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  1. AprilAnney

    My Dream to be a Labor and Delivery Nurse

    This sounds a lot like my life a few years ago. After I had my first child, I realized that I loved the pregnancy/labor/childhood/peripartum period. I originally started off with the intention of becoming a birth doula and possibly an IBCLC. I went to a weekend doula training seminar with a friend (who is now a post partum doula). While the experience was amazing, it left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Doula certification requires tons of hours of research, birth experiences, and work- but when it comes down to it, a doula cannot educate a patient (and understandably so--they are not technically licensed professionals even though they are sometimes just as educated, if not more, than OB nurses). I had a very frank discussion with the leader of the doula training course (I think we both rubbed each other the wrong way from the get-go) that resulted in me enrolling in nursing prerequisites the day after I finished the doula training seminar. Four years later, I graduated with my BSN. I absolutely adored my OB clinical and was so lucky to be placed at the exact practicum location I wanted- the L&D floor at the hospital I wanted to work at (I was a PCT at the hopsital at the time on the float unit getting mainly med/surg experience). However, there were no new grad positions available on L&D when I graduated. I took a position as an RN on a step down unit and worked there for a year and a half. I was shattered that I didn't get an L&D position out of school. I hated hearing the experienced nurses say "Get some med/surg experience. I know it's not what you want. But it's an experience that will help you more than you know." Damn those experienced nurses and their wisdom! Earlier this month, I started on the L&D unit at my hospital and I'm back with some of those nurses who were my teachers while I was in school. And I now see why med/surg experience is beneficial. Simple things like different types of insulin, patients with complicated histories (we just had two ladies with transverse myelitis in labor at the same time the other day--how often do you encounter ONE person with that, let at alone two at the same time?! I had a frequent patient on my step down unit that had transverse myelitis so I understood the disease process), drug interactions and effects on newborns, patients on methadone (and NNAS)-- all things that are "fringe" experiences in the L&D world, but regular experiences on a step down/med surg unit. I also am a sucker for overtime- so I still pick up hours on my old unit. I like to keep up my skills and I also like the extra money to pay for my vacation habit. But, I also get to do something that not many nurses do. Last week, we had a patient on my old unit on comfort care pass away. There is something so beautifully heartbreaking about being one of the first person a human touches and sees one day and being the last person a human touches and sees the next. It's a privilege like no other- and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
  2. AprilAnney

    Anne Arundel Comm College Spring 15

    I would wait and just do nursing school, even if that means waiting until fall 2015. You'll qualify to be a CNA after you complete your first semester of nursing school anyway.
  3. AprilAnney

    Passed NCLEX w/ How Many Resources?

    I passed in 75 & only used the "box of questions" that HESI gave us after our school-required HESI review. There were about 1500 questions on index cards.
  4. AprilAnney

    UMSON Spring 2013

    Congrats to everyone who got in for Spring 2013! I'm in the Spring 2012 cohort. I'll start off first by telling everyone to remain calm. It's not as bad as everyone says nursing school is. I've managed to maintain a decent GPA while working 32 hours a week, keeping 2 kids alive, and 1 husband relatively happy. You can do it, too! :)
  5. AprilAnney


    That is beyond unsafe for patients. And I'm not saying that you're not good at your job, but there is NO WAY any person can give proper care to that many patients. Doesn't matter how amazing you are. You guys are being overwhelmed with work and your patients are being denied proper/sufficient care. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. I can't believe that you guys don't have an astronomically high fall rate. Are you expected to do q2 or q4 vitals on 24 patients? Bathe them all? Set up their meals for them? Do blood draws? Get some of them off to various therapies and procedures through out the day? I don't care how good you are- there is NO way you can do q4 (let alone q2, depending on unit policy) vitals on 24 patients in addition to ADL's, transports, blood draws, and meal set ups. You'd be running around all day getting vitals. And documentation? Yeh, there's no way you can do that properly. You guys are overworked and your patients are being denied proper care. I'm sorry you have to operate in that type of environment.
  6. AprilAnney

    working in Er tonight...

