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Content by chinacatSN

  1. Hey everyone. We're starting clinicals here pretty soon and I need some advice. Before I knew I'd be going into nursing - when it was just an idea far off in my mind - I had gotten a few tattoos. Some of them are visible. I love my tattoos and they're all very well thought out and in very good taste. I have a baby mermaid on my right inner forearm for my daughter, a tattoo of my deceased grandfather's birthmark which looks like a bird on my left inner wrist, and a hummingbird on my neck for my mom. I can cover the one on my neck with my hair but the other two are tricky. See, it's really difficult for me to wear a long sleeved shirt beneath my scrubs. I take a certain medication that causes diaphoresis whenever I get the least bit warm. Deodorant doesn't last long and after a couple hours I begin to feel sick. This problem has actually caused me to vomit because I felt over heated and was sweating profusely. I can't switch meds because I don't have insurance at the moment and this is the only med paid for through my prescription assistance program. So, I found this great product online called Tatjacket. Basically, they're these skin colored sleeves that fit over your arms to cover tattoos. The best part is that they're made of a stretchy material that wicks moisture and keeps the skin cool - so it's not like wearing a long sleeved shirt. I've talked to others about them before and they've all said that they actually feel cooler when wearing the sleeves than when they're not. So I emailed my instructor about them. She emailed me back and told me that I could "easily buy a much cheaper white long sleeved shirt". She also expressed concern for covering a tattoo on my chest and the tattoo on my neck. I've tried explaining to her the whole problem but she doesn't seem to get it. The tattoo on my chest is covered by my scrubs and the tattoo on my neck is covered by hair...she's also made comments about covering my tattoos with bandages as well. In my opinion, these sleeves are no different than bandages as they're skin colored and they're much less noticeable. Here's the website: cover up tattoos | tattoo cover up | tattoo cover - TatJacket Tell me what you guys think! And thanks so much - sorry for the long post!
  2. I have a simple misdemeanor (5th degree Theft, the lowest degree theft possible) on my record. As it happens, I didn't even really commit the act, I just happened to be shopping with someone who did commit it and I was charged as well - even though I had no merchandise on me that I didn't pay for, I was there and the store claimed that I could have used my friend's bag to steal items, so the items wouldn't be on my person. Whatever. I plead guilty because I was told by my lawyer (court appointed) that if my friend were found guilty, I would most likely be found guilty as well. They had video of her stealing (but not of me stealing, though I was in the video there wasn't any footage of me stealing) and even though I didn't see her stealing, I was still an accessory. I ended up being charged with 5th Degree Theft (714.2(5)). There is nothing on the record that states I was an accessory, it just says simple misdemeanor, 5th degree theft. The incident occurred and was sentenced in November of 2007. I paid my fines. I ended up being fingerprinted at the police station, but I wasn't arrested. The school did several background checks before we started clinical - Dependent Adult Abuse checks, Child Abuse Checks, Sex Offender Checks, and and Iowa Criminal Record Check. All of my records came up clean - I know, because we were all allowed to see our own when they received them. Every one of them says, "No record found". I've also had a few employment background checks since then and they've all come up clean. For the NCLEX, the state of Iowa does an FBI Criminal Background Check with fingerprinting. They also do a state check. Even though previous checks have come back clear, I'm pretty sure that this one won't. So, I have to submit a copy of the court record along with a written assessment of my life before, at the time of, and after the conviction. I'm debating on what to say. If you didn't know me or this story, and you looked at the court record, you would think that I committed 5th Degree Theft - not that I was an accessory. So, I wonder if whoever reviews these things would think I was trying to lie or make myself look good if I told them what really happened? We all have heard that most criminals claim innocence - I'm afraid if I say that I never stole anything, that I was just at the wrong place and the wrong time, they'll just think I'm lying. Or, should I just avoid the subject and admit wrongdoing, but not actually say that I stole something. I don't want to admit to something I didn't do, but I don't want them to think I'm a liar and not allow me to sit for the boards. Any advice?
  3. chinacatSN

