the big picture.
"You can do anything for sixteen weeks" I like that and I will post that in permanent marker on my nursing notebooks. Thanks
May 10, '04Occupation: RN Specialty: gynecology/oncology ; Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 562; Likes: 9[QUOTE=susi_q]Buy an NCLEX book soon. Use it to review questions for whatever you are being taught & tested on. You will have an advantage in understanding that format ... you will also be able to hone in on what is important.
I wouldn't have thought about that, but it's a great idea. It makes sense b/c that is your ultimate test in the end. Thanks!
May 11, '04Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 5,926; Likes: 15Quote from txspadequeen921This just made me laugh!Get 100% caffine for M-F and 100 proof whiskey for the weekend .. Good luck
May 11, '04Occupation: RN Specialty: gynecology/oncology ; Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 562; Likes: 9This is a great thread, so I just wanted to bump it up!
May 11, '04Occupation: RN in Prior Authorization for State Sponsored Business Specialty: Emergency room, med/surg, UR/CSR ; Joined: Oct '03; Posts: 706; Likes: 146My advice? Make out your divorce settlement now, and don't be shocked at how much your kids changed while you were too busy in nursing school to look closely at them. No, just kidding.
Seriously though, it will seem like you are gone for days without seeing your family so just try to remember that it is only for the length of time that your school last and not forever like it seems. I hope that makes sense. You will have to miss things, but luckily most classes and clinicals are during the day so you won't miss too much evening events.
Get a BIG calendar that you can carry in your bookbag and mark on it in different color inks when tests are, when assignments are due and when clinicals and classes are. Also include work schedules if your working while going to school. That helped me cause I could look at a day at a glance and know what was due for that day just by the color ink I had written it in. Also if your calendar has a place to make lists, it made me feel good to make a list of my assignments and mark them off as I finished them.
Don't get behind when writing and databases. Our instructors varied from settling for one page databases and one page care plans to wanting to see a minimum of 15 pages for just the database paper. Find out what your instructor wants and follow that to the letter. If you give them exactly what they are looking for then you'll be fine. Don't question why they need some piece of info, just provide it, no matter how stupid you think it is.
Realize that there are instructors that play favorites and grade you in clinicals based on how well they like you. These instructors will give you the minumum good grade they can get away with giving you. So if you know you did a great job in clinical and your instructor gives you a mediocure evaluation, don't let it upset you. In these cases ask your fellow students honestly how you did and compare notes with them. Maybe there are some students that are having the same problem. Don't waste time going to the head of the program to complain though, even as a group; nursing schools are desperate for instructors, clinical and classroom, so they will likely listen to you, but will do nothing about your complaints. (just my experience, may not be true everywhere).
Get a pocket drug reference that you can look at for basic, quick drug info during clinicals. It won't have everything about the drug, but it will tell you the generic name, brand name and what the drug is used for. This pocketguide also will often contain things like blood test values, ACLS protocols, and other helpful information that is nice to have on hand.
Get together in groups to study for tests. Shooting questions at each other is a great way to memorize the material.
Well, those are my suggestions. If I think of anymore, I will post them. Good luck next year!
Jul 16, '04Occupation: MEDICAL BILLING SPECIALIST Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 15I've been reading this post and this is all helpful information. thanks to all of you. I will be starting in this fall also.
Jul 16, '04Joined: Aug '03; Posts: 363; Likes: 11Thanks for the insights. I'm also starting an ADN program in the fall. I've been waiting for the books to come in so I can start studying early.
Jul 17, '04Occupation: ER Nurse Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Telemetry and ER ; Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 132; Likes: 11My advice is simple, Keep reading these posts at allnurses. This is my support and has helped me more than anything. We are all here to help each other. When you have a problem post a thread. Thanks again to everyone for such a great support system. Hopefully I can return the favor again and again.
Jul 17, '04Occupation: Nurse Manager Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in Oncology ; From: US ; Joined: Dec '03; Posts: 49; Likes: 15Hi! No longer a student (just graduated and passed boards in June) but would like to pass on my tips:
1. NEVER skip Skills class...many a time i was unsure of a skill and the clinical instructor would say "well, what did you do in skills? didnt you practice this in the lab?" aaahhh
2. READ...as much as you possibly can. Even if your instructors dont test out of the book, read the chapters...it truly will help both in practice and when taking NCLEX
3. Use NCLEX review books starting in semester one to study for exams. This will help in the short-term with exams and long-term with NCLEX.
