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Lolita34 4,826 Views

Joined: Oct 15, '12; Posts: 148 (11% Liked) ; Likes: 21
Teacher; from US

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  • Apr 22 '13

    I graduate next month. I'm taking classes in the summer and will finish up my pre-req's for the rn to bsn program in the fall. I will be taking:

    world history: formative period

    us history: modern period

    social psych


  • Apr 21 '13

    I will be in fourth semester! I will be taking psych and critical care for the first 9 weeks, and then doing my preceptorship during the second 9 weeks. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

  • Apr 21 '13

    Community Health and Capstone....I'm graduating in December! Wooohoooo

  • Apr 20 '13

    Passed the TEAS V, and have my interview date! So exciting!

  • Apr 17 '13

    Nursing school is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. I'm going into my last bit, entering role transition. Every school is different in terms of how they stagger their class load, but the content is essentially the same throughout accredited programs. How hard it is really comes down to what type of person you are, how the instructors lecture, etc. Basically in the first few semesters/quarters it's memorization classes : nutrition, A&P, etc. Basic memorization, the femur is here, these cells do this and that.

    Study however you learn best. About the midpoint of most programs that I have knowledge of is where you begin to switch gears. It's not memorization anymore is it application. All of the baseline knowledge you have learned thus far you begin applying that knowledge. Questions aren't black and white anymore, it requires critical thinking and application of knowledge you have accumulated.
    Nursing school definitely changes how you think. Your mind will be flooded with what seems to be an abundant amount of information, and much of it you might feel you aren't retaining. However, you'll be surprised as you go along how the pieces begin to fit together and you begin to understand WHY things are the way they are, and WHY things are done the way they are done.

    Nursing school requires alot of time. Truly, the amount of information you will be presented will most likely take you away from a social life, probably not much time for partying, etc.... The dedication you put in and the time you give yourself to study will show through in your progression. It ain't easy, or everyone would be doing it.

    I'm a career change person, had an established career but saw the light and decided I needed to make the switch to nursing. So I already had bills, etc....I was one of the crazy people that decided to take on a whole bunch of "life tasks" while in nursing school. I bought a house, I got married, and continued to work full time. I put in nearly 40 hours a week throughout nursing school, and to be honest when I sit here thinking about it, I have no idea how I did it. If it weren't for my current job, and my ability to do homework/study while sitting here at work I never would have made it. It demands extreme time management, dedication, and the ability to turn down alot of things you'd really like to do. But it pays off.

    I know people that have gotten married, three have had kids, some have families including small children, some had parent's pass away, and just about any other obstacle life can throw at you while we've gone through school. There have definitely been ups and downs, but the good thing about nursing school is you form a real bond with your fellow classmates. They will help you out, and definitely provide support when you need it.

    Nursing school truly comes down to you. You'll definitely have to have determination, you'll have to have a support group, and you'll have to have the ability to buckle down and study. The content can be rather intense, and when you stop to think that someones life could one day be in your heads, it becomes pretty important to learn the basics and show the ability to apply the knowledge. My instructors have always said plan to study about 3 hours per every hour you spend in class. I honestly can't tell you how many hours outside of class I have really spent studying on a weekly basis. I study until I feel like I have a grasp of the concept. For some classes/topics that has been an hour......other topics I've spent hours upon hours trying to piece it all together to understand it.

    Keep at it. And welcome to allnurses. Granted I'm a "newer" member here, I can tell you the wealth of knowledge and the information the people on this board possess is truly amazing. Congrats on your journey, and good luck. It looks like it will take forever, but blink and you'll be starring at graduation.

  • Apr 17 '13

    ^ Great perspective.

    Remember that they put on their undies one leg at a time, just like anyone else. You can respect their years of practice (more than yours, obviously) and their expertise; that doesn't mean you have to fear them or their opinions about you (as if they even have any ). Just remember that there are nurses who also have those years of practice and expertise, and you're not intimidated by them, are you?

    If a physician intimidates you, that's your perception. You are allowed to change it. Part of their responsibility is teaching, and that includes you. If you have a question, ask it. Helps if you preface it by saying something you already know about the subject, and then ask for clarification or more info. The good docs will be pleased and able to answer. The others -- well, who cares what they think? Not you.

  • Apr 15 '13

    I worked about 20 hours a week when I was in nursing school. You can work, go to school, and have a life at the same time; you just need to figure out how to prioritize everything.

  • Feb 13 '13

    Patho is difficult. With anatomy, it's all memorization, but with patho, you have to understand the process and why it happens. It's a totally different ball game. My advice is:

    -Study every single day as much as you can.

    -Once you have a section down, go to the next one, then go back. If I went back to a previous section and didn't understand it, I knew I still had work to do. It was constant repetition, over and over. Then, when I thought I knew the section, I would go about my day and try to recall it. I would be standing in line at the grocery store and try to recall all the normal ranges of electrolytes or all the steps of nerve conduction. If I couldn't recall a couple steps, I would go back and restudy the section.

    -Always review your notes right after class, even if it's for 30 minutes. If you are taught something and then review it that day, you will retain more information b/c it's still fresh. That will go into your long-term memory. If you cram right before a test, you have to relearn it as if it's the first time. That will go into your short-term memory and there's a chance you won't be able to recall it as well as you think.

    -(you might laugh at this) but when I had to review something that had multiple processes, I would draw it out and talk out loud to myself and pretend I was teaching someone sitting next to me. If I couldn't explain the pathway of blood through the heart, then I wouldn't be able to do it on an exam. If you can teach it, then you understand it.

