Monday, May 8, 2017

Let's make it as painful as possible.....

So, if you haven't been tuned in, this is the ongoing saga of "Will She or Won't She Return to Nursing school?" Last November, I withdrew from my Med-Surg 2 class. I just couldn't get past a 73 on the exams. After a month of consideration, I decided to try to go back.
There had been 6 of us, from a class of 19, who did not make it. One had decided he was done, and did not want to go back. Another had not completed a prerequisite that she had agreed to, so they said she could not apply.
Then there were four. I started studying with another classmate kind of "online", meaning we lived too far apart to meet up so we Facetime-d, a lot. Not sure if I told you: basically, to get back in, we had to take the final from the PREVIOUS semester that we had already passed. The exact final we had taken a year prior.
It wasn't going in to take the test that was hard, it was facing the class I should have graduated with. I was hoping we wouldn't have to see them, but we had wait outside the door that was across from their classroom. We were invited in one particularly sweet classmate who encouraged us to come in and say hi. Other than 1 classmate, nobody said anything. No eye contact, no looking in my direction. Even the teacher that had encouraged me to come back was a little aloof. I am not sure what I expected, but some I spoke to, (that I had felt we were pretty good friends before) wouldn't even speak.
The four of us went in to take the test. I was surprised that I remembered so much. Ended up with an 84. My friend who studied with me got an 80, but our other two friends didn't make it.
So, now we have a check off. We will draw a skill out of a hat and have to perform it on demand. BUT, before we can do that, we must be voted on by committee to be able to return.  Committee meets tomorrow, (Tuesday), I work Thursday and Friday, and the email I received from the Dean indicated my check off must be done this week prior to faculty going on Summer vacation. I figured they'd make it as painful as possible to return, but they wouldn't even let me tentatively schedule the check off for Wednesday. Sigh......I'll let you know how it turns out.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

End of the road.....for now at least

So, I didn't make it this semester. There were lots of variables, but in the end, the problem was me. 
We had a split semester, 5 weeks in OB and the rest med-surg. Our teacher was new to us and the college for OB and I thought she did a great job. However, the board of nursing in my state required that she take some "workshops" since she was new.  Probably should have been done over the summer because then she would have been ready to teach us. However, the main campus, in another city, did not have time to do these workshops. So, we were treated to what they call I-TV. Essentially, you watch on a big television the instructor at the other campus. It probably would have been fine had we EVER had the teachers at the other campus, but no. So, first test....I failed it. I was concerned then, but preserved. Then came the second test, only point higher. At this point, I am reevaluating all my study techniques and wondering how to do get a passing score. Then the third. Same result, although I studied 67 hours. I'm wondering if I'm too old school for I-TV, but I did online classes without any problem. Made A's, in fact.
The material was half a ream of paper printed. And we studied together, family helped, but the 4th test happened Monday, and I failed that one, too. So, I would have to make a 90 on the cumulative final. Since I couldn't even get an 80, the likelihood of getting a 90 was pretty obvious to me: it wasn't going to happen. 
I had asked my husband to not travel that day in case I didn't make it. Of course, he had to. So, I am withdrawing in about an hour. I was not alone: in a class of 20, 6 of us did not make it- so far.
It could've been the 8 hours a week traveling to and from the school, paired with working every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12 hour shifts. And maybe I was too exhausted to get the material in my head. It could be I'm just not cut out to do this. Having a teenager with some medical problems, husband promoted in his job which requires him to travel once a week, and just plain ole trying to keep my job. 
I don't have a clue what is next for me. The class will be offered next September, and if accepted, I can pick up where I left off. Do I really want to go back to this school? They claim they will not be using I-TV, and the teacher I had for OB will be teaching all of it. She was/is an excellent teacher. 
I just don't know what to do for the future, but in the meantime, I guess I will get back to my life. Already got a dentist appointment, (haven't been in a year because of school), and managed to throw out my back yesterday, so I'm going to "nurse" myself back to health.
If I'm going back, and I'm not sure I am, I need to figure out how to memorize LARGE quantities of material, and DEFINITELY get a grip on med calculations. Our class really reeked on that one.
Anyway, thanks for listening. All two of you ;)

Friday, June 3, 2016

Summer School......really?

