What are you learning in nursing school? - page 4

Ok. Easy question. I've read course descriptions, and I've definitely worked around nurses. However, I can't really get a feel for what nursing school is teaching. I read course descriptions for... Read More

  1. by   ArkansasFan
    Quote from salad725
    I am going into my last year of my RN program, with the intention of obtaining my BSN and finally my masters. I completely understand the issue that you present, and have felt the same at times throughout my education. I have always wanted to know more about why I was doing certain procedures and found myself searching my knowledge base in an attempt to understand the symptoms that led to the diagnoses. Often during assessment I would be focused on the patho in an attempt to diagnose my clients illness. I have also felt that we are given 2 tons of nursing books, 2 minutes of lecture, 30 minutes of lab time and they throw us into a situation we all feel inept to handle.

    I have begun to realize the essence of what we are learning in nursing school, the more challenging aspect of nursing is not the procedures that we all desire to master; like inserting an IV or urinary catheter or even scrubbing in on open heart surgery. All of these are mastered when we are actually out there practicing as nurses. Yes, we get the basics and we build on that with our experiences, but the true essence of nursing care is all of the things that are described as over emphasized and seemingly useless, by many a nursing student. Meaning, we are learning how to care for people. Seeing through the disease, looking past the symptoms that we want to put neatly together and turn into a diagnosis. Looking at every aspect of this client; the psychosocial, the physical, the spiritual, the whole person, and truly care for the wholeness of them. We are not the doctor, though many of us may be some day, we are the nurses. They diagnose-we do not, they perform surgery-we do not, they prescribe medication-we do not. We see what the doctors sometimes miss, we say what the doctors often over look, we look the person in the face and let them know that no matter what they are battling, we will be there to hold their hand, and be their voice, and make sure that they are not alone. All of the knowledge that we are taking in, the patho, the procedures, the lab values, the pharmacology, the psych, the laws; these are our tools to be able to protect and care for all of our clients.

    As I think of each patient that I have cared for, none have been the same, not ever. There is no way that we can be taught every possible interpretation of every test, or lab value or EKG for every illness experienced by every person. I feel, and this is all just my viewpoint, right or wrong, that we are given the basic tools to be able to build on. And though it feels like we are given a crash course in a field that is so important, we have to be able to take what, seemingly, little we are given and use those books, that lab time, those clinicals, those lectures and our instructors knowledge and add to it, many hours of self-study, practice and eventually our own experiences to develop into the nurse we know in our hearts we can become.

    I have been fortunate to have been taught by some wonderful nurses. Each very different in their approach, expectations, knowledge and beliefs, this has been the most beneficial in my education, because I am so aware that there is rarley one right answer. This is why critical thinking is an essential skill to develop from the start. As for the lab values we can memorize, or the EKG's we can study, or the procedures we will become proficient at, these are the more easily learned aspects of nursing. And though I seem to talk too much, I have learned so much by listening to people. In your, not so spare time, sit in a mental health facility and talk to the clients, or a cancer care center and hold someones hand, or even a room on a med-surg unit and hear what that person needs. I volunteered at a free clinic and it brought to my awareness true medical care. No money, no high tech equipment, just the doctor, the nurse and the patient. Talk about really taking care of people. I am not trying to under-emphasize the importance of the physical hands on part of nursing care, but we all seem to loose focus of the person and instead focus on what task we need to do to this client.

    One last thought, a doctor once said to me that he felt like he rushed through medical school with his nose in his books, got great grades, and never really learned how to be a doctor until he did his internship.

    Take your education into your own hands, use every resourse offered to you and then go find more.:typing

    I understand that. I agree that you treat the person and not the organ, but yeah I want to learn more about the body, what can go wrong, and how to fix it and/or how it fixes itself. That's the cool part. Thanks for the lengthy reply.
  2. by   Piggvomit
    Ive learned soooo much about what I didn't know when i entered nursing school