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jjjoy

jjjoy LPN

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Content by jjjoy

  1. jjjoy

    Critical Thinking!!!!!! Whatever!!

    I'm curious what relationship you saw (if any) between how 'critical thinking' was defined and practiced in that class as opposed to the way nursing instructors used the term, especially in regard to test questions.
  2. jjjoy

    termination from nursing school

    I'm so sorry about the dismissal. I didn't have to deal with dismissal and I still feel rather angry about the sometimes mercurial clinical evaluations and sink-or-swim nature of some nursing 'instruction'. I agree with the others to appeal the dismissal. For myself, I'd have to try to keep in mind that justice isn't the goal, but being admitted back into program is. I would so want to show how I didn't deserve the dismissal. The instructor wasn't fair. The school didn't prepare me well enough. But making such points won't get you any closer to your goal. A focus on "What can I learn from this?" and "What can I do now?" is what many nursing educators are looking for in students. How could the school/instructor better serve the students to prevent such problems in the first place? It's a valid question, but beside the point and best avoided when addressing your dismissal. If you address your concerns professionally and from a position of personal responsibility, that may be just the ticket to a second chance. I recognize that the dismissal may not have been warranted in the first place and/or was unfairly applied (ie if you did 'deserve' dismissal then so does over the half the class). I just think you'll be better served to appeal the dismissal on the grounds of showing that you have what it takes to be a nurse (a strong sense of personal responsibility, initiative and self-directed learning) as opposed to on the grounds of why you didn't deserve dismissal. No matter how it goes, this unfortunate experience can make you a stronger person. It really *can* be a positive for you in the long run. Best wishes!
  3. I tried to find the criteria on the BON website, without any luck. I know that a public health nursing section is a BSN, but not an ASN, requirement in my state (or at least used to be). Whatever the differing requirements are on paper, my thinking was more in regard to those people who ask how much difference there is between having an ADN and a bachelor's in another field as opposed to a BSN. Not much, it seems to me, if the bachelor's is in a nursing-complementary field such as psychology or nutrition. The BSN as I see it offers more chance to delve further into more academic issues such as nursing research, nursing as a profession, but it doesn't necessarily offer a whole lot in regard to further development of clinical nursing practice. I think the physical assessment course we took was more comprehensive than that required by ASN programs, but for complete newbies with no experience to build on or draw on, a 20 hour assessment course versus a 30 hour assessment course does not necessarily make a big difference in practice. I forgot, though, that this thread was started on the development of RNs and LPNs. Discussion of BSN programs does fit in in regard to the on-going development of nursing education and licensure, but I suppose it's a discussion for another thread. Interesting as always!!
  4. My experience of the bachelor's portion of my BSN was more about the "rounding out" of the education - the delving into related/big picture issues that intentionally are *not* unique to (but very integral to) the practice and profession of nursing such as qualitative and quantitative research methods, psychology of aging, sociology of professions, and such. My BSN program was a junior-entry program. Of course, all pre-reqs & gen ed coursework had to be finished (eg A&P, micro, chem, nutrition, anthro, English). We also had research methods, statistics, epidemiology, and upper division electives (such as psychology of aging). Outside of a public /commuity health nursing rotation, I can't clearly identify what *nursing* coursework was 'above and beyond' that for any standard RN program. Our nursing theory, nursing research, and legal/ethical issues courses were just one course each. In short, I don't see that our BSN program could've covered that much more *nursing* content than any standard RN program. Accelerated 2nd bach programs manage to cram the entirety of the nursing-program-specifc coursework into just 12-16 months.
  5. jjjoy

    Critical Thinking!!!!!! Whatever!!

    I agree. "If you use your critical thinking skills, it's clear why C is the best choice" is neither guidance nor teaching, yet that's too often how questions were answered. When asking for clarification on test questions, even a diligent, responsible, well-studied student would often get the sharp rebuke - "You can't expect to be spoonfed; you'll never learn to think critcally that way!" Blech!
  6. jjjoy

    Critical Thinking!!!!!! Whatever!!

    So-called 'critical thinking' in nursing education is a pet peeve of mine. Sometimes, you need NCLEX-style specific strategies to determine the 'best' of several not-quite-right answer choices. I wouldn't call that testing critical thinking. And I wouldn't call that testing nursing knowledge or judgement. Sometimes all of the patient/scenario information given in a test question is just a red herring that really doesn't figure into answering the question! It would really throw me when the given rationale for the 'right' answer would focus on content and not draw attention to the fact that small variations in wording of the question and answers might change what the 'best' answer is. Succeeding at the NCLEX does involve some application of critical thinking skills, but it's not *testing* critical thinking skills! Rant over!
  7. jjjoy

    On what planet does it make sense...