    Dansko arch/footbed help

    So I have a new pair of Dansko professional black patent shoes. The width is fine, my toes can move freely and I don't have any pain on the top of my foot. I wore them to class all day last week and they were fine, but of course I wasn't on my feel the entire time. Then, I wore them to work yesterday (I work as an LPN, going to school to get my RN) for 6 hours. It was a busier day than usual and by the end of my 6 hours, the soles of my feet were KILLING me. I've always been told by people (never by a professional podiatrist though) that my arches are really low/flat. Shoes without arch support are comfortable for me and I can wear them for long hours - such as flip flops, Converse, etc. Shoes with high arch supports or really firm supports bother my feet. I did the wet foot test - where you step in a shallow tub of water and then make a footprint on a paper bag, your arch is normal if the strip on the lateral edge of your foot is half the size of the ball of your foot. You have high arches if the strip is super thin and you have low arches or flat feet if the strip is the full width of the ball. Though this isn't a professional test, I did it out of curiosity and it looks like I have normal arches. It is just that my feet need to get used to the very firm support of the dansko shoes? I can honestly say that I've never worn shoes that are so rock hard on the inside. I've tried wearing thicker socks, but that just feels more uncomfortable - I like the thin, smooth ones made by Danskin from Wal-mart. I need advise. I didn't spend full price, as I bought them off ebay used (but they look new!) but I still spent about $60 and that's still expensive to me. I love how they look and they're really comfy for the first half of my shift. Also - if you could tell me what your US size is and what your Dansko size is, that might be helpful too. Do you have wide feet? I wear a US 8.5 and usually have to by wide width shoes. But many of my size 8.5 shoes feel a bit big. So I went with Dansko 39s. The black ones are fine length and width wise, especially after I stretched them just a tiny bit. But my white ones are tighter and even look smaller when you compare the two. I'm thinking any future purchases should be size 40 instead. Thanks in advance!
  4. I'm in my second semester of my RN year. The school hired a new clinical instructor because they had one quit. I don't want to say too much and give away too many details. I followed her once, last semester before she became an instructor. She got in trouble because she failed to empty a catheter (I guess it was so full that it almost fell out of the patient when the patient stood up!) or even check on one of her patients - the oncoming nurse was the one who realized this and had to report her. I was unaware of these things - even though I was following her - because she kept sending me off to do other things like make beds or fetch drinks, so I didn't even go in these patient's rooms. Fast forward a few months, now she's our clinical instructor. She teaches on the med-surg floor, but doesn't work on the med-surg floor - she works on a completely different floor. She's unable to instruct us on properly inserting an IV because she "doesn't do that" on the floor she works. We did a lab on IVs, but that was forever ago. When we have an IV to do, she just hands us the supplies, stands there, and doesn't say much of anything. One day, we were asked to do a blood draw and she said no because it made her nervous. Seriously? Then, she told one student that she was going to give her an unsatisfactory for the week because an aide told the nurse who told the instructor that the student was complaining about the aide in the hall and that she wasn't ambulating her patient safely. Instead of asking the student about it, she immediately became angry and declared she was giving her an unsatisfactory. Last week, she gave me a needs improvement because I was frustrated with the lack of help I was getting with my (very needy) patient and because I worked on my careplan too much on Friday. We're not allowed to work on them at all on Thursday at clinical - which I did not do - and on Friday we can add any new data to them (such as new lab results, new assessment findings, etc). All I did on Friday was write down my new lab data, new assessment data, and some new results from other tests. And I only did it when I was done with all my other duties at that time. She didn't say one word to me during clinical, I found out when she did my weekly review. She doesn't ask us what are meds are for, she doesn't ask us what they do, she has no clue when formulating a nursing diagnosis...she's a mess. I'm seriously thinking about going to the course instructor (who is above this clinical instructor) and talking to her about this. I really don't think I deserve a "needs improvement" for the week and I'm really sick of going to clinical and not learning anything. I had our course instructor as my clinical instructor last week and it's the first week of clinical that I learned anything, because I've had the other instructor this whole time. It's ridiculous - it's a waste of my time and money and it's hurting my education. What do you think? Am I overreacting or should I say something? Thanks in advance!
  5. chinacatSN

    Dansko arch/footbed help

    Thanks to everyone for their advice/replies. I've had my Danskos a couple weeks now and they're much better than they were. I don't wear them everyday and I'm sure they'd be better if I did. They still hurt a little if its a really busy day and I don't have time to sit but they're much more comfy than my old clinical shoes were. I think my feet just needed to acclimate to them. way I used to be a huge Sketchers fan, too...but work is hard on them. I'd have to buy a new pair every 6 months because the support wears out. The Reebok Toners are awesome - I don't believe that any shoe can tone your butt, however they do make my feet less tired. But mine are hot pink - can't really wear them to clinical. Plus, I prefer to have one pair for clinical, one for work, and whatever for home - that way the germs aren't mixing around and stuff. I leave my work and clinical shoes in the mud room so I don't bring anything inside - god only knows what I stepped in or got splashed with during the day! Thanks again!
  6. chinacatSN

    Dansko arch/footbed help

    I would definitely suggest wearing them slightly loose. The heel is supposed to slide up and down freely - don't worry, it's very smooth and won't cause blisters like other shoes. You'd be surprised how much your feet spread during the day too - I have worn shoes that felt awesome until I wore them for several hours and then I just wanted to cut my feet off. Tell me how the Alegria's feel. I'm curious about them too. I've worn my danskos several times now and they're starting to feel comfy. Not sure if the shoes had to be broken in or my foot had to get used to the shoe. Whatever. I'm just glad I can wear them!
  7. chinacatSN

    Which shoes to buy for clinical?

