Friday, April 30, 2010

Reiki Master

I had the privilege of having a Reiki master in my other job today.

This is great for two reasons: first, I always wanted to see if that crap worked and second, it was a great way to experience an alternative therapy.

It just so happens I have a condition (and I use that term very loosely) called "Mouse Hand". It's basically shoulder pain related to overextension of the arm while using a computer mouse day in and day out for the last eight years.

Well, she did the whole Reiki thing, which I admittedly didn't give much weight to, and I tried to have an open mind, and... I'll be damned, but it made my shoulder feel a hell of alot better! It was very strange; I distinctly felt heat from inside my shoulder.

Alternative therapies are absolutely great and this one really astounded me that I actually felt something. I totally thought it was going to be some sort of hoo-doo voo-doo that was all talk, but I definitely felt better and my shoulder has felt fine for a few hours now.

Interesting experience to say the least!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Final Exam

The final exam was exhausting.

It was administered in a large room with all sections of the nursing class. Our instructors served as proctors and were constantly walking around.

The exam itself consisted of 100 multiple choice questions covering any of the 50+ diseases we've learned about this semester. It was tough, but I actually knew nearly all the answers and I feel pretty good!

Update: As I was writing this post, my grade email arrived: I got an 88% on the final exam for a grand total of 85% in the class! I actually finished... and with a 'B'!!!

Now I've just got to procure some money for next semester's classes! Time to pick up extra shifts at work and sell a few things on eBay. Next semester begins May 17th!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Passed Final Quiz!

Got my final skills grade: 83%!!!!

This means I very easily could get a 'B' in the entire class with a 75.5% on the final exam! Super excited!!! Plus a two week vacation before summer classes start! HELL YEAH!!

May 17th is the start of my 6 1/2 week mother/baby/peds rotation. That will be really cool; maybe I'll even get to see a baby being born!

I'll report back the torture session that is the final exam! Until then, see ya!

Wait Game: Stomach in Knots

I completed my final skills quiz. It was actually pretty hard and I needed to get a 60% on it to pass my skills portion for the semester.

I won't know until around noonish, but I've already started the vicious cycle of refreshing my email constantly hoping to get my grade the second it is decided.

This is an absolutely ridiculous departmental policy. They refuse to give grades out until all sections of the class have taken the exam. While I can understand for obvious reasons why you can't release the actual test back to the student, there's absolutely no reason in the world we can't get our percentage. They are a little crazy about their tests tho; all are done on large, official-looking scantron sheets, we are timed one minute per question, two minutes per math question, and we never receive the scantron sheet back; just a test summary page. They are also locked in some sort of archive for ten years... I'm not joking!

Either way, refresh, refresh, refresh... I'ts quite mind-boggling. This test was on fractures, neurological assessment, and eyes and ear.

A few keypoints I picked up for those interested in what content was on this quiz:

Compartment Sydrome (CS)=>5 P's=> Pain, Parathesia, Paralysis, Pallor, Pulselessness
Cranial Nerve IX defective = Risk for Aspiration; Impaired Swallowing
Lumbar Puncture (LP) => Lay supine; prevent LP headache
Cranial Nerve III, IV, VI = Moving your eyes around
Cranial Nerve V = Blinking
Fiberglass casts = 15 minute set time; can get wet
Plaster casts = 48-72 hr set time; can't get wet
Cut the cast if you see the five P's of CS
Don't move weights on traction!

Just to name a bit of the content... Oh well, pray that I get my 60%! Or this will be the last stroke post in awhile!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Final Mile

Well, I'm nearly done with the class.

I'm nearly going insane because of the pressure at this point. I've completed nearly everything, just one quiz and the final exam are left. I hope Skills Quiz#4 or the Final Exam are not off-the-chart difficulty.

I need to get approximately a 60% on both my final skills quiz and my final exam for the entire class to proceed with the program. I'm actually doing pretty good. As long as there are no complete bombs, like Theory Exam #3, which I got a 61% on, I should be good to go.

I got to do an OR rotation the other week and it was awesome! Some people don't really like this, but it was such a cool experience. The whole team works together so incredibly great; when the surgeon closes the patient, the whole team pretty much attacks the OR and everything is cleaned up and a new patient is on the table within about 30 minutes. Everybody works together really well; surgery techs, the surgeon, and the circulating nurse.

I think a cool job would be RNFA, or Registered Nurse First Assistant, however, I don't seem to think that'd be in high demand with the whole "tech" job title for surgery. RNFAs are essentially a surgery tech with nursing schooling and education as well, which, in my opinion, would make them a better, yet more expensive, alternative to surgery techs. However, getting a hospital to pay double is another story altogether.

I found out a local university may be offering a MSN program in Nurse Anesthesia. I think this may be the eventual course I will take because the CRNA I watched during the surgery was awesome. My grandfather is also a CRNA and I honestly love that job. Hard schooling, but it's worth it!

I also passed my skills check. I performed NG tube insertion and discontinuation, foley cather insertion and discontinuation, and nasotracheal suction. These are pretty much my final skills I'll learn, and I believe I won't have to be taking anymore skills checks throughout the program. Feels good because I technically can perform nearly any nursing skill in the clinical area now; with of course the RN exceptions such as IV push medications and blood transfusion.

All in all, I'll know Wednesday or Thursday how well I performed and if I bombed out one of these last tests.

In addition to the stress of my final week of nursing school, home life isn't going that grand. I continue to fight with my wife; probably mostly related to the fact I'm simply never there. Compounding my personal problems, my mother is also not doing well; she's having some pretty serious cognitive side effects from her anticonvulsant medication. She's having difficulty coping with my father's death, on the first day of nursing school I might add, and she really needs some help getting finances and affairs in order. However, being in this intense ass program about 50 miles away from her really affects how much I'm able to help her.

I just hope this nursing thing gets by; I feel like I'm going nuts trying to stay afloat between jobs, family, and school!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The End is in Sight!

Okay, so I took my third quiz and my preliminary grade is 73%. This sucks. Badly. However, I am able to still get a 65% or greater on the last quiz and still have my grade round to a 75%. Good news is that there's a chance my score will go up due to some questions that were in question. The mean score of the entire nursing program was 73% on this test and some people actually got like a 40% on it. Talk about career ending...

I still think I'm safe. If I get 65% or greater, then my graded nursing care plans and my 90% research paper get added in and chances are I might even add up to a 'B' for the semester.

I learned an important lesson this clinical. Never choose the young guy. Young is relative of course: try to stay away from anyone under 60 or so. It's of course just as easy to care for them, however, if your school, like mine, makes you complete an assessment so thorough that it makes a cavity search seem like something mere acquaintences do, this person is probably not the person you want to ask how often he poops, what his poop looks like, how many times per night he urinates, etc.

Thankfully, this guy was discharged and I picked a patient that was like 75 years old. Worked up a great assessment; the compliance was wonderful.

When it comes to patients, at least for clinical, oldies are definitely goodies!