Thursday, December 22, 2011

7 weeks in review

Oh, hello, again. Remember me? I've come to terms with the fact that blogging while in class just really does not work. There is minimal downtime, and the downtime I do have, I usually want nothing to do with my computer. I am currently off until January 10, so I do hope to blog more during the next 3 weeks, but after that, I'll be MIA for another 7 weeks.

Let's catch y'all up to speed, shall we?

This past term I was in Pharmacology, Maternal-Newborn (aka, OB), and Nursing Care of Children (aka, Peds). It was, hands down, the hardest term thus far. I don't know if the content was harder or if there was just a lot more work, but it was intense (and unfortunately seemed to move at a snails pace). I have no completed 3/8 terms and have only 7 months left until graduation! SO CRAZY!

I did really well this term, but there were a lot of frustrations. Unfortunately, I'm 95% sure someone from the school I go to has discovered my blog and I don't want to deal with the repercussions of venting my frustrations at this point, so I'm just going to give an overview of the courses and save my true opinion for August.

Pharmacology-- finished the course with an A- (93%). We took 6 exams in 7 weeks. Do you know how insane that is, especially when you're learning the in's and out's of a wide variety of drugs? It was a doozy. Fortunately, we were allowed to have a "cheat sheet" for each exam. Unfortunately, I spent 7 hours on each sheet, only to look at them 3 or 4 times while taking the exam. It totally sucked, but I still did really well on every exam, so obviously I didn't need the cheat sheets after all. The final for this class was easily the hardest exam I have ever taken in all my years of schooling. I only needed to answer 30 questions correctly to pass the course, but I had my doubts after I walked out of there. I pulled an 88 on the final, which I was thrilled with.

Maternal/Newborn-- finished the course with an A- also (93%). Hated the class, enjoyed the material, usually enjoyed clinical. In clinical, I performed postpartum assessments, newborn assessment, vitals, etc. I loved the time I spent in the newborn nursery and working with the most incredible doctor I have ever met. If anyone is in the Ft. Wayne area, Mark Adams, pediatrician, is so awesome. He was such a great educator for us student nurses and I learned more from him in 20 minutes than I did in class 8 hours a week. I also got to stand in on a c-section, which was the coolest experience ever. I was at the foot of the bed with a great view of everything. My instructor was worried I would get queasy because apparently the girls usually don't handle it too well, but I just kept saying, "THAT'S SO AWESOME!" (like when they pulled the uterus out and plop it on the woman's stomach and massage it to prevent hemorrhaging. Amazing.) I never thought I could be an OR nurse, but it may not be so bad after all.

Nursing Care of Children-- Not much to say about the class, finished with a B+ (90%). Clinical made me realize pediatric care is the area for me. I always said peds or nicu was where I would like to work, but peds won be over. Don't get me wrong, I love the babies and would be perfectly fine working in NICU, but I love the interaction I get to have with kids. I think my love for kids and ability to relate was obvious to everyone who observed me, and made the kids more at ease with me. Over Thanksgiving break, I shadowed a nurse at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indy for an entire 12 hour nigh shift and was exposed to pediatric oncology. I strongly feel pediatric oncology is my calling and am really curious to see if that is where I end up (I'll talk about that at a later point).

Overall, it was a good term and my cumulative GPA is now a 3.6. I'm OK with that; I'd rather it be higher, but it's certainly not something to piss and moan over.

Next term I will be in nutrition, adult health II, and research. I have no clue where I will be doing clinicals or what unit I will be on, but I'm just hoping I get to do more than check vitals all day haha.

So that's that. I hope everyone is doing well and having a beautiful holiday season. I'll be back with another post either Friday or next week, and a giveaway. WOOOO!

I wish you a very Merry Christmas filled with laughter and love. Registered & Protected

Saturday, October 22, 2011

5+ weeks later

To say I am behind on blogging would be a gross understatement. I have about 6 books to do a review on (from August. Ha, like I have time to read for pleasure during school), and I have an entire post to write about the latest happenings with creepy neighbor.

But I'll catch you up to speed on school for now, because apparently that's all I'm really capable of talking about.

I had finals this past week, putting an end to term 2. WOOOOOO!!! I'm 25% finished with nursing school!!!!!

This past term was just kind of eh, for me. I really didn't find it overly interesting or exciting. I finished up learning all of my skills (I learned the first half in July) and can now give an enema, clean a wound, give shots, pass meds, administer and read a TB test, insert an NG tube, suction, etc. Basically all the skills one learns as a licensed practical nurse. I did find all of that to be interesting, because obviously it will be applied to my everyday life, and I like being hands on. But the course portion of that class was definitely night a highlight of my week. Ever.

