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  1. CharlieFoxtrot

    How to Deal With a Bad Clinical

    It's fine that you believe that pericares, hygiene, and feeding are all CNA tasks... But what does the N in CNA stand for? I, too, am paying the big bucks for nursing school and that includes basic nursing skills which some of my classmates have not had to learn prior to school through CNA certification or through employment as a UAP. Sure, I'd rather be doing something else, but client care is client care, and doing these menial tasks often helps me to build a better rapport with the clients themselves, and also earns me respect from the nursing staff. I'd rather lend a hand and have the nurses who I am shadowing tell my clinical supervisor and the charge nurse that I was helpful and showing initiative rather than sitting on my butt. Don't believe me? We've had students who were asked not to return because they felt menial CNA tasks were beneath them. Another point to consider is that students who enter nursing school as program transfers or from different areas of direct patient care (such as mental health), doing these menial tasks may be their first introduction to basic nursing skills, and these menial tasks are designed to build confidence and get people over their hangups on dealing with bodies of all shapes and sizes. You may be experienced with menial client care tasks and totally cool with naked bodies, but it doesn't mean that all of your classmates are. Finally, I still stand by my statement that, as a leader, I would not ask my subordinates to do something that I haven't done or wouldn't do myself.
  2. CharlieFoxtrot

    I was not close to anyone during nursing school.

    I'm in the same boat, and while there are times when I wish I had a bunch of new nursing school besties with whom to take on the world, I also have to be pragmatic and look at who I am. I'm an over 40, selectively social, military spouse to an infantryman with younger kids who is super geeky with dark humor and gets really good grades. Think a goth Hermione Granger, and nobody really likes Hermione Granger. I just lost my bestie - a similarly minded military combat medic "Doc" with morbid humor - to mid-semester washout, and the prospects of making friends with individuals half my age who love Gray's Anatomy, go in girls nights together, and are all about the drama in study groups has zero draw for me. Again, selectively social and no interest in drama. My advice? Get a mentor. If there is a staff member whose classes you have taken and enjoyed, ask if they'd be willing to mentor you. My mentor is currently the student mentor for LPN bridge students, but since she is a big Dr. Who fan and is similarly geeky, she and I get along well. I know that if I'm having difficulty or if the other students get catty about grades or don't want to play nice in the sandbox with the nerdy kid, I can talk about my experiences with someone who returned to school about the same age as I did. Similarly, if there is student further along in the program whom you've met at SNA that seems like someone you could talk with, get a "Big Sister/Brother" and spend time with them. Not only can they alert you to what's coming up, they can dramatically widen your circle of friends. Being a non-typical student isn't an easy row to hoe, but it can be done. A mentor, an advanced student, or even a single person who is similarly minded can make all the difference and make for friendships that are a lot longer than your time at school.
  3. CharlieFoxtrot

    How to Deal With a Bad Clinical

    One of the qualities that good leaders need to experience is being a follower and doing the literal sh!t jobs that your subordinates have to do. As an RN, you are looked to as a leader and will have to eventually delegate tasks to the UAP's, CNA's, and LPN's on your care team. If you are unwilling to do menial client care tasks like bathing clients, wiping bottoms, emptying bedpans, and cleaning up messes - or believe that such tasks are beneath you - maybe it's time to rethink your choice of profession. Yes, RN's generally may not do these tasks, but there may be situations where you, as a leader, have to pitch in and help those beneath you. I have more respect for leaders who are not afraid to lend a hand caring for clients - even if it's beneath their duties - because, at the end of the day, we are there for the clients.
  4. CharlieFoxtrot

    Head to Toe Assessment

    ^^^ This. For my health assessment class, my partner and I practiced over and over again. Over the course of two weeks, we must have done our assessment a dozen times or more. We also had our spouses check off each requirement on the assessment. I also second the suggestion of having a logical order - head to toe, and always look, listen, feel. You might try breaking the assessment down into small pieces and building on each section. Good luck!
  5. CharlieFoxtrot

    How to Deal With a Bad Clinical

    Nothing useful? Wow. To be an EMT, CNA, and in first semester, know everything, and not find anything worthwhile in the clinical setting! It must be awful spending time with the ignorant peasants... You make your own fun. If it's boring for you, you're definitely not looking hard enough.
  6. CharlieFoxtrot

    Best shoes for work?

