Editor’s Note: Today’s story continues with the second installment with one Mighty Nurse as we walk with her through her nursing adventure. New stories in this series will be published on the second Tuesday of every month. The first part of the series can be found here, Walk with me- it’s just the beginning.
Well, here we are, six weeks in … and to be honest, it’s been rather frustrating.
I think that accelerated second degree nursing students are, by nature, go-getters.
We have one Bachelor’s under our belt, life experience of varying degrees, and some of us also have prior medical experience …
We are ready to get the show on the road!
The past month has mainly been about jumping through hoops, cutting red tape, and doing community projects reminiscent of a high school health class.
Only three out of our eight classes are what we consider hard nursing classes.
The rest of our time has been spent being taught flowery academic terms for community-based, culturally sensitive, common sense issues which seem second nature to many.
This is not to say that those aspects of nursing are not important; it just seems that they are being overdone.
Most of us feel that “Don’t be a jerk. ‘Nuf said.” would be adequate.
It is testing our patience, and we are wishing for more time to be allocated to the lab activities.
However, we are all in the same boat, and several of us have friends in other accelerated programs across the country … and we are comforted by their assertion that they are in the exact same situation.
This last week ended on the upswing, though, and we are finally practicing giving injections in preparation for participating in some local flu clinics.
Not to say that we are incredibly excited to poke people with needles … but … we are incredibly excited to poke people with needles!
I think that in order to be a nurse, there must be a modicum of the masochist in one’s personality.
I do not like being impaled when I receive an immunization, but one has to embrace a certain degree of awesomeness in having the skill and ability to do this to another person safely and with minimal discomfort to that patient.
The prospect of this has also been one of the things which has seen us through the last two weeks during which we got rolling on the first round of the ever-dreaded Exams.
For the most part, we appear to have at least one (and sometimes two) exams scheduled per week.
They are not extensive … fewer than 50 questions covering the basics of nursing process and the evaluation of several basic aspects of the integument and respiratory systems.
They are also of multiple-choice format in order to begin preparing us for the NCLEX.
So far I have fared well, but I will admit that my experience in veterinary medicine has contributed significantly to this.
Also, I do tend to test well, and I am old enough by this point to be more relaxed about the process. However, others who have exhibited more anxiety have also been quite successful.
The instructors have been open and non-manipulative, and have expressed a genuine desire to help us excel. Most of them are good teachers, and it is clear that they are also amazing nurses!
One step at a time
So we begin October with more time devoted to poking things, suctioning stuff, and understanding the intricacies of fluid-electrolyte balance (which the nerd in me finds fascinating).
I have some plans for our time off during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that has been very grounding.
Being far from home and still having 43 weeks ahead of me (yep, I’m counting), it has been so helpful to have things to look forward to.
But what really makes it tolerable is truly taking it one day at a time.
And I have three days before I get to perform an IM injection on another human being. Wish me luck!