I also wasn't a huge fan of my adult health 1 course, and physical assessment just gave me a panic attack every single week. Literally, by Sunday, I felt fine about the course. Come Monday morning, by 8:30 am, I was panicking again. There was SO much information thrown our way in a very short amount of time, and it really was very overwhelming. For that class, in addition to a written final exam, we also had to perform a final head-to-toe physical assessment (click the link if you want to watch a video of a majority of the process). For those who don't know what that is, it's basically performing what you have done at an annual physical. But what we were required to learn was waaaaaaay more in depth than any physical I've ever had. Anyhow, we had to bring in a patient not in the class and perform the physical in 50 minutes or less, while reciting our findings. I was the very last person to go, which kind of stunk, but was nice to know that everyone else did well, so surely I'd do fine, too. I had 7 minutes to spare and received a 98.75, so I'd say I did great :)

Grades for the term:

Advanced Principle of Intervention- probably a B, maybe a B+, depends on if she rounds it up 1/2 a point.

Physical Assessment- A-

Adult Health 1- B+.

I'm happy with the grades and I passed clinical. My clinical instructor is awesome and I'm so thrilled I'll have her again for my OB clinical, which starts a week from Tuesday. During my final evaluation she said that I will be an incredible and dynamic nurse, and that I should consider working in the ER because I don't take anything from anyone and I'm a take charge kind of person. That definitely made me feel really good.

Speaking of clinical, I actually enjoyed working on the neurology/med surg unit. It isn't an area I'd want to do for a living, but I saw some really cool things and definitely a wide variety. One guy had non-stop drainage of cerebrospinal fluid coming out of his back post-op. The doctor came in to check it and when he removed the dressing, fluid shot out like Ole Faithful. Obviously, it's not supposed to do that, but it was pretty freakin' sweet.

Monday I start term three, which I CANNOT wait for!!! Maternal/Newborn nursing and Peds are what's on the schedule, so right up my alley. I really, really, really hope I witness a vaginal birth, ideally I'll also see a C-section. My instructor also said we can spend a day in the NICU, if we want, which I requested to do, and, otherwise, we'll probably be feeding and rocking the babies. Heaven.

Peds I'm really bummed about. We were originally told we would all be at Riley Hospital for Children, which is world-renowned and would be incredible exposure to pediatric care. Since peds is an area I'm highly considering, I was looking forward to being in such an environment, and hoped I could maybe even get exposure to pediatric oncology, to see if I like it as much as I think I would. Unfortunately, at the last minute, there were issues with clinical instructors, and my clinical group was switched from Riley to a hospital right down the road from campus. The plus side? I now don't have to drive to Indianapolis for clinical, which would be a good 90 minute commute one way, (although I would have just stayed at my parent's the night before, cutting the commute to 35 minutes one way), and I also don't have clinical on Saturday. The downside is that there won't be nearly as much exposure to the various areas of pediatric care. C'est la vie. But I'm hoping to find a pediatric oncology nurse to shadow on my own time. If anyone is in the Indianapolis area and knows someone who works in pediatric oncology, PLEASE let me know!!

Here's my schedule for this term, which ends in 7 weeks, then sweet, sweet freedom for a month!!!

Monday: NUR 257- Nursing Care of Children 10am-12pm
NUR 250- Pharmacology 12:30pm-2:30pm
NUR 253- Maternal/Newborn 2:40pm-4:40pm

Tuesday: OB Clinical in Ft. Wayne for 5 weeks

Wednesday: Same as Monday

Thursday: Peds Clinical in Marion for 6 weeks

Friday: NUR 250- Pharmacology 12:30pm-2:30pm

I think that's all that's been going on for the past 5 weeks. I'm going to try and write a few posts tomorrow to get somewhat caught up.

Hope everyone is doing well, sorry for being so MIA. Registered & Protected

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back to School

Classes started two weeks ago and a part of me just died inside at the realization that it has only been two weeks. Seriously, I could have sworn it had been at least three. Things are going well so far, I'm only in 8 credit hours, so it's totally manageable, considering in undergrad I took 15-18 every semester. Here's some bulleted updates of the past two weeks (OK seriously, it's killing me every time I write that).

