WANTED: Nursing student tidbits of advice - page 12

hey guys, I start this fall in my nursing program and Im extremely anxious!!! Im looking for any advice that will help me in school. Whats the thing you can NOT live w/o during nursing school? What... Read More

  1. by   ErinJane
    I cannot stress enough: If you don't want to get a roller backpack (some parts of my campus are so crowded thats its a pain), invest in a good hiking/traveling backpack. I would suggest REIoutlet.com.

    Find a place on campus with food nearby, the right level of noise for you and a comfortable chair and go there on a regular basis. I used to go on my day off of class and Sundays from 1100-1400 without fail. I always got more accomplished there than I could at home.

    In most classes you will find someone who likes to stress other people (I have even noticed some of those on this board). Identify this person and STAY AWAY!
  2. by   NurseKitten
    Great ideas! I've been at this for 15 years, but am starting the clinical phase of a CRNA program. Lots has changed in last decade! Thanks for the tips!

    Things I have found to be useful, with the caveat that I'm like a big sister who's gonna tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. Not everything is pretty to think about, but it happens, and we're all adults.

    1) A sewing kit. Never know when a button is gonna come off.

    2) Sample sizes of toiletries. Deoderant, mouthwash, travel toothbrush. Colgate has something called "Wisps", a packet of 4 mini-toothbrushes and toothpaste, all in one.

    3) For the ladies, a change of underwear. THAT time of the month has an most inopportune tendency to appear when you're stressed and sleep deprived.

    4) Wet Wipes travel pack. See above suggestion for rationale, and for episodes of GI distress.

    5) Along the same lines, a freezer baggie with small bottles of the following:
    Plain Tylenol
    Tylenol Cold and Sinus
    Excedrin Migraine (also useful when you have cramps AND haven't slept!)
    Prilosec (A choice of heartburn modalities! LOL!)
    Pepto Bismol Tablets
    Bandaids and a small bottle of Johnson & Johnson's First Aid Foam
    Emery Board
    Small nail clippers
    ***leave ALL DRUGS in their original packaging for your liability and protection, just get small bottles!***

    6) And for cryin' out loud...none of that fruity, strong-smelling Bath & Body lotion. I love it too, but some patients are EXTREMELY sensitive. Baby lotion, Jergens, and Vasoline makes a great, very light cucumber-melon lotion (light green bottle) that isn't greasy and soaks in fast.

    7) Love the idea about switching shoes and spraying with Lysol. I wear Birki's clogs and about every 6-8 months, I replace all my footbeds (20 bucks for a new pair). I also wipe them down after every shift with either a Cavicide wipe (found at the hospital) or a Clorox wipe (cannister in my locker). Soak them in a 2% bleach solution if I've been in some big yuck with a patient who has every infectious process known to man.

    8) They also make the small travel packs of Clorox disinfecting wipes. I get mine at Sam's. Same for small bottles of Clorox Disinfecting Spray.

    9) Zebra makes the best, fine-point black writing pens out there. Office Depot, Staples, WalMart and Target...most major retailers carry them. Sam's has them in packs of 15. Make sure you're getting the fine point ones, though...the best for filling in mucho info in a small space. Also good for ICU and vitals flowsheets.

    10) For colored pens, MagnaTank makes a good fine point pen - only place I've ever found them is WalMart. Great for color coding and drawing flowcharts.

    11) Don't be afraid to draw out graphic pictures and flowcharts concepts, until you can do it yourself. Nothing wrong with getting into a test and recreating a chart you drew. This WORKS for visual learners...I can't TELL you how well it works! Get you a ream of 11X17 and 8.5x14 paper to facilitate this, and color code them.

    12) 3M makes a very durable, yet surprisingly removable page tabber that takes sharpie labeling very well. Comes in 6 different colors; Staples or Office Depot.

    13) Print everything 2-sided. Your notebooks will be MUCH thinner, and your back will thank you for not having to cart all that weight around in your backpack.

    14) If you are in a position to do so, have as much intimacy with your partner as possible. It keeps your relationship stable, prevents roving eyes while you're preoccupied (It happens, folks!) and reminds him/her why you are a wonderful person for whom they would sacrifice so much. It is a great stress reliever, and reminds you that there IS a world outside of nursing school, however much it may not SEEM like it at times.

