A bit on my first assignment

20 Jun 2010 Filed in: Nursing School.

Our first clinical assignment in nursing school was to spend a month in a long-term care facility (not a nursing home).  I’m sure the ideas behind this were…

  • Orient students to patient care
  • Care for patients not acutely ill, therefore unlikely to accidentally kill
  • Get used to touching people
  • Learn what C. diff smells like right away
  • Get used to waking up before the sun
  • Weed out the weak of heart
  • Practice the art of powergrabbing from the clutches of LVNs and CNAs

I had a clinical instructor who was straight out of a cartoon, worthy of her own theme song even.  The funniest Latina woman I’ve ever met in my life who nicknamed me guera.  She wasn’t much of a teacher because she didn’t care for long-term facilities much herself, but she managed to slog us through the tasks and give me a decent review.  She teased me a lot and said I needed expand my Spanish skills beyond Speedy Gonzalez.  As much as I enjoyed her, I am praying I don’t get her again in a future assignment.  I need to learn something, not yuk it up all day long!

I hate it when…

19 Jun 2010 Filed in: Blather.

… I’ve been gone so long half my blogroll has packed up and moved on.  At this point all I get hits for are the Pinkeye Post and the Pregnancy Post, the latter of which generates much emotion.  I am surprised at how many women (like me) rip open the test box, toss the instructions, pee on the stick and then stare at it going, “WTF?”… then go search the blogosphere (not the manufacturer’s website) for the answer to the question that might just change their life.

The first day of nursing school

11 Jan 2010 Filed in: Nursing School.

The school I go to was my last choice based on distance from home and location, but it was the only one I was selected for based on a random lottery.  In this era of slim pickings, I couldn’t afford to decline and hope something else came along.  It turns out that for a school in the ‘hood, it’s actually very good, so shame on me for judging the book by its cover.

The dynamics of the class are of endless fascination to me.  It’s no surprise that I am amongst young students, but I was surprised I wasn’t THE oldest.  There are a few of us in our 40s, 50s, and 60s!  We have a kick-ass time making fun of the young kids who think they know everything just as we did when we were their age.  The difference is those kids have the good sense to go to school while they still live at home and have parents who pay the bills.  Maybe they do know everything?  The majority of the students are in their 20s, in fact we celebrated a number of 21st birthdays along the semester.  Asian and Latino students split the majority in the race make up of the class with just a few Blacks (aha! not going to say African-American because they aren’t American!)  and Caucasians.  We have 50 women and 10 men in the class.  As far as I can tell they are all straight.  Not so sure about all the women.  Didn’t see that coming, did you?  Most of the students have never done anything remotely close to the profession they are in training for while a few of us are nurse-aides, EMTs, medical assistants, and dental hygienists.  There are some laid off flight attendants, cosmetologists, baristas, daycare workers, nannies, and moms who finally got their kids grown.

Personalities are interesting to say the least.  I would say most of the class is pretty easy-going.  By the end of the semester we’d settled into cliques as I expected.  I started off in a study group (for lack of a better word) with a group of students and learned after just one session that my time would be better spent elsewhere.  These students ended up with As and Bs in the classes, but the group dynamic was not my idea of a good time.  I spent the study session and subsequent time in the lab wondering how I could kill one of the members (we’ll call this student Moose in future entries) yet still remain a student in good standing.  I didn’t join a study group because it didn’t seem to make a difference as I scored within a point or two on every exam in the three classes I took.  Instead I did my best to “academically socialize” with everyone and practice skills with as many students as I could.  That turned out to be a much better plan as now I know almost everyone in the class and have had some really good experiences, as well as laughs, along the way.