~Creepy neighbor asked my landlord if I died and if she could come into my apartment and check on me. You see, I went home for the month of August to work since I didn't have school. Apparently my absence "worried" him and he wanted reassurance that there wasn't a corpse in the apartment above his. My landlady knew I was home, so she told him to let her know if it started to smell haha. Then he said to her, "Maybe she has a boyfriend and has just been with him a lot." God bless that woman for telling him that was indeed the case.

~Speaking of the creep, I caught him staring in my windows the other day. I hate artificial light, so I try to have my blinds wide open as much as possible. The other day I had my front blinds and windows all the way open and he was just out in the front lawn staring up into my windows. As soon as he realized I noticed, he hopped on his bike and rode off. I'm weird, so I appreciate people's differences, but this man is on a totally different playing field.

~I started clinical last Tuesday and am on a Neuro unit, but it also gets some overflow from Med/Surg. Of course, the unit would be on a floor that connects to the Children's hospital's wing of NICU and peds, so, naturally, I wanted to high tail it over there, but c'est la vie. My clinical site is an hour away... I have to be there at 6:30am... do you know what time that means I get up?! An ungodly hour, that's what time. Out of bed by 4:45 am, to be exact. I was terrified about oversleeping, so of course I woke up every 45 minutes the night before and never got out of the stage of sleep where you are dreaming, but still hear all the noises around you. The first day I was so nervous that, during computer training, it took every fiber of my being not to pass out or lose my breakfast. By time we got on the floor at 10, I realized how ridiculous I was being. I saw three patients, one had Parkinson's, with a history of seizures, and had fallen. Another was a very elderly woman who was sharp as a tack and hilarious. She was in for cardiac arrhythmia, so I'm not sure why she was on the neuro floor, but she cracked me up. The other patient was a 2o-something male who survived a single car crash but suffered a good amount of head trauma.

We were only on the floor for an hour, just enough so we could get oriented and practice our communication skills. It was nice to talk to the patients and their families because that's really my cup of tea, as I love getting to know people and hear their stories. I have a feeling that will be the majority of this clinical experience because there is very little we are capable of doing. I have several different skills I can do, and of course vital signs, but I can't do a physical assessment yet, and I can't administer medication, so I think these next 5 weeks will really just be about getting comfortable walking into patient rooms and learning how to communicate with them.

I joked that I'd consider my clinical day a success so long as no one cried and no one died. Fortunately, it was a success, and I even made a patient (who I thought was sound asleep) laugh. Hopefully today is a little more active and interactive.

~I really, really love nursing school. I truly do. I hope student's in other nursing programs enjoy it as much as I do. And I am so thrilled that I have the reassurance that this is my calling that I so desperately hoped to get upon starting school. I'm also relieved that school has (so far, knock on wood) been a lot less hectic and overwhelming than I had anticipated. Yea, it's work, but I'm not wanting to put my head in the oven at the end of the day, and I still get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, so, God-willing, this trend continues for another 10 months.

To all my friends who have recently started school, I hope your journey is going as well as mine is! Just take it one day at a time and you'll be fine. Thousands of people have done this before us and we can do it, too.

Hugs to all of you. Unless you are still having warm weather. In which case, I envy you. Registered & Protected

Monday, September 19, 2011

Remember 2 months ago

when I said I'd post updated pics of my apartment? Well, I've finally gotten around to it. Poor blog has had to take the back seat in an 18 passenger van during this current phase of my life. Anyway, I still like my apartment and living alone, but I look forward to the day that I can fully decorate a place that I won't have to pack up in a year. A place where I can make a house a home... and have the funds to decorate it how I really want it to look. But, for the next 10ish months, this place will do just fine.


Dining area looking into kitchen (I changed the flowers on the table, added that little red table, and hung the posters.)

Another view of the dining area (added place mats, the black table in the corner, and changed the poster).

Cute little kitchen

Changed the wall behind the couch- the prints are orchids

The other side of the living area (I added the M and clock). Also, behind the door in the right corner is my washer and dryer aka best part about my place.

The boudoir (I added the headboard and moved the prints from another wall to behind the bed). The bedding color photographs horribly, but it's an iridescent-ish light blue with chocolate brown.

And finally my front entrance (my door is to the left, the welcome mat won't fit under the screen door). My landlady showed up with this little bistro set one afternoon and I love it. Obviously it stays when I go, but it's still nice to have for now!

The only thing that really drives me up a wall is the posters not being in frames, but even plastic poster frames are stupid expensive. But, like I said, I like it and it serves its purpose for now. Registered & Protected

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On Growing Up

Growing up is funny. When we're kids, all we want is to be a grown up; and when we're grown up, all we want to know is what the hell was so appealing about being older when we were kids.