    Thanks, everyone! After MUCH research, here is what I have learned. Also - there is no store in my area (unless I want to drive 2 hours out of my way) that carry Danskos - the uniform shops claim they weren't selling well because of the price or something. So I have been forced to learn on my own. A few years ago, Sanita used to make the footbed and the soles of the shoes and Dansko would make the uppers and sell them in the US under the Dansko name. Then, Dansko and Sanita split and since Sanita had the copyright to the footbeds and soles, Dansko had to modify the design a bit. So, long story short, Sanitas are pretty much the same as Danskos, and if you have Danskos that are several years old and try on the new Danskos, they may feel different. If you can't tolerate the difference, you can find Sanitas online and they feel exactly like the old Danskos. Sizing is the same. Also - there is a website called footprints.com and they allow you to WEAR THE SHOES for 2 WHOLE MONTHS and if you decide they still won't work for you, you can return them or exchange them! Not many stores offer that deal! Thought I'd share. Plus, they have a fantastic sale section - found some Sanitas in white (for clinical) for $20! And a pair of cute professional clogs for $50! And they're new, unlike ebay. So if you're unsure of sizing, this store is awesome as you can return the shoes even if they show signs of wear. From my experience, Dansko runs small. I wear an 8.5 and even many of my size 8.5 shoes are big. So I went with a 39 (US size 8.5 - 9). The black patent ones are fine, I sprayed some shoe stretcher in them and stretched them a bit and now they're perfect. But the white ones (same style but in box leather instead of patent) are squished. I'm going to try to stretch them, but I don't know how that's going to go. So you'll probably need to buy a size (maybe 2) up.
  8. chinacatSN

    Which shoes to buy for clinical?

    Hi, all. I'm in my RN year and the clinical shoes I've been using all last year and so far this year are no longer working for me. They were expensive shoes - the Skechers ones that massage your feet. They look like they're in good condition, but my feet are KILLING me by the end of the day. I have wide width feet - ever since being pregnant - and even though the shoes are wide width shoes, the toe area gets more confining the longer the day goes on. I tried buying a shoe stretcher and stretching the width a bit, but it hasn't done much. So, I've been looking at nursing shoes online. I really like the Dansko shoes, but they're a little pricey and I thought I'd get an opinion before I spent the money. Here are my questions: 1. Are they comfy - even after wearing them for a 12 hour shift? 2. Would I be better off buying the clog-style shoes (without a heel) or the regular shoes (with a heel)? 3. I would have to buy white for clinical (yuck) - would I be better off waiting until I finish school (in May 2012) and buying a different color then or are they such fantastic shoes that it would really benefit me to buy them now? 4. Is the toe area roomy? 5. How do they fit? True to size, a little large, a little small? I've been trying to find a store in the area that carries them so I can try them on, but no luck. Thanks, everyone!
  9. chinacatSN


    A saying at my school is, "The worst always happens in nursing school!" In the last year, one student's father committed suicide, one student's apartment building burnt down, one student's daughter had a psychotic episode and was committed to a psych facility, one student hit a deer in her car and ended up in the hospital, one student's 16 year old daughter became pregnant...and more things that I can't remember at the moment. Life happens. It's not going to wait until you finish school, unfortunately. The only thing you can do is deal with it. Go to counseling. And if you learned anything about pharm at all, you should have known not to take yourself off your meds! As for the misdemeanor thing - seriously? The only way you could get in trouble is if the patient's O2 sat was really low and they were harmed in some way due to your misconduct. The primary nurse should have been completing her own assessments so that should never happen.
  10. chinacatSN

    Nursing isn't what I thought it'd be...any advice?

    What you do in clinical isn't what it's going to be like in the real world. In clinical, you have to do total patient care - baths, toileting, grooming, meds, dressing changes, everything. In the real world, it all depends on where you work. In the ICU, you may have patients who are 1:1 and you have to do everything for them. You may work on a med-surg floor that doesn't have CNAs or Techs - so the nurse has to do total patient cares on their patients (won't see this too often, but it does happen). However, if you work on a unit that does have CNAs or Techs, you won't have to do as much menial tasks. Many nurses still do some of the menial tasks because it's about team work and it's good to help out the techs - especially if they're short staffed or really busy. But it's not like that's all you do. I'm in my second to last semester of the ADN program and I currently work as an LPN to pay the bills. Even at a LTC facility (where I work as an LPN, I was also a CNA for 11 years), you won't have to do many of the menial tasks. Usually, I am way too busy charting or passing meds or dealing with faxes or doing assessments to take residents to the bathroom. I will do it if I am not busy or if it's a safety issue - such as a resident on an alarm keeps standing because she needs to go to the BR and everyone is busy. But usually I don't have time. In fact, most of the time I am busier than the CNAs. This is the same for just about any facility/unit with techs or CNAs. In one hospital we go to for med-surg, the nurses have to chart every 4 hours, maybe more for certain situations. They also have to do assessments every 4 hours and they're always running around doing dressing changes, getting pain meds, emptying wound vacs, and dealing with the doctors. It's not too often that I've seen a nurse shower a patient or wipe a behind. Sometimes, you may have a special case where the patient requires special care where only a nurse can provide cares, but not too often. Believe me, you're not the only one who is frustrated with the way clinical works. My personal opinion is being a CNA and having working experience of 6 months or more should be required to get into a nursing program. I don't mind showering and toileting and stuff, but I've done it for 11 years (in a hospital and LTC) and to me it's taking time away from nursing tasks - which I don't have near as much experience with. Anyway, at my school, towards the end of the year our instructors don't require that we do total cares, but if our patient needs something and we're not busy we should help them go to the bathroom or whatever. In many nursing programs, students aren't required to be a CNA. They may have to take the CNA class, but don't have to get their certification or work as one. That's why many programs require total patient care because many students don't have that experience. So don't base whether you want to be a nurse or not on your clinical experience. Now, if you think blood is disgusting or urine makes you vomit, I would suggest you find a different career - but it doesn't seem like that's the case. Also - there are so many fields in nursing, it's crazy! When you have your RN and your BSN, you can do so much. You could be a vaccination nurse. You could work in a dialysis center. You could manage careplans. You could be a wound nurse. The possibilities are endless. Don't give up and don't get discouraged.
  11. chinacatSN