    Even if you have some reserves to afford taking a day off for illness or to take care of family member, the job might not allow the person to take the time unpaid either. I can see that companies can't very well accomodate employees who end up taking crucial time off even if it is for a very ligitimate reason. Where to draw the line is a sticky dilemma. However, it sounds like the OP had the impression that this mom simply wasn't all that worried the injury as opposed to feeling forced by circumstance into neglecting her child in the short term for their longer term well-being (keeping her job, keeping insurance, etc). I suppose only the mom can really know what was or wasn't going on her head.
  8. My RN program HEAVILY emphasized that nurses are to never "just follow orders" but maybe some programs don't do that as much? As you noted, though, without experience, how can a newbie recognize if something were off? Ideally, a newbie RN does have someone "keeping an eye on them" for the first several weeks and maybe months. In the real world, a newbie RN in acute care may be pressured to take a full load without a preceptor in just a few weeks. In LTC, it may just a few days. Ideally, a newbie NP similarly has someone keeping an eye on them for the first several weeks, if not months, do they not? Unfortuately, in reality, newbies sometimes may be more or less left to their own devices to sink or swim. Their colleagues may act more as lifeguards, as opposed to swim instructors, and if the newbie "sinks" they are simply tossed out of the pool while the patient is still, ideally, safe. It sometimes seems that if the newbie can avoid any major disasters while getting their bearings (actively seek out assistance, constantly look things up, etc), even if they were incredibly ill-prepared for the position and had little support, they will be successful. In which case, schools needn't turn out grads "ready-to-hit-the-floor/exam room". I don't necessarily agree with this, but it's how it looks to me sometimes.
  9. I'm not sure if that was supposed to be sarcastic or not. No one knows everything, even if they happen to think and talk as if they do. It may be difficult to confront someone who thinks they do know everything, but the concept that physicians don't know everything takes no time to comprehend. The second part of the question interests me though. How does any novice practitioner learn when to question anyone more experienced than themselves? Again, the concept of questioning is easy enough. In practice, though, the newbie will often find themselves in the position of having to trust their colleagues. Outside of blatently obvious errors, the newbie isn't going to recognize something 'out of the ordinary' until they've had enough experience to have some grasp of what 'ordinary' is! In nursing, new RNs often carry a full patient load within 8 weeks. And there just isn't enough time in the day for the newbie to cross-check every unfamiliar order/suggestion given them by MDs, PAs, NPs, and even other RNs before taking action, is there?
  10. jjjoy

    Time to call a duck a duck?

    Yes, well, taking care of physiologic needs can be learned on the job in no time! How hard can it be? People without degrees in nursing do it all the time! On the other hand, critical thinking about a person's response to illness is the unique domain of nursing so that is the base of pyramid of nursing education! (tongue firmly in cheek)
  11. jjjoy

    Time to call a duck a duck?

    I have to wonder if some of the old-school "ready-to-hit-the-floor-running" nursing programs simply didn't just implement the "sink-or-swim" methodology of nurse training during the first year of the program? I can imagine where making it through as a student in such programs may have been akin to making it through one's first year/s working as a nurse today. I know liability issues can also constrict student opportunities these days. That's where one might need a kind of backwards license-then-apprentice system of nurse training. Just thoughts!
  12. Honestly, I think there ought to be a totally unique track just for bedside nursing so that those training resources can be maximized for those who do plan to work bedside. However, that's not how it works now. So RN education attempts to cover just about everything which can leave grads feeling underprepared for bedside nursing roles. Nonetheless, bedside nursing is still the mainstay of clinical nursing opportunities. For "all those other options" you often need either specific experience, extra training, and/or being in 'the right place at the right time'. Many of those other options also build upon a solid foundation in hands on clinical. The reason they want to hire a nurse in some roles isn't because they value the degree/license, but it's the real-world experience a seasoned nurse can bring to the role. There most certainly *are* roles that nurses fill that are not bedside and do not build upon bedside care. However, if the role doesn't directly build on hands on nursing care then perhaps its a role that doesn't necessarily require a nursing degree either. And if that's your predominant interest, you may want to explore various alternatives to see if nursing or some other schooling might suit your goals best.
  13. jjjoy

    How bad is distance learning?