Apparently I'm an adult. In 9 months, I'll be 25. A quarter of a century. And I'm already starting to freak out. Not because it means I'm that much closer to being 30.

Ok, maybe a little because it means I'm that much closer to being 30.

And not because 25 used to seem so old when I was kid.

Even though it did.

But because I feel so... unaccomplished.

Which I'm sure sounds entirely ridiculous to some of you. Yes, I am working on my second bachelor's degree and yes I am less than a year away from being a nurse, but that's it.

I am a planner. I have had my life planned since I knew what "the future" meant. Of course, said plans have had to be tailored quite often because, you know what the proverbial they say, "We plan, God laughs." But it has still been hard dealing with what my reality has become.

Ten years ago I was 14 and a freshman in high school. I had grand plans of dating a number of boys, making my friends for life, having a stellar social life, then I'd go off to college and major in Spanish, become an interpreter, find my husband, get married at 22, and kids at 23, 25, 27, and 29. I'd, of course, keep in touch with all my bff's from high school for ever and ever.

HA. None of that crap happened.

Obviously I'm not a Spanish interpreter... or a special ed teacher... or a journalist (the latter two being my initial major and eventual degree, respectively). And I clearly am not married or on my way to having child number 2.

Which is perfectly fine (because holy cow, I am so not ready to be married. And I do kind of have baby fever, but I still love sleeping until 11 am, so I'm glad I don't have kids yet) and I know God has a different path for me, but it has still been hard.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think at 24 I would still be in school, unemployed, heavily reliant on my parent's, and still single.

Every day I log onto facebook and somebody new from high school or college is engaged, or married, or expecting a baby. People talk about office life, trips with their girlfriends, finishing grad school, and moving to somewhere new and exciting. I know it's not right to compare myself to others, and in many ways I don't, but it really can bring a girl down to see where I could be and where I actually am.

So in 10 years, who knows where I'll be. I assume I'll be an RN and working in NICU or peds. God willing, I'll (ideally) be married and definitely have at least one child. Hopefully I'll be living in Florida/California/somewhere warm and hopefully, by that point, I will have everything I ever dreamed of, which really isn't much.

Whatever God has in store for me, I'm sure it's bound to be great and I'm sure I'll learn to be happy, as I have learned to be (as) happy (as I can be) with my current situation.

I just hope those plans include don't include a major quarter-life crisis.

And fewer bills would also be nice. Registered & Protected

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fall Schedule

I received my schedule for the fall, which will be broken down into two 7-week sessions. The first seven weeks I will be in class MWF, clinical at a hospital in Ft. Wayne, and a "free" day Thursdays.

MW- 7:50am-9:50am Physical Assessment

MWF- 10am-12pm Adult Health I

M- 1:15pm-3:05pm Physical Assesment Lab

T- Clinical in Ft. Wayne for 5 weeks, 7am-3pm. Ft. Wayne is over an hour drive from campus, so I'll have to wake up at 5. Have I ever mentioned how I am so NOT a morning person. And I don't drink coffee, tea, or energy drinks. Anyone have suggestions for waking up the mind & body that early in the morning?

W- 1:15pm-3:05pm Advanced Principles of Intervention

F- 2:15pm-4:05pm Advanced Principles of Intervention Lab.

The second 7-week session I'm not sure where my clinical will be or what day, but here is my class schedule. I'm really excited for these classes:

MWF- 10am-11:20am Nursing Care of Children

MWF- 12:30pm-2:30pm Pharmacology

MW- 2:40pm-4:40pm Maternal/Newborn Nursing

After those 14 weeks, I get another month off! Hopefully this semester goes as fast and I manage to do just as well as I have done so far. Registered & Protected

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Review: Under the Banner of Heaven

I started this several months ago, read the majority of it, and have yet to finish it. At this point, I'll probably start it over in a few years and hopefully be more successful in getting through it.

If you've ever wanted to know an insane amount of information regarding the history of the Mormon church, then this is the book for you. Not that it wasn't interesting, because I actually do find the Mormon faith to be incredibly fascinating, but it was just really, really heavy with detail and opinion. Then it talks heavily about the fundamentalist Mormons and that's exactly where I got lost. I am intrigued by the FLDS and polygamy, but I'd prefer to hear true accounts of this life-style, not the history of their beliefs. For me, I was hoping "Under the Banner of Heaven" would be the true story of two brother's who killed their sister-in-law and niece as an alleged atonement of their faith, because that's exactly what I thought the book sleeve said the book was about.