    Why are students going into LPN programs?

    My program requires you to take the LPN program before you can take the RN program. Very few of the BSN programs in my area take students who don't have their LPN or RN already. It may seem like a waste of money to you, but our students are very successful. The clinical nurses are happy when they learn we are already LPNs. We don't require as much supervision during clinical during our RN year because we are already licensed and can perform many skills on our own. I have also come across many students in the accelerated BSN programs who wish they hadn't gone that route and had gone the more traditional route. Not to mention, as LPNs, we can work AS NURSES while we get our RN - which allows us to have more experience when we graduate with our associate's which gives us an advantage. We have clinical nurses tell us all the time that our program is fantastic and they love our students because many of us are currently working as nurses and we know what we're doing during clinical - they don't have to remind us or make sure we are getting things done because we already know what to do. I don't think it's a waste of time or money because I work as an LPN while getting my RN and I make good money and don't have to take out as many loans. I also get the experience, which is really nice. There are TONS of nursing home jobs for LPNs. Nursing homes may not seem like they're very interesting but they can be. I work for a temp agency and I get sent to various LTC facilities and clinics in the area. I've seen tons of different wounds, incisions, wound vacs, feeding tubes, etc. from just going to nursing homes. I've also done flu shot clinics, TB clinics, blood draw/lab clinics, and now my skills with immunizations, blood draws, and needles are fantastic and I have tons of confidence. Also - I feel really sorry for those who fail out or have to drop out of RN or BSN programs. They don't have a degree or license to show for their work. At least with my program, you will have your LPN. Having an LPN license may not be what they wanted, but it's more than they had before and they can use it to work and make money. I'm a little offended by your post and it sounds ignorant. If you're going to be a nurse, you need to work on your communication skills and how you word things. Maybe do a little research.
  12. chinacatSN

    Typical Nursing School Behavior?

    Wow. I thought my program was strict. I'm in my second program of the RN program. Took the LPN program last year and have my LPN license. 1. There are ALWAYS those students who think they can get by without reading and then get ticked off when they don't know anything. Many of them got through their pre-reqs without reading and they think they can continue to do the same. They will learn soon enough that not reading will hurt them. It may sound mean, but I refuse to help these people. I have a husband, a child, and I work and I manage to read the content - why can't they? When they ask me how I know stuff, I just say, "It was in the readings...you read, didn't you?" That sucks that your lab partner is such a slacker though. I would only help her enough so that you can get through lab. Don't carry her. Advise her to do her readings and ignore her when she complains. 2. My program's lab was similar but the instructor always demonstrated the assessment techniques for us. We had videos, but we had to watch them and write a short paper on them. We didn't really have any sheets to fill out during lab, we had to perform the techniques on each other and have our skills checked off, which was nerve wracking. If you didn't perform the skill correctly or you missed too many things, you would have to do it over. You only got 3 tries and if you didn't do it correctly in those 3 tries, you would get a "Needs Improvement" for that lab. If you got 3 "Needs Improvements" you would get an "Unsatisfactory" and if you got 3 "Unsatisfactories" you would fail out. 3. None of our instructors picks on anyone about anything as stupid as earrings or tattoos. Most of our students have tattoos, piercings, multiple earrings, etc. The important thing is following dress code for clinical - none of the instructors care about that during lab or lecture. If you ask me, pestering a student about those things is not professional unless the student is showing off/wearing them at an inappropriate time. It's being judgmental and that goes against the core values of nursing. I have several tattoos. Some of them are in visible areas (I got them before I decided to go to nursing school) and I always cover them for clinical. My instructors are always asking me about them and saying how pretty they are. Most of our instructors are younger, but there are a few older instructors and they're all open-minded and never act that way towards students. I wonder how they would act if they had a patient who was covered in tattoos or piercings? It just seems overcritical - as long as the student is dressed appropriately for clinical, why does it matter outside of clinical? 4. The insane amount of work only gets worse. What kind of program are you in? Do you take LPN year first, then RN, and so on? Or are you in just an RN program? My school requires that you take the LPN program, take the NCLEX-PN and pass, and then you can take the RN program. I thought LPN year was time consuming and difficult - but the RN program is so time consuming and full of madness that it makes the LPN part look like cake. If your program is like mine, just wait until next year! If you're in an RN program, I'm sure the work will multiply as the program goes on. The biggest thing is to stay on top of the work and the readings and if you have some free time, work ahead! Start on a paper, finish an assignment, do something to help lessen the load. During Christmas break last year, as soon as we got the syllabi for the next semester I began working on homework that was coming up. I had all my homework done before the semester started - this gave me more time to study for exams. 5. Be prepared to be annoyed with your classmates even more. The more you get to know people, the more you realize how different they seemed at the beginning. There was one girl who I didn't mind at the beginning but couldn't stand by the end of the program - she was rude and condescending and spoke to the nurses at our clinicals like they were stupid. It seems like every class has a know-it-all, a ditz, a freak-out/drama queen, a class clown, and a liar (they lie about their grades or what they've done). You just need to know how to deal with them and try not to make waves unless necessary. Good luck!
  13. chinacatSN

