Powerful Stuff

Holy cow!

‘The male sperm is capable of fertilization for up to three days after ejaculation.’

I had no idea.

SQ Injections — Check!

Last week was my first experience in a pediatric unit. Compared to the hospital where I spent my first clinical rotations, this one is amazing. I wouldn’t mind working here. This is the first time I’ve seen nurses on the floor who were excited about what they were doing. My experience with my patient was pretty emotional, but it turned out to be a very good thing.

This hospital is only about 20 minutes from my new place, and my next rotation is less than 3 miles from my condo. The short commute is one of the reasons I wanted to move to this area. Last semester, rotations started at 6:45a and it took me an hour to get there. This semester, our rotations start at 5:45a. That’s way too early.

The first skills check-off of the semester was this morning. We had to do SQ injections. My orders required mixing insulin, so it wasn’t too bad. I did practice with a chicken, but it was pretty messy. In the end, one of those stress ball things worked really well for me.

For awhile, I was really struggling when it came to actually inserting the needle. I couldn’t seem to get it to go all the way in no matter how hard I tried. In the end, I realized my problem was that I wasn’t following through with my wrist motion. Once I started working on my follow-through, it was a piece of cake!

Now it’s time to start preparing for the first lecture test of my second semester of nursing school. The test is next week. IM injections to are next in skills lab.

Injection Practice

As I put on my lab coat this morning, I realized how much I had missed wearing it. Nursing school started up again on Monday, and today was our orientation to our pediatrics hospital. After my pediatric rotation, I’ll go through obstetrics and finish up with a bit of medical/surgical.

:)

Rotations will take me to two different hospitals this semester. While it will be nice to see how different hospitals handle things, it will be a little nerve-wracking to move to a new hospital about the time I figure out where everything is at the first one! One thing’s for sure — being a nursing student teaches you to go with the flow 

During skills lab this week, we started on injections. My goal is to learn to do my intradermal injections better than the guy who gave me my PPD test — I have a nasty bruise on my forearm. I think I’m going to buy a couple of chicken breasts and practice over the holiday weekend. Someone also said that hotdogs are good for practicing injections. How do you practice your injections?

Motivation

Second semester starts next week, and they are still changing the times and days of our classes. Luckily, my work schedule is pretty flexible, but it’s really messing with other people who are trying to figure out when they’ll be able to work.

I bought my books last week, and I recertified my CPR today. Our school makes us do it every year even though our cards are good for two years. Is it just us, or do other schools do that, too?

I’m really dreading this semester … for a lot of reasons, really. I guess I will finally find out if I can motivate myself!

Blinded by Science

Microbiology is coming along fairly well. I just finished my third lecture test, and I’m waiting to go into lab. Our unknown projects are due tomorrow. I was a little apprehensive going into this project, but I’ve had a lot of fun. I don’t know if other schools set up the microbiology unknown projects the same way, but this is how ours works:

We are each given two different specimens in a broth culture. All we know is that we have one Gram positive and one Gram negative. We have to get pure, isolated cultures of each, and properly identify each organism.

My first TSA streak plates didn’t go well, but I did have some growth on both my EMB and blood/PEA plates. These were a big help to narrow down which specimen was Gram positive and which was Gram negative. Gram staining is so tricky!

After isolating my Gram negative specimen, I started running tests on it. The glucose test came back positive: bright yellow, with gas in the vial. The lactose test was also positive with the top of the tube red and the bottom yellow. With these results, I decided to use the citrate and indole tests. In the citrate test, the slant was a bright, Prussian blue — positive! The negative indole test confirmed my results. A positive result on my Voges Proskauer test eliminated a couple possibilities, and I decided my Gram negative bacillus is Enterobacter aerogenes. I ran a few other tests (ornithine, phenylalanine, nitrate, TSI and urea) to confirm my results. So far, all the test results are in line with what is expected of Enterobacter aerogenes.

I made a mistake with my Gram positive specimen, so I had to rerun a test overnight. As of now, I know I have Gram positive cocci. It bubbled like crazy during the catalase test, and it is glucose negative (red) with no gas. I tried to run the nitrate test, but I got a little impatient. I only waited about a minute after putting in the Nitrate I and II drops before I added the zinc. I got a reaction! But, since my Gram positive specimen is such a slow grower, I should have waited a full three minutes. I suspect I have Sarcina lutea (which means it reacted to the zinc, and has NO3-, but I’m not sure. If the reaction was due to the Nitrate I and II drops, then I have Micrococcus luteus. I’m fairly sure I have Sarcina lutea, and will confirm soon.

What a way to spend a summer, hmm?

Unknowns

We start our unknown projects in Microbiology tomorrow. Is this a fairly typical part of Microbiology lab classes? We get a mixture of two different organisms, and we have to isolate them, and figure out what they are without any help from the professor.

It does count for a large percentage of our grade, so I’m a bit nervous.

Short Circuit

While studying for my microbiology test, I realized that our microscopes remind me of Johnny 5 from Short Circuit. Ah, the good old days!

Microbiology

My summer session started today. Microbiology isn’t a class I look forward to taking. The testing schedule is killer: June 6, June 11, June 14, June 18, June 26, June 28, July 3 and July 5, plus our unknown project. While those dates cover both lab and lecture, it’s still pretty intense.

The professor seems decent enough. Everything that I’ve heard about him said he was a good teacher. I’m going to be so very bored though. I’m used to labs where I can go in, do my thing and leave. If the first day of class is any indication, he’s going to walk us through everything in a slow and methodical fashion.

I have a feeling I’m going to be significantly more germ-paranoid at the end of this class.

At least it is less than 6 weeks. I can do this.

As for school, my clinical selections have been turned in, but I still don’t know where I’ll be. It will probably be late June before I hear anything.

Tweety Time

I was reminded of my fanatic MMORPG days as a little squee of delight escaped my lips when I discovered Tweety is posting again. It’s been ages since I’ve played EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot, or World of Warcraft but I still miss them from time to time.

Speaking of geekery, I’m a kid?

Your Score: Micah Sanders

You scored 66 Idealism, 25 Nonconformity, 66 Nerdiness

Can we play Scrabble tonight?
Congratulations, you’re Micah Sanders! You’re good-natured, intelligent, perceptive, and naturally inclined toward technology. You’re also quite innocent and loving. You’ve got a fondness for computers and Scrabble.

Your best quality: You’re extremely perceptive
Your worst quality: You can be a little demanding at times

Social Uh Oh

Have you ever met two people around the same time who had the same first name?

Make sure you know which one you are talking to before you open your mouth.

That is all.