Monthly Archives: July 2011

Reading, Reading, and More Reading.

The wait is over. All but one of my books came in the mail today. (Thank you, Chegg!) HOLY CRAP. They are HUGE. Man, this semester already feels like it’s going to be rough. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still excited, but I’m starting to feel a little uneasy. 😐

Here is an updated picture of my massive book mound:

Bye, bye social life!

I also got a really nice gift from Chegg. They sent me a really cool set of CDs that provide visual reference for an entire full body assessment. SWEET! I’m a visual leaner, so that was a very nice and welcomed surprise!

On another note, it’s Hump Day! I hope everyone is having a good week! I’m going to dive into a little bit of this reading. I really need to get back into the swing of this school business. LOL

-Rach

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SLOW, Nursing Books at Play!

I added the new page, School Schedule, to the blog thanks to some inspiration from Gertie. I’m not a creative individual by any stretch of the imagination, so I do a lot of studying and research to spark ideas for the blog. I really enjoy all of the comments I’ve been getting. They definitely help get the creative juices flowing!

3 weeks and 5 days left in the countdown and things are slowing down, for now anyway. I have everything ordered, paid for, picked up, and sorted out for the upcoming semester. I think. HAHA Now, I’m just waiting around for my books to show up in the mail so that I can get started on all that wonderful reading I need to do. I ended up spending about $357 dollars on books. That’s about $150 more than I originally thought. Stupid Patho book.

Here are the books I have so far:

I have 4 more on the way! All of this for 3 classes. Just 3.

I hope everyone is having a great week! I’m starving, so I’m going to make like a baby and get out of the mother! 😀

-Rach

I want to hear from you! Join the conversation by posting a comment! If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along! Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the post! :)

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It’s Official!

(Wow. Check out those uniforms!)

At least I feel like it’s officially, official! LOL It’s been a very productive day today in the world of preparing for nursing school. The uniforms are ordered and paid for, I’ll be ordering my books after this post, and I picked up my spiffy new name tag! After a day full of discussion about nursing school, reality has finally hit me. I’m going to nursing school! This is really happening! I’m just…elated! I’m so ready for the semester to get here already!

Plans were successful as far as hanging out with my friends goes. I’m so glad that my two closest friends in the program are the people that they are! It’s so refreshing to have friends who actually focus on their studies, carry on intelligent conversations, and over all have fun attitudes about life. It’s nice to know that you’ve got someone by your side who actually cares. 🙂 After sizing and ordering our uniforms today, we went out to eat. Good times were had by all, and I was sad to leave. At least there isn’t much time left until we are reunited full-time!

At this point in the countdown, which is 4 weeks exactly, my excitement outweighs my fear. That’s great, but there is still plenty of time for that to change! How are your countdowns going? Are you all feeling pretty confident? I hope no one is stressing too much already! I’m going to try to really enjoy this week and weekend, but next week I’m going to seriously try hard to hit the books and start refreshing that ol’ memory of mine ! 😀

I hope everyone has kicked this week off right!

 

-Rach

 

I want to hear from you! Join the conversation by posting a comment! If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along! Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the post! :)

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Doubts, They’re a Powerful Thing.

I had a great comment from a reader that really sparked the thought process. Marcia wanted to know if I ever doubted my decision to go into the nursing profession. What’s my answer to that? Absolutely. On more than one occasion, in fact.

During my first 3 years at my beloved University, I had no stinkin’ idea what to do with my life. At a mere 17 years old, how could I make a decision with such a deep impact like choosing a life-long career path? Within those first 3 years, I think I tried out about 4 different majors. Nothing gave me a feeling of assurance or satisfaction. I constantly wondered, ” Have I made the right decision?”

None of those majors held my interest enough to be life-long careers. I was scared, confused, and spending a lot of money that I now have to pay back. I decided to take a semester off to really explore my options. That’s when nursing fell into my lap. I accepted a job with a rehab facility, doing mostly aide work, with the intentions of further exploring my ever so slight interest in the nursing profession. When I showed up for orientation, I was absolutely scared out of my mind! What had I DONE? I can’t take care of people! I don’t even do a good job taking care of myself! However, I quickly got over that feeling of terror, and enjoyed the job. That’s when I knew that I was definitely making the right decision. I love helping people in their hour of greatest need. I love being able to be there when no one else is. I love having the opportunity to make a life-long impact and bring joy to otherwise dark times. I love medicine, and technology, and all of the wonderful opportunities that exist for nurses. I LOVE NURSING!