    Is this okay? Exam score

    Believe me, I understand your frustration! The program at my school is known for being one of the most difficult programs in the area. That being said, I usually score pretty good on my tests and I spend most of my free time studying - I'm a mom and a wife and I work so I have lots to balance. I'm in the RN program and when we took our F&E test, I got a 96%! However, when we took our Renal/Urinary test, the class average was a 73% and I only got an 82%, even though I studied nonstop. Also, in our program, we don't have B+ or B-; we just have A's, B's, and C's and getting anything below an 80 is considered failing. Needless to say, I was really disappointed in myself. However, I felt like I should be happy that I at least passed, because I had the highest score in the class and only 6 of 25 passed the test. So yeah, You have the right to be disappointed in yourself and frustrated but also know that you're lucky to be above the average. That's how it is in nursing school - sometimes you work so hard to achieve something and you may fall short. Nursing school is difficult and many students are lucky to even PASS. Our class started out with around 100 students LPN year and now we only have 80. I'm sure by the end of this year we'll be down to 70 or less. Some people just can't handle the stress. Some people refuse to study more and end up failing. Some people get burnt out and drop out. Just keep trying your hardest. Try different study techniques. Also, if your school uses NCLEX type questions on the tests, by a Kaplan NCLEX study book. Kaplan may not be the nest school, but their NCLEX books are AWESOME. They tell you how to break down the questions and figure out the answers, even if you're not sure what the answers are. It teaches you how to deal with those pesky "select all that apply" questions. It's worth every penny.
  14. chinacatSN

    Would you take the LPN test?

    I would take it. There are many hospitals in my area who will hire you if you already have your LPN and are currently pursuing your RN. I completed the LPN portion of my education in May and am finishing the RN portion at the moment. I work for a temp agency and make more money than some of the new RNs in my area. I am sent to various nursing homes, clinics, and I even went to a pharmacy once where I gave flu shots. I can set my own hours and where I want to work. They call me when they have shifts available and I pick the ones I want. I get paid every week too. Plus, I'll have nursing experience on my resume when I apply for RN positions - which is always a plus and will put you ahead of the pack.
  15. chinacatSN

    Clinical Vent

    I would double check the policy. At my school, we're allowed to give any type of meds as long as either the instructor is there or our nurse (for the patient) is there and feels comfortable doing it. We had a special "orientation lab day" at the beginning of the semester where we learned and practiced everything about IVs and various other skills. If we were marked off on these skills, we could perform them in clinical with either the instructor or nurse present. With our clinical schedule, there's no way we could only pass meds with our instructor there. If we did it that way, there would probably still be people who had never hung a piggyback or done an IV push - most of us are only at one clinical site for a week or two, then go somewhere else. The instructors would never be able to keep track of who had done what in clinical. At least now you've learned your lesson - make sure you always clarify everything with your instructor before you do it! I always ask my instructor at the beginning of the day what she wants and expects and what we can and cannot do. I also make sure to have another student there (if not all of them) as a witness - that way the instructor can't try to say she told us something when she didn't. Good luck!
  16. chinacatSN

    The oh-so-common rude classmate(s)...