    A traditional brick-and-mortar program arranges most, if not all, student clinical experiences and provides a clinical instructor. With distance programs, you really need to find out how you are supposed to get clinical experience. If they just say they help students arrange it, find out how exactly they help and determine if it's something that you can realistically work with.
  14. I thought 15 month programs also ran through much of the summer. So I'm curious how long the break is. Do you know what the possibility is of lining up some kind of experience over a summer break? Obviously, having the time available for an internship doesn't mean much if there aren't any internships to be had. What's the job market like where you are? If it's very tight, any increased networking/experience certainly couldn't hurt and any chance to get a foot in the door helps.
  15. I've got to say that I wish there were more graduated options for students/nursing school grads who could use more clinical time before having the full-spectrum of RN responsibilities and a full workload foisted upon them usually within just 6-8 weeks. My all too short time as a PCT was priceless for becoming more comfortable with patients and learning quick 'tricks' of basic patient care. I wish I could've floated more to get a good cross-section of patient types and issues. Goodness knows that as students we had just 10 shifts on any one unit. I wish I could've been a unit secretary for a time as well to become more familiar with orders and the general flow on various inpatient units. Then, when starting as an RN, I'd have at least a few aspects down pat while trying to get up to speed on everything else! Sigh! This doesn't help the OP... though if any nursing assistant opportunities are available still, take it!!!
  16. jjjoy

    These classes are nonsense

    Germ theory, gate control theory of pain, pharmacologic receptor theory, thermal wound theory, Virchow's triad of thrombus formation...
  17. jjjoy

    priority question about MI patient

    I can't say for the NCLEX, but in class, sometimes it seemed that questions like that were primarily as evidence of how difficult nursing school was since even the best students could get that kind of question wrong. Ugh! Another not-quite-as-cynical thought is that real world health care often isn't black-or-white but you still are called upon to make a judgement which may or may not be deemed as the best judgement by another. A health care provider has to live with some ambiguity and deal with a very less-then-ideal world... why not start getting students used to it in school? Anyway, back to the question at hand...
  18. Many nursing positions will keep you up and running. So that part would be a good fit! Personally, as a science junkie, I found some of the nursing coursework frustratingly cursory. You've got a very short time to cover A LOT of ground and a bulk of nursing education focuses on whole patient care including addressing psychosocial issues and preventative measures (encouraging hydration and ambulation, providing skin care, etc). I'm in no way diminishing the value of whole patient nursing care. Nursing *is* whole patient care. It's just that compared to major level science coursework, nursing coursework generally isn't so in depth. Health care providers only spend a small fraction of their time chewing on the science of health care and spend the bulk of their time just "getting it done"... making sure labs are drawn, physicians notified, pain is controlled, bowels are working, etc and documenting, documenting, documenting! Of course, scientists by profession often spend the bulk of their time trying to get funding and to get published, and just a small fraction actually *doing* science (lab work, field work, etc)! I guess that's why we call it work... much of it is stuff we don't consider inherently fun. Anyway... my main point is that the best reason to go nursing school is because you want to be a nurse and practice nursing. Any other goal (become a case manager, a mid-level primary care provider, a diabetes educator, a medical researcher) may be pursued without necessarily becoming a nurse. If you want to be a nurse and a medical researcher, then definitely go with nursing school. But if you want to be a nurse in order to get into medical research, then you might consider just majoring in biology, kinesiology, microbiology, etc. Granted, you can't just open the paper for jobs for kinesiology majors as opposed to RN jobs (it's not that easy for RNs these days anyway), but if you're interested in non-mainstream nursing jobs, those are more difficult to land depending on what other skills/experience you bring to the table besides just the license. If you're not really sure what direction you'd like to go, try to get out there and volunteer/intern on a hospital unit, in a research lab, at a pharmaceutical company, etc. Best wishes!!
  19. jjjoy

    Caring for the Chart or the Patient?

    I like that example! LOL!
  20. jjjoy

    To the accelerated (A-BSN) students: Any regrets?