Uh, yeah, for the third time in 20 years, I have to take Intro to Computers. For real?? It's not that I mind, it's that I don't think in this day and time it's necessary. What I would have liked to have taken would be that last pharmacology online. It would have saved me time in these last two semesters.
To be fair, the guy is pretty on task. He walks you though it step by step via Youtube and if you mess up, it's your own fault. Easy A. But an expensive one....$500.

Don't laugh, but I went to Half Price Books and bought the previous editions of the textbook for OB so I could get a head start. That class is only 5 weeks, so that means a test every week. Ewwwww....... plus clinicals, which require a stupid care plan. I've already started on those, just to be waiting in the wings for when I'm time crunched. What do you do to prepare for the next semester of nursing school?

Saturday, May 7, 2016

What I learned the first semester of RN school

Some things I learned fresh. Others I re-learned.
I've always been a fan of Top Ten lists so here's my list for this past semester:

10.  It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I guess going in with 18 months of prior school knowledge as well as almost 3 years as an LPN helped, but common sense kicked in, (which I hoped it would) so those NCLEX type questions were a lot easier to handle.

9.  I still hate ATI as much as I did back in LPN school.  I hate paying for something that I can't fully use. I have subjects I'd like to start working on and they "aren't open" . Well, why the heck not? I have to pay $400 a semester and not be able to use it all? They are trippin'......

8.  I don't stay up all night and study anymore.  Maybe that sounds selfish, but it's true: I'm old....I need my sleep. The one time I did stay up all night, it did me no good, anyway.

7.  Clinical days still aren't fun because no nurse in their right mind wants to have a student for the day. They were nice to me. But I could tell this wasn't on their to do list. To be fair, it won't be on mine, either.

6.  Technology has certainly advanced things. I still paper chart at work, but I got to electronically chart during clinicals. It does seem monotonous's also nice to be able to record my lectures on my cell phone and listen to them back and forth from school to home.

5.  I have forgotten so much about IV's since I don't use them at work. If someone needs an IV at my job, we send them out. Still haven't stuck my first victim...I mean, patient....

4. Working every week-end full time blows.... but when your work is PAYING  6 hours a semester, and you need the insurance, you go.  You hate it, but you go.  I worked every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Mondays and Wednesdays I was in lecture, Tuesdays was lab, and Thursdays were clinicals. I am glad I saved my vacation days to use on the Sundays before an exam.  I'm going to need to bank some this summer for my second semester as well. My schedule will go back to normal starting Monday.

3.  It's still important to make friends in nursing school. After my friend left, I started studying with a guy who had an even weirder schedule than the first one. I found myself meeting him at McDonald's at 5:30 AM to study. Must of been nuts, but we both passed.

2.  It's awful when your BS meter goes off and you notice the teacher not trying. Yes, I am saying she was blowing smoke in a place you don't want to talk about. I'm not that far from her age, so I know she knew, that I knew she was just getting tenure. She read from the book because she didn't know the material. Our last 3 lectures on diabetes, which is fairly involved, she got guest speakers to talk to us. Wow... how lame can you get? It made me want to stay in school to have the credentials to take her job....almost. I'm so done with school.