Anyway, all the 300+ pages I managed to read did for me was confirm what an interesting, for lack of a better word, Mormonism is. I'm not trying to offend anyone, it's just a faith that I cannot understand and I found the history of the Church to be completely far-fetched and cult-like (but then again, aren't most religions?). I literally kept asking myself, "How are there so many people who fall for this crap?" But hey, I'm Catholic and I'm sure plenty of people out there think we're all a little cuckoo for believing a virgin gave birth to a Son who saved us all from eternal damnation by sacrificing His life and rising from the dead. That's the beauty of faith, right?

So, if you want an incredibly detailed account of how Mormonism came about and the sub-groups that broke off from the Mormon church, with a few random chapters about a crime of atonement, you'll probably like this book. If you want a (disturbing) book about a crime of atonement with a dash of fundamentalist Mormonism, I highly recommend, "Prophet of Death: The Mormon Blood Atonement Killings."

Also, reviews online give this book 4/5 stars, so maybe I'm the wrong person to be reviewing this book and you can take my opinion with a grain of salt. Registered & Protected

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Review: The Help

I started this draft a month ago and am finally getting around to writing it. Whoops.

If you haven't heard of The Help by now, I'd be really, really surprised. But maybe you aren't a pop culture lover like me. Whatever the case, I highly suggest you run to the nearest book retailer, buy this book, and get lost in it's 400+ pages. And then, when all is said and done, you can go and watch the movie, which was just released and I hear is pretty fabulous (of course, movies are never as good as the book though, in my opinion).

Confession: I was, without a doubt, born in the wrong era. I love everything about the way of the life in the 40s, 50s, and 60s and wish I could travel back in time and be in my late teens/early 20s during each decade. Since I have such a strong love for the simpler way of life that presented itself 40-60 years ago, I tend to gravitate toward books that focus on this time period.

The Help is set in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, and is the story of four very different women who form an unlikely bond. Without saying too much, two of the women are white women, two are the black hired help that take care of the house duties. A lot of circumstances leads one of the women, Skeeter, to write a book about the help's experiences working for white people, in their own words.

While the author, Kathryn Stockett, did grow up in Jackson and did have hired help while growing up, the novel is fictitious-- but you would never guess it. Granted I can't say from experience, but the novel encompasses all that I imagined life in the south for a black person would have been like in the 60s. It's so wonderfully written and, honestly, in the hundreds of books I have read, it is probably my favorite book of all time. Registered & Protected

Monday, August 8, 2011

1 down, 7 to go!

Terms, that is! Last week was a crazy busy week for school- I had an exam, three quizzes, a skills competency, two projects, three comprehensive final exams, and a final skills competency- but it's all over and I am FREE until September 6th, when I start my second term.

In pathophysiology, I got a 99/100 on my final, a 96 for the term.

In foundations of nursing, I earned a 97.5/100 on the final, a 95 for the term.

In principles of intervention, I received an 83/100 on the final, which was a pleasant surprise considering we all had less than nice things to say about the exam and my professor. On my comps, I received 87/90 points for the term, and my overall grade for the course was an 88.

Two A's and a B+! I'm thrilled & hopeful that the seven remaining terms go just as well.

Between now and next August, I have two 7-week terms this fall (followed by 3 weeks off for Christmas), two 7-week terms in the spring (with a week-long spring break), a May term, and two 5-week summer sessions. I'm finished with school August 3rd and graduate August 11. So in 368 days, I will be graduating from nursing school and officially two bachelor's degrees under my belt!

Things planned for my month off include: enjoying the (hot!) weather by my pool, going out with nursing school friends (have I mentioned how much I LOVE my cohort?), dinner dates with a couple old friends, babysitting a little bit, and (hopefully) catch up on the ole' blog.

Have a great week! Registered & Protected

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hey Look! A blog post!

I'm not promising a good one, but it's a post.

Still here. Still surviving. School has actually been significantly less difficult than I had anticipated, but I know that all could change next term. I have a few quizzes, skills tests, project and paper due between now and next Friday, then take a final next Thursday and two next Friday and I'm off until September 7. I'm not in dire need of a break, but it will be nice to be able to enjoy the summer weather again... and babysit to make some money!

Some random ramblings:

~I can't take instructors seriously if they continually mispronounce medical terms. Unfortunately, two out of my three do this daily.

