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  1. CaptScrubs13

    My RN program doesn't include Med Surg or Pharmacology!? CONFUSED

    Our med surg is called Adult I and Adult II as well. We did have separate pharm and patho classes, but I know lots of programs which integrate both of those right into whatever "subject" you're in (med surg, ob, psych, etc).
  2. CaptScrubs13

    Another "when to take"

    Hi all - I know there have been lots of threads before regarding WHEN to take the NCLEX - some people suggest waiting, many say take it sooner rather than later. My question is ... how soon is "soon"? I'm in sort of a weird situation with my job. I'm in a contracted position until the end of June (not nursing or health-care related). If I wanted to work over the summer, I would have to give my boss a definite time frame of when I could work. Ideally, that would be until Labor Day, but I could say "I can work X number of weeks, and my last day will be X". It is not the type of position where I can work until I am hired in a nursing position, give my 2 weeks and leave. Currently I only work Fridays and Saturdays, but that is mainly due to my class and clinical schedule. In the past, once school has let out for the summer, my boss requests that I come in and work additional days, but it is not a set schedule (ie she will email and ask if I am around to come in X number of hours on Wednesday this week). My dilemma is this: I can take my boards sometime in May/June, end my position in June, and not work while trying to find a new grad nursing job (money would obviously be VERY tight, seeing as very few people in the Boston area are having luck with the RN job search) I can take my boards sometime in May/June, end my position in June, and try to find a temporary or part-time position in retail or something similar while looking for an RN job. OR, commit to working the summer with my current job, take my boards sometime in August, and still keep an eye open for RN jobs in the meantime. I'm doing my best to save as much money as possible, but with the job market looking so slim, I wonder if it'd be a better decision to stay at my job where I make decent money, and take my boards later. IF you got through the end of this, you are a trooper! And I appreciate any advice you have :) Thanks!!
  3. CaptScrubs13

    How to Study for Nursing Exams

    There are lots of different ways to approach nursing exams. First, I'd recommend a book called Test Success - it's all about effective test-taking. Some things that work for me: -Pre-read the chapter before class -Take notes during lecture -Record the lecture and re-listen in the car on the way home / later -Hand write or type notes from the book or your lecture notes -Make flashcards, charts, or diagrams to help you organize the information -Review your notes daily -Quiz yourself before an exam or quiz -Get with a small group of people to get different aspects on the subject -Go through NCLEX review books; many contain rationales for the questions
  4. CaptScrubs13

    Your definition of good clinical instructor and bad one

    My best instructors have always shown an interest in their students: wanting us to succeed, to learn something and excel. They sought out opportunities for us to watch or try new things, were friendly and helpful even when you made mistakes. They understood that clinical is a LEARNING experience, and not everyone is perfect at everything the first time they do it. They gave positive, constructive feedback on assessments/careplans/documentation. I have really only had two instructors who weren't awesome - but they were awful like some of the stories I read here! What I didn't like about those two was: 1 didn't seem to have a great interest in us .. and if she did, she didn't show it. She made me feel stupid for making mistakes. She would ask questions vaguely so that it was hard to understand what she was looking for, and when you didn't miraculously know what she wanted to hear, she laid into you like you were the worst student ever. She NEVER could remember our names... even when she was looking right at us and we had a hospital ID badge and a school one too. That made everyone in the group feel like she didn't even know who she was talking to half the time, so how could she give accurate feedback if she never knew who was who?! The other was difficult because it was her first time leading a clinical group and it showed. There was little she would let us do without her by our sides...but there were 8 of us on the floor. So if your patient needed a simple dressing change, but the instructor was helping someone else, you had to wait (even though you had been "checked off" in lab to perform that intervention on your own). It was extremely frustrating, especially as it was our first rotation. I wanted to do and see as much as I could to feel more comfortable... but I felt like all I ever did that semester was group up with other girls on the floor and do bed baths. Which is disheartening when you are learning all these other skills back in the lab, but are never able to perform them. ETA: I didn't even realize how old this was hahaha :)
  5. CaptScrubs13

