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dondk

Going for my 3rd career
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  1. dondk

    CCAC Fall 2011

    you do not need three binders, one will do. Your binder will be mostly for lecture, maybe a section for lab. I don't know of any clinical that ever used/needed a binder. Although, folders are a must. At clinical you should have a folder for all the paperwork (blank copies) and one for what you need to turn in. A folder for lab as there are handouts, not much in the way of note taking though. Powerpoints is how everything is done. I would suggest downloading and saving your powerpoints locally, Blackboard has been known to go down and the most inopportune time (right before an exam/final). If you like to print your powerpoints, do it at the school on their ink and paper. Some of my classmates would have the ppt's and required docs on google, so if at clinical they could access it and print it at the clinical site (not a bad idea). Laptops at lecture/lab... why? there is barely an wifi and why lug the extra weight and take the chance of something walking? you are in lecture/lab for a few hours at most, I don't think a laptop will "add" anything to your learning experience. If you need to look something up, carry a smart phone, at least you will get reception on that. What else to have... a calendar/planner is a nice idea. For clinical... a highlighter, clipboard (plain variety), sharpie, pens (blue/red). For class... stapler, some people carried a hole punch or three ring hole punch, whiteout. just remember whatever you get you have to carry around, add your books and you can have a 40# backpack in nothing flat and a sore back by midterm. As for recording... most instructors are opposed to it, they will site copyright laws. Basically, they don't want to be caught on an exam that a question was not discussed in class and you have the "proof" via recording. Hope this helped...
  2. dondk

    Pearsonvue Trick - Does it Work Every Time? Part 2

    I did the EXACT same thing, and I have to agree that THIS system works. While I did not buy the Kaplan online tool, I can say the book is valuable. My school also used ATI as well and even gave us the three day "prep" course. ATI and the three day prep is not enough to pass the NCLEX, not with the sheer amount of prioritization questions.
  3. dondk

    Pearsonvue Trick - Does it Work Every Time? Part 2

    I am going with the odd's... I got the good PVT pop up. edit: got the quick results.. confirmed I passed, you can count on the PVT!
  4. dondk

    CCAC Nursing Program?

    I recently completed the Fast Track program at Boyce, sure it can be done in 17 months. A few things should be mentioned. Being a Fast Track program it is a "set program", thus if you have a bunch of unfinished co-req's your choices are very limited to get them done and stay on track. Wash out rate is about 40% from start to graduation. It is very competitive, my class had 30% with previous college (most had BA/BS, a handful MA/MS). Entry into the Fast Track I would guess is 3.3 GPA or better and no less than AP1, AP2 completed and hopefully a few co-req's as well. If you are not competitive for Fast track, get into a traditional and transfer in. The transfer is not dependent on GPA or what you have or have not completed. All in all... fast track is fast... your longest break will be over xmas vacation which is maybe 3 weeks, otherwise the average break between semesters is 10 days.
  5. dondk

    CCAC Fall 2011

    You really don't need the packet to start getting ready. The books you need are on CCAC central under 101. The books for day/evening at Boyce are the same. Since Boyce is big on lippincott and if you have the $$$, buy directly from the publisher (with discount codes from retailmenot) and you can save $100 bucks or more. Regarding books... You will rarely if ever crack open the drug, lab, dictionary or pharm books (you have the internet for that), the fundamentals book you only use for 101, so if you buy used it will not hurt you. The skill/assessment book is the bible for 101. The drug calc book is also needed. As for care plans, the book the recommend is the worst ever, you can find care plan constructors on the internet that are based on better care plan books. The remainder of the packet basically is the instructions for you urine test, vaccinations and background check(s) one thing I need to strongly suggest... COPY EVERYTHING, KEEP A COPY, they can and will lose some peoples stuff. - CPR Certification it's like $85 from Red Cross if you don't have it. Allegheny (CCAC) offers it for $50 bucks, many firehouse's offer it as well for a fraction of that. It is BLS for health care workers, you CANNOT use the online version. Don't rush to get it, it has to last the two years or you have to re-take it just to graduate. - FBI Background Check $36 need to go to a print center and get your prints taken https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_dpw.htm - PA State Background Check $10 online https://epatch.state.pa.us/RecordChe...jsp?action=new - PA Child Abuse Clearances $10 need to mail in a form that will be in the packet - Drug Test. Isn't covered by health insurance. Ask your Dr.'s office how much. I know Jefferson Hospital is the cheapest at $35 and Concentra Medical Centers is $60 - TB PPD test and record of Immunizations form to be filled out by your PCP, if you need immunizations the county health department has them. The rates vary, but 20-30 bucks sounds about right and you need titers as well for some. Uniforms will be purchased at the orientations and they will have fittings. For one whole uniform lab coat and warm up jacket you're looking at $100 - $200 depending on what size you need. We need white nurse tennis shoes NO CLOGS. Or white tennis shoes with no lines patterns or other colors. We need small bandage scissors, a pen light, a watch with a second hand, and of course a stethoscope. We DON'T need a BP cuff but it would be good to have one to practice with especially if you have no training with one like me lol. I got all of my stuff off ebay today this is the short and simple on the packet. All the campuses use the same general guidelines for background and drug test, uniforms and items required for clinical, the books vary from campus to campus as well as the books you REALLY need versus what they want you to buy.
  6. dondk

