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Yay! after the long haul, I'm an RN at last. ...Now, the Hunt begins

aflanagan9's Latest Activity

  1. Seems like the real issue here is the tired old problem that Nursing has an image problem since the dawn of time. The lay public have no real idea of what nurses do (on TV, the doctors do all the nursing tasks anyway). We talk about scope of practice, but 95% of patients don't know where the line starts for one kind of role, and ends at another. Sometimes we don't either. On top of that, the lines move from one department to another, between specialties, between facilities, between states, and that's just for registered nurses. Also, the majority of patients don't seem to care about rankings of qualifications - they usually assume that someone ("They") is overseeing all that important stuff so that appropriately-qualified people in scrubs are doing any given thing as part of their care. On my part, I would have to assume my tech had the best intentions. I generally try not to take offense (sometimes this does take effort) when I disagree with my coworkers: high dugeon only serves as a barrier to solve problems, and another problem I'll need help to solve is guaranteed to roll up on the next 5 minutes. And I can't blame anyone for wanting to shorthand a conversation loaded with excruciating technical & bureaucratic baggage. Having that conversation amongst ourselves is tricky enough, but ploughing though it with a patient while working and keeping all the balls in the air - no thanks. On the other hand, avoiding talk about this question just prolongs the problem... -at Meriwhen: LOVE your tagline quotes!
  2. aflanagan9

    7 is my lucky number this semester! Please help!

    Ah yes - we had to hear that "C means Continue" crap throughout my school; but you're right - B is Better (and A is Awesome!). Anyway - the trick to Peds (at least at my school) is getting the growth & development down, the milestones. As a matter of fact, I had a couple of questions on the NCLEX that hinged on this, so don't assume it's filler and overlook it. At the risk of appearing gender biased (if so- sorry, no offense meant), our guys did seem to have a harder time in Peds; they seemed to have less experience observing children than the women, especially women that have kids. Not many of our men were dads, though, and those that were maybe watch their kids differently? I dunno, just a theory. Anyway, I was talking with a friend in Peds clinical, and he mentioned he was having a hard time getting the the G&D milestones; I don't have kids either, so I told him how I was relating to it by matching up behaviors I've seen in my niece & nephews as they've grown over the years. A couple of weeks later, he told me he was starting to make the connection by making a point to observe his friends' kids and see the developmental milestones in action - they really don't stick until you see them. As for Psych, I had a very demanding instructor that built everything on a foundation of the 12 Ego Functions. I sweated bullets in her clinical, and not because of the psych patients, either, but I made an A in lecture, and breezed the psych parts of Exit & NCLEX exams because of that scary woman. Although the Ego Functions aren't the key to Psych the way that G&D is to Peds, I found understanding the big six was very helpful in recognizing features of different illnesses, and from there you can start to analyze patient communication, and then work on your Therapeutic Communication. The big six of the Ego Functions have the handy mnemonic RJOIST: Reality testing, Judgement, Object relations, Impulse control, Sense of reality of the world and self, & Thought processes. Another important thing she instilled: from a certain psych approach, all behaviors are attempts to reduce or avoid anxiety - remembering that came in useful quite a lot in Psych. So I hope this helps - good luck
  3. labrador4122 - Me too - I'm starting RN-BSN at FIU & advisement told me the same thing - use NCLEX materials to prep for these tests. Since I just passed the NCLEX 3 weeks ago, I'm getting ready to take the Excelsior tests in September. How long were you out of school before you started the BSN? And how long did you study NCLEX prep before you took the tests?
  4. aflanagan9

    Do you still use your old nursing school textbooks??

    sun0408 "... today i had a bonfire and watched them and all my notes etc turn to ash.. " lol - i can relate! op - i have been debating about this, and i have decided not to keep them (other than anatomy & the drug book, as others said) because the information ages so quickly, and the internet is handier than 247 pounds of books. i have dl'd the e-versions when possible, since i plan to upgrade my phone very soon, or maybe even get a kindle. (sidebar rant - why don't they put any of these effing books on kindle?? the stupid thing is $400 or something, but i think it might have been worth it and even still pay the regular book price just to avoid having to schlep those tree-killers all over creation!) anyway... for a while, i thought i might save them all for the dh - he will be starting nursing program (!) next august, but i think it's very likely they will have gone to newer editions by then. i just found out though: our sna has a lend/loan program, so i think i will donate them to the next batch of newbies starting on monday. i could make a few bucks if i unload them at buyback, but i think i'll take the karma & pay it forward.
  5. to GM2RN & KBennett65, the OP, and others - From the polling I've done in the grads at my school, EVERYone feels that way now - walking out sick, sure you failed, and suffering until the results are finally posted. I also wish feedback was available - I'd like to know how I did, since the questions weren't much like the ones I studied with, during school or during the prep. I'm not too impressed with Pearson, and frankly, I don't see why they can't just show your score immediately after testing - as is done with so many other tests! People that took it years ago took a comprehensive test and maybe don't realize it's not comprehensive anymore. As a computer-adaptive test (CAT), it's designed to test you on what you DON'T know, not what you do - the test zeroes in on your weaknesses and picks at them until you fall in the hole. It sucks. I just took it last week and JOYFULLY anticipate NEVER having to take it again. Not that I would, even for a bet. Don't forget about the pressure you feel taking it - retaking it now wouldn't give you the full effect - you've had your career thus far to support you. When you're newly graduated though, you don't have that (unless you've transitioned to RN from some other aspect of healthcare). All you have is the debt you've racked up going to school, and the whole life you've put on hold to do it. Taking the NCLEX without having everything on the line is hardly sporting! On the other hand, I sure as heck hope I would feel confident to pass it after working a while. The test is to assure I can meet _minimum_ standards of safe practice - I hope I will be far exceeding them as the years pass. Of course, you lose knowledge you don't use, so if you never see OB patients, you'll forget exactly when and how AFP testing is done. Of course, the way the CAT works, it would figure out you don't know any OB, ask you all about it, and you'd fail. Feh. Rejoice in your freedom - all you have to know now is the exact policy of your facility as it pertains to every procedure you perform in patient care !
  6. aflanagan9