1. My family is still there helping me through. ( Mostly Hunnybunny) However, they still don't get me on the whole studying thing. I thought maybe my kids would be proud of me. But they think I'm wasting my time. It's okay. While I'd like to have their support and approval, its just not necessary.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

First casualty of war

I've been notably silent...which is not like me. That's because all I do is go to work, study, eat, and do it all over again. It's been fine until now. The person who was accepted along with me didn't get to advance to the next 11 weeks. I felt alot like Katniss this past semester.Just jumping through hoops. But the best part is I had a friend jumping with me. We knew no one but each other walking in that first day. And thankfully, the group accepted us pretty easily as they had already made friends in the first semester we were exempt from. He was liked by all, even to the point when we found out he didn't make it, one of the others cried. He never expected to be thought of that highly, but why, I don't know. He has 20 year of LPN experience, and knows his stuff. He just didn't test well. I don't either, by the way. He only missed it by 2 points.
I took it pretty hard the first few days because I couldn't imagine how bad he felt. For our clinical group, it's been like someone has died. But we're coming around.
Hunnybunny didn't really understand. He tried to, but he couldn't really get the whole "nurses in the trenches" vibe. The more he tried to encourage me, the worst I felt. I wasn't trying to make it about me, but I kept thinking, "If HE didn't make it, what makes me think I will?"
So, I'm trying to remember what I did the first time. Pouring over my notes, and finding my notes from LPN school invaluable! Apparently, this particular program doesn't go into too much depth on stuff, so in a sense, we are educating ourselves. And I will revert back to what I said in a previous post: my learning style is my problem. If I can't figure it out by now, what am I doing here?
Y'all are going to have to overlook me....I am just trying to stay realistic.
The ATI demon is back with this program. How I HATE ATI! And if you're reading this and have no idea what I'm talking about, consider yourself lucky. ATI prides itself on preparing you for NCLEX. But all I can see is that its taking us all away from what we should be doing....studying!
I will get off my soapbox now, and take off my black mourners veil and get back to work. Thanks for listening.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A week from today....

.....I will be sitting in a classroom for the upmteenth time. It's hilarious and incredulous to me that I am doing this again. I mean, 240 college hours, PLUS the new ones I'm about to acquire?  Shoot, I could be Dr. Beth by now. But alas, I'm just getting yet another Associates degree. (I have two of them. This will be number 3)

 The part that bothers me is the whole unknown thing again....what's the class going to be like? Am I going to be the oldest in the class? Is my brain going to run on all cylinders?

I'm thankful that one of my coworkers has been accepted with me. It's kind of a drive, so we are going to carpool. He's an older student, like me, so he's pretty serious about doing this.

I'm going today to get the UGLY white scrubs I will need for clinicals and a new pair of sneakers. Books are bought, but I probably need to see about some school supplies.

Truthfully, I get nauseated every time I think about this. Is that normal, or just me overreacting? I made it through medical microbiology with a B, which shocked me to death, but I'm just sort of second-guessing myself. Maybe it's the work schedule that has me very anxious. I will be working every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this semester. If the last few days are any indication, it will be challenging. My comrades and I ran all weekend long trying to keep up with everything. And they are awesome because they have both gone further in school and are a great support!

Anyway......wish me luck! I will need it.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I'm in!

I actually found out via text I had been harassing my husband everyday when he checks the mail, "Did my letter come?" This last time, I had been told by the dean the letters would be sent out soon, and the mail didn't run on Veteran's Day. So, I thought it might run early and Hunnybunny needed to get out there and check. I waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, got this text, "You've been accepted". I just sort of stared at the screen, asking myself, "I'm awake, right?" I made him take a picture of the letter and message me with it. He told me congratulations, but I think I was still in shock.

I'm excited but still wondering how an old girl like me is going to pull off classes and work and do either of them any justice. I will be in classes Monday through Wednesday, and a clinical either Thursday or Friday. So that means the one day a week I'm not in school, I'm working and then I'm working every weekend. Yeah, I know....I must be crazy. But working the weekend doesn't really bother me that much. Missing out on family time, now that bothers me. This isn't my first rodeo, I remember my non-existent social life back in 2011-2012.  But they say it will all be worth it. I hope THEY are right. It helps that I'm not doing this alone. A guy I work with got accepted, too. It's kind of a hike to the school, so he and I are going to carpool.
Anyway, that's the story as I know it so far. My first rotation is my own hospital! I'm hoping that I'm not recognized by any long time patients who are not going to understand why I could do something for them yesterday (as an LPN) that I can't do today, (as a student)