Thursday, December 30, 2010

TEAS V recap

This morning at about 11:30am, I left the testing site famished and with a killer migraine...but...I had completed the infamous TEAS V test.  The lowest acceptance score last fall for the program I want to get into was an 88 and I....

drum roll....

got a 90.3.  :)  I am happy...yes...very happy.  90 was the lowest I wanted to get and I just made it.  So, now all that is left to do is fill out the application and wait.  Applications are due in April and I will know if I made it in in the beginning of June.

I stalk the website for other people's scores to see if mine will be good enough, and not too many people have taken the test yet.  If I start reading that everyone is in the higher 90s, I will take it again (I have one more chance).  Who am I kidding...I will probably take it again just for peace of mind that I have done everything that I could have possibly done to increase my chances for admission.  Maybe...I don't know.

For those of you waiting to take the test, all I can say is USE THE STUDY GUIDES!
I used the ATI one and the McGraw-Hill one.  I would say that I spent about 20-25 hours studying for it.  The areas where I scored the highest were the math section and the English and language (grammar/punctuation).  My lowest were reading and science.  The hardest for me was Scientific Reasoning where I scored a 62.5% and Informational Source Comprehension where I got an 82.6%. 

Let me know if you have any specific questions and I will do my best to help!!!

I am just happy to have it done (for now).  It is going to be New Years Eve in 24 hours and I am looking forward to relaxing with my husband, son, great friends and some champagne.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  Hopefully 2011 will be full of wishes and dreams fulfilled for each of us.
See you next year...


Monday, December 20, 2010

Martina McBride - O Come All Ye Faithful

Studying for the TEAS

So...I have to admit, studying for the TEAS is such a drag.  (Now, I have the Beastie Boys stuck in my head.)  It is very humbling to learn that something that you were supposed to have learned in elementary school and in high school is no longer stored anywhere in your brain.  How do you calculate the area of a circle?...How about the circumference?.  What about the Pythagorean Theorem? What about dividing, multiplying fractions?  I am having to relearn everything.  Fortunately, algebra has always been easy for me (cha-ching) and I have sailed through that section.

I just got to the science section this evening (YIKES!) and realized I need to majorly brush up on some chemistry and physics.  Anatomy is fresh in my mind, so biology is ok....but the others...starting from scratch. I don't remember if elements are metals, nonmetals...memorizing the periodic table of elements...bonding...not bonding.  And-How many more days until the 30th?

Reading comprehension--I'm pretty good there if I slow down and pay attention.

Vocab-Fair...and fortunately I speak Italian because sometimes when I am looking at a word and thinking That is not a word. I try and think of what it could mean in Italian (root origin type stuff) and it is helping.

Spelling-Horrible.  How do you study for spelling?  Spell check?? No.  How many words are in the English language anyway.  I think I am going to look up the most commonly misspelled word lists on the internet...maybe that will help!  

And then, not to add any pressure onto myself...I realized that this test is the most critical part of the application process.  The school bases admission on 4 classes and this test.  Most people get 4 A's (or retake them to get A's) so the only thing seperating us is this darn test....LOOK I misspelled seperating...s/b separating.

And, it's Christmas.  Who wants to be studying?  I want to be stirring my hot chocolate with a candy cane while singing .  Time to multitask :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

FINAL tomorrow

So, tomorrow is the day!  I have been studying and studying...but I still don't feel ready.  My final for Anatomy is in the morning...10am.  I have to get 140 out of 200 to get an A in the class...and I must must must get an A or I will have to take the class again to get into the nursing program.  I feel pretty confident, but I am still going to study until the last minute.  I should NOT be on I will go now.  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2nd Night in the ER

Last night was my second night in the Emergency Department and things are going well.  I am responsible for stocking the rooms with supplies and for changing beds after patients leave.  I don't have any patient contact (which is probably good-after all what would I say? "Hi, sorry you are in the ER today.")  From stocking the rooms, I have learned a lot about the supplies (different size needles, catheters, different bandages, urine cups, etc.)  So far, so good.  I like it and find it exciting to be there.  I find myself being shy around the staff...not wanting to get in the way or say something stupid :)  I am sure I will become more confident with time.

I got the sense from one of the nurses (with a BSN) that I should go for my BSN instead of my ASN.  I go back and forth with this and maybe when I apply, my decision will be made for will accept me and one won't.  I am still leaning towards ASN and then doing my BSN online immediately after...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yummy worms!

Eating parasitic worms :)
Part of my final next week is on the digestive system and I found this article interesting.  This guys eat parasitic worms to treat his ulcerative colitis.  Kind of nasty (and risky) but apparently-effective (for him).  No doctors are willing to recommend this treatment even though it worked for his because of the liability.

Finished my two final papers for 2 of my classes...just my anatomy final to go-next Wednesday.  Back to studying!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

MRI Birth-Very COOL!

MRI Birth
I was diagnosed with cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) during the birth of my son and ended up having a C-section.  This article covers new MRI births where doctors are able to see more clearly the movement of the baby during delivery.  SO VERY COOL!  I do wonder about possible side effects of the magnetic resonance imaging (radio waves, magnets) on the baby.  I am not sure if it could be harmful or not.  My CPD was not clearly understood.  I was in labor for 36 hours and failed to completely dilate which lead to the C-section.  This type of technology could have given my doctors a clearer view on what was going on.  Way to go, Germany!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nursing School Phone Apps

Nursing School Phone Apps

This is an article about Apple Apps that can be helpful to nursing students.  I don't have an Iphone....but this sounds pretty cool for those of you that do :)

Saturday...a new journey begins

December is going to be busy. 

