It is currently Sunday, and my first week of nursing school has drawn to a close. I wanted to do a recap of all the things we covered so that you guys can get a feel for how fast paced and rigorous the program can be. This is especially relevant and pertinent to people who may have to find child care or handle work scheduling and availability while in school.
Even though it is only the first week of school, some of my classmates are already running into issues with child care because there’s still some ambiguity about how clinicals will be scheduled and how the lecture and clinical lab classes are being run.
Overall though, this week turned out to be very busy.
The lecture classes on Monday and Wednesday run from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM.
The clinical lab classes on Thursday and Friday run from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
When we start clinicals in the second week of October, they will run from 6:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Thursday or Friday, OR you may be placed in a group that meets Thursday and Friday at a different time. There are 3 different clinical groups.
Both classes have mandatory attendance, so tardiness and general absences will be held against you.
As soon as we finished going over the syllabus we started the lecture. We covered chapter 1, and she did also give us a mock quiz to help us get a feel for the class room lecture pacing. The expectations are that everyone should read the chapter in advance before the lecture so that they can follow along.
Lastly, we were told that we would have a dosage calculation exam on Friday which would require a 100%. Failure to pass the dosage calculation exam with a 100% would mean you would need to retake it. And, you had up to 3 tries to pass the exam before getting an unsatisfactory.
An off day for the nursing class. So, really that day was spent reviewing content for class.
Surprisingly, Wednesday turned out to be equally busy as Monday. We were supposed to cover both chapters 6 and 7 in the lecture but ran out of time. What she didn’t finish, she ended up recording the audio for us and it’s our responsibility to listen to the lectures on our own time outside of class. She did also put both her and the textbook provided PowerPoints on canvas as well for us to go over.
This day was very different. Thursday was the first day of clinical lab portion of the class. We were told to watch 5 assessment skill videos at home and read chapter 24 which related to the assessment skills we were learning. The first hour and a half of class was spent watching the different skills videos together, and then we went to the second floor to actually practice the skills.
At this point, we were also divided into 3 different clinical groups to work in during the lab portion with an instructor. We were told that these were not the final clinical groups for the actual clinical portion later in the semester.
We were told that we have a skills check off next week on Thursday for these skills.
We had our dosage calculation exam (I passed!). It was 10 questions, and we were given 45 minutes. We really could’ve been given less time and we would’ve been fine. Questions were about calculating dosage rates and IV drop rates, and we were given a calculator and scratch sheet for additional space and work.
Anyone who finished the dosage calculation exam was told to head upstairs to the clinical lab room to practice the assessment skills learned on Thursday. We worked in the same groups, but we were given flexibility to move around and change partners so that we could get a more varied experience on trying to find pulses across a wide range of bodies.
Since everyone felt a little more comfortable this time around, a lot of us tried to practice in a manner of what we might say during a skills check off exam. It was different watching other students practice, then giving and receiving feedback all around.
So all in all, the first week turned out to be very busy. We had 1 exam and covered 4 chapters in the book in 1 week. I believe next week will be just as busy if not busier, so it will be quite a ride over the next semester.
One last thought I want to include about school.
What I really love about our nursing class is that since it’s a small group of 17 students and we meet 4 times a week, a lot of us have already gotten pretty comfortable with one another.
I definitely underestimated how much content and how quickly the class would be paced. Having a group of people who understand that and go through the same struggle while all working towards the same goal of graduating and passing class has been a big help. Everyone is eager to help and be involved with one another.
I know that as a student it’s easy to say I’m just going to focus on myself and worry about myself, in nursing school it’s not quite the same. I definitely think that making friends in your cohort is an important key to success because there are people who have a medical background already (scribe, CNA or tech) and sometimes they have tips on doing or remember things that your instructor or the book may not mention.
Anyways, that’s it for today. I hope everyone has a lovely Sunday to prepare them for the coming week.