Friday, January 6, 2012

Semester 4 of Nursing School - Week 1

Ohhh... first week is over.  I am soooooo tired!

First Day Back

My first day back was a scramble of activity.  Class started at 8am and before, between, and after classes, I had to wait in long line ups to renew my student ID, nursing ID, and UPass.  I also had to buy my coursepacks, which were unreasonably expensive.

Brain Food

I would have died of hunger in one line up at lunch if it wasn't for a free bagel at the the student union table.  I don't know if it was really a good bagel, but I devoured it instantly.  That tied me over until I got home where I ate anything in sight.

For some reason, I get really hungry when I'm stressed out.  I think my brain needs extra food to function at maximal capacity.

Anyhow, the first day finished well, but then I had a new challenge - the first day of clinical.  *gulp!*

Steep Learning Curve

The teacher told us horror stories about the steep learning curve we would encounter this semester.  It honestly made me feel nauseous.  Every time she mentioned students that didn't make it or students that had issues or challenges, I thought it would be me next.  The teacher was trying to prepare us so that we wouldn't be surprised, but it was very overwhelming for the first day.

Acute Medicine

We got a proper tour of the ward we would be working on, and the teacher explained how it was an acute medical ward.  This means that the patients are experiencing a short term medical problem with complications.  For instance, they might have had a small heart surgery, but they also have kidney problems, diabetes, a recent stroke, high blood pressure, asthma, cancer, etc.  When you add up all these separate conditions, you end up with a REALLY BIG problem.

So, it should be really interesting.  The teacher says that we'll learn a lot about how all the different problems interact and influence each other.  She promises that we'll leave the semester feeling a lot more confident as nurses.

I am excited about all that learning.

Zombies Rise Early

Today, however, we started our shift at 6:30am.  That's pretty early.  I know some of you early birds won't find it THAT early, but my sleeping schedule hasn't fully switched yet.  Even though I head to bed on time, I can't fall asleep until much later.

This means Zombie Student Nurse.

Luckily, the teacher put us in pairs and she put us with less complicated patients.  I am very thankful for this gentle start.  My patient was super nice too!  He was so cooperative, thankful, and easy to cheer up!  There's something to be said about leaving the room with a smile.

Being Sick Sucks

The funny thing is that he seemed genuinely happy to see us and to be cared for by us.  He greeted us with such a big smile, and he would hold our hands and give us the most heartfelt look of thanks.  It made me feel  bad for him.  I felt like he must have gone through a lot of bad experiences to value his experience with us so much.

I think being very sick must be very miserable.  I can't understand exactly what he is going through, but I can sense that it is very difficult for him.  It makes me want to help him more.  He chuckled over how we were "fussing" over him, but we really wanted him to be comfortable, clean, and well-cared for.  I guess he could tell that we meant well.

The teacher said we did a good job, and that helped to make us feel less terrified.

I would tell you more, but I am much too tired.  I wasn't the only one either.  I noticed that some of my classmates looked like they would fall asleep on their feet after the shift.  We're on the ball when we're on the floor, but on our way out the door...?  Zzzzzz!

Have a great weekend!
  My Nursing School Diary

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