    15) Along the same lines, unless it is your plan, make VERY sure you have a reliable method of birth control.

    16) Ladies, a small cosmetic case with a few essentials is always helpful. Lip liners can double as lipstick with some Bert's Bees as a base, rub a little of your "lipstick" onto your cheeks, eye liners, eye shadow pencils and mascara...a tinted moisturizer as a little base, and you have a much more polished, professional appearance. Don't let anyone tell you it's not noticed, because it is, by your instructors, fellow students, nurses, physicians, and let us not forget the patients. A professional image projected goes a long way towards your credibility.

    17) Hair picks do not take up nearly as much space as a comb or brush, and you can wrap a scrunchie and ponytail holder around the handle. Bobbypins can go in your cosmetic bag. Travel size can of hairspray in the bag of toiletries I mentioned above.

    18) A couple of protein bars and a few packages of individual powdered drink mix. They come with caffeine, protein, fiber, vitamins in them now...no excuse not to eat and be healthy!

    19) If your facility allows it, a Leatherman multi tool. I am not kidding. If they need a screwdriver or pliers, you will be a rock star. It has saved my hind end more times than I can tell you.

    20) Come up with a checklist of your standard items - whatever works for you, because many of our collective suggestions just may not be practical - but put it in a sheet protector, and start letting that be one of the last things you do before going to bed each night is getting your bag together for clinical.

    21) As for bags in clinicals, I have lots of suggestions. If you have the capacity to lock yours up (some places do) then a Vera Bradley diaper bag is awesome - waterproof lining, 3 internal & external pockets, big internal compartment. Steve Madden makes amazing computer/laptop bags with a lot of storage for the size (@ Best Buy). It's not so big you can't deal with it. Both are functional, and you don't completely sacrifice your individual style! LOL! But if your bags aren't secure, then don't risk it. There are tons of cheaper alternatives out there that have a lot of the features of a Vera Bradley for 15-20 bucks. Just not as cute, IMHO.

    If you're smart about how you do it, you can get whatever you need in there. And if you can't...you have too much stuff. Re-evaluate and pare down.

    That's about all I can think of for now. More to come if I remember them.
  3. by   CrunchyMama
    Quote from mrskellrd
    WOW!!! Im extremely excited. Yesterday I was fitted for my uniform for clinicals!!! Thats when it REALLY clicked that im an official NS now. And Tuesday I registered for my classes! I actually got a lil emotional yesterday. It has taken sooo much for me to get to this point. I went to school at BGSU for 3 yrs pursuing a microbiology degree and then I left because of a combination of family issues and the fact that I realized I had NO interest in that field. My grandmother has been a nurse for over 20 years and now teaches nursing and I admired the occupation but had no real passion for it. After I left school I got married and then preggo...assuming I would reenroll in school when the baby was big enough. However, she was born prematurely at only 24 weeks!!!! After being in the NICU with her for 4 crazy months, seeing her go through 5 brain surgeries, bonding with the nurses and other parents...I developed my EXTREME passion for nursing. I understand that people enter this field for various reasons but Im doing it because I know firsthand how IMPORTANT nurses are. I have cried on the shoulder of a nurse. I have trusted them to care for my micro-preemie while I caught a few hours of GREATLY needed sleep (most of the time they are the ones that INSISTED I get some rest...). After I realized how badly I wanted to be a nurse I had to figure out how to make that dream come true. I became a CNA, got a job at the hospital, took A&P at the NS I wanted to get into (just to be a lil bit ahead of the rest of the applicants), and worked my BUTT off to pay off my balance at BGSU (which was crazy high) so that they would release my transcripts. This has NOT been an easy process and I know school wont be easy either. But Im ready to go through hell and high water to make the difference that i know I can make. Sometimes the right energy and attitude can really help change an outcome.....