So here I am, getting prepared to start my first clinical semester. I never thought I would see this day come to fruition. Now I actually wake up excited about going school! I love to sit in lecture and ‘play’ in the lab! I’ll even secretly admit that I like most of the reading we’re required to do! But, my doubts have evolved. Now, I often doubt that I will ever be good enough to be the kind of nurse that I really want to be. I doubt that I will ever be able to learn everything that I need to learn and that I will ever reach the level that I want to reach.

How do I deal with these doubts? I start to ask myself questions like, what is it that brought me here? What do I love about nursing? What kind of nurse do I want to be and what kind of job do I want to have? For me, I use thoughts about my dream job (flight nursing!) to answer those questions. Thinking those thoughts really help me regain my focus and refresh my motivation.

Do you ever doubt your decision to pursue nursing? Do you doubt your abilities to be a good nurse? If so, how do you deal with these doubts? Let me know! I hope everyone is having a fantastic and restful Saturday! 🙂

-Rach

I want to hear from you! Join the conversation by posting a comment! If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along! Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the post! :)

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Top 3 Tips on Surviving Nursing School

If any of you have done any kind of research on how to survive nursing school, you know that there is more information than one human being can possibly process! Luckily for you, I’ve decided to make your life easier. Here are the top 3 tips that I believe (and use myself) will help you survive nursing school.

3. Go to class, be on time, and pay attention! 

– This one is a BIGGY! I went from a whole semester of disorganization, mid-level grades, and sheer panic to a whole semester of being a top-notch organizer, straight A student, and a goody two-shoes who ALWAYS knew what was going on! Don’t let the temptation of sleeping in overcome you. Wake up that extra 15 minutes early so that you know you’ll be on time. Then, when you are in class, put your cell phone away, don’t goof off with your buddies, and sit in the front row. Facebook can wait, you and your buddies can chat after class, and sitting in the front row diminishes your opportunity for distraction.  Your grades will thank you, I can almost guarantee it!

2. Keep up with your reading and study in a distraction-free environment! 


– As someone who would rather be hanged by her toe nails than read a book, this one is a challenge for me. However, I found that when I did read I retained the additional information I heard in lecture better. I was more familiar with the material and could focus on actually understanding the content. And no, I didn’t read every line of every page, every time. I did a lot of ‘skimming.’ Go over the bolded terms, and major points. Every little bit counts!

I also whole-heartedly believe that you need a 100% distraction-free environment when you study! Yes, that means, no music, no t.v., no computer, and no cell phone! Quit whining! When your brain can focus on that task at hand, you might be surprised how much you actually learn! Notice that ‘learn’ is stressed here…I’m talking about actual learning, not memorizing! In nursing, it’s all about critical thinking. You have to gain the knowledge and apply what you know to the many different situations you encounter. Learning is your friend. 🙂

1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP!

– Did I say that loud enough for you?! Let me say it again just to make sure. GET ENOUGH SLEEP! I know how tempting it is to put off studying until the night before. But please, just save yourself the heart ache! It is a known fact that the brain processes and stores information while you sleep. If you don’t give your brain enough time to do its job, how is it supposed to perform at its best level? Study a little bit of information everyday. Go over your notes after class. This gives your brain enough time to build up those ever-so-important connections and commit the information to your learning vault. I will admit, I do like to study for hours and hours. It just makes me feel more confidant in my abilities. I don’t really know why. When I write it out here it seems pretty silly, actually. LOL But my fiancé (who has a B.S. in Psychology) taught me one of the most important study techniques I have ever learned. It’s called, “Chunking.” Has anyone else heard of this? When you sit down to study for long periods of time, using the chunking technique will greatly improve your retention. I was amazed! Say you plan on studying 3 hours. After the first hour, take a 15-20 minute break. During this break do whatever you want to do, but don’t think about the material you are studying. Enjoy the break. Get on Facebook, make a phone call, play a game, whatever. Just do something to relax and rejuvenate your motivation. When the break is up, resume your studies. Continue this cycle until your 3 hours are finished. However, resorting back to the main topic of this point, don’t use this technique to pull an all-nighter and expect it to work! You have got to GET ENOUGH SLEEP!

