Tuesday, March 27, 2007

nearing the end

I finally finished my research paper, yes almost three weeks late. 'The Confusion about Nipple Confusion'. And it is just that... a bunch of confusion. Health professionals can't seem to agree on whether or not it exists, thus my paper.

Clinical today was fine, for me anyway. I guess it was someone else's turn to get picked on. Except for the massive loose stool in the bedpan that smelled like death itself. So gross, so gross. I kept thinking 'where the HELL is my aide????'

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I score again

My research exam ended up a 93, although I thought for sure it was going to be worse because I wasn't sure about a lot of the questions. In fact, I'd say at least 11 questions had nothing to do with any of the material I studied, but I just happened to know the answer or guess right. At the end of the exam my professor said to me, "You haven't been to class much lately, have you?" I said, "I only missed last week, and you were gone the week before." She said, "oh, I guess you're just so small I didn't notice you." Gee, thanks.

I also got an A on all of my mind maps, which is 10% of my grade. Now if I could just finish that paper that's 8 days late... at least it's only worth 10 points.

Also, in medsurg the BSN coordinators really pissed everyone off by deciding that from next semester on they will be assigning everyone's classes. As in we don't get to choose which classes to register for anymore. Hello, high school! Then they passed out our class assignments for next fall and winter. There were a whole lot of unhappy people, let me tell you. I was given Community Health Nursing and Nursing Essentials in the fall, and Medsurg Nursing II in the winter. I had originally planned to do community in the winter and Medsurg in the fall, but I guess it's ok. The important thing is doing my Essentials class in the fall because it's 100 hours of nursing on the floor with a preceptor. And I'm praying to get an L&D placement.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

another day of blah blah blah

Today my two patients were completely easy. Only one minor blip on the radar when a blood sugar dipped below 60. And of course, my instructor tried to blame me for it. She said it had to do with me not giving him Renagel as he was eating his lunch, instead of right after. Now, Renagel is for decreasing phosphate levels in end stage renal disease, I have yet to figure out how it affects blood sugar. But I will be researching it so stay tuned! I'm pretty much convinced she was just looking for a way to blame me, but I will give her the(very small) benefit of the doubt and research it. Bah. She is always so grumpy.

Also the nurse manager complained that we weren't answering call lights. Well, what actually happened is that a bathroom light was on, I answered it, didn't turn the light off, but got the student nurse to go in there to collect a stool specimen. I told the nurse manager that that was why the light was on. But she still went and carried on to our instructor who had a fit about it later. Jeez. I should've turned off the light from the start: lesson learned.

Otherwise my day was so easy that I took my half hour lunch break. I didn't eat lunch, I went to the big lounge on the ground floor and napped. Then I got some homework done while I was there. Jeesh.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

researching research

This week is devoted to my research class. I must turn in my paper, study for the test, and do about 4 mindmaps. Bah! I hate this class. And our professor... don't even get me started! She is so snappy. As if all of this crap isn't hard enough. This must be the most boring and pointless class ever... ok maybe not pointless, because knowing how to get information is always important, but still! A few classes or projects could probably do the trick.

I was pretty useless at my psych clinical last night. My patient was an 11 year old whose dad beats her. And her problem is anger control. Well, yeah! I'd be pretty freakin' mad if I was getting beat by my dad and my mom could care less. I didn't even really interview her. I only have one interpersonal recall left and all of my mental status assessments are done. I went into the resource room and read some books. Whatever. I just want this semester to be over. Maybe my senioritis is starting in, or maybe it's just wanting to move on to new things.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I got a 90 on the test in the med-surg class I was failing. I say 'was', people! Go me! I might actually get a B in this class.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

rotting flesh

This morning one of my patients needed a dressing change for a stage 4 pressure ulcer over sacroiliac prominence. She was very obese, and it took five of us to do it. Imagine our horror when we peeled off the dressing and discovered not only a 5-6 in deep crater over her entire backside, but that the wounds were completely filled with stool and necrotic tissue. Some genius dressed the wound over the rectum.

I have never seen such a pressure ulcer in my life. Even once we cleaned the stool out, my cat could have fit into the crater. The smell of necrotic tissue and gangrene was overwhelming, her roommate started to complain. The worst part is that she is only 62, A&Ox1, and on Hospice. So sad. I have a tough stomach, and normally I like wounds, blood, gore... but this was a bit much even for me.

