Nursing School Recap: Week #3

Hi guys, it’s that time again, for another nursing school weekly recap! Time seems to fly with these, I really feel like I did last week’s just two days ago.

This week wasn’t as busy as the weeks before, we did have a holiday on Monday. 

Monday:

Labor day, no school. I think I studied, or just relaxed. I honestly don’t remember.

Tuesday:

Off day, like all of my Tuesdays. However, I was supposed to go to the school’s nursing lab after work to practice my sterile wound dressing skill but due to the inclement weather from Hurricane Gordon, I stayed home instead. It ended up being like Monday, I just did some reading and light studying.

Wednesday:

I had lecture in Nursing Fundamentals. We went over the basics of chapter 35 which covered nutrition. We also discussed a little of chapter 37 which was bowel elimination. We also had an online quiz for nursing fundamentals due at midnight.

We did also go over the format of the exam, along with expectations on exam day. 

Got did back the grade of my Endocrine exam, I made a 92 on the lecture portion and a 98 on the lab. I was very proud of myself considering how nervous I was of that exam.

I also had a statistics quiz, have not received the grade for that yet. 

Thursday:

Checkoff day! We had our second skills check off. It was the checkoff for sterile wound dressings. 

For our checkoff, we were expected to follow this rubric:

– Review order and gather equipment
– Introduce self to patient; identification of patient by checking armband and having patient state name and birthday
– Hand hygiene and don clean gloves
– Explain procedure and provide privacy for the patient
– Removal of old dressing*
Check for drains and tubes
Assess drainage on old dressing
Assess incision for drainage and wound approximation
– Incision Assessment*
Count staples and sutures
Measure incision
– Remove clean gloves and hand hygiene
– Open all sterile dressing, maintaining a sterile field*
– Don sterile gloves*
– Cleanse area per hospital policy, maintaining sterility*
– Apply sterile dressing to incisions*
– Apply tape to new occlusive dressing 
– Date, time and initial new dressing
– Document
 
Steps that have an asterisk next to them are considered vital steps and they must be met in order to pass the skill.Steps without the asterisk, while important, are not considered a vital step in the skill.  If you are not proficient in three or more of these steps, you will not pass the skill.

I was the second person to go for this check off, and I was pretty nervous. But, once I finished, it was pretty nice just being able to sit and chat for two hours while everyone else finished.

Afterwards, we went back to our lecture room where we watched the NG tube insertion, maintenance and removal videos.

Friday:

We practiced the NG tube insertion skills.

We had 6 simulation dolls prepared for us to use for insertions, we really only ended up using 3 of them. We just so happened to have 3 groups that formed with an instructor guiding each group as people took turns with NG tube insertions.

I went first for the practice with a different clinical instructor, and it was honestly not as bad as I was expecting it to be. It was kind of hard adjusting to her instruction style, because she was very chatty. But, she had a lot of oddly relevant to the profession but not the skill at hand information.

Everyone in the class got to go at least once. I felt much more comfortable in the lab and practicing this skill on the simulation doll than I did even just a week ago, and it was a really nice confidence boost to know I had a rough idea of what I needed to do and that I could follow along with a basic understanding of what was going on. 

I think this week’s write up was probably shorter than last week’s.

I didn’t have much to write considering this week was physically shorter, and we just did not do much considering that our first nursing fundamentals exam is this coming Monday. There’s been a lot of stressing and freaking out from the entire class, but we haven’t really been doing any intense lectures.

My only thoughts for this week are, trust yourself. Believe in your ability to adapt to the material and skills being taught, and you will be fine.

I was very nervous going into this program because I had absolutely no medical background experience. A lot of my classmates had previous experience in a medical setting, or had spouses or family that were deeply tied into the medical field. So far I’ve been able to hold my own, and even do better than some of them in some of the skills lab practice and simulations. It’s been a bit of a confidence booster, and I don’t quite feel like an imposter trying to get into a field they have no knowledge in.

Of course, don’t let your ego get the best of you. But, have a little more confidence in your own ability to learn and master the skills.

Your personal level of self confidence will affect your confidence levels in practice and eventually in the checkoffs. It will affect your pacing and recall for your checkoff days. Luckily, my instructors are very supportive, and I have not experienced the ‘nurses eating their young’ mentality from them at all. And, that helps boost the confidence level across the class as a whole because we’re not worried about backlash from the instructors over mistakes.

It would be grossly inappropriate for me to say I mastered the skills, but I can say that I have enough confidence in my skills to put myself forward to try and attempt the skills on a patient when in a clinical setting without seeming like a total fool.

So far, I feel like my school is doing a good job of preparing us for clinicals in October. Overall, I feel pretty happy about being in nursing school despite my initial unease and anxiety.

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