Thursday, September 22, 2011

Physical Assessments, Catheters and Enemas, Oh My!

Another fun filled week of nursing school! I had my performance test yesterday in 224 -- the physical assessment, including vital signs. It went well, I think! I got to wear my scrubs and lab coat which made me look and feel so professional! My poor lab partner though (so sorry Carolyn!) had a tough time with my vitals because I was really nervous and my heart rate was doing the Funky Cold Medina. I had a bit of a sinus arrhythmia (normal thing, your heart rate speeds up and slows down with your breathing) which gave her a hard time. She said she was really nervous but didn't show it - I never would have known! By the time I went (Carolyn went first) I had relaxed quite a bit and was able to assess blood pressure, pulse, respirations and temperature without a problem. I promised her that next time I would go first. We then had to take a written quiz about the physical assessment and document the data we collected. I realized after I left the room that I forgot to date and sign my documentation --D'oh! I felt so stupid but hopefully in the end it didn't lose me a whole lot of points *fingers crossed*. I'm not sure exactly when I will find out my grade but I know that I passed (we have to get 85% or better to pass). Next week we have an exam about documentation, physical assessment and pain assessment but my study guide is done and it doesn't really seem like there's too much info and it's all pretty straight forward so I am not feeling too stressed about it.

223 was interesting today. It was all about enemas and urinary cathethers. Thankfully we used manikins for these and not each other. Phew! We had to purchase "nurse packs" which have all the kits for these procedures and then we used the manikins to practice. Today we place urinary catheters in men and women and practice enema flow rates into a basin. Fun stuff! Of course, real people are going to differ quite a bit from manikins but this was a good place to start! We also learned how to change stoma appliances and empty the drainage bags. This would be for someone who has a colostomy bag or a urostomy bag. Once again, it seemed pretty straight forward but that does not mean I will not be a nervous wreck for the first real one I have to tend to. Simulations are a lot different from the real thing -- manikins don't move or talk back. ;)

I have to say I am really enjoying this semester. I love the "do" part, instead of the sit and listen to a lecture crap! I still can't believe there is only 4 more weeks before I am in a hospital treating real patients. That is sort of scary -- wait. That is REALLY SCARY!!! They're ready to trust me with real live human beings in just FOUR WEEKS! EEK! Part of me can't wait and the other part of me wants to run and hide. I will go back to the enjoying the anticipation that comes before the participation. I will also take lots of deep breaths and maybe a Xanax (hee hee!)

I finally got the tattoo I had been wanting since my acceptance into nursing school. I did it yesterday after my performance test, figuring it was a good day to do it knowing I survived the test. It is a 'jesus fish' on my right foot and it is my forever reminder of God's presence in my life and on my journey through nursing school. Without Him I could do none of what I do and I am still so amazed at how He knows exactly what I need. His blessings are totally overwhelming to me every day and I could not be more thankful. It's really nice to know that this tattoo will always be with me to remind me that He is with me, and like the poem says "when there is only one set of footprints those are the times that I carried you". He's carried me a lot and I am eternally grateful.

Until next week my friends. . .

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