There you have it! My top 3 tips on surviving nursing school! I hope that you all find them useful! If you decide to use any of them, I would love to know how well they worked for you!  Also, feel free to share any tips that you may have, too!

-Rach

I want to hear from you! Join the conversation by posting a comment! If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along! Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the post! :)

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Confession.

I have a confession to make. The initial countdown was wrong. *GASP* How could I be so careless?! Actually, I was only off by 1 day. That’s not horrible, right? 4 weeks and 4 days is the correct count. I promise! 🙂

I’m already starting to pep-talk myself for the upcoming semester. Telling myself that I’m going to exercise, eat well, keep on top of my reading, and spend time enjoying my hobbies. I’m not so sure that it’s working! I’ve already started to think about ways I can get out of doing the things that I enjoy the most. Why on earth would I do that? Because I have myself believing that I will no longer have time to eat, sleep, and breathe, let alone actually enjoy something! However, I am aware that you have to have some kind of break from school or you’ll find yourself being the patient for your own clinical group’s psych rotation. I just need to convince myself to get it together! Easier said than done, huh? I think the phrase, “Where there is a will, there is a way” goes here. What do you all plan to use as a stress buster? Anybody got any good tips, exercises, or fun things to help reduce the stress?

Now that we’re all stressed out from thinking about being stressed out, let’s end on a more positive note…

Only two days left until the weekend! WOOHOO! I hope everyone is having a great week!

-Rach

I want to hear from you! Join the conversation by posting a comment! If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along! Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the post! :)

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Books, and Uniforms, and Homework! Oh My!

My nursing school pals and I decided to team up on the dreaded book hunt to help each other find the best deals. College text books can really put the squeeze on your wallet, but nursing text books take ‘the squeeze’ to a whole new level! Luckily for me, I kept 5 out of the 7 that we were required to purchase last semester. Why does that make me lucky? Because all 5 of those textbooks are required again this semester! WOOHOO! Unfortunately, I still have to purchase a few for the upcoming semester. In fact, I already purchased my med-surg book(s). I do have some reading to get done. BLAH! Including the med-surg book, I should only have to spend about $300.00 to get what I need. Up until this last semester, I rented my books. That helped me save a ton of money! The best, and I mean BEST, place to get textbooks is Chegg. I have saved SO MUCH MONEY through these guys! Not to mention, the customer service is excellent and they plant a tree every time you make a purchase. 🙂 I mean, it must be good if I’m willing to brag about it and they aren’t even paying me, right?! Does anyone already have all of their books, if so, where do you get them? I feel like I should have them all, since I do already have homework, but I just don’t want to go that far yet. There’s still just a tiny bit of summer hanging on!

Moving on…

You all already know about my uniform situation, but plans on when and where to meet have been finalized with my peeps and all systems are go! I’m rather relieved that our uniform expenses aren’t as outrageous as our other required items. *Cough, cough* $15 dollar NAME TAG! I still can’t manage to get over that one. And then there’s the homework. I’m on summer vacation and I have homework! My new friend Gertie (HOLLA! :P) posted a DA–Dimensional Analysis–problem and asked for my two cents…lets just say that it took me a little while to find my bearings! It was a good wake up call that I need to dust of the ol’ brain and get to studying! Thanks for that little kick in the tush, Gertie!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

-Rach

I want to hear from you! Join the conversation by posting a comment! If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along! Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the post! 🙂

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Monday, Monday, Monday!

I had full intentions to blog yesterday, but by the time I was able to get to the computer I had a horrible headache and decided to go to bed instead. Sorry. 😦  I also thought I would come up with some kind of nursing school related material, but that just isn’t happening either! So, what exactly this blog about? ME! I thought maybe you all would like to know just a little bit more about who I am.

