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  1. MBrickle

    Bunker Hill Community College....

    I was in the day program so I can't speak to the other programs (and yes, the are run differently) but for days you have a fundamentals course and a head-to-toe assessment the first semester. The difficulty with have two courses was that there was an exam every other week. However, it's all basics to start and once you enter second semester (in my opinion the hardest) you should feel like first semester was a breeze! Second semester is medical/surgical and psych. The volume of information increases susbtantially. Third semester was labor and delivery and maternity...this was the most organized, easy semester for me...I just "got" the L&D topics and once of the professors has very detailed study guides that makes reading the text unnecessary. Fourth semester is complex med/surg and ethics. Our ethics class was very simple - one power point presentation and one 3-page paper. Complext Med Surg was difficult but the teaching was great and knowing that your going to graduate soon makes it all more bearable. The program overall is a bit unorganized. Communication isn't very strong. Expect the first week of class to have no clinical, BUT you will be in class for the clinical hours. I did notecards and I did very well with them. Notecards are NOT for everyone, however I noticed that more and more people were switching to notecard-based learning as the semesters progressed. You really need to know your info, you really need to focus on how the body works. It's very DIFFICULT but very DOABLE if you put the work into it...you NEED to study, and you NEED time to do so...so my greatest piece of advice is to make backup plans...it was always disappointing to see people who had to drop out of the program because they weren't doing well because they had to work 40 hours a week...you know in advance that you are going to school so plan well for it...take out student loans in the event you may need them, be ready to quit your job if you can't manage your hours, put your kids in part-time daycare or leave them in daycare longer so you can get your work done and then be fully present for them after you have all of your schoolwork done. It's a crappy two years and its a busy two years...be prepared for that committment. Your house won't be clean, laundry won't always be done, etc. As for clinical...first semester the clinicals are based in Boston and in Tewksbury, MA. Lots of people carpooled and there isn't much room for switching. Second semester we go to Salem Hospital, Roxbury VA, etc. Third semester is a New England Pedi in Billerica, Winchester Hospital, Cambridge Hospital and fourth semester in Lahey Clinic in Burlington and Roxbury VA. This is for the day program, I know there are differences with other programs. You will get asked for your preferences but other than that you get what you get and you have to deal with it. People carpool, etc. and its not much of a problem. Not each clinical is alike and some provide more experiences than others, for example at NE Pedi all patient's have trachs, G tubes and most are on vents...and then if you had your Peds experience at Winchester Hosp you may get one child in for an asthma attack... Good luck!
  2. MBrickle

    New Grad RN: Home Health or Wait it Out??

    Thanks for the input. Yes, my concern in my experience level and him having such critical needs but the mother seems confident I could do it as she learned and so have his grandparents. To clarify, he does not get deep suctioned. They just suction the length of the trach as he can mobilize his own secretions to some extent but if he works too hard he has a sensitive gag reflex and he will aspirate (which is their biggest concern for him.) He is only vented at night (on CPAP) when he is very, very ill to help supplement his breathing. The one advantage to the situation is that I received trach experience in two clinical settings, along with ventilator experience...it's not much but I would say its a bit more experience with that than the average grad. I'm shadowing his nurse next week to see what it's like...other than needing suction and tube feedings he can ride his bike, play basketball outside, etc. and rarely is vented unless very ill. I would plan to really read up on his vent and know how to access it in an emergency to provide him stabilization until emergency services can arrive, and he doesn't receive CPT b/c his bones are too fragile so the mother doesn't allow it...when he isn't sick he is only on two meds: a neb and an inhaler. I would never do anything that I don't feel capable of, but I also see this as a means of paying my bills, getting experience as I look for another job to supplement my income, and getting my feet wet. The job would be similar day-in and day-out, and I think it would really help my assessment skills as I would become very familiar with the subtle changes and workings of one little boy, and really cement my assessment skills for the future....I'm still deciding but thanks for the input!
  3. MBrickle

    New Grad RN: Home Health or Hold Out?

    Thank you so much for all the input...it's very valued. My initial concern was being the only one there in an emergency situation, but the mother seems confident that I can do the job... Yes, this is through an agency. During my training I would be hired as a PCA and then once I pass the NCLEX (hopefully later this month) she would get me hired through her agency. And yes, she did mention she could likely get my employment with another "trach kid" as she calls them. It's certainly enough to get my bills paid so I'm grateful for that...guess I'll go ahead and take it! Thank you to all for the great input :-)
  4. MBrickle

    Bunker Hill Community College....

    Congrats, guys! I just finished the program at BHCC (days) so feel free to ask if you have any questions!
  5. I am about to graduate in May and I've noticed that many hospitals are beginning to bring back new grad programs. My question is this: where is information about these programs listed? I've looked on many hospital websites and found nothing...I'm not particular where I work when I graduate, I just require a facility/office/ambulatory center, etc. that provides a good training for a new graduate nurse. As far as hospitals, do I need to call HR and ask. Also, if anyone can provide information about facilities and organizations, please feel free to PM me! Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated!
  6. MBrickle

    New Nurse; New Country?

    I'm entering my final year of nursing school in Massachusetts. Job prospects here are poor and I am willing to move anywhere to get some experience as soon as I graduate...I also spent a semester abroad in Australia and LOVED IT. In light of this revelation - is it possible to get hired as a new grad in another country? If I'm willing to move anywhere, I figured an out-of-country experience might be beneficial, however I know that rules and regulations, along with the scope-of-practice varies greatly as well. If it is possible, how is it usually arranged? Is there any international nursing standard organization, etc? Just curious. Thank you in advance for feedback!
  7. MBrickle

    Med/Surg Clinical

    So...tonight I began my med/surg clinical. It wasn't what I thought it would be. It's not on a med/surg floor, and I got the impression that we would mainly be doing med passes - no wound care, etc. Now, I could be wrong...after all, something else has got to occupy the time in clinical other than med passes to one patient...and we DO have functional health assessments due (implying that at some point there would be a head-to-toe assessment...which intimidates me greatly b/c I have hearing issues so lung/bowel auscultation makes me very nervous)...but I kind of thought it would be more IVs, and dressing changes... What experience has anyone else had here with their Med/Surg clinical? Also, for graduates, when did you feel it all came together for you, if at all? I just feel like we learn so much theory on how to do things, but never actually get to execute...does anyone else feel the same way? I guess I am just nervous that I am going to be incredibly under-skilled upon graduation.
  8. MBrickle

    Is it harder than you thought?

    I'm in the same boat...I started my first semester of an ADN program on 9/8. As far as the coursework - we start w/ fundamentals, ethics, legal, etc. and I find that information pretty basic - along with the "history of nursing." So far, it seems to be easy, and our instructors agree that it starts that way - however, next week are our first exams so I might do well, or I might be totally off-the-ball....its difficult to not know exactly what we will be tested on...or what we should be learning from the first few weeks of lecture... I really didn't think it would take this much time and that is what is killing me slowly, haha. I always have something to do, I'm always reading or taking notes and I feel like I constantly have my 1200-page "Fundamentals of Nursing" text with me...so now I know what people mean when they say its "intense."
  9. MBrickle

    Trouble Hearing BP

    So, today I found out why I can't ever really hear a BP...my ear canals go up instead of back. I was told that an amplified stethoscope would be needed but is incredibly pricey! Does anyone have this same problem? What did you do?