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  1. ahosoda

    My GPA is trash. What to do now?

    One thing you can do is complete all of your nursing prereqs at your current college. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like your previous GPA is from a different degree so you probably don't have many of your nursing prereqs from that school. If you do have any classes from that school, just retake them at your new school. For example, lets say you took A&P at the college where you have a low GPA, but that is the only class from that school that would count toward your nursing prereqs. If you retake that class at your current college, you don't have to send in your transcripts for the college with the bad GPA. As long as all of the courses required by the school are at your current college, there is no reason to send in your other transcripts. That may be your best option.
  2. ahosoda

    Clinicals - What Not to Do?

    I find it funny that so many people on here say, "don't be afraid to do bed baths, dirty work, feeding patients, etc." when I was going to say the opposite. My first few weeks of med surg clinical I was excited to try new things... inserting catheters and IVs, wound care, colostomy care, chest tubes, you name it, I was ready. I was a CNA and med assistant for a few years before nursing school and first semester just seemed like a review of CNA classes. I was ready for the big leagues. And then I actually got to clinical. The nurses were just using me to do the dirty work while they did all of the things we were supposed to be learning. Or they would pawn us off on the CNAs. They didn't even offer me to let me watch the major skills. But of course I wanted my preceptors to like me so I did everything I could to please them (trust me, I can CNA with the best of them). Meanwhile I wasn't learning anything. I told my instructor my concern, and she told me I needed to be more assertive. Instead of flat-out saying "no" when a preceptor asked me to do something like a bad bath with a CNA, I just politely said "I would love to do that if we have some down-time later. But I would really prefer to help you because I think it would be more valuable to my learning." I'd also apologize because I know having a student will slow you down if you are teaching them the right way, but will make your day go faster if you make them do the dirty work. I fully acknowledge that. Now, if you haven't done a lot of bed baths or changed a lot of incontinent patients, it probably would be helpful to accept these challenges. Luckily my instructor gave me the advice to be more assertive before my shift in the ER (each student only got 6 hours in the ER and it was my main interest). Had she not given me this advice, I would have agreed to be the sitter for an elderly woman with dementia and missed out on a TON of stuff, including a trauma patient. You have to make your education your priority. Is it more important that you gain confidence in your knowledge and skills or is it more important to get a gold star from your preceptor? I probably pissed off a couple preceptors but I learned a heck of a lot more that way. There's a balance. You CREATE opportunities for yourself in nursing school, they don't fall in your lap. If you have even 2 minutes of down time, ask the nurses in the nurses station if they need help with anything or if they have any interesting patients. These are the times I learned the most.
  3. ahosoda

    The Dreaded Group Projects

    I feel your pain. This pretty much sums up my experience with group projects so far in nursing school: "When I die, I would like the people I did group projects with to lower me into my grave so they can let me down one last time." However, I would like to play a wee bit of devil's advocate here. You say you have a FT job and are a mother. Those people, to me, are the hardest people to do group projects with. Why? Because they want to complete it ASAP. They never know if an emergency will come up with their children, so they crank out the project as soon as the assignment comes out so they can get it done. To me, there are so many problems with doing a project early. 1) You have not learned all of the material yet. Sure, you can google info or spend hours rifling through the book, but isn't it so much easier when the teacher tells you what you need to know? It is a huge time saver when it comes to projects to just WAIT until you have all of the info. 2) Professors often change the rubric and criteria for large projects. I had one group project where we completed it a month before it was due because of a mother of four in our group who was eager to finish it. Well, we ended up having to completely redo the freaking thing FOUR times before we turned it in because the professor kept changing the rubric. It would have saved us all hours and hours of work had we just waited a couple weeks to do it. 3) In our program, the professors try to schedule large projects so they don't coincide with other large projects in other classes. It can be mentally exhausting to have to focus on a project that isn't due for a month when you have a huge med surg exam the following day. Prioritization is key. 4) In nursing, you can't do things way ahead of time. For example, if a med is due at 7PM, you can't give it at 3PM just because you want to be ahead of schedule. I think it is a valuable skill to learn how to work under pressure in a reasonable time frame. That's my devil's advocate argument, however group projects really are just the worst, plain and simple. It definitely sounds like your group is no bueno.
  4. At my school you also have to get 100% on the med calc test. However, it is the easiest test you will have in nursing school. Let me give you an example of what the absolute HARDEST question on a med calc exam would look like (most are easier than this though): "Johnny (3 years old) is your patient. Johnny was prescribed 10 mg/kg/dose of acetaminophen. Johnny weighs 35 pounds. You have an oral suspension of 160 mg/5 mL of acetaminophen. How many mLs of acetaminophen will you give Johnny?" Again, this is about as hard as the med calc questions get, and you get a calculator. It all comes down to a few simple conversion factors (or dimensional analysis, whatever you call it) and nothing more. The hardest part is just to remember to label your answers. I would say do not let this deter you from the nursing field! You are making a mountain out of a molehill. Also I remember there were a lot of people in my class who were also intimidated by the med calc exam, but there were a lot of resources available to those who felt the pressure from these exams. I don't think anyone in the history of my nursing program has been kicked out due to the med calc exam haha. It sounds to me by your interests that you have a good heart and work well with people. That is what is most important and I commend you for following your passions. I hope you find your calling and I hope this helps!
  5. ahosoda

    Medication Aide exempt?

