Friday, September 16, 2011

Week 3, Semester 2

Where has my ability to come up with witty post titles gone?? I got nothin', so you are stuck with boring Week 3, Semester 2 of nursing school. I have been so busy and so tired. Summer was so fun and relaxing and full of sleep -- now here I am getting up early and doing schoolwork every second. I LOVE the school part (this would be minus the getting up early part and the doing schoolwork every second part). This week we continue with vital signs in Health Assessment. I am finally mastering the art of taking a blood pressure! YAY! Next week we have a performance test on taking blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, temperature and a physical assessment. I was not worried about this until I learned that we also have to document all of our findings in proper format in a medical chart!!!! Why this freaked me out I have no idea but I am so stressed about it. I am worried I am not going to remember all the aspects of a physical assessment (body build, level of consciousness, skin tone, gait/posture, facial expression, pain, comfort level, behavior, hygiene, dress and speech. And yes, I totally just looked all of that up. It has to all be written out in detail -- BP = 120/80, left arm, seated position, adult sized cuff. PULSE = 70, 2+, normal rhythm, radial. Respiration = 20, normal depth, even. You get the point. I don't know why I am freaking out about the documentation part, the doing part is actually harder but I am so worried about documenting something wrong! I told Andy and the kids that they shall be my guinea pigs all weekend so I can practice this ad nauseum!

Fundamentals was fun this week too. We learned how to give a bed bath, how to change a bed while a patient remains in it, how to make an unoccupied bed, how to wash our hands and how to put on personal protective equipments (gown, mask, gloves, face shield). I kept thinking -- I am paying for this? Ha Ha! I find that even though I already know how to do all this stuff, trying to do it according to the way they teach us and following it step by step/black and white is really hard!!! I have made hundreds of beds in my life but trying to remember exactly how they taught us and emulate it was really difficult! In addition, you cannot shake anything in a hospital setting. You can't snap the sheet to get it to lay flat, you have to unfold it with the center of the sheet at the center of the bed. There is actually a specific way that hospital linens must be folded to facilitate bed making. Who knew? When all was said and done I think I actually managed to do it all at least mostly right. I am still very nervous about giving my first bed bath to a real person; we used manikins yesterday. Things went well with the manikin -- she hardly said a thing! LOL!

So all in all things are going well. Wednesday and Thursday tend to be a big blur, I get up at 0600 both days and Wednesday night we have Kyrie Road rehearsal until 8:30 so by the time we get home I am totally cooked. Thursday I get up at 0600 (in 5 weeks it will be 0500 to go to the hospital) and then I am at school all day until 1500, by the time I get home it is 1600. (Note my use of military time -- trying to get used to it because that is what they use in the hospital.) I have given myself permission to veg on the couch on Thursday nights and snuggle with the hubby while catching up on all the DVRd shows I missed all week.

Three weeks in and I am about half way to a schedule of some sort. I still have to work on some sort of a walk or other exercise, [that the physical therapist says I am allowed to do (I have a severely degenerated L5-S1 disc in my back which has been causing me pain since last February)] and grocery shopping. All the other stuff I manage to squeeze in on study breaks. I can get laundry, bits of house cleaning and even physical therapy exercises between chapters and learning modules. Getting motivated is my biggest problem -- like here I sit updating this blog instead of getting a move on with my jobs! I need a large intimidating military commander here to yell at me and make me do productive stuff (not that updating this blog for my many fans is not productive :) ).

Well that's about the size of it for this week. Can't wait to see what next week brings!

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