Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review-How to Survive Clinical

I am always on the look out for ideas that can make my life more simple, smoother and just plain easier.  If someone has already been through what I am about to go through, why learn the hard way, right?

I picked this book up the other day at the library.  It was a quick read.  I think I read it cover to cover in a few hours.  What it consists of is quotes from nursing students and instructors about how to study, learn, behave and succeed in nursing school.

One of the sections that was really helpful was the section that talked about getting organized and prepared for your clinical each week.  One great piece of advice was to create a one page sheet with the medications that your patient is taking for quick reference during the day because you are going to refer to it often.  They also talked about making hourly goals during your clinical so that you can stay focused and feel like you are accomplishing something, because at times, the amount of information and distractions can be overwhelming.

Another section talked about nursing school classmates and how it is recommended to try and find someone that is smarter than you to be your nursing school best friend.  You really only need one (maybe two) close friends.  It is not a popularity contest; results are the goal and you want to surround yourself with people that can help you reach that goal and visa versa.  Also recommended is to find an instructor that is a good personality match to your own and the resources and information they can provide is priceless both during nursing school and during the job search and even years down the road.

Another thing I really needed to hear was to not throw anything away...notes, tests, care plans.  There will come a time that you will need to refer to past assignments.  If you have tossed them out, it will make your life that much harder.

All and all it was a good read and a great pep talk for nursing school.  I recommend it!

I put a link to the book in the sidebar.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

the science of wellbeing

I have always though that there should be two types of prescriptions; one should be for medicine to alleviate symptoms and one should be for improving health so that these symptoms show up less frequently (or ideally, never again).  One would think that big business insurance companies would be promoting something like this in order to reduce medical claims, but I really don't see anything other than a woman's yearly exam (preventative) or your yearly health physical (which I have not done since grade school, because you had to do it for sports-tisk tisk).  But even then, there is little education going on in the room unless you come prepared with questions for the MD...why is that?  Busy, too many patients, not what they have been trained to do?  At my last yearly, my MD recommended I get a colonoscopy at 40 due to family history.  That was good advice, but what about information on improving my digestive/excretory health.  Diet information, for example.  I am pretty good about doing my own research, but are most people doing this?  I would assume, no.

Could that become part of a nurse's job?  The nurse could present the MD's two prescriptions and then explain.   The nurse could provide web addresses to go to for more information.   I would love to be a wellness nurse.  I think back to when I had my son and the postpartum nurses called my house to check on me.  I thought that was really cool.  They called to see if I had any questions, to see how I was feeling, nursing, recovering.  They made great suggestions and provided resources for breastfeeding difficulties, postpartum depression, and childcare.  The care I received was less about the pain pill medications, but about the mental and overall physical well-being of mom and baby.  Loved it.