Hurts So Good

After three shifts of my hospital clinical for nursing school, I finally had a good day. After I picked my patient on Tuesday, I heard that she might be going home, but I didn’t have time to pick another one that day. Since I like to be prepared for the day, I made it a point to show up early on Wednesday just in case my patient had been discharged. Sure enough, she had been discharged. While flipping through the new admits, I saw that there was a lady in for suspected Crohn’s disease. My aunt, who is also my namesake, had Crohn’s disease, so I was very interested in learning more about this condition. I spoke with the patient, and she agreed to be my guinea pig for the day.

While doing her physical assessment, it came up that she worked in a hospital.

“That’s neat. What do you do, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“I’m a nurse. I graduated from the same school you are now attending 15 years ago.”

Oh no! As I new student (and someone who struggles with self-confidence), this could be a very.bad.thing. I was worried she would be critical and expect me to be further along with my skills. But, I took a deep breath, and continued with my assessment. When it came time to palpate the abdomen, I was very hesitant because Crohn’s disease targets the digestive system. She asked, “Do you mind if I give you some advice?” It turns out I wasn’t pressing hard enough. She was really kind about teaching me and it helped a great deal!

Since my patient was NPO (nothing by mouth) and we aren’t allowed to push IV meds yet, it looked like I wouldn’t be able to give any medications. However, as my shift was ending, the doctor ordered a one-time oral medication. After grabbing my instructor, we went to the patient’s room. I made the introductions, and my patient said, “She’s been really great today and such a sweetheart. She’s going to make a great nurse.” In front of my instructor! Then my instructor said, “She’s one of my brightest students. She does a great job!”

I’m not sure how I made it through the medication administration after that, because I was in a daze. It was awesome to hear the feedback, and really made me feel good about what I was doing.

:)

Floating on the high of that positive affirmation, I didn’t even cuss the horrible traffic on the way home

Spelunking

by Jaxia @ 11:06 am on March 22, 2007.

I know I said I’d start writing more often, but it sure is hard when life is this busy! Last week was my Spring Break from nursing school. Since I hadn’t seen my family since Christmas, I drove down to Houston on Monday and came home on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning, SK and I left to spend the rest of the week in Ruidoso, New Mexico. It was so beautiful — low 70s, sunny and still a lot of snow on the ground. We weren’t sure we were going to be able to make the trip this year, but I’m really glad we did. On Friday, we drove out to Carlsbad, and toured Carlsbad Caverns. It was a first for me, and I was amazed at how beautiful it is. If you had asked me to describe a cave before, I don’t think I would have ever thought to associate the words ‘beautiful’ and ‘cave.’ After touring Carlsbad Caverns, now I understand why people enjoy spelunking!

Nursing Student Blog

by Jaxia @ 5:21 pm on March 8, 2007.

It seems this has morphed into a nursing student blog instead of a blog about my life. But, my life centers on becoming a nurse right now and so it makes sense that my blog revolves around life as a nursing student.

With that in mind, my blog has gone through a makeover. If you read through a blog subscription service, stop by and check out the new blog design. Thanks to David for the nifty looking sexy nurse icon!

New Internet Directory

by Jaxia @ 5:11 pm on February 28, 2007.

I was piddling around on the Internet and decided to set up an Internet link directory. Silly, I know. It’s not like I need something else to do. I’m still working on the layout, but I thought I’d let ya’ll know about it in case you were interested in being listed in a link directory. I have several special categories (Gambling Directory, Texas Directory, Gay & Lesbian Directory, MySpace Directory, Nursing Directory, MMA & UFC Directory and Games Directory), and most of the general ones. If you don’t feel there’s a good home for one of your sites, just suggest a new category and I’ll take care of it.

Come one, Come all! Feel free to spread the word about my new web directory.

Sleep? What’s That?

by Jaxia @ 11:03 pm on February 26, 2007.

:)

Instead of answering all the emails individually, I decided to make a post: No, I did NOT video tape my bed bath, and No, I do not need another volunteer on which to practice my bed bath skills. But I appreciate all your support and enthusiasm 

We reviewed our first lecture test. One of the questions I missed was over subjective statements. In my own words, something is subjective when it is my opinion/observation/thought on something, and not a concrete fact. One of our test questions basically asked:

“Which of these nursing notes is a subjective statement?”