I think I did really well today with my organization. Besides that dressing change, I had a PEG tube, blood sugars/insulins, and IV meds. I love having two patients though, the time flies by.

Friday, March 9, 2007

our own little worlds

Tonight at my psych clinical my patient, a 10-year-old boy, told me about the private world he slips into as he twirls his baton. In this world everything is wonderful, he meets celebrities, he gets along with his brother, etc. Without the baton, he can't slip into that world and he experiences great anxiety. He twirls the thing all day long. I chose to work with him because I think I totally get it... the magic baton, the portal into a world far better than this one will ever be.

Interesting point that a nurse made today: Her patient claims to be hearing the voice of God. She says she is religious and believes that God speaks to people, and yet at what point does this become an "auditory hallucination"? Good question. I mean, if you claim to really believe that God speaks to people, that he commands them to do sometimes very irrational things, that he impregnates virgins... how do you become a psych nurse? Here you are, drugging up all of God's potential messiahs, calling their visions hallucinations, calling their claim of connectedness to God grandiousity. If Christianity requires blind faith in the illogical, belief in prophets and messengers, and acceptance of scientifically impossible stories of virgin births and visions of the appocolypse... I would say get thee out of psych nursing because it sure seems like a conflict of belief and practice to me.

I must choose between my medsurg test and my research paper, considering the remaining time I have this week. Medsurg test wins out, so I will just take the late points on my paper. Priorities, priorities, and aren't they always telling us to have realistic goals?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

it really is rocket science

Why does financial aid have to be so hard? Every semester I go through this. This year it's even worse. Now it's my mother who has to have her credit checked, for some unknown reason. The things that Sallie Mae and your 'educational institution' require of us... I don't ask, I just do it. But it makes about as much sense to me as if they told me to eat a banana while doing a headstand. Ok... I'll try. So I'm still waiting for financial aid to come through for last semester, let alone this one.

I talked to my med-surg instructor today. She has to be the nicest, most reasonable instructor I've ever had and here I am practically failing her class! I am determined to better on the next test, which I told her, which means I'd better do better. I have a paper due on Wednesday as well, and with my crazy (and in my opinion, stupid) work schedule this week, it's going to be quite difficult. On the other hand, if they get mad at me for studying... oh well! I'm leaving in April!!! Goodbye boring, old job of 3 1/2 years. It's been real and I'm soooo ready to go to a "real" medical institution. Or at least a place where everyone isn't out to get me because I'm one of those "smart, book-reading, ej-ucated" people. You can keep your assisted living and your politics, I'm moving on to bigger and better problems.

Tomorrow my goal is just to wake up early enough to study a little. I did buy some groceries today so that is something remarkable. And the cats are having a party because I changed their litter. Blame it on nursing school that I've become such a slacker with the housework!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

welcome to my life

Welcome to the life of a nursing student! Yes it is my life, it has taken over my life. My semester has been even crazier than usual. I didn't think it was possible, but life always proves you wrong. Today I was forced to end my sessions with my personal trainer, to conserve energy for studying. This is because I failed my first test in med-surg and must, must, must do better next wednesday on the second test!

Yesterday was the first time I had two patients in medsurg, and I enjoyed being busier. The time went by faster, at least. It was my first time with a patient with a PEG tube. My instructor came in with me the first time, but she tends to impatiently do everything too fast without explaining. So the second time I went in with a crushed Prevacid and Plavix for the tube, I drew up the residual. No residual... hmmm, strange, I thought. But maybe not strange, I'm not so sure if there's supposed to be residual or not. So I went back to the diluted meds, tried to suck it up into the syringe... Nothing is going in! Why, you ask? Well, because I had left the syringe cap on. So I took it off, checked the residual again (10 cc this time), drew up the diluted meds, put it in, took the syringe out and... gush, fluid all over the place! No, I wasn't supposed to clamp it, he was on a continual feed. The answer was simple: Gravity. I should have held the tube up high, instead of down low where everything in the stomach would flow out through the tube.

Live and learn.

I wish that instructor wasn't so crabby. I overheard her telling a nurse that she knows she's being harsh to us, but she's "having a helluva day, and everyone else should too". Geesh. She even made me feel nervous giving insulin, which I do all the time at work.

Here I am in my research class, 'watching a video'. What would I do without my laptop???