My name is Rachael and I am a 21-year-old nursing student. I am a college Senior who changed her major at the last possible moment to nursing. I am SO glad that I did! Whew! I saved myself from a life of unemployment and misery. I am in a 4 year BSN program and have 2 years left. Anyway, when I’m not overwhelmed with school I like to spend my time with my fiancé. We have been together almost 5 years. 🙂 I love that boy. He was a true gift from God and I thank Him everyday for that! We live 3 and 1/2 hours apart at the moment, so it’s a good thing that I love to travel! We are the proud parents of a 3-year-old shih-tzu named Bensen. He IS the best dog ever! Then, after all is said and done,I have figure skating! I’m an adult skater who started taking lessons about a year and half ago. Let me warn you, it is truly an addictive sport! I recently competed in my first competition which was an absolute blast! I’m pretty easy-going but I always like to have a plan. I love to laugh and have a good time. (This is starting to sound like a dating website profile…) I like to be outdoors, I’m always cold, and I am currently obsessed with the song, “If I die young” by The Band Perry.

Well, I suppose if you haven’t fallen asleep that you are definitely ready for this post to end! How do you all like to spend your free time? What are your hobbies? If there is anything else you would like to know about me, feel free to ask! But, I will say…I might not answer everything. I am trying to keep myself neutral since I am blogging about nursing school. Don’t want to get myself into any kind of trouble! 😛

Peace out, girl scout!

-Rach

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5 Weeks and counting…

That’s right, my first ‘clinical’ semester starts in 5 weeks! (5 weeks and 1 day if you want to get specific.) I already feel the need to start studying. While summer is enjoyable, and perhaps my favorite time of the year, it gives you plenty of time to forget everything that you have learned so far. YIKES! Hopefully, I haven’t really forgotten anything and just need to refresh my memory. I want to go into clinicals nice and prepared, but I’m going to try to not worry about that for now!

Now, on to the FUN stuff!

I have to get fitted for my school uniform on the 25th. Yes, we have to get our scrubs ‘fitted’. Ridiculous? I agree. I can only assume that at some point someone showed up in some outlandish get up and ruined it for the rest of us. *rolls eyes* However, that doesn’t put a damper on my excitement! I’m also happy about seeing my few friends that made it into the program. Notice the word FEW. My “best” friend in the program (I put that quotes because we were only friends at school) didn’t make it through the pre-nursing classes we had last semester. I was really sad to see her go because we made fantastic lab partners. I also caught wind of about 5 more who didn’t make it. Those classes were hard, but I didn’t think they were THAT hard. *sigh*  Oh well!  I can’t help but secretly rejoice in the fact that they didn’t make it, because that means I get to experience more during clinicals! 🙂 As of right now, we have a class size of about 28. Not bad!

That’s all I’ve got for now. As you can see, I’m having a hard time trying to conceal my excitement! Out of curiosity, have any of you all started studying, or do you plan on studying? Have you lost any friends a long the way? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

-Rach

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*Cough* Is this thing on?

Hello, World Wide Web!

I’ve been debating on whether or not to join the blogging fad and I’ve finally given in. Until this point in my life I felt like I didn’t have anything interesting to talk about. Well, that’s all about to change. I just got accepted into the clinical rotation portion of my bachelor’s degree nursing program! And who doesn’t love a good story about blood, guts, and poop? I’ll try to stick to the main theme of nursing school, but I can’t promise that I won’t wander into other territory. I’m hoping to connect with other nursing students, those thinking about becoming a nursing student, and those who are already nurses!

About my nursing career so far:

I am a Senior student with 2 years of school left. Yes, that means 6 years of college total. I took the scenic route, ok!? I avoided choosing the nursing major right off the bat because I considered it cop-out major. It seems that EVERYONE chooses nursing. At the time I didn’t know that EVERYONE doesn’t make it through nursing. When I finally gave in to the notion of nursing, I absolutely fell in LOVE with it! This is the calling that God has given me and I thank Him everyday for that! Anyway, my future goal is to work ER/ICU and eventually get into flight nursing. I like to live on the edge.

I guess that’s enough for now. Who knows if anyone will even find this blog. If you’re out there, let me know!

-Rach

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