    CCAC Fall 2011

    You don't need those vaccines.
  7. dondk

    CCAC Spring 2011

    I agree with *LIG, I fell for the 101 trap and bought the massive collection. I never used all the books even though they swore we would use them all. I am entering my last semester and agree 100% to wait. The books you can count on using... the fundamentals, the med-surg, the skills/assessment books, drug calc. Of course they can be an edition old or more, nothing much changes from book to book. The drug guides, encyclopedia, lab tests/diagnostics you will find that you will use google before cracking open the book. Mental health, peds, and maternity are 3-4 weeks long, don't buy a new book for a 3-4 week course, rent them or buy used or an older edition. they toss in NCLEX books and other ancillary books to make it look good, but I can honestly say in 3 semesters I have yet to see an exam question from any of those "suggested" books. On-line access... hit and miss, on-line access was nice, but not required, you can pass the class without the online access. I know people that did study groups and shared the on-line access. As mentioned you can buy the access for a fraction of cost of the book, and I would not buy it until I knew it was mandatory for an assignment and not to "enhance" your learning experience.
  8. dondk

    CCAC Spring 2011

    Books... ask around, there are some you really do not need (ie, they are ancillary) and you will NEVER crack them open. If you REALLY want them, I suggest renting them. The same goes for 102 and beyond, some books will carry from semester to semester, those you want to buy. Those that are specific like maternity, psych, and ped's you will use for 3-4 weeks and never use again. I only suggest this because most nursing students are poor, don't waste money on books you will never open or use for 3 weeks and never use again.
  9. dondk

    CCAC Spring 2011

    The lottery system varies by campus. Allegheny there will be a list that gets posted across from M720, the early bird gets the better choices, last on the list gets what is left over. In 101 you "should" have gotten a note to call registration and sign up, 102 and beyond is the list. Calu, they pick for you. Not a quite a lottery per se, but you can make requests on what you need or cannot have. Of course it is all based on availability. Boyce is lottery, 100% all semesters. North I have heard is a lottery too as is South.
  10. dondk

    CCAC Nursing Program?

    Over the summer, I had a clinical instructor that alluded that they are considering making it a REQUIREMENT to have all the pre-req's out of the way. Regardless, getting them out of the way is preferred as the nursing courses are fixed. Basically, they only offer them on certain days/times and they don't always allow options to take the co-req's with ease. You may only have one or two time slots that "fit" with the nursing curriculum and it may not be at the campus you are taking your nursing classes.
  11. dondk

    Fall 2010 applicants for ccac

    Will the evening/weekend program work? It can, there are a bunch of "things" that can work against you though. To start, E/W (weekend only) usually is clinical only and not too many seats. So, if in your class there are not too many people who need weekend clinicals, you will be fine. If there are, then it is the luck of the draw as all campuses use a pseudo lottery system. If you are called early and that option is available, then all is good. To add to this though, lecture/lab for evening can be as early as 4pm, although it is possible to get one that starts at 5. Clinical, Friday at one campus is considered a weekend (unless you are in the program you cannot understand the logic), thus clinical can start as early as 3pm for a Friday (weekend) evening. Traditional weekend clinical (sat and sun) are 7-3pm. Bottom line, CNA can't hurt, it can only help. Can you keep that 8-4 M-F through all 4 semesters? I would say unlikely, the last semester (204/205) is designed that you cannot hold a full time job (with ease that is). You have nothing to lose by applying and seeing what will work for you.
  12. dondk

    What date do you start Nursing school?

    orientation tomorrow night, then class the next day... pass/fail drug calc the first night... talk about pressure! :) BTW.. Ipod touch.. best thing ever, saved my back from carrying those books and the ATI app is nice.
  13. dondk

    CCAC Boyce Campus Review

    Sadly, I have to agree with everything. From the disorganization, condescending instructors, variances in clinical and the differences in material taught or allegedly taught. In my class, we actually challenged many of our exams, they were rife with errors. Do not take anything at face value with this campus, check it twice and verify it. It is disappointing because the program has the potential, it lacks direction or better yet accountability. Yes, the onus is firmly on the student and some of the faculty will take great strides to avoid any responsibility. There is no professionalism, it is assumed that a title or a couple of letters after a name means it is a given, it is not. There are exceptions of course, there are some wonderful instructors that truly care for the students. Then there are those that are simply collecting a paycheck. Bottom line, it is not the worst, not the best (I don't think that exists at CCAC). Have a high tolerance for BS, a low expectation of compassion and you will be fine going here.
  14. dondk