    Going to Nursing School at an Older Age

    to the OP: AmaurosisFugax, and anyone else wondering... I am immediately suspicious of the motives and attitude of the person who made that comment to you. I've just passed the NCLEX (YAY!) at 40, 2 years earlier than my mother did. Before I went to nursing school, I had some HR experience, so I took a job in hospital HR for 18 months while I did my pre-reqs. Nurse Directors are the ones that hire nurses. The dozen+ nurse directors that I met during my time there all wanted experienced nurses, of course, and that makes sense. However, it was my understanding from all of them (ALL) that among new grad candidates, at least having some "Life Experience" is preferable. Hospitals know they're making an investment in your real training to competency, but none are so foolish these days to assume you'll stick around for your 30-year career. For the time they have you, they want someone who is quick to learn, understands policy, understands policy doesn't cover everything, has good judgment, knows how to deal with difficult people, understands chain of command, and as another poster mentioned, doesn't bring drama and loads of family obligations to the job. If you've already raised your kids (mostly), figured out who you are, suffered personal losses, honored commitments, worked with others, etc, then you have experience that the kids just don't have, making you just as appealing, if not more so. The trick as an older worker is to make a point to appear energetic, and always interested to learn the latest technique/equipment/evidence-based-practice - avoid appearing stale or tired. About grades - Figure it like this: when you're a kid, your brain works faster to retain things because there's less stuff in there. Now that you're older, you have more clutter in there; you have to discipline your mind a little more,and put more effort into retaining the info for recall & use. If you were an A student the last time you were in school, you will find it a little harder to get that A with the same amount of work. This is true no matter what kind of student you were, you will have to put out a little more effort to get the same result when getting started. HOWEVER - aren't you so much more sure this is what you want than you were at 20? Now that you're grown & setting this goal for yourself, your studies will be more meaningful, and you will WANT the info more than you did as a kid. I went to a CC program, finished in 18 months. Some of the A students were the kids, some were in their 30's, some were in their 40's, and my FAVORITE study partner and the safest student practitioner I know, is 53. Consider - you walk into the patient's room, a 50 YO man with bladder irrigation after a prostate procedure (penile traction!). No matter how sophisticated your 20 YO classmates are, they will still be intimidated, and there will be awkwardness for them and for the patient. But when you walk in at 40, the patient assumes you've been a nurse for years (even though you're wearing a student uniform, uniforms vary so much these days, patients have trouble figuring it out). Your patient is less uncomfortable, so you can be more relaxed while you perform care. Think about it: most patients in hospital are older, and most older people feel they've learned a lot since 20, gained much and lost little. Therefore, patients will be more comfortable with an older nurse, leading to better outcomes. Truly, it is a tradeoff, but if there is an imbalance, it is probably slightly in your favor. Go forward with confidence! Yours in service, Mango!-a-gogo
  7. aflanagan9

    Any males out there tired of the drama?

    i think everyone is tired of the drama, i know i am, and i don't even have a penis but is your complaint about the drama, or the female reaction to it? and since i'm going to girl you with my girl talk, surely you must know your comment will just stir up a lot of *drama*? yes, med/surg nursing is a henfest, and "as above, so below," so is nursing school. unless you're going into the testosteroni departments, you will ever be up to your eyeballs in it, (which is why i am gunning hard for the OR). BUT -no matter where you work- the politics driving the unit you work on will, at the very least, be heavily influenced by a feminine mindset, since the majority of nurses are still women, and thus your company's policies toward the nursing staff as a whole will be colored by that. so if you can't take it now... consider your choices carefully. if the things that attract you to nursing don't outweigh this career-long drawback, you may be wasting your time. nursing school is very dramatic for me, but i have a lot riding on this, and i don't enjoy gambling. also, in my particular school, they are having a big problem with the whole program's organization and communication. no doubt it is related to staffing, which is related to funding, but it ****** people off when you find out expectations/requirements/schedules have changed, and without notice. however, if you want to avoid *drama*, IMO the biggest culprit is age. the squeal factor is very high for those under 30, OMG!
  8. aflanagan9

