Well, in 3rd quarter, you have to do Psychiatric Clinicals. Ours was held at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia. We were responsible for getting there and our hotel room. It was a 3 day/2 night deal. Most of the girls shared hotel rooms to save money. As for Moultrie --- in 4th quarter we were required to complete a NCLEX review course. The course we were asked to complete is located in Moultrie, Georgia. It's a 2 day/1 night deal. Transportation, hotel, and cost of the course is your responsibility and is required.
All of this is explained during Orientation. It's also explained that working a full time job in this program is virtually impossible --- and a part time job is difficult, especially in 3rd and 4th quarter when you have more clinical time and more difficult course work. That's why a few of the girls decided after Orientation they weren't up for it, and so the wait-listed girls were able to get their spots. 1st quarter isn't so bad, because you only have 1 clinical day per week plus lecture days, but beginning in 2nd quarter, you have 2 12-hr. clinical days per week plus classroom time, not to mention studying, care plans
, drug cards, etc, etc. In my particular group, we were sometimes assigned 3 12-hr. clinical days per week in 2nd quarter, and 4th quarter is absolutely crazy with Pediatric clinicals, Mother/Baby clinicals, and Leadership clinicals in addition to classroom time, care plans, exams, etc.
But, there were a couple of girls who worked as waitresses on the weekends throughout the entire program, so it's POSSIBLE to do if you have an employer that's flexible and understanding, and it helps if you have ALOT of energy! Having kids, especially young ones, is challenging also, but as I mentioned, if you have a great support system in place, it's possible.
Depending on the quarter you're in, clinicals consist of different skills and activities. You start off doing basic PCT/Nursing Assistant type of stuff in a hospital or nursing home, and as the program progresses and you learn more skills, you are required to do more.
1st quarter, you're giving bed baths, changing linens, toileting, changing briefs, feeding, cleaning, ADL's, you know...the basics. You also begin dabbling in Care Plans and working on drug cards. 1st quarter you will also take a Med-Math class in which you do drug calculations. It's never too early to start brushing up on your math skills. We weren't allowed to use calculators.
2nd quarter they kick it up a notch. You're expected to have Care Plans completed each week on the client you're assigned to, and you're expected to begin reading charts, giving medications/injections/treatments under the watchful eye of your clinical instructor, efficiently performing Head to Toe assessment on your patient, inserting Foley catheters, changing dressings, etc, in addition to all the basics you're already doing.
3rd quarter is more of the same stuff, but you're expected to be performing at a more efficient and comfortable level. You are expected to be able to juggle 2 patients by the end of this quarter.
4th quarter as I mentioned is Pediatrics, Mother/Baby, and Leadership. In all of these clinicals, you are expected to function in the capacity of an LPN, reading the chart, giving meds and treatments, etc. etc.
There are a few things that will help you make it through this program. First, you have to be flexible no matter what. Things change on a dime, hours are switched around, tests are rescheduled, etc. You have to be flexible and willing to go with the flow. Second, you have to really, really want to be a nurse! You have to be willing to make a commitment, show up on time, dress professionally, and take the program seriously. You must realize that they will not spoon feed you the information. Using just your textbook doesn't cut it. You will need to invest in several supplemental books as well on your own. They tell you to "take responsibility for your own learning" and they mean it! Don't be surprised if your exam contains questions that weren't in your textbook. They expect you to supplement your education on your own, do your own research, and learn how to critically think. The questions on the exams aren't like the classes you are use to. With the multiple choice questions, all 4 options are correct, but you have to choose the one that is MOST correct. At first, this is frustrating, because you can study for days and still fail a test based on this testing technique. Thirdly, you have to stay focused and keep your eye on the prize. We started with 20 people and graduated with 12. Hang in there, ask questions, and be flexible. :spin::spin: