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  1. A tuition of $80,000 to get your BSN is definitely ridiculous, but also keep in mind that many hospitals across the country are trying to obtain magnet status, if they haven't already, which means that they will be hiring BSN nurses over ADN nurses. I'm not sure how the job market is in Texas, but this could make it a lot harder to get hired, if you end up getting your ADN, which could equal time wasted when you may have been able to start working sooner with your BSN and able to start paying off those loans. I have taken out about $45,000 in student loans for my 12 month ABSN program. That's A LOT of debt, but I'm not picky about where I end up working, and I plan to have a job within 3 months after graduating (and do whatever it takes to get hired!) so I can start paying those loans off. This is a decision that requires a lot of research and pondering. I suggest making a list of pros and cons of attending each school and see what you end up with. Whatever you decide, I hope it works out for you!
  2. When I took my maternal/child class, ATI and our textbook taught us that alcohol is still applied to newborns' umbilical cord stumps to keep them clean and prevent infection. However, my theory teacher taught us that recent research studies have shown that the umbilical cord stumps actually fall off sooner if alcohol is NOT applied, and that alcohol is not necessary to keep the stump clean. In the hospital, it seemed that the obstetric nurses all had different views on this topic. :smackingf What are all of you taught in school on this topic? RNs: what do you practice in your hospital?
  3. BellsRNBSN

    Taking Peds ATI on Friday, how did you do?

    My class found this particular ATI test to be very challenging. Most of us got 1's, a couple got 2's, and I think one person got a 3. I usually just browse through the ATI book and take the tests and am often able to score a 3 this way. But with pediatrics, I really think you need to study more thoroughly and spend more time reviewing if you want to do well on the ATI test. Of course you'll want to know your developmental levels well, like the others suggested, but our test had so many random questions from a lot of different topics, so really just study as many topics and as much as you can! Good luck!
  4. Hey Romney! :) Done with first semester!!!!!!!!!!!! We had finals last week, so I've been pretty busy. First semester is pretty crazy, but I think that's mostly because you're getting used to the fast pace and testing style. I think the most important advice I could give to the incoming class is to stay calm and not freak out and to stay organized and on top of things from the very first day. The first few weeks of the program weren't as hard as I was expecting them to be, but the work and tests creep up on you, and before you know it, you've got 3 written tests, 2 skills tests, 2 care plans, and a paper due all in the same week. I'm so excited to meet your class! Each of you will be paired up with a "mentor" from our class. We're going to be super busy with second semester, but we all will definitely help you guys as much as we can. Plus, the faculty are all so supportive, so you guys have a lot of options for help if you need it. Do you mean the clinical sites just for your class or for the whole program? Clinical sites are pretty much decided right before the semester begins, so usually the faculty don't even know for sure until around the first week of classes. I don't know where your class will be. We were told our clinical sites for second semester, but there have already been changes. A common theme I find among nursing schools is that nothing is ever set in stone. I could give you a list of possible sites if you want? Like where our clinical sites were for first semester and where we'll be for second semester. Let me know if you would want that and I could PM it to you. I hope this info helps! And seriously, ENJOY the holidays and your time off before the craziness begins! Get a lot of sleep and spend plenty of time having fun with your friends and family. Merry Christmas!!!
  5. BellsRNBSN

    Cortisol side effect

    Cortisol causes you to retain sodium. Sodium and potassium have an opposing relationship in that if you have hypernatremia, you will have hypokalemia and vice versa. I'm not sure if you need more details on the mechanism of action, but I hope that helps! Cortisol does raise BP...so maybe it activates RAAS, and the aldosterone causes the hypernatremia???
  6. BellsRNBSN

    Things you would LOVE to say to your nursing instructors...

    I know it's important to be prepared for class, but do you really expect us to have read the 30 page chapter in the textbook as well as your lecture notes before class during a week in which we had 4 tests, a paper and 2 care plans due??? Yes, I realize this is an accelerated program, but we're only human!
  7. BellsRNBSN

    Any of you make excellent grades but suck at skills?

    Yes, I feel the same way A LOT of the time! I have A's in all my classes right now, but performing skills can often be intimidating for me. What's funny is I feel more nervous performing the skills on mannequins in front of my instructors when I'm being tested than I do when actually performing them in the hospital with real people. Plus, performing the skills in lab is SO different than performing them in the hospital. It always seems like the supplies and procedures are different. Like the PP said, it's all about getting a lot of practice. Jump at the opportunity to perform skills at clinical. And we all make mistakes, but we're students and that's why we peform these skills with our clinical instructor or nurse observing. When I did my first blood glucose test in the hospital, I almost forgot to clean my patient's finger with an alcohol swab - luckily my nurse was standing by and reminded me in a nice way without making me feel stupid. :) My instructors constantly remind us that, as students, this is the only time when we're allowed to be unsure about what we're doing and encouraged to ask a lot of questions, so take advantage of that! Good luck with your skills, and don't worry, you (and the rest of us intimidated student nurses) will get better with more time and practice!
  8. BellsRNBSN

    ATI Fundamentals A and B test

    I just took the ATI Fundamentals proctored exam earlier this week. I'm not sure if it was A or B either. Although I did take both the A and B practice ATI exams. Definitely study walking with a cane and crutches and infant developmental stages and safety. We also had some random education and public health questions. As far as I know, everyone in my class scored at least a 1 (on the 0-3 scale). Let me know if you have any questions.
  9. BellsRNBSN

    IV drop rate in the real world?