Finals, papers, starting volunteering, the holidays, and the TEAS test...all scheduled before the New Year.  This coming Saturday, I start volunteering in the ER.  I will be working 8pm to 12am on the busiest night of the week.  I can't wait to see what I am responsible for, what I learn about the ER, and what I learn about myself.  I am curious to know if that is the type of environment I could see myself working in or if it is just too intense and causes me to have sleepless nights.  On Friday, I stop by to get my uniform and badges and to find out where I am to report Saturday night.  My schedule in the spring will be busy, but manageable.  I am taking Microbiology online and Advanced Physiology on campus.  My AP class will also be on Saturday's from 12pm to 5pm.  I chose this schedule so that I can still keep my son out of daycare a bit longer and to save money since my husband is off on Saturdays.  I love a busy just keeps me ticking.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I see the light! the end of the tunnel.  The next step of this journey is almost over.  I have about 3 weeks of classes left and then I can officially say that my prereqs will be done for one of the programs I am applying to.  I am still holding on to A's with final papers and final exams yet to come.  I have started studying for the TEAS test, which is the an assessment of basic academic skills.  It basically covers Reading, Spelling, Math, Vocab and Science.  It shouldn't be too bad...the hard sections for me are actually spelling and vocab...which in my opinion, are really hard to study for.  I plan on taking the test in January, right after the holidays.

I found a great stethoscope on craigslist!  I got a Littman SE II.  Normally, they cost about $80, and I got a brand new one, in the box, for $30.  My 3 year old keeps asking me to "Play Doctor!"  It is a lot of fun.  He listens to my heart and his own heart and then we switch.

This week is the dissection of the reproductive system for our fetal it a boy or a girl??  Then it will be time to dispose of that sweet you just throw it away...bury it?  hmmmm....I have really loved this anatomy class.  I have learned so much and I am actually looking forward to Advanced Physiology where I know the systems and how they function will become even more clear. 

I went to my volunteering orientation at the hospital.  I learned all about HIPPA.  I am NOT TO BLOG about my experience as an ER volunteer or anything that I see...sorry!  It is all about patient privacy, even when you don't name names.  I have learned it is a very serious offense if you violate HIPPA and it is definitely something that you don't want on your record.  My lips will be sealed. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Doing what you love

I have always heard that the people that are happiest in their lives are the people that are fortunate enough to find a career that they love.  These people are the ones that say that for them, their work is not a job.  They say that they love to do it and it doesn't feel like work.  Yeah, right...Right???

Well, I have to admit, though I am not working as a nurse, I love to read every little thing I can about the subject of nursing.  I hope this is a good sign.  I have to write a final paper about the nursing profession for my technical writing class and the requirement is 5 sources.  I went to online to search the library and request some books and found 16 books that I wanted to read.  Not all of them are for the class, but there is a book about ER nursing...where I am going to be volunteering soon!!!!!!!!!!!!  so, I had to get that one...then there is a book about nursing today during budget cuts and nursing shortages and higher patient to nurse, I had to get that one too.  Then there was a book about nursing care plans and one about nursing resumes....and on and on.  There was another about the first year of nursing, I requested that one too.

I am happy to say that it looks like I will be volunteering at my local hospital in the ER department!  I am really interested in the ER, so I am excited to be in there to see if it could possibly be where I want to work once I graduate.  I will be working there on Saturday evenings!  Right now, I am taking TB tests and immunization screenings to make sure that I am up to date on all my shots in order to work there.  This coming Tuesday is an orientation.  They have to do a criminal background check and then check my references....when all comes back good, I will be cleared to start!  It looks like I should be able to start around the beginning of December :)  

Can you tell I am just a little bit excited?

Monday, November 1, 2010

November already!

I am always caught off guard when the calendar flips to the next month.  November already!  Thanksgiving is almost here, my third anatomy exam, and we are into the 11th week of classes.  I was busy this past week with 2 papers for my Communications and English classes and also worked my way through the Urinary System.  We are now onto Electrolyte and Acid/Base balance this week and then our 3rd exam next week.

Other than that, I am off to vote tomorrow morning and off to an interview at the hospital near my house for the volunteer position I mentioned a few weeks ago.  I am really excited!  I can't wait to hear what opportunities are available and to learn what the interviewer thinks I would be a good fit for in the hospital.

It is 10:35pm...back to studying.  At least one more hour or so...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On the lookout for a good stethoscope

Stethoscope Review 
I have gone to a few chat rooms that talk about different stethoscopes to determine which one I want to get in the future.  Stethoscopes range fro $5-$300 and so I wanted to have an idea what a makes one good or bad. I also scan ebay and craigslist regularly and there are sometimes some for sale for good prices, but I had no idea if they were any good or not.  The consensus seems to be that the Littmann Cardiology scope is a good one, so I will be keeping a look out!  It has an adult side and a pediatric/thin person side that is adjustable and the ear pieces are supposedly more comfortable...

Monday, October 18, 2010

On to week NINE!