~I've always been basically 100% certain that I'd never do adult care. Let me just say, after focusing solely on skills pertaining to adult care for the past 4 weeks, I will NEVER do adult care. Bathing the adult client and urinary catheterization was the final straw haha. Babies and kids is what I love and where I need to be, that's for sure.

~I've only encountered the creepy neighbor once since I officially moved in. He tried to talk my ear off, but I was on my way out. Speaking of him, he has a fondness of playing video games late at night with the TV cranked up. If I wasn't so exhausted and comatose the moment my head hits the pillow, it would probably make me a lot more mad than it does. But still, if you're over the age of 30 (read: 21), you shouldn't be playing video games.

~My brother turns 26 on Sunday and my Grams turns 90 on Monday, so we're having a cookout & pool party birthday celebration for her with my dad's entire family on Saturday. Can't wait to see my whole fam and celebrate such an awesome woman.

~My sassy-ness is taken to a whole new level when I'm tired or irritated. Like yesterday. Fortunately, everyone around me thought I was hilarious, but still. I was on a war path though and no one was safe (but everyone survived ;)).

~Hopefully in August I can do a little more blogging than I have been as of late. And at some point I'll add updated pics of my apartment, but free time is a thing of the past right now.

Hope everyone is having a great summer and enjoying the weather!!

(ps: I have some new followers & emails from new readers. Welcome! And thanks!! I promise to get back to you and check out your blogs as soon as time permits.) Registered & Protected

Monday, July 11, 2011

In Case you Missed It

I know most people don't log into blogger on the weekends, but that will probably be my only time to log in, so if you're curious about my first week of nursing school, you can read that post here.

Have a great week! Registered & Protected

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The First Week

Obviously since I'm writing this, I (somehow) survived the first week of nursing school. I have no doubt in my mind that this will be the hardest 11 months of my life, but I am not regretting my decision to become a nurse. Sure, I've already asked myself a billion times, "Lord, what have I gotten myself into?" or "Can I handle this?" but you know what, I'm just taking it one day at time and have confidence that God won't give me any more than I can handle.

And did you notice I said 11 months? Yea, that's right. I'm doing a four year program in eleven months. The school says the program is 14 months, but I'm not sure where they get that for the cohorts that start in summer, because we all start in July and graduate the following August, so that's 13 months. And I just found out that we also have the month of August off (down time between the universities end of summer sessions and start of fall) and mid-December to mid-January off for Christmas. So the program is really 11 months of work. Ay yi yi.

Last Friday was orientation and I woke up with a sinus infection, obviously induced by stress, and I've been battling that all week (thank goodness for antibiotics!). At orientation, I was totally overwhelmed and freaked out. I went home terrified that I'm going to flunk out and all these other irrational fears. I'm still scared about not succeeding, but the fear is back to a more normal level, like the level I'm at whenever I'm in any kind of schooling.

From July 5- August 5, I'm enrolled in 8 credit hours. Basically, we're doing three 16-week courses in a month. It's pretty intense and whenever I'm not in class or the lab practicing my skills, I'm at home studying. Monday, Wednesday, Friday I have class from 8-11 & 12-3. The 8-11 class really would have been better suited as an intro course that we were required to take online in June. It's a bunch of busy work, the instructor just read the slides, and all of us would be better off with those three extra hours of work/study time, but what can I do about it? Tuesday & Thursday I have class from 8-11 and my skills competency exams at 12:30. The skills comps are our tests where we have to perform the skill we've learned for the week (Thursday was hand hygiene, this Tuesday is vital signs). We have to practice those on our own for one hour prior to taking the exam, and the lab is only open T/TH, so basically I'm on campus 8-3 everyday.

My first comp and class quiz were both on Thursday and I got a 10/10 on my hand hygiene comp, which is more than just going in and washing my hands haha, and a 28/30 on my infection control quiz. Definitely a great way to start the program and I'm more than hopeful that I can keep up the A's & B's. Talking to students in the cohorts ahead of us, I had to laugh. They were all saying how stressful and disappointing it is to give up maintaining straight A's, but it's virtually impossible to not get less than an A. I looked at them like they were crazy. Duh it's going to be next to impossible to get straight A's throughout the program, but I've always been an A/B student and I'm perfectly OK with that if it means I've maintained my sanity.