    Was it not indicated in the MD's orders? At the hospital I'm doing my clinical at, the infusion rate for medications is always included on the MAR.
  10. BellsRNBSN

    Clinicals and patient care.....

    In my program and at my clinical site, it just depends on the RN you're working with. Some of the RNs expect me to do the assessment on my own and chart it myself while other RNs do the assessment with me, chart their own data, and let me fill in any other information that I gathered on top of that. Also, the only time I ever did a FULL head to toe assessment was when my clinical instructor was checking me off for it. They are always focused assessments with VS, cognition, heart (apical pulse for 1 full minute), lungs, overall skin (especially back, coccyx, and heels), IV/catheter sites, and any wound or surgical sites being the most important to assess, and anything else that is especially important and particular to that patient. Especially now that we are caring for two patients each shift, you just don't have the time to perform the full assessment with checking the hair, hearing, PERRLA, gait (this often isn't possible, with the bedridden pts), etc. etc. I'm sure it's different for everyone, but that's how we do it!
  11. BellsRNBSN

    What to expect for your Fundamentals & your first clinicals!

    This semester I'm taking fundamentals, pharmacology, med/surg, and pathophysiology, and I have found fundamentals to be the easiest of the four. You do need to pay attention in class and at least skim the readings, but I found a lot of our test questions to be nursing common sense. Understanding the fluid and electrolytes portion does take some extra studying, but just do a lot of practice questions, memorize the normal lab values, and you'll be fine. I didn't find fluid and electrolytes to be nearly as difficult as I was expecting, from what I had read on AN. Med/surg is a whole other story! We never really know what to expect on our med/surg tests. Our professor covers SO much material and we are often asked random, specific questions on our tests from material that makes up maybe 2 sentences out of the 100 pages of possible material from our textbook. I feel like med/surg is a mixture of everything. We go over pathophysiology, normal physiology, nursing fundamentals, and even a little bit of pharmacology one body system at a time. But our focus is always on the older adult. Everyone has such different clinical experiences, so it's hard to generalize what your first experience will be like. For my class, on our first clinical shift, there wasn't much we could do to help the nurses (we had only been signed off on bedmaking, bathing and changing patients, and taking vital signs), so we mostly just helped the PCTs or just shadowed the nurses - more watching than doing. Your first shift will probably be focused on orientating to your clinical site and performing the very basics of nursing. And it's likely there will be students in your class that annoy and frustrate you, but it's not necessarily a given. After reading posts on these boards, I started NS expecting to see a lot of the types of people that posters on here complain about. However, I was pleasantly surprised - my classmates are amazing and I have the utmost respect for every single one of them. But we are all post-baccalaureate students, so maybe that has something to do with it. Just make sure you don't judge a book by its cover. Be kind and helpful to all of your classmates. You never know when you might need their help someday (especially in clinicals or with difficult projects). It's amazing how much better NS can be when all of your classmates support each other! Oh, and you have nothing to worry about, nursing school will NOT be easy!
  12. BellsRNBSN

    Medication errors

    I believe a med error pertains to messing up any one of the six medication rights: 1. Right patient 2. Right medication 3. Right route of administration 4. Right dosage 5. Right timing 6. Right documentation If any of those six categories is incorrect, that counts as a med error. Is that what you were asking? P.S. If you catch the med error during one of your checks, before the med is administered to the patient, I don't think it counts as a med error.
  13. I agree with the PP. We've been asked similar questions in my classes and what we were taught is that you ALWAYS get the hospital interpreter and you NEVER use a family member to translate. Is there a professor you can talk to about that particular question and ask for the rationale behind the answer(s)?
  14. BellsRNBSN

    REALLY, really silly question

    That's not a silly question at all! I highly doubt you will do anything invasive on your classmates. In my ABSN program, we have done physical assessments, vital signs, repositioning in hospital beds, apical pulses, and tied tourniquets on each others' arms to look for good veins for venipuncture, but we never did actual needlesticks on each other. Everything that is invasive and/or sterile, we practiced on mannequins or simulation pads (injections, catheters, wound dressing changes, tracheostomy care, NG insertion, IV insertion, etc.). We also only practiced bed baths on mannequins. The only somewhat invasive thing we DID actually practice was checking blood glucose levels - but we each did it on ourselves. I'm guessing there are some major liability issues involved if schools were to let students practice such techniques on each other. So if you were nervous about it before, don't be.
  15. BellsRNBSN

    For Fun--Kudos 2 Me...The "toot your own horn" thread

    Inserted my first foley catheter in clinical today! Granted, it was on a male, but I did it right the first time, never broke my sterile field, and my clinical instructor said I did well. It's little moments like this that reassure me that I CAN make it through this crazy nursing program and someday (soon) be a great nurse!