    A Couple General Nursing School Questions

    Yes, mjmoon, our school just requires that we complete both A&Ps, Chem, Microbio, Psych & Human Development before starting the "real" nursing classes. Then the only other requirements are Stats before Nursing research, but all other requirements can be taken in any order, so long as they are all completed by graduation. Obviously the goal is to get as many out of the way as you can before clinicals start, because many of the requirements follow a MWF or TTh schedule, and clinicals are usually conflicting days/times. I will be starting my 6th semester (2nd semester of jr year) this spring, and in that I have my History; beyond that, I only have Philosophy/Religion to complete. The other awful thing about my school is that I live on-campus, and there is a minimum credit number to live here, so in my senior year, I will have only my nursing classes, but those won't get me to 13 credits, so I will be taking classes for the sole purpose of adding credits I don't need just to live here. It's one aspect of my program/school that I HATE. I'd love to just take my nursing classes and nothing else and be able to focus ALL of my attention on Med Surg II and practicum and all that
  6. CaptScrubs13

    A Couple General Nursing School Questions

    Pre-reqs were the only time I got to have any control over my schedule. Once we started actual nursing classes and clinicals, you pretty much don't get to decide how your week is going to look at all. For example, next semester my classes are Community Nursing, Mental Health, Nursing Research and a Gen Ed required History. Community and Mental health are once-per-week classes, offered either M, W, or F mornings from 8:30-11:20. That's it. So you pick what day you want off (M W or F) and the other two you have class. Nursing Research is only offered Thursday evenings or Weds and Fri afternoons. If you can't fit it in either of those times, you'll be taking it as a summer course. Clinicals we have no choice in either... Community rotation runs for 6 weeks, Tuesdays from 8a-5p. Mental Health clinicals are the other 6 weeks and run T/Th from either 8a-2p or 2p-8p. We don't get to choose which rotation we do first, either. We have a fairly large program, so lectures and labs have several sections to accomodate the number of students. Depending on when you register for classes, you may be able to choose which professor you get, but there's usually just one or 2 that teach any given course. I'm in a "traditional" 4-year liberal arts school (where the majority of undergrads are 18-23) so we have a ton of other requirements besides Pre-reqs and nursing courses, and because our Nursing schedules are so fixed, we're forced to fit those other courses in wherever we can. Besides A+PI/II, Chem & Micro, we have Gen Psych, Human Development, Sociology, Communication, History, Philiosophy/Religion, 2 English composition classes, 1 English Literature class, a Fine Arts, Applied Computing, Statistics, and 12-credits of Non-Nursing electives at an "advanced" level (not introductory classes). As far as testing, it all depends on the teacher. Some barely use the book at all, and create their own power points with relevent information and test based on whatever they taught in lecture. Others will use the powerpoints provided by the publisher and use their test bank as well, and hardly put any of their own input/information into lectures.
  7. CaptScrubs13

    HESI disaster!

    We had one on Wednesday the 8th that ws AWFUL - kept freezing up, kicked everyone off off and on for about 30 minutes. Our professors called HESI and they offered a re-take today. I passed the "acceptable benchmark" so I didn't bother with the retake but it was a terrible and stressful testing environment. First time that's happened to me
  8. CaptScrubs13

    Giving Thank you gifts

    This is what we do too, a small gift for clinical instructors (there's usually only 5-8 of us) but the class never does anything for lecture professors. Previous clinical instructor gifts were a Nurse christmas ornament; a charm bracelet with an RN charm and a Vera Bradley wristlet (she loved vera!); a photo of the group and a nurse build-a-bear that said her favorite phrase: "what happens in clinical stays in clinical" :) she LOVED it! Some of my rotations we've done things for the floor - last year we each pitched in and bought munchkins, fruit, bagels and juice and put it out in one of the nurses' break rooms because they were truly WONDERFUL to us.
  9. CaptScrubs13