    I doubt you would be able to be exempt from pharmacology. Pharm isn't just about memorizing drugs and their side effects. Its more about HOW drugs work, which you can't just look up in your drug guide whenever a patient asks. I was a medication aide and I only knew about 5% of the material covered in pharm. On the bright side, you will probably have an easier time with the memorization portion of pharmacology because you have already been exposed to it and can put a face/disease/condition to a drug. I would always be like, "OH, Mrs. ___ took that because she had ___" and then I would be able to figure out the question from there.
  6. ahosoda


    I worry about this too. Luckily this was over the last 3 days so I hope the delay isn't too long to cause an issue. Also I did report it to the nurse supervisor after the first night but I think that made things worse.
  7. ahosoda


    Thank you all for your responses! I truly appreciate every single persons input. I will definitely start writing down everything she says in a notebook. Luckily I still have all of the dates of when she said/did all of these things. She has said other things to me that I didn't mention, but I consider it bullying. As for being a mandated reporter, yes I am in my state. I thought about reporting it but I already have everyone ganging up on me and making me believe I am the one in the wrong. One nurse has my back though, but I haven't had the chance to work with him much lately. I told him what happened and he called BS... All that nurse does is sit on her tushy and play games on the computer her whole shift. She's not too busy to give pills. My husband shares an office/nurses station with her and has confirmed! Also everyone here agreeing with me has given me strength. I will report it to the state. These on call nurse delegated CNA jobs with good hours are hard to come by in my area. It is a very nice facility but this one nurse is killin me. I like the 16-2000 hours because I'm in school and this works well with my schedule sometimes, unlike a regular shift. It also pays higher than most CNA jobs, and is much less stressful in my opinion (until this incident). Thank you again everyone!
  8. ahosoda


    She said "take your pill(s)". Then they would say "I want to take this at ___ time." She would say "you can't do that, you have to take them now". Then she would grab the residents hands, dump the pills in their hands, and guide their hands toward their lips. There were 3 this one night, and another on a separate night. One out of the four threw the pills on the ground, the other 3 complied after she guided their hands toward their mouth. All 4 refused verbally.
  9. ahosoda


    There is a situation at work and I just don't know how to handle it. I work in LTC as a CNA, and I've found that the majority of nurses in my facility refuse to participate in a lot of care because it is for "CNAs", not nurses. Usually I can just laugh it off, because it is something silly like putting socks on a resident, but this situation is different. I am nurse delegated, and my only job is to pass the medications to residents in assisted living. The evening med assist shift is only 4 hours (4-8pm). After the med assistant leaves, it is the nurses' job to give any PRN medications. Almost none of the residents want their PRN sleeping pills before 2000, so I let the nurse know that so-and-so wants their sleeping pills at ___ time. This nurse says that is completely unacceptable and that I am not doing my job. She got the sleeping pills and said, "Follow me". She then went to each resident and forced them to take the pills against their will. She said, "see? you can give them pills you just have to be forceful." I reported this situation to the head nurse. The next night before I was done with my shift, I called this nurse to do count. I was surprised when TWO nurses came to count. It was an ambush. The eve nurse called the noc nurse to come in 2 hours early just so they could gang up on me. Both started lecturing me on how they shouldn't have to pass any medications because if there was a fall, they would be too busy. Everything I said to defend myself was shut down because it was 2 vs 1. I am just wondering what you more experienced nurses would do in this situation. I have worked at this facility for a few years, but this nurse has worked there longer than I have been alive. I don't want to lose my job, I really depend on it for income, but I also don't want to be unethical and force people to take pills.
  10. ahosoda