    You have no one to talk to because you're on the computer instead of doing work. I'm part of the Flex Unit at my hospital and I feel out of place every day because I'm on a different unit every day. Get off the interenet and get up in your patient's business. Find out what's going on with them, talk with the nurses about their care, ask what can be done. Don't just take orders- take initiative!
  7. AprilAnney


    First off, I'm wondering how you can give proper care to 9-12 patients. That's a heavy patient load, and it's also a patient safety issue. What happens if you have a few fall risk patients who need to use the restroom at the same time? You can't leave one to get to the other, but you can't ignore the other because you know damn well they'll hop out of bed and attempt to ambulate to the restroom. I'm in the flex pool at my job (meaning I get floated to whatever unit needs the help that specific day) and the most patients I've had at once is 8. That was in our "observation" unit, where the majority of patients are independent. I can't imagine having 12 patients and half of them being a 1x or 2x assist, if not total care. Additionally, it sounds to me like your unit doesn't work as a team. There are many shifts that I don't finish up all of my duties. Sometimes things just happen in the last hour and a half that prevent you from tying up loose ends. The other night, we got 3 new admits within the last 2 hours so I was unable to change sheets, clean up my last few patients, and tidy up their rooms. So while giving report to the oncoming techs, I let them know what still needed to be done. Know what we did? For the next 45 minutes, we worked together to get start of shift vitals, linen changes, and baths. That way, the oncoming tech didn't feel like I was leaving them with work to do AND all of the patients (and their rooms) were cleaned, changed, and ready for the rest of the day. And we got it done quickly because we worked together. It's so much easier to bathe and change the linens on bed rest patients when you've got help. And, yes, some techs are just a-holes anyway. I've noticed that the student nurse techs at my hospital are the ones that are the best to work with. The ones that have been techs for years are the ones that like to make a stink about "not pulling your workload". Instead of reporting you, she should have come to you and said "Hey, don't know if you know or not, but this is what should be done. Would you like me to help you so you can see how to do it efficiently so you're not running around at the end of the shift trying to get everything done?" Sounds to me like you're on a crappy unit that has no concept of teamwork. We have one of those units at my hospital. Whenever I'm on that unit, I'm made to feel like I'm incompetent and I'm spoken to like I'm an idiot for not doing things their way (keep in mind, I'm part of the Flex Unit- and each unit in my hospital has different standards for what they expect out of the techs each shift). But when I'm in other units, the nurses are usually pretty surprised that I'm willing to do work. I've had nurses tell their charge nurses that they're suprised to see someone who actually does work. On units like critical care where the nurse to patient ratio is pretty low (we have a 2:1 ratio for our level 1 CC pts), some nurses are so used to doing all of the work including bathing, linen changes, lab draws, etc. that they are surprised when I'll step in and offer help. But on another *unmentioned* floor, the nurses couldn't be bothered with doing any other than administering meds and expect the techs to do everything else.
  8. AprilAnney

    UMSON, Fall 2012...is NO ONE applying?! :) :)

    Scrub tops range from $20-$35ish. Bottoms can be as cheap as $15 but up to $35 (that's how much my comfy ones were). I paid $35 for a lab coat, but they have cheaper options. I have 2 scrub tops and 3 bottoms and that has been plenty. You'll need to wear your scrubs to lab (2 days a week) and to clinicals (you only have a few in the first semester). 2 sets of scrubs were enough for me for this semester.
  9. AprilAnney

    UMSON, Fall 2012...is NO ONE applying?! :) :)

    I got scrubs and lab coat at Scrubs & Beyond in Arundel Mills mall. Take your student ID and get 10% off. I suggest trying on a few different kinds (and don't wait until the week before school starts- all the comfortable styles will be sold out) and then checking out amazon.com to see if they have the same style but for a better price. I've gotten lucky and gotten a few good deals here and there... My favorite brand for the bottoms is Koi--they have a pair of khaki bottoms that look like cargo khakis, but the fabric is super soft. For tops, the Greys Anatomy and NRG tops are nice.
  10. AprilAnney