    I wear side zip tactical boots which are waterproof, steel-toed, slip resistant, BBP proof, and probably the comfiest shoes I have ever had. They take a beating and polish up nicely. Not to mention they have saved my toes around clutzy clients and co-workers. They're not for everyone, but I wouldn't trade them for the world.
  7. CharlieFoxtrot

    New Nurse - Any recap on comfortable shoes??

    Since I could trip over a painted line, I don't wear clogs. The couple times I have worn them have not been good for my ankles. To that end, I wear 5.11 zip-up tactical combat boots. They are waterproof, steel-toed (great for when you bash your toes on a bed), bloodborne pathogen proof, supportive of my ankles, and comfy AF on those long 12 hour days. They definitely aren't for everyone, but at the end of the day, my feet feel great, my back doesn't hurt, and I'm not limping on a clog-induced sprained ankle.
  8. CharlieFoxtrot

    Student Loan Question

    Depending on where you would eventually like to work, there may be the possibility of loan repayment for working in underserved or disadvantaged communities. Rural Health does have some information as to programs, but it is a year old, and with all of the legislative upheaval and excitement from our congresscritters, some programs may not be available. You can also consult Ye Olde Google and do a search for your location and "underserved communties" + "nursing" and see what pops up on Teh Internetz. From there, maybe look at taking a part-time job at one of those locations in order to make a nice transition post-graduation. Best of luck!
  9. CharlieFoxtrot

    Feeling incompetent

    I cannot tell you how much it means to have a lab/clinical instructor that cares and can talk you down from the rafters when things go sideways. I do agree with both the previous commenters: Now is definitely the time to make mistakes because you have someone to help you catch mistakes, fix them, and learn from them. Mistakes happen, they massively suck, they make you doubt your abilities, and they frighten the crap out of you. But as much as that fright sucks, that moment of "OMGOMGWTF did I do?" makes you a better nurse because it makes you more aware of mistakes that could happen when you are with a client. I bet you the Snickers bars that I am currently hiding from my kids that you will most likely never mess up Metropolol with Metaproterenol again. :)
  10. CharlieFoxtrot

    Licensing for Nursing Programs in Different States

    I also agree with previous posters - finish school where you are since some schools will not accept coursework from other schools. You may also lose the ability to have in-state tuition rates since you would be changing your residency. Not to mention buying books for a new program, new scrubs, new stuff for a new program. There are better ways to spend lots of money :) Depending on the state in which you live, you may qualify for a nursing compact license. Some states allow nurses from compact states to work in their state without a switch of license. Compact states as of 5/2018 are: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming The biggest holdouts are the folks on the left coast (CA, WA, OR, NV, HI, AK), but when all is said and done, it's 2/3 of the country that has some sort of reciprocity. I live in KCMO, and Missouri is a compact state. Literally a rock's throw down the street is Kansas, which is not a compact state. If I lived in KS, I would have to get a license for every state, whereas in Missouri I can practice in all of the compact states.
  11. CharlieFoxtrot

    Learning a Second Language During Program?

    Learn another language while in nursing school? All I have to say to that is Sí! Oui! Da! Ja! Na'am! Hai! Shí! In other words, YES! Learn a language! Learn another! Learn a few! :-) Even if it's a just a couple of words, it can definitely help you de-stress, do something fun, engage your brain in non-scientific ways, connect with clients who speak the language you are studying, and build empathy with English language learners. English is my native language, I am fluent in Spanish, and know enough Arabic to exchange pleasantries. Any language you know in addition to English will help you in the long run.
  12. CharlieFoxtrot

    What would you do?