    Hessi Exam

    Good luck! I have my pedi on Saturday and maternity next wednesday. Our scores count as part of our grade, and if we don't get an 850 or better, we need to remediate over break with nclex questions. ughhh
  10. CaptScrubs13

    Yelled at for posting on AN

    I'm kind of surprised that you continue to post under this user name if it is the same one you posted under in aforementioned posts which got you into trouble with your school. Don't you think your professors can still look you up especially now that they "know who you are" on here? If I were you in this situation, I'd probably change my name on the forum, and quit posting about my school/program/situation. If I were a professor in this situation, I'd most likely be pretty ticked off that a student felt it okay to bad-mouth/talk poorly about their school in an online, public forum, and then CONTINUE to do so after he/she was reprimanded about it.
  11. CaptScrubs13

    Amount of clinicals?

    Fundamentals we did 1 day a week for 6 hours for the whole semester Med Surg I and II is 2 days for 6 hours for the whole semester Maternity and Psych - 2 days for 6 hours for 6 weeks (half a semester) Pediatrics and Community - 1 day a week for 9.5 hours for 6 weeks (half a semester) and then our Practicum is 160 hours one on one with a preceptor - any shift he or she works, we work alongside them and log hours for a semester.
  12. CaptScrubs13

    Haven't taken a class yet and I am starting to freak.....

    We have a math test (not a course) required every semester after our 3rd (when we start passing meds) -- must be passed 100%, we are given 3 attempts. Just practice practice practice! Do as many problems and examples like the ones you will be tested on over and over until you can do all the steps by heart. Our instructors gave us several "practice tests" and we also have a dosage calculation book with lots of examples as well. Don't stress & read each problem carefully. Think about all of the tricky things that can trip you up .. decimal points, leading / trailing zeros, labels (mg, ml etc). You'll do great! :)
  13. CaptScrubs13

    The Nursing Math Thread

    I need some help with pedi fluid calculations ... In class, we just practiced 24 hr fluid maintenance. In clinical, our instructor gave us a packet of problems to solve. These ones are different though: 1. Your 33kg child will need 1 1/2 maintenance for the next 8 hours. What should the hourly pump rate be set for? We've been given: 100mL/kg for the first 10kg 50mL/kg for the second 10kg 20mL/kg for the remainder of the weight so I came up with 1760mL for the 33kg child. This should be the 24 hours maintenance though. Do I multiple this by 1.5 for the "1 1/2" maintenance? Divide it by 8 hours? Some of the other problems are: Your child is 28kg. The physician has ordered the child to receive 2/3 maintenance. She ordered the hourly rate to be 69 mL /hour. Is this correct? What is the hourly rate on the pump for a child weighing 39kg receiving 2/3 maintenance? Anyone able to help? Thanks!
  14. CaptScrubs13

    How many hours a week are you in class, lab or clinical?

    This semester, 9.5 hours of lecture time for the following nursing classes: Maternity , Pedi, Geri and Patho. Clinicals are divided: maternity was 12 hours/ week (over 2 days) and Pedi is 9 hours/week (1 day). We do not have any labs this semester.
  15. CaptScrubs13

    Here goes nothing

    This ^ In my program, we go WITH our instructors to get the meds out of pyxis or whatever the machine is on the floor in the hospital. My first time, I read off what meds my patient had, and my instructor went through how to use the machine, each little button etc. She "quizzed" me on each med - why is my pt on it, what does it do, recommended dose, is the dose ordered safe? all that sort of stuff. Then she showed me how to scan in the pt, how to scan the meds, how to enter dosages when needed, how to document when meds are not given, etc. We did that 2 times, then she just came in with me, plugged in her password for the machine, and I did it on my own - I had to say ok so now I'm typing in pts name, sorting meds by time: 0800. this med is xxxx and it does xxxx. That's how it was for the rest of the clinical rotation. Each instructor is different, though.