I am in week 9 of the 16 week semester...over the hump.  My Anatomy midterm went well...180 out of 200.  I am very happy with that grade and relieved it is over.  Now we are on to nutrition, electrolyte balance, the urinary system, genetics and the reproductive system to round out the end of the semester.  I honestly love it all, or love to hate studying it... if that makes sense.  It is so insanely interesting and I love the moment when I finally get it.  The journey from thinking I am reading something in a foreign language to being able to explain it to someone else is in a way magical.  I am learning how the body works and I love it.  All the systems are really coming together now which is exciting, all the body systems function as one whole unit.  It really is so very cool.

My other two classes are going well, too.  For my Interpersonal Communications course, I needed to enter into a culture different from my own and study the different communication methods and any bridges or barriers that I experienced.  The assignment was to attend a cultural event or religious event that was out of my comfort zone.  I decided to study, instead, the communication issues between people with cancers and those without and the difficulties that people have talking to people about their illnesses or talking to them at all.  It was a very enlightening and wonderful experience.  I learned a lot through my research that I will be able to use in nursing.  For example, did you know that many breast cancer patients are overwhelmed with all the pink ribbon products on the market?  Many times they say that they try to forget that they have cancer for a moment, but they can't because they can't even buy a box of cereal at the grocery store with out there being a pink ribbon on it.  I also learned that the LIVE STRONG movement is difficult for many cancer patients...the whole...YOU CAN DO IT!  We will beat this together attitude.  Many times, they find this kind of talk annoying because no one really knows if they are going to beat the cancer or not.  A lot of times they want just a simple, "I'm sorry.  This is so unfair."  Very cool assignment and I hope to do more about nurse-patient communication in future.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Destressing before my test in the AM

I added a bunch of my favorite songs in the sidebar as My Soundtrack!  These are the songs of my life and I keep adding to it as I think of more that I sing in the shower!  I needed to relax before my test.  My brain is cramped and I don't think anymore can fit in there.  My midterm is at 9 tomorrow! 

Some of the songs are funny to me and make me laugh, some give me goosebumps, some give me tears...enjoy!  And if you have a question about why one of the songs made the list, let me know.   

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eric Clapton - Change The World (Live Video Version)

Love Clapton...makes me so happy!


I haven't had anytime to write on here!  I have been studying for my Anatomy midterm for days and some of the information is finally starting to stick.  Last week, I had to turn in papers for my two other classes as the midterm and this week is dedicated to getting the endocrine, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive and cardiovascular systems down.  It is so much information!  When I go to bed at night I feel like my brain is going to explode and I am exhausted.  Since my class is online, I have to go to the college to take the test in their testing center and I have until Wednesday of next week to take it.  Since my husband is home on the weekend, I thought to take it on Saturday...but now, I am thinking of taking it on Monday and taking the weekend to study some more.  He doesn't go to work until the maybe I can take it before he leaves.  An extra few days would be nice.  I get so nervous, because so much is on the line for each one of these tests.  Each anatomy test could make or break my chances of getting into the program and I want to make sure I am as prepared as possible.  I don't ever remember studying this much for my BA, and I still graduated with a 3.7...who knows...maybe I have selective memory of those years. 

Anyway...once I get through these midterms, I will be back up posting those photos of the dissection and some more nursing news I have read and would love to comment on.  Got my application for volunteering!!! yay!  Will be sending that out tomorrow.  That will be such a great experience.  I hope they can work with my tight schedule!  Ciao for now...Anna

Friday, October 8, 2010

Please Hire Me!

Back in the late 90's, I volunteered at a hospital near the university I attended in the Cardiovascular Recovery Unit.  I was responsible for directing families to the correct rooms or to the nurses station (if their family member had passed away).  I remember being trained on "the black line."  If the patient was black lined, they had passed and I was not to tell the family members or friends...I just had to direct them to the nurses station. 

I have been thinking that I needed to get back into the health care environment...get back with patients, their families, medical personnel, etc...
So, I excitedly called my local hospital today to find out about any super part-time (6 hours or so) jobs that they have available and they recommended I talk to volunteer services.  Being in school, with a toddler and a husband that works 60 hours a week doesn't leave too much time to work, but I am hoping to find something that is only Saturday or Sunday evenings...maybe from 12 to 6 or 8 or something like that.  She said that the interview process for volunteering takes about 5 weeks with orientation and background screenings and such.  That would put me starting around Thanksgiving...fingers crossed.  I am really willing to do anything.  Have me clean out bed pans!  I am fine with that.  I would just be so excited to even observe the units and the nurse/doctor/patient interaction and it would be great training and insight for clinicals.  I have heard a lot of great things about the hospital and it is close to my house.  I am hoping it all works out. It would be nice to learn and become familiar with the hospital.  I would think it would be nice that I already have some hands-on experience and familiarity with the facility.  It would be great experience and I really hope it works out.  I will keep you all posted.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What is up with me...