    I can tell you that I definitely know how you feel! Nursing programs differ from school to school, but from experience I have found that the nursing program (no matter which college you're in) is different than every other academic program - you have students who are just out of high school and students who are close to retirement age. There are a vast range or maturity levels. Also, many nursing students are competitive and somewhat anal-retentive. We have quite a few students in our program who are immature and act like children - and these students aren't the youngest in the class either. My advice to you? The mature thing would be to approach these students. Don't reply back to the email - them sending you an email instead of talking to you face-to-face is very passive aggressive and immature. Approach them and tell them that you, in no way, "tattled" on them and you don't know where they got that information. You were just talking to the director and the subject was brought up and you mentioned that some people were upset about it. That's all. Then, tell them that next time they have a problem with you, they should take talk to you personally and that you would appreciate it if they would not send you anymore rude emails because that is harassment. Afterwards, write down everything that was said (by you and them) and date and time it. You will need your own record, just in case something is said. If they continue to email you or do anything that could be considered harassment, go to the director. Show her your records of the event if you have to. This way, it doesn't seem like you are running to the director every time someone irritates you. That being said, if your program is anything like mine, you will probably have more immaturity in your future! I'm in the RN part of the program, finished the LPN part last May. Didn't have any issues in my LPN year - just a couple immature people, but nothing to get really upset about. This year, our class is a lot bigger and I swear, some people should really NOT be here. We had a seating issue too - only, we're not assigned seats. Everyone just sits where they want to, especially during the first week or two, when people are getting acclimated. Well, myself and 3 of my friends were sitting in the 2nd row of seats on day one. Then, one of my friends wanted to sit in the back row on day 2 so she could plug in her laptop. When all the students arrived, there was an endless amount of whining because we "stole their seats" and blah blah blah. And the students complaining were at least in their mid to late twenties. Seriously? Who cares about a stupid seat...they're all the same, you still get to sit by your friends...I just don't get some people. My point is, you'll probably have to deal with similar situations throughout your schooling, as there are always those few people who have to act like children. It's best to learn how to deal with it now.
  17. chinacatSN

    Any advice for an RN student?

    The way my school works is that you take the LPN program, then you take boards and get your LPN. If your grades are good enough, you're eligible for the RN/ADN program. There are 2 separate RN programs to choose from - spring start, which is slower paced and geared towards students who have been nurses for awhile OR summer start, which is accelerated and more intense. The spring start was very full and I just wanted to finish school so I could get my normal life back again (a long with a much needed JOB) so I opted for the summer/accelerated program. Graduated LPN in May of this year, started RN in June. Finished summer semester at the end of July. Now, Fall semester is starting again (as I'm sure it is for many of you!) and I need some advice. For me, the critical thinking involved with the LPN program was challenging but not hugely difficult. I got all A's and B's and never failed any of my tests or assignments. I did have to study, but not excessively so - just a few hours the night before and sporadically during the week. After the Summer semester for the RN program, I'm having some difficulties with the critical thinking. I don't know what the deal is. Some of it is the instructors we had - yeah, everyone blames the instructors - but one of them was SO bad that she was officially reprimanded. She didn't teach at all, gave incorrect information (umm...no...diabetes insipidus does NOT become diabetes mellitus!), and set her students up for failure. I had this instructor and it was extremely difficult. Luckily, she didn't create her own test questions, so none of her wacky reasonings were on the test, but I still didn't understand how the answers were reached. I read the readings, took practice exams, but nothing really prepared me for the tests. Granted, it doesn't help when you don't have lecture - since our instructor gave us incorrect information during lecture - but still. I'm usually pretty good at teaching myself when I have to. So - for those who have made the transition I just made - any advice? I just feel like once I get my brain working correctly I'll be back where I was before. It feels like I have this wall in my mind that I can peek over but not quite break through. Thanks in advance!
  18. chinacatSN

    Any advice for an RN student?

    GrnTea - Thank you very much! I try as hard as I can, I read a ton (though I could probably read more!), and my biggest concern is being the safest nurse possible and I know critical thinking and knowledge play a HUGE part in that. I did take a part-time/PRN position at a LTC facility and I've worked there about 4 weeks. I'm hoping that getting some real-life nursing experience will help me. I've been a CNA for 11 years and not much of that knowledge has helped me - don't get me wrong, it's been helpful, but not in the knowledge/critical thinking areas - it's helped mainly with adding to my common sense. I also know what CNAs deal with so I can empathize with them and it's helped with scope of practice things too. I think one of my BIGGEST problems is anxiety. I get myself very worked up and it hinders my performance. While in clinical, I'm fine, I can think on my feet and I rarely have any problems. It's test taking that throws me for a loop. Sometimes, I do really well and other times, not so much. We review the test later and I think, "Why the heck did you choose that answer?!" And I think it's mainly just anxiety - especially if I have more than one test a day. My doc gave me an Rx for Xanax 0.25mg, just to help me calm down...but I'm a little nervous that it might make me TOO calm and hinder my performance even worse. What really ticks me off is that I'm much better at recalling knowledge on the spot than most people in class (everyone comes to me for answers) but when it comes to my answers affecting my GRADE, I freeze up and my test scores are very sporadic and all over the place. Thanks for the advice! I hope I can connect with my instructor in a way that I feel I am able to talk to her about this kind of thing. I appreciate you taking your time to write your reply and you've helped me immensely.
  19. I'm just curious as to what classes everyone is in now and what were the prereqs for your program? I've noticed some people saying that they have 3 tests a week and tons of studying and other people saying that they have only 1 test a week and a few hours of studying. I'm in the LPN program at Iowa Western Community College. For prerequisites, we had to complete (with a 'C' or higher): English Comp 1 Developmental Psych Public Speaking Anatomy & Physiology 1 - with lab Anatomy & Physiology 2 - with lab They also recommended that you take any other courses that you can such as Nutrition. I'm in the second quarter of my first semester right now. Here are the classes I'm taking this semester: Foundations of Nursing - with lab - 1st quarter Math and Medications - with lab - 1st quarter Professional Topics - 1st semester Practical Nursing 1 - with clinicals - 2nd quarter So far, we have 1 test a week and usually a quiz everyday. We also have several papers due this semester and there are several projects. We have around 7 homework assignments due each week and they must be completed before that week's test. Clinical pre-lab is on Monday after class. We have to go to our site, meet our patient(s) and go over their chart. We have to write up a drug card for each med they're on and know all about what disease processes are affecting the patient. The careplan must be filled out in full after week 1. Clinicals are Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:30 to 12:30 and we have to have everything done before then. These are our classes second semester: Practical Nursing 2 - 3rd quarter Practical Nursing 3 - 4th quarter Practical Nursing Pharm Pro Topics 2 Nutrition - if you didn't take it earlier. We also have to have a valid and current CNA certification. I have to complete every class with a 78%. GPA needs to be at least 2.5 to be considered for the RN program. Grades and standardized test scores are taken into account when they decide who gets in to the RN program - it's pretty competitive.
  20. chinacatSN