    enough of my ramblings....
    Thank you for sharing your story on why you want to be a nurse. I always like knowing why people choose this field. And I know the feeling on being excited! I've actually become more excited then nervous about starting this fall! I can't wait!!
  4. by   Iwantobeanurse
    mrskellrd, you are going to be an excellent nurse. I too found my calling when my mother had to have surgery and we had to deal with two awful nurses in the emergency room and one excellent nurse in the recovery room. These three nurses stood out and it reminds me not everyone should be a nurse. It takes a whole lot of compassion to be a great nurse. That is why I am choosing this career. I wish you all the best.
  5. by   KellRrn2b
    Thank you so much! I understand what u mean about bad nurses...unfortunately, my daughter had a few as well. Compassion is a must
  6. by   AOx1
    Also- Weight watcher's make it in minutes and weight watchers take out tonight. They are fast and easy recipes, most are healthy. That plus a ton of fresh veggies and salad should keep you in good shape. When I was in school I used to cook a lot on weekends with friends and we shared the meals throughout the week. Yummy, fun, and healthy.
  7. by   astarrh34
    Quote from studentinnursing
    For the students/nurses with children, I have a question on how you got childcare. My school's nursing program is 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. four days a week. It's really just the "window" and the admissions coordinator said just one hospital wants students there at 6:30 and I am wondering where I am going to find childcare early in the morning. Where my 18-month-old is now, they open at 6:30, so do not know what to do about that first half hour. My other son is provided transportation to and from school from this daycare (our elementary schools get out at 2:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. one day during the week next year). So, I'm covered in the afternoons, but what do you all do/have you done for your early morning hours; I just separated from my husband of 19 years, yikes and yay but even if he was here, I wouldn't have anybody to watch the kids from 6 a.m. to 6:30 (that's where the yay comes in). Anyway, those 30 minutes in the a.m. are my concern . . .

    I know where you're coming from here. My kids are now 12, 10, and 8, but I still need childcare on clinical days. My hubby cant get them on the bus because he is already gone to work himself. I was truly blessed to have met a friend in NS who has kids the same ages as mine. Her mom blessedly offered to get them on the bus at her house. So my suggestion is ask around, see if anyone in your class has children the same age. If so, find out where they go to daycare or whatever, see if it's a good fit for your budget and needs, and see if you can carpool. Best of luck, you're going to do great!!!!
  8. by   Serlait
    Smart Pen is worth ever single penny....http://www.livescribe.com/
    It has saved me lots of times. I don't go to lecture without it!!!
    Also lots of paper and ink cartridges for your printer.
  9. by   SummerLin
    this thread has helped me so much!! i am too starting nursing school in the fall! thanks everyone for all the replies!
  10. by   KellRrn2b
    Hey guys we are getting closer to starting school!!!!! 7 weeks 4 me :-)
  11. by   mlo4567
    Happy 4th of July! I have 7.5 weeks to go before I start, I can't wait
  12. by   Prettyladie
    7 weeks for me too! Aug 24th!! I went to orientation, not for nursing, but just the schools orientation, but I was able to register.. Here is my schedule

    Spanish 10-1050
    Health Assessment 1-350

    Clinical 10-12
    Intro To Nursing 1-220

    Spanish 10-1050

    Intro to Nursing 1-220

    Spanish 10-1050

    And patho is online.

    Does anybody else know theres yet?
  13. by   semuller
    NurseKitten, I think we might be soul mates.ROFL.Really apprecaited and wrote down every single tidbit you suggested.You sound like me. I travel like that .I have to. As well as being an lpn, a female..subject to all possible human anxiety related bodily disasters ..I also have had chrones since age 14.So "a good scout is always prepared:O) KUDOS for your ides. How thoughtful of you. Would love to talk sometime privately as I am a bit scattered trying to manage school as well as a few delicate issues related to above mentioned difficulty. But dont have my 15 posts yet.Would you keep me in mind for the future ..Id be happy to give you my email.
    By the way A small bottle of white leather shoe Soap/polish fits great in a fanny pack and helps with bloody and other yicky spills on nice white leather shoes.Most nursing unuform places also have a smail lipstick sized tube of stuff that take out accidental highlighter or ink spots IMMEDIATLY without looking like youve "spiled youself" trying to wash off smock in bathroom :O) * grin