Today, I did my respiratory dissection on the fetal pig.  I took some pictures and I will post them soon.  Found the trachea and esophagus and counted the lobes of the lungs.  I was disappointed with my 16 out of 20 on the quiz is so frustrating to work so hard at it and then miss some anyway.  For the semester in Anatomy, I can miss 100 points and still get an A.  So far to date, I have missed 12 points.  My midterm is in a couple, I hope I do well.  I just have one more chapter to read - the digestive system - before the test on the 20th.
I am taking 2 other classes right now that are full of busy work.  I write papers and discussion boards on various topics.  This past week, I had to write a paper about language as a bridge or as a barrier in the movie The Terminal.  Then, I had to write a discussion about the Code of Ethics for Nursing.  Last week, I also had to research urinalysis drug testing and why and am pro/con and write a mock memo to the Factory Manager at a faux company about my recommendations.  None of it is really hard, but it is time consuming.  Neither of those classes are looked at for admissions to the nursing program, but they are required to graduate, so I have to pass.  Passing to me, though, means getting an A.  I have trouble just doing the minimum to get by and end up spending more time then probably necessary...time I should be spending on Anatomy that does count for admissions.
Other than that, fall is here...and though I do love my sweaters, I hate winter.  My fingers are cold and nearly numb as I type this.  I think it is about 63 in the house right now, but I refuse to turn the heat on-it would be admitting that it is cold or something.  Instead, I bundle up and hope for a warm day tomorrow to heat the house up.  I think it is supposed to be in the low 70s...Time to winterize the house and make sure the cars are ready for the snow and ice...ick!  I hate scraping windows and fighting the weather.  Give me sun!  Give me heat!  Maybe one day, I will move somewhere were winter never visits.  I do love to visit the apple orchard every fall.  I make applesauce and apple pies.  There is something about gathering my own food that warms my heart.  It makes me so happy!  I love to cook.  I made the greatest chicken marsala tonight with my neighbors.  I was vegetarian for about 6 months this year...for health reasons...I simply don't digest animal products well...but I decided to add some meat back in my diet because I love cooking for my friends and family...and well...they eat meat!  For the 6 months I was meatless, I would make a meal for me and one for my husband and son and I hated it!  It wasn't the extra cooking that bothered me, it was that we were not able to share a meal together and discuss the flavors.  I simply can't live like that.

Nurse Could Lose License for Snooping - WNEP

Nurse Could Lose License for Snooping - WNEP

In this day in age, I think people have forgotten that privacy is a right and is protected by law. We are so used to Google-ing people and checking them out on Facebook, that we think that if we can find the information, it is our right to know it, have access to it, and share it with others. This nurse in this story is probably going to lose her nursing license and get a hefty fine for looking up someone's medical information without authorization. She looked up her neighbor's information and then was so bold to comment about one of his allergies TO HIM! Not very bright. She should never have looked it up in the first place, but then to comment on it...doubly wrong and stupid...and I think she should lose her license. The patient-doctor relationship is special relationship. You confess things to your doctor that you would never tell anyone else and to know that someone is looking at those files for laughs and giggles is horrifying. Our bodies and our minds are so private. We have the right to keep it that way and to only share the information with the people we chose to share it with. I think about so many people that don't feel comfortable in doctor's offices...and why? Probably because they don't want to talk about such private issues or face admitting past behavior was inappropriate or harmful to their health or to discuss behaviors that need to change. Shame on you, snooping nurse.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Breath You Take - George Strait

Juggling Act

Sometimes I feel like I am the grand ringmaster for the traveling circus. I know that there are a lot of people that feel this way and this blog post is to let you know that you are not alone. Everyday, I feel like there is more that I need to accomplish than is physically possible to do. Yet, everyday, I wake with the goal of actually accomplishing...well, most of it. Today was actually a good day and I got my list of school assignments done. Two papers, two discussion board posts and read the rest of a chapter in Anatomy I needed to catch up on. But, it isn't just school. Then there is the housework, the groceries, the quality time with the kids, the attempt at a conversation with your spouse that is about something other than daily tasks...I still try to be philosophical. Then there are your friends and relatives...when are we supposed to fit them in? Thank goodness I don't have a pet...poor thing would never get walked or have a clean litter box. Then there is church...I need to get involved in a church. Oh, and I need to exercise. Yes, definitely exercise. Oh and don't forget there are less than 85 shopping days until Christmas.

Breath in. Breath out.

Something has to give. Though with my personality, I still try to do it all and am successful to some degree. Prioritizing is key. In the evening before I go to bed, I plan out the absolute must do's for the next day and try with all my might to get those done. I try to do fun or less stressful tasks when I am most tired at the end of my day or with my 2 year old at my side and the worst, most dreaded and difficult tasks in the morning. If by lunch, I have the dreaded put to rest, I am much more confident about the rest of my day. I have heard that nursing is a juggling act. Patient needs, reports to write, patient needs, labs to send, patient needs, learning new procedures, patient needs...and on and on. Sounds like my cup of tea. I actually thrive with a full plate and stressful deadlines. It makes the day go faster and you have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. One day, I will wake up, my son will be grown and they will be asking me to retire already. Retire? If I retire, what will I do all day?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Life-out of my hands

I believe in fate...destiny...a plan that is out of my hands...and all that good stuff. I believe in it for myself and for everyone on the whole planet. It is unfathomable for me to image that we are all here by chance and are bumping into each other at random. I find it comforting to know that there is a reason behind each union, every smile, every tear, and every break up.

There are a couple reasons I am thinking about this today. I am thinking about how my own personal relationships have been changing. I believe that it isn't good or is just part of life. That I may close the door on one relationship, but that allows me to hear that someone is knocking at another. It is hard not to reminisce and feel loss, but if the relationship is over, it is over. (By the way-this has nothing to do with my husband!! Just wanted to make that clear...we are just fine.) In my husband's life, he is struggling with finding a new path for his career. He isn't happy or satisfied where he is and has been searching and praying for where he should be heading. I keep reassuring him to keep searching and praying and continue to be patient, but I know it is hard. I kind of got hit by a bus with the idea that I should become a nurse. It was like lightening striking me. One minute it wasn't there and the next, I was certain..with out a doubt that that was what I was supposed to be working towards. It is the exact same feeling I had when I met my husband. I had known him about 24 hours when I told a very close friend that I could marry him the very next day without any problem. That I was sure-with every part of my being-that he was "the one." Isn't it funny how that happens?