    - Learn the latin terminology (base) of the each word, not just the whole word itself. Most people basically know what meningitis is. Maybe a brain infection? Well, -itis means inflammation and mening- refers to the meninges of the central nervous system. So, meningitis is inflammation of the meninges....which is caused by an infection that can not only affect the brain, but the spinal cord as well. Encephalitis - enceph(al) means brain...encephalitis is brain inflammation, not necessarily infection. Thorax means chest, lung and pneumo means air, gas...pneumothorax means air in the thorax aka collapsed lung. Based on this, I bet you can guess what pneumocephalus is. So, if you try to learn that hydrocephalus (which is an over collection of fluid in the brain b/c hydro means water,fluid), it will be impossible to just memorize it (b/c there are hundreds of other terms you have to also learn. It becomes confusing). But if you know hydro.....and cephalus...then you can piece the two together and get the question right. If you see a new word, look at it in parts and then piece it together. Never try to just memorize it. For example, esophagogastroduodenoscopy is a word. Break it into 4 words and it makes sense.

    -If you think you know a process, try and do it backwards or know the opposite of it. You may be able to follow a drop of blood through the heart from the vena cava to the aorta, but can you trace it from the aorta backwards to the vena cava? See if you can trace the formation of a scab back through to the laceration. If you know it backwards, then you know it forwards. The side effects of hypokalemia are usually opposite hyperkalemia (with exception to toxic states). If something stimulates a process, learn what blocks it.

    -Study the pictures in the book. Reading the notes and power points may not turn on the light until you see a picture with with all the dissections, arrows, and labels. It's a difference between someone asking you to remember name vs. seeing a name with a face. Find out what is listed on one side of the table vs the other.

    -Know the "why," the "how," and the "when;" not just "what."

    -On top of normal studying, dedicate every Sunday to studying your notes (for the week) as if you are taking an exam on monday. Even though my next exam was 4 weeks away, I would have a mock cram section for the week. So, when I had to take the real exam, I had already engrained it in my head weeks ago. Then, I would constantly go back and review the same thing over and over until it was redundant. By the time the exam came around, there was nothing to really study and there was nothing to relearn. It was just quick reviewing.

    Good Luck!

  • Feb 12 '13

    I'm 58 and plan on working at least 20 more years. My hearing is better than any 20 year old's and I can still run circles around most of the younger nurses who complain they are exhausted after working 24 hours a week. I work at least 50 hours. People should be judged on their performance and their ability to do the job not on their age.

  • Feb 2 '13

    I've told this story here before, but it seems like a good time to resurrect it.
    Once upon a time in a fabulous ICU far away, I was chosen to precept a senior student for what would now be called a capstone; I was about two and a half years out of school, all of it spent in critical care. She was to work with me on my schedule for 36 of the 40 hours a week I worked, days, evenings, weekends, the works, for a whole semester. We were a general ICU about 2/3 open heart surgery, the rest an even mix of surgical ICU, medical ICU, and a few respiratory ICU patients sometimes.

    I called her and arranged for her to come over to the hospital for a tour and see the place a few days before. We walked around the unit-- a converted med/surg straight hallway with four private rooms, two four-bed wards, and eight two-bed rooms, all with in-room monitors and each room had one nurse in there full-time (the wards had two or three). I noticed she was looking a little nervous so we went into the break room for some coffee. She looked really nervous so I took her the heck outta there and we went to the cafeteria.

    "So, Adrian, was it something I said? You look really upset."
    "Gosh, GrnTea, it's just that ... well ... umm ... (all in a rush) How many cardiac arrests do you have in a day here?"
    It is not to my credit that I stifled a laugh poorly. "Adrian, we haven't had an arrest here in five months that I can remember. We are in the business of preventing that sort of thing. That's why they are here, because we know how to do that."

    Now, of course, as luck would have it, a few weeks into the semester we had a code in another room. I took her down there and put her in the corner and told her to watch. Only. She was impressed by the teamwork. Then about two weeks later, one of our two patients coded. I put her in charge of squeezing the blood bags to put more in-- it gave her something to do but kept her at the head of the bed out of the way, and then we went over the documentation together. By then she was a different person-- she had a good grasp of the processes and personnel and had a beginning appreciation for how things worked. She wasn't terrified all the time.

    I tell you this because I want to reassure you that nobody expects a student or a new grad to know much. That's why you have a preceptor, a staff development period, and people watching you for teachable moments or support (despite a lot of the whining you see on AN, that really is the way most places run). You will have progressive responsibility, sure. But it shouldn't be more than you can handle-- that's why you went to school, to learn that.

    A little anxiety is a good thing-- it keeps your mind sharp, your eyes focused, your muscles ready to go. From a few years later, in that same unit: I was nearly five years out of school by then and had been staff in this fabulous ICU for four, and I was actually pretty good at it. One day I was in the break room with Sarah, a nurse of more than a decade's experience in the unit, one who could take every kind of patient that rolled up the hall, who was never flustered, always expert, always willing to teach and explain. I asked her when I would stop feeling scared when I sat in report. She smiled and said that every day before report started she felt a pang of anxiety, but that it passed when she started working. She said that when that little stab of fear went away she would have to go somewhere else, because it's what keeps us awake and sharp. I never, ever forgot that (and here I am telling that story again, smumble-mumble years later), and I am happy to pass it along to you.

  • Nov 22 '12

    Hi all. Just an update. I did pass my practicum. Took me two times and we only got three but the important thing is I passed. I am on cloud 9. Very happy. One obstacle out of my way and I'm ready to overcome the others.