    Fall 2010 applicants for ccac

    Anytime, good luck!
  15. dondk

    Fall 2010 applicants for ccac

    I was at golden living, your first place is LTC and you will be there for 6 weeks or so. If you have never been to a LTC facility, it will be a wake-up call. If you have been or work as an aide presently it will be comfortable to you. Just remember, what ever you "think" you know, they want you to LEARN their way. Keep an open mind and be professional. Did I like Golden Living? yes... I was sad on the last day, you will get to know more than one person in your facility during your stay. Most of the residents know that they will have nursing students, so they look forward to new faces. Everything is in baby steps, your clinical instructor will size you up in a week or two and assign you accordingly. Remember you are not alone, you will have classmates there as well, it is not into the fire (yet, that comes later ) My first day of LTC clinical was an adjustment since I had no health care experience, My first day of acute care was . Although, that soon passed. Not all facilities are wow, but they all have more to offer than you can take away. Shoes.. sneakers/tennis shoes white in color work, some instructor will allow a little color. White nursing shoes from a nursing store, you can do that too, but why pay $$$ for them now? Lets be honest now, you will wear these shoes once a week for the first YEAR (101/102). Uh, don't go nuts and buy the dansko's unless you have the $$$. You will be on your feet for 8-10 hours the first year of clinical, get something comfortable and affordable. Some instructors will not allow the croc's, some will, just keep in mind in LTC you may be giving showers/baths, you will get wet. Yes, you will need your name badge, when you get into the hospitals, you will need an hospital ID badge. While it is nice to have your ID badge just in case you forget your hospital ID. Class is what you wore to A&P, micro, english.. it is class and nothing else, the same goes for skills and assessment. Scrubs... note there will be times when you will come home and those scrubs will hit the washing machine minutes after you walk in your door. Wearing them a few times a week may not be practical, yes that means you may need more than one set. Lab coats vary on campus... (okay, I let the cat out of the bag). If you go to the site the day PRIOR to your clinical then you need to either have your scrubs or lab coat. If you do not go to prior, you more than likely will never wear your lab coat. I have not worn my lab coat yet and I start 202 in 9 days. You do not leave ANYTHING anywhere or it will grow legs and walk. Shoes for class, whatever is comfortable. I have seen women in heels (why I don't know) to sandals to sneakers. Ideally, in lab there should be no open toe shoes, so I would keep that in mind. Comfort is key! Wow, now this is hard. Everyone will find their own system, you need to find what works for you. Some people have one binder each for theory, skills, assessment and clinical. Some people have one binder for everything. I would suggest a few file folders, you will need them to hand in assignments. I would suggest one for the forms you will need (it is best to print/copy them and have them available (this is for clinical). You will need something for the 50+ drug cards you will be doing. Some people just a recipe box, others make them full page and put them in a binder, I but mine in a flexible pencil case. There is a LOT of paper in nursing school, I mean it too. I bought a case of paper to print the powerpoints, forms, care plans, med surg tools and so on. Do you need it? that is up to you. Some classes will provide you the powerpoints (hence the file folders), some will not. A three hole punch will help, I think almost everyone in my class has one. It will help having the calendar and syllabus for each printed and in your binder, so you can see where you are and what is coming up. A date book or if you use outlook or a similar mail program with a calendar it will help to have it published. There is a lot of stuff that will be coming fast and furious over the first few weeks, do not get stressed about it, just try to organize it. I found most of my classmates made it as visual as possible with calendars, binders, folders being color coded. Again, that is up to your comfort level. Clinical, ASK what your clinical instructor wants, they may only want you to have a nursing diagnosis and dictionary, others may require nothing or they may require a lot. Split the load, your clinical mates can each bring 1 book to make up the library. If I suggest anything for the car, perhaps the items I need for clinical, because without them it will be a VERY short clinical. Have water or snacks, some instructors can go 2 hours without a break, some break every 45-50 minutes. You don't want to be the person dying of thirst/hunger running out and missing something. Recording lectures. Some find it very helpful, you may want to check with your instructor as some prohibit it. Or... you can just find one that is not as obvious :) Is it tough? initially it will be overwhelming, but it is short lived. After a month you will find your rhythm and fine tune each semester. Right now I focus on theory, lab, clinical, then make sure I take a day (or two) a week off for myself to stay sane. On that day, no nursing stuff at all, it is my day. Have fun, take a deep breath, don't stress too much and don't preconceive anything, otherwise you will short change yourself. On the 23rd you are one step closer to being a nurse and each passing day you will be one step closer. I hope this helped
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