Now, I talk to some people about this and they say that it has never happened to them and I always wonder if they are not paying attention or are not listening or if it is really true. I have always believed that what ever you believe in is what will happen to you. If you think that you are unworthy of finding true love, you never will. If you think that you are going to succeed, you will. When I enter nursing, I know that some of my optimism will be jaded by sickness and hopelessness. How am I going to encourage my patients to go on? How will I be able to encourage them to be at peace with the path that they are on...even if it appears it is going to end with death? How will I be able to talk to families and give them comfort? How will I find the right words for the right person at the right moment? I doubt they teach this in nursing school...I am going to have to do some research on the compassionate heart of a nurse and how it is cultured and developed. I guess, I think I have my heart in the right place, but I worry that I might not have the right words. I am sure it all begins with thinking before speaking.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Test number the grade books

Today, I had my first Anatomy test of the semester for my Anatomy class....and I got an A!
I am taking Anatomy and Physiology 102 which is the last 600 pages of my anatomy text or the last 15 chapters.

I am so happy. I don't know how everyone else is as a test taker, but the minute I open my test, my heart starts racing and I draw a total the words on the exam are in a different language or something. One weird thing that I have always done on tests and it seems to help me is that I always start at the end and work backwards. That way, when I get to the top, I am done with the test and then I work down and review everything before I turn it in. Also, I think it gives me some confidence, because I am on question 50 instead of question number 1. (personal mind games!) I spend about the first 5 minutes looking over the test and I always determine I know nothing and that I am going to fail. I then regain my composure and get down to business. I skip questions that make no sense and move on. Normally, the 2nd or 3rd time I read it, the answer becomes obvious, so the 1st time I look at the test, I just skip around a lot and try and get the easiest stuff done and out of the way.

An example of one of the questions is:

Which of the following arteries branches to form the common hepatic artery, left gastric artery and the splenic arter? Answer: Celiac trunk

I am so midterm is October 20th. It will cover 8 chapters: Endocrine System, Blood, Cardiovascular System (Heart and Blood Vessels), Lymphatic System, Respiratory System and the Digestive System. I honestly have not been studying as much as I should be. I have been so distracted by my son lately, the last few warm days of the year (ok, so we have a few weeks), mulching my yard...basically, I have not been wanting to study. I know the midterm will show no mercy, so I will have to begin...tomorrow.

Monday, September 20, 2010 had to be done

Goodbye, Facebook and all my "dear" friends. It had to be done. Last night, in a moment of insanity - or sanity - I deactivated my Facebook account. Oddly, I felt a sense of peace and calm knowing I had shut the door on a lot of noise in my life.

I joined Facebook about 2 years ago under the urging of friends and family that it was "so great" and you can keep up with everyone so easily. So, I thought I would check out what all the fuss was about. It took me a few weeks of Facebook consumption to be hooked and loving to find and reconnect with old friends from my near and distant past. How cool, right? For awhile.

It was fun to chat and share pictures with people I hadn't seen in 20 years...few I had much in common with anymore and most...well, I could tell why we weren't friends anymore. The few gems I did find, made it worthwhile to continue to visit the site and keep the conversations going.

The problem with Facebook for a person like me, is that I could not easily disconnect from people and ignore people. I felt obligated to comment on pictures, posts, and birthdays. It became part of the things I needed to do for the day...check and see who I needed to wish "Happy Birthday" etc.

I had an enlightening talk with my husband last night that lead to the deactivation of both of our accounts and the subsequent celebration and liberation from Facebook. I was talking about all the people that I was worrying about and thinking about and how much I cared for them - and here is where the honesty hits - I felt like people weren't caring about me back. It was my sense of internet social network etiquette that I felt was not being followed properly and it was honestly causing me heartache. Isn't that so middle school. My husband - praise the Lord! - lead me to the realization that I could eliminate some of my stress if I just closed my account and said "Good-Bye" to 200 of my "closest" friends. After all, he pointed out, the ones that matter and that are PRESENT in my life will remain and the rest will fall back into the storage closet of my mind where they really belong. I need to focus on the PRESENT and the people that are PRESENT in my life only. That is the only thing I have the energy for. I cannot effectively help and care for all the people that I have ever known as well as be actively PRESENT in the lives of those closest to me.

I find it humorous that an Epiphany of sorts had to happen in my heart for me to realize that Facebook was poison to me. While I have enjoyed rekindling friendships with people of my past and organizing social functions with my current friends, from now on, email me or call me....I have logged off for good.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nursing Shoes...what is a girl to do?

I confess...I am kind of a shoe girl and nursing shoes are not...well...very exciting or stylish. There are 4 major reasons:

1. Anti-slip - you don't want to slip and fall EVER! Imagine falling while transferring a patient or inserting an IV or carrying some urine to the dump in the get the picture. You want to stay planted on your it is really important to get shoes that are designed and advertised as anti-slip.

