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sarah_smile

sarah_smile BSN, RN

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sarah_smile's Latest Activity

  1. sarah_smile

    It only takes one small thank you to lift up a Nurse

    I'm a new grad of about 6 months. I work in an ICU and the other night, my patient was detoxing from Alcohol, and craving a smoke pretty bad. I educated him on smoking and alcohol cessation from an area deep within me that can relate to his situation, as I used to smoke and drink. Bringing myself down to a pit where he was instead of berating him proved successful, if even for a few moments. He grabbed my arm as I walked out of the room and said, "hey, thank you. You are a REALLY good nurse." Such a small statement, but I will forever carry that feeling with me. [emoji4]
  2. sarah_smile

    Powerpoint Tips

    For my care maps in school (I called mine patho-diagrams), I wrote mine free hand on multiple pieces of computer paper, connecting all the disease processes, labs, vitals, and assessments together. I also color coded everything, when I was done I taped it together so that when it was unfolded it still stayed together. I wish I could have found a computer program that I could have put it all on, that more than likely would have been more visually appealing! I know that isn't too helpful, but I didn't use a computer program for mine. Good luck!
  3. sarah_smile

    Drug seekers

    Pain is subjective. I understand your frustration, but just remember pain is subjective. I can have 8/10 pain and hide it well.
  4. sarah_smile

    Powerpoint Tips

    Yeah, me too Janey. I'm not sure why it is titled that to be honest. It was supposed to be study tips, not just powerpoint tips! :)
  5. sarah_smile

    Powerpoint Tips

    Good luck! You can do it!!! Just remember when answering a question, remember least invasive first. If the answer doesn't involve airway, breathing, or circulation then think about the little things. If someone has an airway problem, raise the head of the bed (least invasive first). Start thinking like that, and good luck!
  6. sarah_smile

    Powerpoint Tips

    What I found effective during lectures was to pull up the powerpoint the instructor was using on my computer (before class started) and take notes either in the notes section, or on the slides. Most instructors will *hint* "this will be on the test" or "this is VERY important"... put asterisks by those things and LEARN them! If you would rather not use the computer, you can print off the slides before class as well. I would print 4 to a page and remove the box around them so I had room to write notes. Once class was over, I would go home and do my mom duties, then sit down and revise my notes by making notecards (i-Flash is wonderful if you like to use computer notecards instead of writing them out!). If there was a topic/system that I wasn't quite understanding then I would crack open my book and really understand it. I would not read every single thing. If I had a grasp on it and understood the lecture portion of it, then its time to move on to the stuff I don't get. I would make sure I had all the note cards done for that lecture at LEAST before the next lecture started. Once all the lectures were done for the topics that would be tested on, and all of my notecards were made, I would start studying the cards. I would look over them, have my husband quiz me, get together with my favorite nursing buddy and quiz each other. The best thing about getting together with another nursing friend is you can teach each other things that the other doesn't know. THAT is a win-win because if you can teach it, then you own it AND you are helping your friend out! I've remembered best the stuff I can teach! Drawing pictures of the heart and vascular system in red and blue also helps a lot for visualization! Don't read every single little thing in every single page of your books unless you truly aren't understanding, in which case you should probably contact the course leader/instructor that taught that section for clarification. Take care of yourself by eating right, drinking enough water and exercising. This seems like a no-brainer but it is really easy to forget. Make time for yourself too! Even though nursing school is inevitably going to feel like your baby, you need to have some fun too! One last thing, a test is just a test. Whether you get a good grade or a bad grade, its JUST a test. Keep your chin up and recognize what you need to work on, or how you need to adapt to different ways of studying to get a better grade. That test grade WILL NOT reflect how well you interact with patients, and it doesnt show that gentle care that you provide, or the way you can advocate for all of your patients, or soothe broken hearts of family members. Keep your chin up, I believe in you!
  7. sarah_smile

    Is nursing school really "that" bad?

    This! I think thats what was the most of my struggle, is I was constantly competing with myself to get a better grade than the last test, do better on my care plans, and I didnt feel it was ever good enough! Now, with that being said I had a great GPA, but looking back it probably didnt matter. My employer didnt care what my GPA was when she hired me. Having a good GPA to eventually advance my education with a graduate degree will be helpful, but even then they just like a 3.0 or better for most universities, so I'm told.
  8. sarah_smile

    Is nursing school really "that" bad?

    It is NOT that bad. I got my BSN (2nd career person) working part time, having two children in various activities, and I maintained my personal hygiene. I made a lot of sacrifices both personally and financially, but it is do-able and WORTH it! I made study dates with my nursing friends at coffee-shops that way we still could socialize and feel human, all while studying and being able to de-stress with other people that understood what I was going through. That being said, it is not cake-walk to go through nursing school, but if you are determined and you prioritize your time you will do fine. Single, no kids... you should have plenty of time for work and play :) good luck!
  9. sarah_smile

    I need ALL the advice I can get.

    I still think you should do what your heart really wants. I am a firm believer that if you settle into something you don't necessarily love just because that is the norm, you will get burned out and not really like your job anymore. Now, if you take the job that you know you will absolutely love (PEDS), and thats where you want to be, you won't get bitter about going to work, like you would if you were doing med-surg per say. After a year of doing nights (maybe sooner), there is bound to be a position open up on days that you could slip into. A year seems like forever, but I would rather work a crappy graveyard shift (which isn't all that crappy... I've learned ALOT on nights so far), and be able to move into a day position within the same unit I love, rather than hating my job, even though I have decent hours. Just my two cents :)
  10. sarah_smile

    I need ALL the advice I can get.

