Nursing School Recap: Week #4

I can’t believe I’m doing a recap for week #4 already. 

I’ve been in nursing school for a whole month now. I really didn’t expect time to fly by this quickly, and I’m both grateful and anxious about this. It’s honestly both exciting and shocking to be able to say that.

This week was both eventful and uneventful. I think I’m finally settling into the whole nursing school pacing bit, and now I don’t feel like we’re flying through everything.

Monday:

We had exam 1. It covered 9 chapters, and we had 2 hours to take it. The entire class was taken to the second floor computer lab where we took it as a group.

I finished with a 90%, which is a B on our grading scale, but I’m not all that upset considering I started studying late (which really was just reading all the chapters I was supposed to read in the span of 24 hours) and I had to help my dad install a new sink in the kitchen.

When the class started taking this exam, you could almost hear the giant collective sigh of relief. Nobody knew what to expect, and now that we know what the exams are like, we have an idea of how and what to study for.

Tuesday:

No class as usual.

Wednesday:

Very light lecture on Ch. 36 Urinary Elimination.

We really spent the majority of the class doing a case study exercise on the etiologies of renal failure and what kind of procedures to expect when collecting urine samples. We had 2 different case studies and 4 groups, each case study had two different groups present on it to see what different and similar information the groups pulled.

Thursday:

Skill check off day! 

Today’s skill check off was on NG tubes. I passed mine, and my clinical instructor complimented me on my patient communication skills. That was honestly a huge confidence booster for me because during last week’s check off she said I was very nervous and needed to practice more. Today’s check offs took almost 3 hours for the entire class to complete, and we were supposed to have a time limit of 15 minutes.

After we finished, we went down stairs to watch the indwelling catheter insertion videos but got let out early instead since we ran into technological difficulties.

Friday:

We learned how to insert Foley catheters today. 

The lab manager gave us a physical demonstration on a female mannequin. We were also shown and presented differences in insertion and securement for males versus females. From there, we spent the rest of lab practicing foley insertions on female mannequins. 

We had 6 different mannequins that people could practice on. My partner and I worked on one in the second room, and we took turns practicing. We probably both went 3 or 4 times before we started just watching other people. Since we couldn’t open new supplies for practicing, we were used opened practice kits that we were having to put back together for the next person, and it was just starting to get tedious. Luckily, for the check off, we will be using a new kit. 

Aside from that, the lab manager also took the time to give us a ‘preview’ on medicine administration. He showed us the different needles and syringes used for IM and SQ injections. I got to play with a couple of the replacement needles and learned the difference between ones with a safety release mechanism versus manual capping.

He also showed us the different sites for injection as well, and he said he would do a little one on one with us if we came in Tuesday or Wednesday in smaller groups. The med-admin check off isn’t until the 27th, but he said it’s one of the harder ones that people tend to struggle with.

Today ended up being a pretty exciting way to close the school week.

I think this week was a great indicator of what the rest of the semester will be like. We had our first exam, and people were really starting to become much more comfortable with one another.

You’re definitely starting to see clearly defined groups of friends in class and for clinicals. A lot of people are starting to get lunch together after class, and it’s very obvious that more and more people are passing the ‘polite friendship’ phase and hitting the ‘we have so much in common, are you me?’ phase.

For an example, Monday after the exam, I got brunch with 6 other girls in my class. We ended up talking about the exam, the class, and how we were all feeling so far in the program. We also talked about things we might have heard about the program from the people before. And, we were starting to share our first impressions of our classmates. But, there was no real joking like you would see with your group of friends outside of class.

On Friday, after lab, I went to Superior Grill with two girls from my clinical group and one guy from the class for lunch. We ended up having queso, Mexican food and margaritas. Since it was a smaller group, we had a much more intimate and unfiltered conversation about the class. You saw a little less of everyone’s polite in class personality and more of the, this is who I am in real life personality. There were definitely some jokes and comments that were made towards one another that showed a lot of the shyness had died down. It was honestly really refreshing. 

The biggest thing for me was this week showed that I have some people in the class that I can really relate to and count on to go through the semester with. We will (hopefully) support one another and move through the next level courses together. I was honestly worried about not making a few good friends in school because I am older than some of the students and since I work, I wouldn’t have as much time available.

I clearly worried over nothing.

While it’s important to focus on school and maintain focus of yourself while in school, I also think it’s important to have a group of friends you can study, laugh and vent with. There are some things I get frustrated with regarding class or classmates that my family can’t really relate to or understand. I also don’t want to talk to them about school all the time. 

TL;DR:

This week was good. Make some friends if you haven’t, if you haven’t yet they’ll happen soon.

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