    For all you instructors out there...

    I'm a nursing student in the last quarter of the LPN program. I begin the ADN program this June. My grades are excellent and I'm known as one of the more competent students when it comes to clinicals, nursing knowledge, and patient care. I've been a CNA for many years. I've never failed anything, I've never had any complaints against me, and I never harass my instructor. That being said - do instructors want students to bring things to their attention - such as certain students violating policies, students who depend too much on other students, students who don't do their work, etc.? And how would a student go about bringing these situations to your attention in the correct manner? There are certain students in my class who disregard the rules on a daily basis. There are students who have people they work with do their homework for them. There are students who have no idea how to properly care for a patient. I used to assume that the instructors knew how awful these students are and were going to do something about it - maybe not the ones who have others do their homework, but the ones who violate policy and have no idea what's going on - I don't spend much time with these students myself and if it's that obvious to me, isn't it obvious to the instructor? But these students just keep doing what they're doing time and time again. A retired nursing instructor told me that she wishes she knew what certain students were doing when she was an instructor so she could have done something about it. But she couldn't tell me how to go about telling my instructor about it. You would think that a student having 3 med errors in one day would be a clue. Or another student who wears acrylic nails - granted, they're not super obvious because they're clear and not really long but come on. It just bothers me that people who don't follow policy and try to skirt the rules are at the same level I am - a student who does her best to follow policy, studies hard for everything, always shows up early, and has never had a med error. That should stand for something, but it doesn't seem to. Which makes me wonder if my instructor isn't totally oblivious... What do you think? Sorry for rambling...1:30 am here, not usually up this late!
  21. Ok, I'm curious about the BON background checks. The Iowa BON runs an FBI check with fingerprinting and an Iowa Criminal History check through the DCI (Division of Criminal Investigation). If I have dismissed charges (misdemeanors) in another state, will they show up on the FBI check? I was told that minor or simple misdemeanors are not in the FBI database. And just in case you're wondering, I did contact the Iowa BON and they were very unhelpful. One woman told me that I don't have to submit info because the charges were dismissed and another woman told me that she wasn't sure. I also spoke to a lawyer and he told me that they won't show up and that I shouldn't have to tell the BON because they were dismissed. But I've heard stories of lawyers telling people that they don't have to tell the BON about expunged records, the BON finding out, and the student getting in trouble. Also - I would give the BON copies of the court documents and all that, but they're no where to be found. I went to the courthouse of the county that it happened in and no records were found - we searched by name, by previous addresses, by SS#, and nothing could be found. Should I just submit a statement stating what the other charges were, that they were dismissed, and what happened? I asked the Iowa BON this, and they couldn't give me an answer. Any advice welcome! Thanks!
  22. chinacatSN

    Just a Question about the BON background checks...

    PhoenixTech - Because I'd rather be safe than sorry. A friend of mine finished nursing school last year. She was convicted of theft in the 5th in 2004 and she was convicted of trespassing in 2005. Both were expunged from her record - she has the letter proving it and was told by the judge that only certain people would see the charges - law officials and government agents - and that she wouldn't have to disclose the charges on employment applications. When she applied for her NCLEX-PN, she checked NO and everything went fine. Nothing came up on the background checks and she was able to take and pass her NCLEX just fine. However, when she applied to take her NCLEX-RN it was a different story. Both charges showed up and she had to jump through a whole bunch of hoops to be able to take the NCLEX. She didn't get to take the NCLEX until 10 months after graduating from school. She'd even had her instructors do character references for her and nothing. The BON didn't seem to care, all that mattered was that she lied and didn't hold herself accountable for her own actions. Though I wasn't technically convicted, the charges do show up on my record. All I have to do is go to IowaCourtsOnline and search for my name and DOB and there it is. I would much rather submit the paperwork and show the BON that I hold myself accountable rather than check NO and sweep it under the rug. It did take me awhile to get to this conclusion though, because my first thought was that they wouldn't allow someone with a record to take the NCLEX and become a nurse. IMO, the nursing schools should perform more in depth background checks or something. It really stinks for those people who go through all the nursing school torture, pass their program, graduate, and don't get to take the NCLEX because of some stupid charge on their record. I don't know about everyone here, but nothing on my record or my friend's record ever showed up on the background checks we had to do for school/clinical. Neither of us has ever had stuff show up when employers would perform a check. I understand why they do it, but it sucks when you've paid so much money and sacrificed your entire life for NS and then you're SOL because you can't take the NCLEX.
  23. chinacatSN