A. Client appears sleepy.
B. Clients states, “I am nervous and anxious.”

(and there were two other choices that are not relevant)

I picked A. Since it’s my opinion, I considered it the subjective statement. When I quote someone, I think that is objective. That’s a fact — it’s what they said. But, the teacher didn’t agree. She couldn’t explain why A was wrong, which is very frustrating. But because of a question that was tossed, I wound up with a 90. No complaints here!

My physical assessment check-off went great. When I stopped to pick up my grade, my instructor told me, “You are such a pleasure to have in class. I can tell you put a lot of time and effort into your skills. It shows, and I appreciate it.” That was so awesome to hear and really made me feel good!

Since we had our hospital orientation last week, I was supposed to have my first patient today. However, there was a mix-up with our medication check-off schedule. Now this week is crazy – I had my NGT (nasogastric tube) feeding check-off today, medication check-off is on Wednesday and there is a major lecture test on Friday. Three tests in one week? I think we can all agree that is just a wee bit excessive.

Death Warmed Over

by Jaxia @ 6:08 pm on February 9, 2007.

It’s Friday evening, and I’m sitting in the living room with Toby curled up in my lap. SK’s in the Cayman Islands right now and I’m jealous. I was supposed to go, but I had a test today in my nursing lecture class that I couldn’t miss.

The test went fairly well. Considering the highest grade in the class was a 92, and I made an 88, I cannot complain too much — especially since I didn’t get to study as much as I had hoped because I feel like death warmed over. I briefly considered driving up to Oklahoma to play poker tonight, but I just don’t feel up for it.

On Monday, everyone in my skills lab has to bring a bathing suit, towel, washcloth, sheet, soap and lotion. Our instructor wants us to give each other sponge baths so that we know how people in the hospital will feel. Being near-naked is bad enough, but it is always so dad-gum cold that I’m going to be blue! Not to mention the fact that the hot water doesn’t work very well, so I’ll be lucky if the water is even tepid.

Physical assessment check-off is next week. We have to do the whole thing in under 15 minutes. That’s just crazy.

(You can always tell when I don’t feel good, because my posts are very … disjointed.)

Pre-Order Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by Jaxia @ 2:03 pm on February 2, 2007

Since I’m sure nobody else has mentioned it to you, I thought I’d share the news that a release date for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been announced.

Even though I’m nearing 30, I still met the news of the pre-order of the seventh and final chapter of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series with joy. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released on July 21, 2007. You can order your copy now through Amazon.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be available in a standard edition and a deluxe edition.

Vital Signs

by Jaxia @ 6:23 pm on January 29, 2007.

Sorry I didn’t write more last week but it was pretty hectic: I got a new car (2007 Mazda 3 — love it!), my student loan came through, I started a new job and I got my clinical uniforms.

Today marked the beginning of week 3 of my first semester of nursing school, and things are really starting to move along. We had our first skills check off today over vital signs. We had to prove that we could do temperature, radial pulse, apical pulse, respirations and blood pressure. If that’s all there was to it, it wouldn’t be so bad, but there’s a very specific way we have to do things. For example, one girl placed the patient’s arm over her abdomen while counting respirations. She didn’t get credit for it because the instructor said the arm is supposed to be over the chest — not the abdomen! I won’t find out how I did until tomorrow.

Our first lecture exam is next week, and we are preparing for physical assessments in our clinical labs. Hospital rotations start during week 6 and I cannot wait!

Wheels on the Bus

by Jaxia @ 8:53 pm on January 21, 2007.

I survived my first week of nursing school, despite the nasty weather. There were a few shady experiences with public transportation, but after a long talk, I think we worked out our differences. I’m a little concerned about some of the people in my classes, and wonder how they managed to get in. But, now I think I understand why only 6,000 of the 16,000 people who started nursing school in Texas actually finished their programs.

Classes started with the basics: proper hand washing techniques, how to take off protective gear and the roots of modern nursing, including Florence Nightingale. I can’t wait until we get started on the fun stuff!

Tomorrow will be a long day — I have to be there at 7a, and won’t finish until 5:30p.

It Begins

by Jaxia @ 7:49 am on January 16, 2007.

Today is my first day of nursing school! I’m so nervous that I don’t think I slept a wink last night.

Wish me luck!