Nursing School Recap: Week #5

Late weekly recap, I got busy at work due to a certain release of a new phone.

I wrapped up week #5 of nursing school, and I cannot believe how quickly this semester has been flying by. I’m already 1/3 of the way through my first semester of nursing school. I’m both excited and terrified because I’ve already learned so much and have become so much more confident during my check offs, but I also understand that there’s so many gaps in my knowledge that need to be filled.

Now then, to the recap!

Monday:

Lecture covered medication administration. We had a open discussion on the different kinds of medications, variances in medication prescriptions based on ethnic groups, and best practices on explaining medications to patients.

We also had our first mandatory drug test! 

The entire class was told to go to a clinic (Total Occupational Medicine) selected by the school to provide a urine sample. We were given a hour and half to arrive to the clinic before being marked a no show, and we were told that any failures to arrive would be considered a positive result. I had to pay the $30 dollar fee for the drug test. 

The clinical stated the school would be sent the results Tuesday morning.

Tuesday:

Off day.

Wednesday:

We continued onto part 2 of our lecture. This chapter was much longer than some of the others, and it took us two days instead of one to cover it. 

Thursday:

I had my foley catheter check off. 

I think this check off turned out to be the most stressful one for me. I knew that the clinical instructors were going to be more strict about it compared to the other ones, and I got a little nervous. 

The catheter kits we were using for our check off were different from the ones we practiced with. It threw me off because the kit sizes were different, and I couldn’t determine how I wanted my work area to be arranged. Ultimately, this turned out to be the least terrible thing to happen during my check off.

During the actual check off, I did a great job not breaking sterile field. But, I ran into a lot of issues overall that made me lose my nerve. When placing my sterile drape, half of it folding down underneath itself. I only had 60% of the sterile working surface to use compared to the whole surface while I was practicing. Then, as I was removing the wrapping the from the catheter tubing, my hand shook and it slipped out of my hand. I caught it but not before part of it hit the bed, and I couldn’t tell if it fell outside the sterile field. I told my professor what happened during, and she had me continue anyways. I passed, but my heart was racing. I really thought I was going to fail it. 

I had no problems during practice, and I was pretty flustered after from all the problems I ran into with this one.

I was so stressed after that I ended up making some mac and cheese when I got home. 

Friday:

A super fun day for me after what happened the day before. 

We got to practice the medication administration skills that we would be checked off on for next week. 

The class got separated into two groups, and I was part of the group that started practicing with injections first. Since Chad had shown us a demonstration the week before, I felt pretty comfortable with the needle and syringes. I had a lot of fun practicing drawing medications and mixing insulin types. I also had a weird fake skin cushion that I got to practice injections on. 

After, I ended up changing rooms and practicing on the medicine cart. The cart would be used during our check off, and it is important to know where all the different medication and supplies are. 

After practice, I went to Chimes East with some class friends for lunch.

Looking back on last week, I think the biggest thing I need to remember is not to get flustered and just try to maintain my cool.

My check off was extremely rough, but I also think it got much harder once I really felt that I was actually struggling. I had plenty of practice the week before, so I knew how to perform the skill. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would be trying to perform a skill on a patient as a new student nurse, and how much more exponentially difficult it would become if I lost my cool while I was with the patient.

I just have to remind myself that one slip up or mistake is not that serious and can easily be recovered from.

I think this will be particularly important for next week’s check off where there’s so much for me to remember. I’ll need to make sure I calculate the correct medication dosage based on the MAR, triple check my medication prior to administration, and explain the 6 rights of medication  administration. 

None of those steps are inherently hard by itself, but it gets exponentially difficult when you’re being watched, timed, and graded.

Lastly, having friends in the class makes a huge difference. Lectures are funnier and more enjoyable. The atmosphere has loosened up quite a bit, and even our professor is very relaxed with us now. 

Also, an aside, I’m so surprised by how much free time I seem to have. I was told by everyone that I would have no time. But, I consistently have at least 4 hours free to do whatever I want. 

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