    Just a Question about the BON background checks...

    Thanks for the replies! The Iowa application just states "Were you convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation?". There's also an instruction sheet that came with the application and it just says that you should check "yes" if you were convicted of any crime other than a minor traffic violation. I've had MANY background checks since this incident occurred and none of them said I had a record at all. I've contemplated having my own FBI background check done with fingerprinting (they tell you how to apply on their website) but it can take 2-3 weeks and I don't have that time. I have to have my LPN by fall semester or I can't continue in the ADN program. I've also heard that it takes a little longer to process applications with criminal records because they are required to investigate. So, I had the clerk of court give me a signed official form stating that no record was found and I wrote up the required essay about what my life was like before, during, and after the conviction with the added info on what the conviction was, etc. At least this way, I'm owning up to it and everything, rather than pretending it didn't happen. I don't know what else to do.
  24. chinacatSN

    MD BON requesting court records

    I've never heard of anyone actually being allowed to take the boards, passing, and then having the BON find something on their record! That being said, I've heard that it can be really, really difficult to get the BON to issue you a license if you marked 'no' on the application and they later find out that you do have a record - they consider it to be a form of fraud and are usually unwilling to issue a license after that. I recently spoke to the Iowa BON about my record and they told me that even if your record/conviction was expunged or sealed, you still have to check 'yes' and submit copies of the record to the BON. That being said, you might have a better chance because your conviction was expunged. They may understand that you made a mistake and didn't realize that you were supposed to check 'yes'. If I were you, I would obtain some kind of record from your counselor and if possible, some kind of record that you went to the support group. You may also want a letter of recommendation from your Instructor as well as a statement written by you - stating how you've changed and why you did what you did. You will want court records as well, because I doubt that the expungement letter will be enough - they don't care that your conviction was expunged, they want to know what the conviction was and all that. Good luck!
  25. chinacatSN


    At the end of every week, we have to post what we did, what we learned, and how we felt about the clinical experience from that week. Then, the instructor replies back and tells us how she thinks we did. Last week, I had 2 patients assigned to me on Monday (med-surg). I prelabbed and finished my careplan except for the nursing diagnoses because I like to spend some time with my patients to make sure they fit. Get to clinical site Tuesday @ 0600 and both of my patients were dismissed the night before. So, my instructor gives me one of the other student's patients so we each have one patient and everyone else has two. Went home Tuesday night and did as much of the careplan for my new patient as I could (all except 2 nursing diagnoses and interventions for them). Came to clinical next day, received a new admission. New admission was young, independent, and only had IV meds so I couldn't really do much with that. I did all of my tasks - bath, linen change, med pass, assessment, VS, everything I could possibly do and then I went to finish my careplan. None of the other students needed help, nothing was going on, so I wasn't missing out on anything and my instructor has never said anything to anyone about working on our careplans in our downtime. When she replied to my weekly post, she said that I need to "Keep on displaying a positive attitude toward learning & make it your personal challenge to seek out opportunities and not be complacent to just sit in the breakroom." I replied back and explained that I hope she wasn't thinking I was lazy by being in the breakroom - I had finished all my tasks, asked other nurses/student nurses/CNAs if they needed any help or had any procedures that needed done, etc. so I felt that I could work on my careplan for a few minutes during my downtime. I look at the time frequently whenever I'm in the breakroom (which isn't often!) and I was only in there for 7 minutes. That's it. I also only had one (very easy) patient on the first day and two (very easy) patients on the second day - compared to the other students who had 2 patients both days and had a lot of things going on. It was actually a little depressing and disappointing to me because I'm usually the one who is very busy and never sitting down - which I like - and the one time I'm NOT busy and try to work on my careplan, I get snipped at for it. I just don't understand it at all. I'm known in my class as the student who goes above and beyond the call of duty. I guess it feels like - as students - we're expected to be perfect, which is upsetting when the nurses we're working with aren't perfect. They're sitting on their butts while we're running around and getting quizzed q5mins, but then we get reprimanded for the tiniest little things. I just don't understand. My instructor wonders why we're all burnt out - I think most of us are just to the point of "Why bother?" because nothing we do is good enough. Was I being lazy? Any suggestions?