    MDC Student

    Hi msgonzalez - We may have a class together - I'm GFT/2nd semester right now; all A's last semester, this semester: B-C's. I have had this same conversation about 4 times in the last week - it's on the minds of a lot of us. Basically, it's a LOT of material and a short time to learn it, which is generally true of the whole program, but especially this semester (!) For me, I have had quite a bit of distraction in my personal life so far this summer, but that has to change. I'm switching tactics to improve my grades in the second half of the term. First - I'll be putting in more time on the Pharm and actually making the note cards by hand; also, from the tests, I'm going to make sure that I put all the emphasis on the side effects/nursing implications, because that's really what Pharm for nursing is all about. Then, for med/surg, again there is SO much content; however, the tests again put a lot of emphasis on recognizing signs & symptoms of the conditions and complications, plus nursing implications, so my focus will be there. I'll still read all the text assigned, but I'll use Prof. Etienne's powerpoints and the curriculum to direct my reading, and the blueprint study guides as a worksheet to review before an exam. For instance, with the Respiratory unit, the text covers 200+ pages of all kinds of stuff, but the powerpoints focus on asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, penumonia & tuberculosis - all about recognizing the s/s, knowing the complications, and knowing the appropriate nursing care for each. If I had focused myself more and not been so distracted, I could have aced it. Finally, for the clinicals, I've got to get a better grip on the amount of time it takes me to work through a complete careplan; it's not that I don't have an idea of what to do, it's that after researching my patient's specific health story, it takes me too long to organize myself and get it all down. Plus I want to be thorough, because I'm starting to think about the exam at the end of the term. To that end, I've just ordered a book of care plans, and hopefully, that will do the trick. Hope this helps!
  9. aflanagan9

    Miami Dade College

    Holy -!, the break's already over - how fast was that? Anyway, the Program seems to have had quite a few problems setting the summer schedule, and I was advised to just wait and enroll once grades were in and any failing students were dropped. I felt like some kind of electronic vulture lurking around waiting like that. Not to mention, they have made so many changes since my first post, that I wouldn't have got what I signed up for anyway, even if I had gotten it done on the opening day - they were still revising it and booking new instructors even today. Mitchell-Levy seems to have come off the schedule, and many classes will change professors at the 6-week mark. Hopefully they will nail it down soon, because I truly hate the uncertainty. Someone else posted here once about how hard it is to get any kind of comfort level in this program, no matter how good a student you are, it's very hard to have a sense of exactly how you're doing, and you can crash and burn at any moment. All the kvetching aside, though, there are so many things I have been happy with/grateful for. As for the instructors, last semester, I had Tomlinson for Pharm Math, who was direct, good, and pretty organized (what a voice-!) Also, I had Rhea Davis for Skills and for Assessment; I'm probably too much of a stress pup for her, but I liked her a lot - approachable, easy-going, funny; I would have liked to have a class with her again this semester, but the timing hasn't worked out. God willing, the schedule doesn't really change further, and I'm content with what I have now - Etienne for lecture (very organized - I hope that continues), Miller for Pharm, Anglin for Skills, and Alvarez for Clinicals (I hear that's where she really shines). The Orientation seminar for Clinicals is tomorrow morning, and then Wednesday is my first day on site at the facility - I feel like I've forgotten everything during the break though!
  10. aflanagan9

    Miami Dade College

    hi jessica - i'm in my 1st generic semester at mdc & it's time to enroll for semester 2; i've been lurking on these boards for a while, but now i have some questions. Now that i have an idea of how things are done (and sometimes not done), i'm really looking forward to med/surg and dreading it at the same time, especially since i'll be taking it inthe short summer term. who is teaching your med/surg clinicals? and who do you have for pharm? I have been looking high & low to see the faculty ratings on the different professors, but i can't find them anywhere. i'm particularly interested to know who is _focused_and_organized_. a lack of that is my main complaint with the program, overall and with some individuals. I don't want to get off on a rant here, but since the program timeline is so compressed, anytime they drop the ball with organization, it means the student has to scramble to meet expectations (once you figure out what they are). Then they have a tendency to blame it on the students - there is that undercurrent with some of the faculty and staff that we're all trying to get away with doing as little as possible, which i find infuriating and insulting, but... other than that, i'm so very very glad i'm doing this- every day i'm reminded that taking this step was a good decision and i'm looking forward to my career. ANYway - it's a week now since enrollment started, so i may not be able to get the specific classes i want, but it would help to know what to expect from the different professors, especially clinicals - who offers the most supervision? who pushes you to think? who is scattered and crazy?