4. Work as a tech/nursing student at a local hospital, even if its just one day a week. It is unbelievable how this helped me in clinical and now as a new grad. You could definately tell in clinical who already had experience. Most hospitals will allow you to work as a tech once you've finished your first semester, but apply early...these jobs fill up quickly.
5. Dont expect to put in a Foley, suction a trach, pass meds, give an injection, do a dressing change, or any of the other "fun" stuff I'm sure you are dying to do (I know I was) on your first day of clinical. It will be more like getting your patient bathed, fed, up in a chair, changing linens, etc for the first few days of clinical, and that in itself will probably be overwhelming. But dont get frustrated...the fun stuff will come soon.
6. Learn IV pumps in the skills lab! It will be much better for you and your patient when you hang your first IV med with confidence. Nothing scares a patient more than a student nurse who looks unsure when hanging an IV medicaiton!
7. Do NOT get rid or sell back any of the following books: MedSurg, Peds, OB, Psych, Pharmacology, Health Assessment, and Fundamentals of Nursing. These books have come in handy with NCLEX studying. If your school gives you a packet that explains skills step-by-step, keep it! You will use it in practice as a new grad. If you dont have a packet...Potter and Perry's Fundamentals of Nursing (a huge purple book if you have it) has step-by-step skills explanations...copy the most common skills (inserting foley, NGT, etc) and keep them in a binder. Take them to clinical...instructors love that!
8. In clinical...before bothering your instructor or a floor nurse to ask where something is, look for what you need on your own, then ask if you absolutely cant find it (instructors love independence and floor nurses are very busy); also, if a skill comes up, ask to do it, even if you dont feel totally confident. Most instrictors will help you through step-by-step
9. Gather everything you need to perform a procedure in clinical before you start. It is very embarassing for you to be elbows-deep in an extensive dressing change and have to ask your instructor to go grab you some q-tips or something.
10. MAKE FRIENDS in your classmates...go out together on weekends...study together for exams....share your embarassing, upsetting, and happy times from clinical....remember, these are the people who may be your colleagues...keep in touch.
KEEP YOUR HEAD UP. THE END IS OUT THERE. FOLLOW THESE TIPS, I PROMISE THEY WILL HELP. IF YOU HAVE ANY MORE QUESTIONS FOR ME, FEEL FREE TO ASK!
Jul 17, '04Occupation: Med Surg/Telemetry Specialty: Telemetry/Med Surg ; Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 8,773; Likes: 1,503Excellent advice luvbug!Last edit by suzy253 on Jul 17, '04
Nov 17, '04Occupation: staff nurse Specialty: 18 year(s) of experience in medical with other stuff chucked in! ; From: UK ; Joined: Sep '04; Posts: 155; Likes: 80Quote from studentnurse04hello all! i will be starting nursing school in august. i was wondering if i could get some words of wisdom as i step into this new journey of life!!
hiya, i'm a second year student nurse going into third year in feb. first off, congratulations on being accepted onto the course.
i think that the best bit of advice i can give you is to make sure you remain up to date with your assignments - don't leave then until the last minute. i can't describe to you the stress of trying to finish off your portfolio the day you have to hand it all in; or the time where i left typing out all of my notes and finishing the assignment until two days before i had to hand it in. i had typed 2,500 words and the computer deleted the lot. it had taken me about 5 weeks to research the information, and i had already taken the books back to the library - thank god i had writen most of what i needed down. it took me all the saturday night and until 18:00 hrs sunday before i managed to finish it and get it printed off !!!!!!!!!!!!!
the course is hard work, and no doubt you will come across many problems but stick it out. rely on the friends in your group to support you - they are going through the same as you and can understand where you're coming from. my biggest problem at the moment is lack of money. i haven't had any money for 7 days, and it's my friends on the course that are helping me out with food etc. but they know that if they need any support, i will be there for them too - that's the way it works.
anyway, good luck for the future.