There are 21 in my cohort and everyone is incredibly nice and friendly. Five males, 16 females, 4 are 50+ (one is a 62-year-old great-grandma. Are you kidding me?! At 62, the only place I want to be is traveling or with my butt planted firmly on a beach.), 4 I can't tell how old they are, and 13 are between 22-26. I've already developed good friendships with two girls, but I really do enjoy being around every single one of them. My professors are also very, very nice. That has to be the best thing about the school I'm at: EVERY ONE is so kind, gracious, outgoing, and eager to help in any way possible. The school is an evangelical Christian school & I really think this has a lot to do with the friendliness of everyone.

Life on my own and in my apartment is going well so far, especially since my creepy neighbor has been out of town all week (which I thought he just hadn't left the house or was dead, until my landlady told me yesterday he was gone haha). I have a funny story she told me about him, which I'll have to share in another post. I definitely feel like he will be a good source of entertainment. I also have updated pics of my apartment, but I came home for the weekend for a cookout at my neighbors & to enjoy the pool (because reading 6 chapters of pathophysiology and another billion pages of foundations of nursing is slightly less painful when poolside) and left my camera cord at school, so I'll have to upload them next time.

So all in all, things are going well. Is it hard? Yes, but I knew it would be. Is it impossible? No. At least not yet, anyway. I'm really thankful that I don't have any outside distractions, though, like commuting (not enough money in the world could get me to make that drive 2x/day, 5x/wk), children, a job, or a boyfriend/husband. The only thing I need to figure out is how to incorporate a workout routine into my schedule so that I have a positive stress reliever.

I'm sure the blog posts will be even more infrequent than they've been the last few months, but I'm going to try and write as often and soon as I can, even if that means dedicating a couple hours on the weekend to writing several posts and scheduling them to go up. Thanks again for all of your support and well-wishes, hope everyone is doing great and enjoying their summer! Registered & Protected

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm Fairly Certain

There are three things that will get me through nursing school:

1. Prayer

2. The encouragement of family & friends, including all of you. Especially those who are in nursing school and can totally relate.

3. A well-stocked liquor cabinet.

The more blog posts I read by fellow nursing students, the more I get freaked out. I KNOW this journey is NOT going to be a walk in the park, but the more I read, the more I feel like I'm totally unprepared and this is going to be even more difficult than I could even imagine. And I met with a friend yesterday who told me that one of our mutual friends is really having a tough time with her accelerated nursing program she started in May, the very program I was set to do before I changed my mind (again) and settled on the one I am now doing. She said she's really stressed and overwhelmed and thinking the accelerated program was a bad idea. Granted, she is working and going to school, and the program is mostly online, so probably a lot is self taught, but still.

I need to quit freaking out, but seriously, if I'm already getting myself worked up, stressed, and overwhelmed before school has even started... this might end up being a really long 13 months. Maybe I should have asked my doctor for a strong anti-anxiety?

T-7 days. Dun dun dunnnnnnn

(side note: In the event that I don't get around to replying to comments from my last post... or this one... or any future posts, I really, really appreciate all of your kind words. I love responding to comments because I think it makes my blogging relationships a little more than "I read you, you read me," but as I'm sure you can imagine, life has been busy and about to get even more hectic, so time may not always be on my side. But I am SO thrilled that you all like my apartment. It's been fun and a lot of work, but I think having a homey place to go to at the end of the day will be exactly what I need. And for those who offered a listening ear, I WILL be taking you up on that offer, I can guarantee that. You guys are the best!) Registered & Protected

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kind of Like an Episode of 'Cribs'

Except I don't live in a mansion, I don't have an amazing pool in my yard, and you won't see the inside of my refrigerator-- or any part of my kitchen, for that matter, as I have yet to finish putting it together.

BUT, you will see pics of every other room in my apartment! I'm sure it looks like I have a ton of stuff and that I probably spent quite a bit of money, but I did it all relatively inexpensively. I'm actually going to finish my kitchen and make some changes when I get back up there on Thursday, so I'll add some more pictures later in the week, but here are some shots of it as of now:

This is what you see when you come up the stairs and look to the right. The couch my parents have had in the attic for years, waiting for one of us to take it. I bought a slipcover for it and some pillows and it looks totally different. That end table used to be in our sunroom and I repainted and bought a new shade for the lamp. I'm changing the decor on the wall behind the couch.

& the other side of the living area. The chair and lamp I had from college, the TV was free, and the rug my landlord supplied. On the other side of this wall is my bathroom, which is off of a tiny alcove that has a washer and dryer in the closet.

There's actually a full tub, but I highly doubt I'll ever use it... the thought of sitting my butt where someone else bathed kind of grosses me out... no many how many times I sprayed and scrubbed Kaboom all over it.