    Do you understand the material in A&P? Yes! I totally got this. ->> Proceed to nursing school. Brush up on study skills and beat your lack of motivation to prepare with a hammer. No! I don't know tinnitus from a tibia! ->> Retake A&P until you have a good handle how bodies are put together and how they work, so you understand what happens when they don't work. Grades are grades. Yes, they are important, but they aren't the end-all, be-all. Someone can knock it out of the park in class and do very well academically, but have all the bedside mannerisms of the aforementioned hammer. Others may shine in client care but really struggle academically. Grades are important, but more importantly is the ability to have people skills, motivation, empathy, an openness to learn, and the ability to think on the fly.
  13. CharlieFoxtrot

    Study Tips for Pathophysiology?

    I am a comprehensive final away from being done with the 8 week patho class over summer. I'm managing a high B (88%) only because I did poorly with the cardio unit. I can only speak for my experience, and the expectations of my instructor, so your mileage may vary with your program. The advice our instructor gave us was this: 1) Remember the big picture. It's all good and fine to remember piddly details about every pathology, but the more important thing is how they fit together. IE, hyperkalemia, metabolic acidosis, and CKD tend to hangout like a pack of mean girls. Focus on how things fit together, how one condition affects another. 2) Remember the basics of Airway, Breathing, Circulation in conjunction with #1. This will help you understand ABG's and compensation. 3) As you start examining pathologies, know 1 or 2 defining characteristics of a particular pathology. IE, Rheumatoid Arthritis is different than Osteoarthritis how? 4) If given the choice of prevention, smoking is always a safe bet. 5) It's never lupus. :-D Best of luck this semester, you can do it!
  14. CharlieFoxtrot

    Best Laptop/Tablet

    I echo the above poster on the "Don't break the bank" comment. I'm a big fan of Lenovos with solid state drives - I am horrible with my tech, and all of my Lenovos have managed to survive accidental falling, being lugged to class daily, and other horrors. They're solidly built, and you can usually get a good one (Idea Pad) for around 700. My current is a Lenovo Flex 5 that works beautifully for school, and has the processing power to run my graphics programs. Lenovos are also one of the few computers I have no qualms about buying used. I had a used U-510 that I picked up in a pawn shop that was a year old when I got it and lasted another two years on top of that and still works well (even with a bashed to hell case). I also have a used Miix convertible tablet that I used for clinicals that performs like a champ. My kids (5 & 7) have older used Lenovo ThinkPads on which I've installed Linux for playing Minecraft and doing coding, and both units are surviving despite not being treated gingerly. I can't say the same about my previous HP with an HDD that died mid-assignment from a hard drive failure, or the Asus that had a random battery failure. I would suggest seeing what others are using, and taking a drive to a brick-and-mortar store to take some units for a test drive. Check out sale sites online, or manufacturer websites for deals since many of them offer student discounts. And although it may look like I'm a shill for Lenovo, I'm just really impressed with the durability of their machines, especially when subjected to adverse conditions. Good luck in your hunt!
  15. CharlieFoxtrot

    Legal issues with AA or NA

    Disclosure: I am not in recovery for SA; I have a background in MH/SA, an AAS for SA counseling, and am currently a nursing student. Like several of the posters on here, I am not a fan of NA/AA and their methods of "helping" people achieve sobriety. When I was working in MH, more than a few people we saw in inpatient were members of NA/AA who had a slip, and because of how AA/NA view sobriety, saw themselves as utter piles of crap who then proceeded to make it worse by going on a bender of epic proportions. Sobriety and recovery is not a one-size-fits-all program, even if AA/NA insist that it is, and those who don't do well with AA/NA aren't "working the program" the right way. For some people, it's great and it works and that's awesome. For others, it causes a lot more harm than good, especially in individuals who have trauma in their backgrounds: AA/NA do not offer the support that is needed for those individuals, and the traditional "puke your guts" method of sharing can cause a person to be retraumatized. In lieu of AA/NA, I tend to recommend SMART a lot - even if there are not a lot of groups in person, there are online groups available, and those groups do offer verification of attendance. SMART provides actual tools for recovery, and stresses personal responsibility and harm reduction. I also highly recommend creating/working on personal recovery plans for people who are new to recovery that address triggers, help one to make plans to overcome triggers, identify support systems, and generate ways of handling stress in a healthy manner (this is great for individuals who have MH issues, too.) I wish you the best of luck with your recovery, and hopefully your program can work with you on being able to attend alternatives to AA/NA like SMART.