    I thought so too. I took my dream job as a new grad in the ICU (just graduated in May). I thought nights would work the best for my family. I have 2 kids that are both in grade school, so it usually works out that I can take them to school. Then I come home and sleep by 9am, husband picks them up and is home around 4:30, and I wake up at 5. Looks great on paper, but it does get old not spending evenings with the family, when you wake up and have to get ready for a 12 hour shift that night. AND... I really, really like my straight 7-9 hours of sleep. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE working nights, but what I hate is my nights off. Its been 4 months that I have kept a night schedule, and there is only so much that can get done during the night while the family sleeps, and it gets REALLY lonely. But, I keep telling myself that if I worked a day shift schedule, I wouldn't see them but for maybe 30 minutes before they went to bed on my nights on, so its really the same. I've been seeking out clinic jobs recently to get out of the ICU... and I cringe thinking about it because I really do love bedside nursing, but its hard juggling that and a busy family. My ideal shift would be 11pm-7am, or even a 10pm-6am. That way I would still have time with the family in the evening, and be able to take them to school in the morning. Only in a perfect world :) I hope you find what works for you! Good luck!
  11. sarah_smile

    Ati comprehensive predictor tips

    Hello! My school utilized ATI as well. We did a bunch of practice exams, the comprehensive exams, and I used Virtual ATI to help me study for the NCLEX. My school graded them depending on your points you received (Level 3=A, Level 2=B, Level 1=C, Below level 1=No points given). That being said, we did not have to get a certain percentage to graduate/pass the class, so the pressure was off in that sense. I never got less than a level 2, and only got a level 3 once. I think what you need to do is just do a bunch of practice assessments on ATI and get a feel for how they ask the questions. The other, and more important thing to do is READ and UNDERSTAND the rationale for any questions you got right or wrong. Now, with that said, I didnt think ATI had very good rationales for their questions, but if you have the ATI books, you can look up concepts that you aren't understanding very well, and try to get a grasp on it that way. I felt the practice assessments and comprehensive predictor were different, but the questions were asked in the same way (structure wise), and the comprehensive is just that... comprehensive! So you should do practice questions in all areas of nursing, and know medications and administrations of medications. I hope this helps a little.
  12. sarah_smile

    How did you know nursing was for you?

    What you are doing is exactly what I did. I always wanted to be a nurse (from age 6), I attempted to right out of high school and failed out of my general classes because I was having WAYYY too much fun! Then I met my husband, found out I was pregnant. I still wanted to be a nurse, but with a baby on the way I didnt want to be in school for 4 years, and I wanted weekends and holidays off with a nice 9-5 position in a clinic, so I became an MA. I worked as a Medical Assistant for about 5 years before I decided to go back to nursing school. At that time I had a 6 year old and a 2 year old, it was definitely hard, but I wouldn't change a thing. It was the best decision I ever made, and now I work as an ICU nurse. If this has always been a dream of yours, and you love being a medical assistant and helping people, you will love being a nurse. Always follow your dreams, and if you have a means to go back to school right now, just do it... I have a feeling you won't regret it. Also, being an MA will help with schooling a little bit because you have knowledge of certain meds, procedures, lab results and terminology. When I was an MA, I always thought, man if I can do this then I can be a nurse... then I started my junior and senior year of nursing school and realized how much more nurses know, learn, and are responsible for (huge eye opener), but once again, very worth it! If you are wanting to further your education, and increase your knowledge and skills, then you are ready! I will never look back!
  13. sarah_smile

    Help Me Please!

    This sucks, I know because I had a hard time opening my textbooks. I just graduated in May and I despised reading a textbook. I graduated from a really great university, and passed the NCLEX on the first try (75 questions) and rarely cracked open ANY of my textbooks. I relied on my instructors power points and lecture notes that I took during the lecture. The only time I opened my textbooks was to clarify a disease process or something I wasn't quite understanding. It seemed to be a waste of time to read 150 pages of text that was quite redundant. Go to class, take REALLY good notes, go home and revise your notes and look up the stuff you don't understand, make study materials, then study. You will do great! (Oh... shut the phones/electronics off! They are so much more distracting than anyone thinks! I would allow myself a 10 minute break every hour on the hour when I was studying or revising notes. You can do it!)
  14. sarah_smile

    Virtual ATI

    I used ATI throughout school, then did VATI after graduation since the school "provided" it (included in tuition :/ I found it helpful, got a 95% predicted pass, was given the green light, and tested the next week. I passed in 75 questions. I thought VATI was helpful in content, but not so much in the rationale portion of it. Also, I felt like some of the questions were similar to the questions I had previously had, so I was more or less memorizing their test bank, which was not helpful. I did complete it though, and I'm glad I did, but my favorite study tool for the NCLEX was the NCLEX mastery app on my phone. Their rationales are the best I have came across, and the questions are HARD, and similar to what I saw on the NCLEX. If you take the time to read the rationale (whether you got the question wrong or right) you will be headed in the right direction. I did about 3/4 of the total number of questions on the NCLEX mastery app and averaged about a 63%. It was honestly the best, but VATI is good if you need help with content. Good luck, you can do this!
  15. sarah_smile

    where can i find the free nclex question and answer

    Khan acadamy (do a google search) is really helpful. I think some of the questions on there are very detailed, and harder than the questions that are on the actual NCLEX. But, they are free!
  16. sarah_smile

    decimal calculation question

    Honestly, I read it somewhere, and about died. The NCLEX really can mess with your head, I was for sure that I didnt pass, and that I failed miserably when the computer shut off at 75 questions. BUT, I just looked on my BON this morning and there was my name with a license number! I'm an RN! I still can't believe I let my anxiety take over like that... a little embarrassing! Thanks for the kind words though!