2. Plain Jane - You want to minimize the exposed ties, crevices and creases. It is more hygienic to have a really plain solid piece of leather exposed because during the course of your day, "stuff" will get on them and at the end of the day, you are going to want to rub them down with some rubbing alcohol or something to disinfect them. If you have ties and other layers of cloth or leather, they will not get as clean and that is well...gross.

3. White - I know for the nursing schools that I am trying to get into, the shoes must be ALL white. No other colors at all. This is limiting, and honestly...I have not worn all white shoes since I had Keds in grade school. It is part of the uniform and it is important, so I have been on the lookout for some good looking white shoes.

4. Comfort - This probably should be Number 1!! As a nurse or nursing student, you are on your feet all day long. Running here and there to get things and checking on your patients and reporting back to the nursing station and then moving here and there - patients, supplies, name it. Comfort is very important and one reason why I will be going to shoe stores to pick out my shoes...I want to try them on!

Here are some that I have found on the internet that look kind of good...but I would have to try them on first to know for sure! Have you seen any good shoes you can recommend?

Shoe One
Shoe Two
Shoe Three

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

National Nursing News | A New Era in Nursing: Community Health and Aging Population Shift RN Employment

National Nursing News | A New Era in Nursing: Community Health and Aging Population Shift RN Employment

I am really excited about the future of nursing and everything that I read reinforces where I think I should be heading in nursing. I visited my great uncle a few weeks ago...need to go again!!...and I loved it. He loved my visit and I loved being there. Maybe geriatrics is my calling because I really feel like the elderly in our society are pushed aside a lot and are just closed up in these nursing homes to wait for death, and I try to see them not as aged and decrepit and needy. Instead, I love to learn about their lives, their loves, their dreams and their wishes for their lives and I love to hear the wisdom that they hold in their hearts and the advice they are just dying to give. Yes, some are grumpy. But wouldn't you be if you were locked up in a nursing home. You remember the freedom you used to have and now it is all gone. You have lost the feeling that you have anything to contribute to this world. Who knows in what direction I will go...but this article does state that it is very important for nursing students and young graduates to become experts in geriatric care. It is complicated and it is growing as the population ages.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Norah Jones Shoot the Moon

The seasons change, the days move quickly, the moments last in our memories...enjoy!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Male Nurses - A growing trend

Men in Uniform

When you close your eyes and imagine a nurse, what do you see? You probably imagine a young woman, maybe dressed in white, maybe in funny looking scrubs, but you probably didn't imagine a man. Today, women outnumber men 15 to 1 in the nursing profession. This article talks about how that is changing and more and more men are entering nursing school programs and more men are becoming registered nurses. I remember overhearing a conversation between friends a few years back when a friend of mine (male) told another male friend that he was thinking about becoming a nurse and instead of being supportive, he said, "Dude, chicks are nurses." I am sure through the years many men have steered away from nursing because of the fear of being perceived as less masculine. Maybe they became doctors or maybe they shied away from the medical profession all together. My friend never ended up going to nursing school.

This article said something interesting about the men of the 21st century. There was one point where it described the roles of men and women in the home. The younger generations have embraced a more cooperative partnership with child-rearing and maintenance of the home. To cooperatively care for children, men have had to learn greater patience, learn to be more caring, have more forethought, multitask, and have more empathy. All of these characteristics are also important to have when you are a nurse. I am sure that men have more confidence in their abilities to care for others since they have more first hand experience and training at home.

I think that nursing is experiencing a very exciting period that can only enhance and move the profession to a new level. Not only are men entering the profession, but there are many people, like me, that are entering nursing as their second career. We bring experience from other fields and this can only improve the quality of nursing. I have an administrative and business background and years of training in customer service and employee training. I know that this previous experience will be a benefit to me in my future nursing position.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

it still makes me sad...

This is the 9/11 Teardrop Memorial by Zurab Tsereteli and it is in Bayonne, NJ facing New York Harbor and the site of the Twin Towers. It was dedicated in 2006 and was a gift from the Russian people. I don't know if it is because I don't watch enough TV or if this was simply not covered by the news media, but I had never seen or heard about this memorial before today. Either way, it is a breath-taking sculpture that speaks so much to the emotions of the American people.

I will never forget 9/11/01. I don't know anyone that died that day, but listening to the stories of others, I can feel their loss and can easily tear up. I sometimes wonder how this emotional connection I can make with people is going to affect my nursing. I worry that I am going to become too emotionally involved with patients and their families and be crying all the time. I know that there are many areas of nursing that are less emotionally trying, but then I wonder if the empathy is a good thing and will be appreciated by the patients and their families.

Life is so short, but the days can be so long-especially if you are sick or missing someone you have lost. Hug your family and friends today and everyday and keep loving each other.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fetal Pig Heart Dissection

So, it is Labor Day and it is my birthday, so what would be a perfect activity for such a nice cut out the heart of a pig. And that is just what I did. This isn't the first time I have dissected a pig...I do vaguely remember doing it in high school along with the worm and the frog. In college, my favorite dissection was of a bird and coolest part was that the professor said that the minute we cut into the bird (pigeons) we would know immediately if we had a boy or a girl...mine was full of eggs...a GIRL. Now, with this pig, I am not sure if I have a boy or a girl yet. I think the reproductive dissection is in a few weeks.