This is the side opposite the living area, to the left when you come up the stairs. If you're facing the table and windows (with A/C from my landlord, whoop!), the kitchen is to the left. Those chairs almost became firewood, by the way. I bought the table and chairs off of craigslist for a steal, but the chairs were scratched up and an ugly cream, and the legs had cream detailing. I figured since I'd already repainted 3 pieces of furniture and 4 lamps, I could handle a few chairs. Oh. My. Gosh. I wanted to slam them on the driveway. Thank God my mother took over before I could ruin them. Also, those fake flowers are going in the trash (had them for years) and the posters (that I bought 6 years ago) are being switched out.

This is my bedroom, which is behind the wall where the couch is. I have a headboard that I got for dirt cheap, but it's on backorder until next week, & I need to put a frame around the poster, but other than that, the bedroom is finished.

This is the second bedroom, but I'm using it as an office. It's behind the wall of the dining area. The table & lamp were in the attic, so I just repainted them. The chair (which has an ottoman that my mom needs to make a slipcover for) used to be in our sunroom, so I just bought a slipcover for it.

& the other side of the office. The only thing left to do in here is hang up a poster and add the ottoman.

So that's the place. It's small and rough around the edges, but not too shabby for my first place, especially since I'll only be in it for 13 months. Maybe I should also add photog classes to my schedule because the quality of these shots are terrible haha. I have orientation on Friday and school starts a week from Tuesday... Oh. My. God. Registered & Protected

Monday, June 20, 2011

Movin' On Up.

I seriously hope writing that title gets the damn "Jefferson's" theme song out of my head, because every time I think about the fact that I am moving this Saturday, I instantly start singing the song, and I'm starting to annoy myself.

Yes, folks, that's right, I'm moving this saturday. In FIVE days. I'm really trying not to have a panic attack. I went up to my apartment last Wednesday to get my keys and clean the place. You know, I kind of planned on being there for a couple hours, assuming my cleaning would just be really light, touch up stuff for my OCD self, because I figured my landlord did a thorough cleaning for me. Um, no. It was disgusting and full of the previous tenants hair. That's just all kinds of gross. My mom and I spent 6 hours up there scrubbing every surface of the place, but at least now I know that it's spotless and that it was cleaned well.

Speaking of my landlord, this woman loves to talk. She's very nice and we have a good rapport, but she kind of freaked me out on Wednesday. She was telling me not to become chummy with the guy that lives below me because, and I quote, "Well, he's not a pedophile, but he's just creepy." Awesome. Guess it's a good thing I bought a wireless security system. Here's to hoping he provides some decent blog material.

Aside from my clothes and toiletries, everything is packed and ready to go. I'm sure I'm taking entirely too much stuff considering I will only be there for a little over a year. I do need to repaint some dining chairs I just bought off craigslist, but other than that, there isn't much left to do besides load up the truck and get it up there.

I have orientation all day on July 1 & the first day of class starts in two weeks, July 5th. Needless to say, with all of these big changes, I'm feeling a mixed variety of emotions. On one hand, I'm really excited to finally be moving on with my life and getting the ball rolling for my future. In many ways, I cannot wait wait for this change. Things have been kind of rough lately in many ways (which I would love to write about, but don't want some people to read it) and I think having a fresh start is exactly what I need. It's been a really long two years and I can't believe that in 13 months, I will be finished with this chapter of my life and will be a real grown up with a real, adult job. But on the other hand, I'm incredibly nervous. After two years being back at home, I've gotten really used to being with my family more often than not and definitely used to a relatively stress free life. It's going to be a major adjustment living in a new town where I don't know anyone, living by myself, going to a new school where I don't know anyone, and starting an incredibly intense program. I've been feeling pretty anxious the past couple weeks and I'm hoping it doesn't get a whole lot worse. I generally have a hard time with change, but tend to be fine after about 24 hours, so fingers crossed that's the case here.

I know the time is right. I know it's time for me to grow up, gain my independence, and be like most every other 24 year old I know. I've worked really hard to get where I am and my dreams of being an RN are finally within reach. As long as I don't get up there and feel like I'm making the biggest mistake of my life and have wasted the past two years, I'm really hopeful that this 13 month journey will be one of the best, most exciting, trying, and impressionable times of my life.

I hope to post again this week, but if not, I will put up all kinds of pictures of my new place by next Monday. I haven't been good about checking in on all my blog friends, but know that you're never far from my thoughts. I hope you all are having a great summer, I can't believe it's almost July! Registered & Protected
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