So… apparently motivation runs out after about four weeks. Another of my classmates and I are sitting in the library during our four hour chunk of time between classes, time usually dedicated to catching up on work, and neither of us feels at all interested in studying. Never mind the two tests this week. Not sure if it’s just running out of steam, a sense of complacence from getting settled into the school routine, or (for me, anyway), not giving a damn about school because of other stuff going on. Well, not that I don’t give a damn, just have other things on my mind.
We’ve had two clinicals now. The first week was pretty hectic. I felt in the way most of the time, and more than a little incompetent. But it did feel good to actually be doing real stuff on real people. Last week another of my classmates and I ended up following a couple LNAs on the cardiac care floor, and I have to say that I feel a lot more confident with some of my basic skills now. I think I’ve finally got the BP thing down (that cuff looks pretty simplistic, but I managed to be incredibly confused when it came time to actually put it on someone), did my first rectal temp, and learned how to do blood glucose monitoring. The LNA I worked with was terrific. She was only 21, but has been an LNA since she was 16, works at two different hospitals (as well as waitressing on the weekends), and is applying to a couple ADN (associate’s degree in nursing) programs right now. She and the other woman obviously knew their stuff and were great teachers. The cardiac floor also seemed to be better organized than our regular floor. This week I’ll have a patient of my own. I’m not sure what all we’re able to do at this point beyond vitals and hygiene care, but I should at least be able to get into detail on what brought the patient in, how they’re being treated, etc. I just hope I get a good nurse… some seem happy to teach and work with us, others seem put out by our presence.
We got our grades for our pathophysiology/pharmacology paper and I ended up with an A-. Would’ve been nice to get the full A, but I’m not going to quibble, especially knowing that I totally blew the part about writing in APA (American Psychological Association) format, as did most of my classmates. Turned in my annotated bibliography last week and found out that people who have MS Office 2003 (or earlier) can’t open documents created in MS Office 2007. Yeah, way to go Microsoft. My professor was nice about it, though, and is going to mention the issue to the department’s technical support to see what can be done going forward. Otherwise I’ll just have to save everything as a 2003 version. We had our final medication calculation exam last week. We had to get over a 90 on it in order to pass the course, and most of us came out wondering whether we were all going to fail since there were a bunch of questions we weren’t expecting. Three questions ended up getting thrown out and I ended up with a 99. Phew.
This week we have our first pathophysiology/pharmacology test. We are taking it online and can do it anytime between now and Sunday night. Seeing as I haven’t studied at all… I’m thinking that it won’t happen until this weekend. Our professor assured us we should be fine. It’s 60 questions in 60 minutes, open book (though obviously with the time frame it’s best to actually have a good idea of the answers because there certainly won’t be time to look everything up) and will cover normal aging, pharmacology fundamentals, infection & antibiotics, the autonomic nervous system, and BP regulation (shock & hypertension). We also have our final exam in our health assessment and clinical nursing class on Thursday. After this week we’ll be at our clinical sites on both Thursdays and Fridays.
Other than that… I still need to call the senior center in Manch to set up my first visit with my “senior consultant”. I also need to start thinking about my analytic paper for my clinical inquiry class. I ended up picking alternative therapies for my topic and I think I’m going to discuss it from a cost/benefit analysis point-of-view. So I need to get working on that. And maybe, now that I’ve wasted a good hour or so, I should go start that now!
Another person from our class just sat down at our table and shared our general apathy. She’s being good, though, and actually doing her work.