Today, I had to make a T incision on belly of the pig from the throat to the umbilical cord and then right under both forearms. From there, I had to cut away the epithelium and other tissue-fat and muscle to get down to the thoracic cage. I cut to the right of the breastbone hoping to miss the heart which lies more to the left of the body. I was successful and cut away the parietal tissue layer and I saw the lungs that hugged the sides of the heart and peeled those back and cut away the pericardium tough connective tissue to free the heart and finally, I cut away the arteries that connected it to the body. After successfully removing it in one piece, I cut it open to view the atrial and ventricle cavities and identified each of the arteries and veins.

Unfortunately, when I went to take my quiz, I only got a 16 out of 20 which kills me! It is so important to get an A in this class and that is 4 more little points lost. I won't know what I missed until later this week. I love the visual and hands-on aspect of the labs and even enjoy doing them at home, but it would be nice to work together with others sometimes. Oh, well. I will keep working away and studying. Happy Labor Day!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 near fight with a preschooler and his mother

I had a run in with a 3 year old little boy today at the Splash Pad near my house. He was picking on my 2.5 year old by calling him "Stupid Poopy Diaper Butt" and "Stupid Baby" (he did not have a poopy diaper, by the way) and at one point this kid cocked his arm back like he was about to slug my unsuspecting, innocent son. I ran to rescue my son and let the little boy know I was watching him and then glared around the park to locate the mother of this little monster. And there she was, hands on the hips and said, "Oh, boys will be boys." Oh really, lady. I felt like cocking my arm back, but instead decided to retreat with my son to the other jungle gym. I was pretty bothered by the whole incident for some time after and throughout the evening, wondering how a mother could let her kid be such a bully.

And then this evening, thinking about what my blog post should be about, I came to peace with the mother and her sweet child.

I am not going to be able to protect my son from bullies his whole life. He will learn about them sooner or later when so-and-so doesn't want to play, hits, or calls him "Stupid Poppy Diaper Butt." I am just going to teach him that people aren't always in a good mood and sometimes are having a bad day and say the wrong things. There is some saying about making your own sunshine...Irish maybe? And to always try and help them be less grumpy. If they won't let you, that's ok and just move on. I know for a fact that I am going to meet a lot of grumpy people when I am a nurse that have no desire to be at the doctor's, the hospital, or to hear they are diagnosed with something that they never thought could ever happen to them. Those are going to be hard days where I will have to bring my own sunshine and an umbrella for everyone else who feels it is pouring down on them.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Motivation...where does it come from

There are so many days, nights, weekends....ok...a lot of times that there are so many other things that I would rather be doing than studying. I love to cook and could spend hours reading cookbooks and dreaming about new dishes to make. I love to come up with great tasting dishes with all the left over greens and other veggies and stuff in my pantry. I also love to play with my kid and hate it when I am studying and I get annoyed by him because I know he just wants some attention and a playmate. Studying, for me, a lot of times is deadline motivated only. What works for me is this...

On Sundays, I make a plan for the week of all the chapters I have to read, quizzes I need to take, exams I need to study for etc...and it looks a bit like this:

Note: This is not a to-do list. Those have never worked for me...I have to have dates and deadlines or it is too overwhelming and seemingly unachievable at first glance.

Read Chapter 16 Anatomy
Quiz Communications

Do practice quizzes Ch 16 Anatomy
Discussion Board English
Start paper Comm

etc etc etc

and then I celebrate when I get to cross things off and as long as it isn't a due date I have missed, I have no problem moving things to the next day. It keeps me focused and goal oriented and not overwhelmed. Also, I make mini goals as I am working through a chapter, too. If there are 5 sections in a chapter, I make a goal to get 2 sections done by lunch, for example and really strive to meet my mini goals so the big goals are easier to meet. I guess, now that I think about it, I do this in other parts of my life too. I never want to spend hours in the bathroom cleaning, so I make mini tasks and make a goal to just clean the sink today, toilet tomorrow, floor the next day and so on and things stay in order in other areas of my life too. I usually do not write those down, though. They are more goals that I set in my head. Hope that helps!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Des'ree-You Gotta Be(Live)

There are a lot of songs that make me feel something...happy or sad, good or bad. This is a feel good song that lifts me up and motivates me...enjoy.

ahhhhhh....back to school

I have never studied so hard in my whole life. Nothing has ever meant so much to me...I want to be a nurse so I have to get into nursing school. It is hard to believe that All these notes were for my 8 week Anatomy class I took this past summer. (Note: that is a LOT of paper...I will recycle it!) I would calculate daily where I stood in the class...sort of like an obsession with the magical points of the class. The class was worth 1000 points and I had to get 900 or above to get an A. Let me tell you...when I would get 16 out of 20 on a Lab quiz I would be SO mad. That is 4 Points! I ended up surviving the 8 week course and scored a 947. I am now taking Anatomy 2 and it is the same grading system, so here we are again...this time, I have 16 weeks to get through the class, though...a little more reasonable. I am also taking an Interpersonal Communications class (basically-how do we communicate and why) and Technical Writing (which is writing for the workplace). Week 1 of 16 is done and I just have a few more practice tests for Anatomy and PowerPoints to go over. Oh, not sure I ever mentioned, but I currently am taking all my classes online. I only have to go to campus to take the Midterm and Final for my Anatomy class and the rest is all done from the comfort of my home. I love it. I don't have to put my son in daycare and have that extra expense. I am more of an auditory learner and do really well in lecture classes by listening and taking notes, so this has been an adjustment for me. I have to read the WHOLE text book and take notes and then read PowerPoint presentations to clarify what the professor is emphasizing as most important to understand and remember. It will all be worth it when I get that acceptance letter!