    If you're really concerned about what your experience in the program will be, instead of worrying accelerated 1 yr BSN versus traditional junior-year acceptance 2-yr BSN program, just find out about the actual programs themselves and see if one or another looks like it would be a better fit for you. No one wants to go to a poor quality program, but many people just want to get out of school ASAP and get out there on the job where the real learning begins. In that case, any reputable school will do. For others, they may feel that a certain type of nursing school experience would be a better investment of time and money for them. Both accelerated and traditional programs may or may not provide a strong clinical foundation. Both accelerated and traditional programs may or may not help students assimilate the tons of information they are being deluged with. Both accelerated and traditional programs may or may not tend to focus on "ideal world" nursing as opposed to preparing students for the "real world". Both accelerated and traditional program students may suffer from limitations on clinical opportunities (eg having to wait around for an instructor to administer medications, not being allowed to start IVs, etc). Some advantages of a longer program is that it may allow time to work as a nursing assistant and/or apply for student nurse internship positions (not all places have them). Being a student longer also allows some unique opportunities such as being a student research assistant, being involved with a school's charity health care work, or becoming an officer in the NSNA (nursing student assn). The obvious advantage of an accelerated program is being finished faster. A not-so-obvious advantage is that accelerated program student colleagues will likely tend to be very motivated and focused and mature since they already have bachelor's degrees and were accepted to these very competitive programs.
  21. What angers me about programs such as the one your friend signed up for is the incredibly high prices and the encouragement of taking on big loans in addition to making sometimes very misleading claims about future potential income and job opportunities. Maybe you can give her some resources and references to refer to and some questions for her to get answers for (eg look up actual pay of PCTs on local job sites, call human resource departments to ask if this PCT cert would help land a job or not) and let her come to her own conclusions about the program she's enrolled in. If she chooses to not pursue that information, then that's her choice. If it weren't for the high cost and false promises, I wouldn't discourage PCT training. I don't think any training is a waste. I personally would've benefitted from being a PCT for a before and during nursing school. It would've allowed me to focus on RN-level skills and knowledge while in nursing school instead of having to learn and become comfortable with even the most basic of patient care skills in a cram-packed two year RN program.
  22. jjjoy

    Time to call a duck a duck?

    I still tend to see it as that a nurse manager is a nurse who is practicing management of nurses and the provision of nursing care... not practicing nursing per se. Similarly, school principals are required to have taught at some point in their career, but usually are no longer actively teaching in the classroom. Not because they can't; that's just not their role any longer. They may very well jump into the teacher role at times for any variety of reasons... to keep their teaching skills up, to fill in temporarily in a pinch, to see what exactly the teachers are dealing with "on the front line", etc. The very best principals probably are also great teachers. But I'd bet a lot of teachers would make miserable principals and that no small number of highly competent principals were just so-so teachers. But teaching is still "a profession" unto itself, is it not? Or maybe teaching doesn't even fit that 5 point definition of a "true" profession, darn it?! In that case teaching is really just a vocation and teachers just mindlessly carry out the curriculum as designed by true education professionals? Of course not! It seems that some nursing leaders in the past unfortunately bought into the false dichotomy that if nursing fell short of being a "true profession" then that meant that nurses were just automatons and hand-maidens.
  23. jjjoy

    Wondering if I should change to nursing

    Maybe consider getting pre-reqs for an accelerated 2nd bachelor's BSN program while finishing up a bachelor's? If grades are your main concern, I would expect 2nd bach programs to take into consideration if your degree was in biochem from UCI (hard-core courses, with hard-core competition for curved grades) versus a bunch of 'basketweaving' classes from a community college. Even if you change your major to something besides biochem, the 2nd bach plan would allow you more time to find out more about nursing before making any drastic changes in your schooling right now. As you finish up your first degree and get the nursing pre-reqs done, you can volunteer at a hospital, become a nursing assistant or unit secretary, etc. Best wishes with your choices!
  24. Just for the record, I'm not making the argument that I posed... though those Miami Dade program pre-reqs didn't look very rigorous compared to other PA programs I'm more familiar with. I'm sure that competition for spots means that many applicants have well above the minimum requirements, but that's beside the point. I was just thinking that if a school with pre-reqs like Miami Dade are *prepared* to accept students without any health care experience (preferred but not required) and the what look to be pre-reqs that aren't on par with pre-med coursework, and the program is completed in just two years... well, it just kinda makes one wonder how thorough the program could be. The program might actually be one of the best in the nation, though. I don't know enough to say. Those pre-reqs might be hard-core and in that case, their BSN programs have got relatively tougher science requirements than some other programs!
  25. jjjoy

    Does Having CNA Exp Help so Much in Nursing School?

    Absolutely necessary? No. Benefitial for many? Yes. Benefitial for you? Maybe. Best option for you? Let me check my crystal ball... (wish I had a crystal ball for myself, too!!) For myself, in retrospect, more CNA experience would've been a good thing. I've since realized that when it comes to learning the type of skills required in nursing, I don't thrive with a steep learning curve. And nursing has a very steep learning curve! My working part-time as a nursing assistant while in nursing school was incredibly helpful to me in building confidence and simply getting repeat, mass exposure to patients and the clinical environment since student clinical rotations speed by in no time. But in my imaginary "what if" world, I would've had a great CNA job that built skills and with nursing co-worker who would teach me. I could very well have become a CNA prior to nursing school and not have been able to land a job at all prior to starting nursing school. Or gotten a miserable job without much opportunity to learn and with mean, unhelpful co-workers who would've turned me off of nursing altogether! Regardless, one doesn't become a CNA just for the money! Depending on your circumstance, it simply may not be a worthwhile investment for you if it's not required for acceptance to nursing school in your area.
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