    Tips on Nursing School

    This depends on a lot of different factors: 1) Your school/clinical hours. During my prereqs, I always had the option of going to class in the morning, then working an evening shift (2pm-10pm). I was able to do most homework and studying between classes or after work. Unfortunately, most nursing schools don't give you the luxury of picking which hours you want. I laughed when my advisor and clinical instructor told me I should quit my job since I was able to manage it so easily during prereqs. I was not the one laughing a week later. 2) The stressfulness of your job. Don't wait until you're drowning before you save yourself. Nursing school is going to be stressful regardless, but that doesn't mean it has to be unmanageable. When I was working during nursing school, I would be mid-studying something like cardiac medications, for example, and I couldn't focus because all I could think about was "wow, ____ is such a bad manager" or "_____ patient was so sick yesterday, I wonder if they are ok." And it took me a couple weeks to realize... this is dangerous. What is going to happen when I graduate and I have to give a patient this cardiac drug? I won't know what to do. I wanted to give nursing school 100%, not just for me, but for my future patients whose lives are at risk. You can squeak by with the minimum passing grade in nursing school, but who are you really hurting? Your future patients. 3) Your support system. Do you have a lot of friends and family who will help you with your kids? Anyone who says "I'll cook dinner while you study" or offers to do your laundry. You can't do nursing school on your own. Lots of other things too but those are the main things to consider. Some semesters will be easier than others. I went back to work during one of my semesters because to me, that semester was very easy and I felt like I had some free time on my hands. To your original post: My biggest tip would be to type all of your notes. Record lectures if you can (my school automatically records all lectures which is a lifesaver). Even a slow typer can get down more notes than a fast writer. And it is much easier to stay organized when it is all on a computer rather than 50 different binders. There are a lot of people in my class who are EXTREMELY intelligent but miss about 50% of what the professor is saying because they are scrambling to write down all of the notes. Also I weep for our earth and its scarce resources when I see them pull out their pathophysiology binders. The poor trees! I also recommend talking to your professors if you are having trouble. I never had to do this during pre-reqs. Sometimes you gotta pick your nursing professor's brain a little, learn how they think. It is not about which answers are right. Its about which answer is the most right. Good luck!
  11. ahosoda

    cnas and end of shift med. count

    My points were: 1) OP should look up the laws in their state. Then I stated Washington's laws since some people think CNAs are never allowed to give medications, count, etc. when in fact they are allowed under some circumstances. 2) Even if their state allows it legally, OP should refuse to count unless properly trained because if something were to happen, the blame would fall on them. Those were my only two points. The advice to jump ship is not always helpful for everyone depending on their circumstances. My advice was simply an alternative to quitting, although I do agree that the facility the OP is describing sounds sketchy and I personally would avoid it if at all possible.
  12. ahosoda

    cnas and end of shift med. count

    Look into what your state does or does not allow. In Washington state, nurse delegation allows CNAs to pass medications if they are properly trained. I am required to do a narc count at the beginning and the end of my shift as a "med assistant". I am allowed to give narcotics, and I do on a regular basis. You probably were not trained properly in how to count unless you have had training/certification. It would be extremely easy for a nurse to trick you during count. For example, I was trained to always look at both the Med cards and the books before you sign off. A lot of nurses have one person read the book while the other reads the cards aloud, and you just trust that the nurse is telling the truth. I have heard of nurses stealing narcotics by lying as they read the number aloud. It is your fault if you sign off and the count was off, even if it was not you who stole the medication. This is why proper training is essential. Lots of dirty tricks like this if you aren't aware.
  13. Congrats on the engagement! Very exciting. I am sort of in the same boat as you although I am not in an accelerated program. I think it all depends on the type of wedding you want. My fiance and I never wanted a big wedding to begin with, and our budget is very tight. We are doing it at a friend's lake cabin and only our closest friends and immediate family will be there. No bridal party or groomsmen (saves a lot of time, money, and drama). I don't want many decorations, just the beauty of the lake and our love! Flowers will be from my mom's garden. A taco truck is catering, which is much cheaper than you would think. Cutting down to what is essential to us has saved us so much time and money. If it is very important to you to have a big, Pinteresty wedding with all of your friends, I would say wait. If you are okay with a non-traditional wedding, it doesn't take very much time or money to plan. I set aside 2 hours to talk to the photographer, 1 hour to talk to the caterer, and 4 hours to go dress shopping. I spread those all out on different days. It really doesn't take as much time as you would think to plan a wedding! I hear other brides talk about how stressful it is and I'm glad I'm doing it my way. Good luck, love!
  14. ahosoda

    Not working during nursing school?

    Red Kryptonite. What makes you think I don't work? Why do you keep implying this when I have stated it several times. Let me say it one more time. I am employed. Do you know what that means? It means I have a job. I work. I pay my taxes like you do. Please tell me which part of this is unclear to you.
  15. ahosoda

    Not working during nursing school?

    That statement is incredibly rude and unprofessional. Wow.
  16. ahosoda

    Not working during nursing school?

    I agree. That is why in my original post on this thread I stated MANY ways I save money. People act like I'm living in the lap of luxury, laying around all day without any stress while mooching off the system. I used food assistance as a last resort, and I still work as much as possible. What part of that is not going through some of your heads? My point on that original post is that there is no shame in asking for government assistance when you need it. Are there people who abuse the system? Yes. Am I one of those people? Not in my opinion. I don't really think anyone should feel entitled to disagree with that opinion unless they can walk a mile in my shoes, or at least observe my way of living for a few days.