What would you do?

Nursing Homes in Crisis

Many new nursing school grads start in nursing homes to gain clinical experience. It is a difficult job and as this article states, many time you do not have the resources you need to care for your patients in the proper way. If I got hired at a nursing home and later became aware of clear violations in the care of patients, I would have to work to make some improvements for my patients (which I am sure is not easy, either!). I am not sure how the RNs, CNS, LPNs and other employees of these facilities could just turn a blind eye. Why were they not reporting some of these violations themselves? I am aware that there would be a fear of losing your job, but really...what is most important? I personally couldn't sleep in my comfy bed at night if I knew that my patients were freezing without heat back in the nursing home.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Why nursing?

Why nursing? Honestly, number one, I love all people. Old or young, it is hard for someone to put me on the defensive or for me to find someone that I really don't like and genuinely care for. People simply intrigue me. I am always subconsciously trying to understand their motivations for their actions and for their words. If someone is angry or yelling, I know that it isn't me (I hope not!). There is something that is making them feel bad-either physically or emotionally that is leading to this negative behavior. I find it exciting to try and determine the cause of their discomfort and to help them feel better. I visited my great uncle in the nursing home he lives in-well exists in...according to him. He feels like people are just waiting for him to die. People wouldn't have to come visit him anymore, the government wouldn't have to keep paying his nursing home bills. I asked him if he goes for walks. He said that he goes up and down the hallway. I told him that everyday he should go outside in the courtyard that they have. To get some fresh air and sit in the sun some with a nice cup of coffee. He didn't know how to program his TV, so I got that all set up...he said there is nothing on that TV that interests him...but I figured the background noise would be nice if he wants it. I then told him to be nice to the nurses. That they are probably overworked and tired and to give them the benefit of the doubt. He agreed. I brought him dinner (he requested mashed potatoes, gravy and a hamburger). He said all they have to eat is boiled chicken and watery fish...ewwww. He is used to my great aunts great cooking. I can't fix everything for him, but I wanted to make it a little nicer and lift his spirits a bit. In the end, he wanted to pay me for getting his he loaded my bag up with cookies that he got on his meal tray every day...I love people. It just fills my heart to see others show their own goodness.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fob watches - my new obsession

So, as a nurse, you are around sickness and infection and you wash your hands about a million times a day. All good. (Time to research the best lotions!) But, ever since I enrolled in school, I have been wanting to order scrubs and nursing shoes and stethoscopes...but. it would be a little premature and insane considering I have not been accepted to the program.

But, even more intriguing than scrubs and stethoscopes is: The Fob Watch!

I love these! They are safer for patients and the nurses because they are more sanitary than a wrist watch and the pink one in particular is plastic and can be washed regularly. I like the heart one!! The pregnant one is too cute!! I am not planning on Labor & Delivery, but I am going to recommend this to my midwife friends! They also have plain circular ones in different colors if you are wanting to be less flashy. The white one is nice, too.

You can only order these out of the UK. I have not found them in the States. They are about $21 shipped...This is going to be my gift to myself if I get into the program :)

Governor can cure sick nursing school system by signing bill - Bee Editorials -

Governor can cure sick nursing school system by signing bill - Bee Editorials -

I don't live in California. I have read this article and fail to see how it is going to "cure" the nursing school system. Just by offering a doctorate in nursing, what does that accomplish? Schools have to be willing to invest in more faculty and more space for the nursing programs.

I am really interested in nursing education. I love to teach and this is one of the areas of nursing that I am going to look into. Working for a university or community college would be good, or I would like to work within the hospital system in a teaching/training/implementation role of new standards and policies. In the hospital setting, my teaching would touch the patients immediately. I am also really interested in doing nursing policies are working. Are they providing the most benefit to patients while at the same time cost effective for the hospitals. I LOVE school and to be able to be in school forever and then teach would be the ultimate for me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Here we are...what are my plans

Well here we are...
I have been planning on creating this blog for quite some time. So happy to be here!

Just a little background on me:
Currently, I am taking prerequisites at a community college in order to apply for nursing school clinicals at two different schools. Both programs are very I hear all nursing programs are these days. There seem to be a lot of people that want to become nurses, but not enough faculty, clinical sites, or nursing programs to keep up with the demand. Basically, you have to have straight A's to get into any program. There is a bit of leeway, but not too much. So, suffice to say, it is a bit stressful!

I have a BA in Telecommunications and Italian that I completed a decade ago (really? wow...time flies). Some of the classes that I completed for those degrees transfer onto the co-requisites of the nursing degree...which is really nice. This coming spring, I will be applying for an Associates in Nursing Program (ASN) as well as an Accelerated Bachelors in Nursing (ABSN) program. So far, my grades are good and competitive in order to be in the running for one of the sacred clinical spots in either program. I am currently taking 3 classes...1 of which is REALLY important for entry into the ASN program. Next spring, I will take 2 other classes that are REALLY important for entry into the ABSN program.

So, when do I study? Well...when my 2 year old says it is ok! HA! Actually, mostly during naptime and after he has gone to bed at night. He always looks at my books on my lap, closes them and says, "The End!!" Then he takes my hand and leads me to his toys in his room. Great study buddy, huh! Be back soon...want to show you some of my books and study stuff :)