    UMSON, Fall 2012...is NO ONE applying?! :) :)

    Don't feel overwhelmed! It's just a different system. It took me a bit of getting used to, also. When I was at U of Delaware and at AACC, I felt like the advisors held my hand and always pointed me in the right direction. But at UMSON, you kinda have to figure things out a little more on your own. Things are a bit cluttered, but the information is there. You just need to poke around for it (a lot of it can be found on the website). If you ever have any doubts, just call and ask. They have always been super pleasant with me on the phone with any questions I had (just make sure you take the time to ask them how they are and to thank them for their help!). You'll notice that the "cluttered"/scattered feeling is there for a lot of stuff. You'll be pointed in the right direction, but you'll also need to figure out a few things on your own along the way. Don't be afraid to ask questions and for clarification if you're ever unsure! :) Also, I'd recommend making a social media group for the people in your cohort. We have a Spring 2012 FB group and it's really helpful for us all to remind each other of deadlines, clarify any questions, discuss studying, offer encouragement, alert everyone when grades are posted, etc. It's been very helpful!
  11. AprilAnney

    UMSON, Fall 2012...is NO ONE applying?! :) :)

    Orientation for Spring 2012 was 2 days. The dates/times weren't posted until like a month before, though. As for a previous question about scrubs- just a white top and khaki bottoms, doesn't matter what brand. For the Fundies book question- yes, Fundamentals of Nursing is the text. For the "recommended" books question- I didn't find any justification for purchasing extra textbooks. Maybe you can split the cost of some of them with a few friends if you're interested in buying them. Also, I'd recommend checking amazon for books (and do it now as opposed to a month or so before the semester starts because prices will go up). ...or you can buy mine and we'll eliminate the extra fees and the work I'll have to put in when listing them and shipping them off.
  12. AprilAnney

    UMSON, Fall 2012...is NO ONE applying?! :) :)

    You'll get a letter with a form that you fill out if you're accepting, declining, or requesting deferment. When you send that back, send in your deposit (or you can pay the deposit online). Apple- congrats on getting in! I remember you applying last semester. I'm happy you got in! If I were you, I'd call the admissions office about the deposit because you're out of the country. The deposit is due within a very short period of time and it would really suck if you didn't get your letter in time. As for the CPR, go ahead and take the class when you can but don't stress about it. I know there were still a few people in my class who didn't have their CPR cards turned in when the semester started. That's not to say that you can take your time on getting it- but don't stress about getting that ASAP.
  13. AprilAnney

    UMSON, Fall 2012...is NO ONE applying?! :) :)

    I got in my first try... but I'll tell you that it's probably easier to get in for the spring semester than it is for the fall. I'm not guaranteeing that this is true, but here's my logic: Fall semester is full of students that are on the "right track"- meaning, they finished high school, went straight on to college for 2 years, and are now applying to the 2 years of nursing school. These students are focused and have their eye on the prize, they've been getting ready for this for years. Spring students are students that are either second career/second degree (I went to school for Criminal Justice back in the day, so this is my second time around in college) or students that got thrown off track by a semester or so. I'd say a great tweak would be your entrance essay. Have fun with it. Don't do the usual "I want to be a nurse because I want to help people" speech. Be memorable. ...and do some volunteering at a hospital if/when you get a chance... If you were waitlisted, try again in the spring!
  14. AprilAnney

    UMSON, Fall 2012...is NO ONE applying?! :) :)

    Congrats to all that got in! And for those that didn't get in this time, just tweak a few things & try again! Just a few months ago, I was in your shoes. I'm just finishing out my first semester at the Baltimore campus. It's been an interesting semester. Get ready for it! :) (it's really not that bad...)
  15. AprilAnney

    UMB Spring 2012

    I won't be able to make it to the mixer, I'll be working that evening and unable to slip away for a bit. And thanks for the heads up on the discount at Scrubs & Beyond! I gotta head in to Baltimore and pick up my ID soon. Actually, I have a lot of stuff I need to do. EEEEK!