Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Back to Reality!

Well, I'm back to school after a week-long break. This has been a weird semester: we lost nearly two weeks due to the triple blizzards, I just got off of our scheduled winter break, and I lost a clinical day due to a bomb threat.

The week prior I passed my skills check. I studied so much it was second nature and I wasn't even nearly as nervous as I usually am. I converted an IV site into an intermittant infusion cap and I calculated and hung a primary bag, a secondary medicated bag, and calculated the drip rate and set flow with a clamp controller off of gravity. No pumps. Good thing that I will know how to do this out in the bush! ;)

Yesterday was my first day back. I had a test on the respiratory and reproductive systems. Hearing these two systems, I focused my studying on respiratory because I figured the test would be respiratory-heavy. I was wrong... the test was split in half and my studying of the reproductive system was lax to say the least.

Tons of questions on BPH, continuous bladder irrigation, cystoceles, and leiomyomas... I wasn't as focused on these as I should have been. I knew what they are, how they worked, etc. but you really need to know the drugs, interventions, and what to expect, because these hard ass NCLEX-style questions are not forgiving to those looking to reach the correct answer by eliminating 3 out of 4 possible questions.

My school has a ridiculous policy about not giving out test grades until everyone has taken the test, even though the tests are Scantron and they have the results immediately. I can understand, obviously, that we can't see our actual tests, but what would a number really hurt? Test integrity would not be comprimised.

After much bugging, the class at least got our instructor to give us a range, which he shouldn't have due to departmental policy, and the class range was 62-94. This is actually not bad news because even if I got the 62, I will still be passing due to the 90% I received on exam #1. So, I maintain a passing overall grade, even in the worst case scenario.

We also learned about the sheer nastiness of the digestive tract. NG tube insertion was pretty cool and probably the most uncomfortable thing I'll ever have to do to someone (probably up there with foley insertion). You can, in fact, vomit up feces. And if you do so on my shift, I'll be vomitting right alongside you. Of course, compared to that last exam, I can't seem to decide which one I think is better! :)

Tonight, I will be going to the hospital. I am extremely happy to be done with the long-term care clinical site. Happier still to be with what I consider the better out of the two instructors. Acute care is much more appealing to me than long-term care, though in the real world, LTC offers some great (and lucrative) job opportunities. Will I sell out for an extra nickel, or will I simply stick with what I love... only time will tell.

Oh, and in February's update, I made mention of my graded nursing careplan. I got a freakin' 78% on it, and the amount of pissed that made me still can't be accurately described by the English vocabulary. That careplan was awesome. Totally awesome. And when compared to the other students (especially those in the other instructor's group), they wrote careplans of the same caliber, or even less in my opinion, than mine, yet received a much higher grade. I'm really mad, but unfortunately, grading in nursing is so incredibly subjective, I think I'll just keep my trap shut and play nice before I fail something that is "unrelated" by this instructor.

I'll post up my current grade calculations:

Still in it... not exactly setting the nursing world of academia on fire, but I'm giving nursing one hell of a shot! Oh, and that Total Theory Grade is obviously wrong; just a byproduct of the formulas used to calculate my grade.


Katie Morales said...

Hang in there, Rick. Your post reminded me of the angst and rage I felt as a student. Don't know why some instructors play games. When I went back for my BSN after 20+ years I wrote a 9 page care plan and still had points deducted for not including everything, I can tell you in the real world I don't have time tio write a 9 page care plan and even if I did NO ONE ELSE has time to read it!! LOL If I can be of any help let me know.

Rick said...

Yeah, let me give you an example:

Impaired swallowing r/t nerve damage AEB slurred speech, observed apiration

I actually got points off b/c the instructor said slurred speech was etiology and not evidence.

Ridiculously redundant!