Sunday, December 21, 2008

Large Cup o' Joe...Sorta

I am serenely sitting here enjoying my peace and quiet away from school. I don't have to go back for 16 days and 9 hours. I have a cup of tea, television, and no desire to do homework whatsoever. Thank you very much. That doesn't mean I don't have any, it just means that I don't have any desire. You see, desire, also known as motivation, is the key to getting things done. The only thing I want done right now is this blog post.

But, I digress.

As a general rule, when someone is in the hospital you keep track of their I&O, or Input & Output. That means you write down everything they drink, in mL, and everything they put out, in mL. Except for poo, that comes in S, M, L, and XL, and how many a day. We were taught fairly early on in the semester about I&O and what to do to keep track of our patient's "business." However, I guess some of us should have listened a little better, because damn this is the grossest thing I have ever heard of one of our students doing.

You see, a bedpan is a magical thing. It is a great item when used correctly. It has little notches on it to measure urine. URINE PEOPLE. PEE. U-R-I-N-E. Not poop. NO MEASURING OF THE POO. I came upon the occurence of one of my fellow classmates, what seemed like a girl elbow deep in sh*t. I guess she missed the part about S, M, L, or XL. From the looks of what she was packing into this measuring cup, I think that an XXL distinction needs to be added to the list. That girl was just scooping, pouring, tapping, mashing, and packing away. It was all over her gloves, the patient was staring, and frankly, I think the relative was going to throw up (Luckily we don't have to measure anyone's I&O's but the patient's.) She looked like a kid in a sandbox. After I stopped laughing out in the hall, I let our instructor know so that she could fill the girl in. Let's just say, when lunch came, I saw that lady wash her hands 293482093 times before she ate.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Breakfast Time!

One of the many things that first semester students get to do at clinicals is pass out food trays when they come up from the kitchen. You know, the delightful buffet of homogeneous, artificially colored nutritious "food" that the patients get to eat and enjoy("eat" and "enjoy" are loose terms) three times a day, that stuff. My clinical group had just arrived on the floor that day when the tray cart arrived. My fellow class mate dutifully began passing out trays, going from room to room. A few moments later, I saw her pull my instructor (From here on out known as "Mrs. Wonderful" because she is amazing) aside, and this a paraphrased conversation that I overheard:

Student: Mrs. Wonderful, I dropped that tray off in room XXX and a sheet was over the patient's head, and they looked asleep, should I pull the sheet down and turn the lights on and prepare the tray, or should I let them sleep?

Mrs. Wonderful: There was a sheet over their head? Was there family in the room?

Student: Yes ma'am. One of them looked really upset.

Mrs. Wonderful: Umm...they're dead hon.

Student: Huh?

Mrs. Wonderful: Dead! When someone passes, they pull the sheet over their head. You just served food to a dead person. Ha! (Insert lots of laughter)

In the student's defense, she did recover well from it. She went back into the room and explained that she had brought the food in there in case any of the family had wanted to eat or have a snack. Meanwhile, our instructor had to step out of the hallway into the break room to finish laughing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


My poor cats haven't seen me two weeks, my boyfriend has reported me missing, and I am beginning to question my own identity, but finals are finally over. I came out on the other side of the hell that is the last three days of my life, and I am generally unscathed. With the amount of money I have spent on Red Bull, coffee and lattes in the last two weeks, I could have bought my cats a small palace to live in and a life's supply of catnip. I studied, copied, pasted, flash carded, typed, read, re-read, highlighted, sorted, printed, stapled, read, read, read, did I mention read? until my eyes and hand have fallen apart. Apparently, eyeballs and fingers of exhausted nursing students make great cat toys. At least that's what they tell me. Whatever I did, I did alright because I passed, I have a 3.11 GPA and I get to continue on the program. That is all that matters. At least at this point.

Now, where's my bed?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Head to Toe Examination

We had head to toe examinations today. Attilla the Nurse was my teacher. I went in quaking in fear. Head to Toe examinations is where you perform an examination in 20 minutes on someone. There is this three page check list of stuff that you have to know, and you do it. She fired questions at me, and I answered them correctly. 55 out of 56. Ha! I win! Yay me. I defeated Attilla the Nurse! It's amazing! Maybe she isn't that bad...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Success! Someone give me a cookie.

Success! Black Monday went by with only one student (not me) absolving into tears, and two B's for me. Attila The Nurse made a student cry on Monday, but the student was unprepared. She deserved to have her soul crushed. Not really. Come on though. Be prepared for anything! Dangers at every corner! Knives! Guns! Brass Knuckles! GANGS! BLOOD! GORE! Someone give me a Xanax, I'm yelling again. Now I just have three final exams, a head to toe assessment in twenty minutes or less, HESI (Have no clue what that stands for, apparently it's brutal though.) and one more clinical. The clinical is in the morning, only 1 hour and 30 minutes away! At 6:30 am! Fun! Excitement! Thrilling! 3:00 am Wake Up Alarm! No Payments until 2010!!!

What's with all the exclamation points? I don't understand. Maybe I should be writing advertising for car commercials instead of being in nursing school. Perhaps if you are lucky, I will serve you up some adventure tomorrow. Right now I have to feed the cats before they kill me in my sleep.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Monday

Tomorrow is known as "Black Monday" at our nursing school. A very large Pharmacology test and a very large Health Assessment test. I am interested to see how it goes. We are allowed to use our books for 30 minutes for both exams. That is exciting! Lucy and Fang, my two apathetic sidekicks, are my study partners, but they haven't been much help this time around. I did learn what a flail chest was today though. Here is a video:

I have been looking at other medical blogs on blogger, and there is a plethora of information here! If you read my blog and would like me to list yours, let me know!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Vintage Nurse Prints

My cats and I were looking at things on the internet and generally ignoring the pile of work that I have to do, and I found some images that I thought were neat. I am glad that the nurse's uniform has evolved since Florence Nightingale's times.

I know several of you do Art Journal Pages like my mother (from here on out known as Woman That Kind of Knows Everything) and I just thought these images were neat.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Studying Schedule Comparison: Planned vs. Real Life

At our college, we got a whole week off from school because of professional development and Thanksgiving holiday. I had written a study schedule out that looked similar to this:

Monday: Outline Chapter 32, make flash cards Read Ch. 5

Tuesday: Outline Chapter 7, Read Ch. 9

Wednesday: Read Ch. 567 and outline everything

You get the idea. Lots of outline, highlighting, flash cards, post its, pens, pencils, coffee, red bull, motivation, life goals, small miracle from God, responsibility....blah, blah, blah.

This is what my schedule has ended up like:

Monday: Wake up at 11. Drink some coffee. Look at books on desk. Play solitaire till 5. Complain about having no time to do anything.

Tuesday: Wake up at 10:30. Skip the coffee. Pretend to be doing work while actually reading every blog I can find. Hey! Learning about what there is to do in Italy during the winter could somehow be relevant!

Wednesday: Call Nursing School friend. Complain about how they give us so much work and there is just no time to do all of it.

Let me explain something right here. I have no job. I have a significant other that makes just enough for us to be able to let me go to school full time and not worry about working right now. I have all the time in the world do whatever I need to get done. This woman I was talking too? She has five kids, a husband that's a police officer and works odd hours and she is a scrub tech full time at the hospital. Does anyone see the discrepancy here?

So. Now it's Friday. I have two exams Monday. What am I doing? Blogging to you people. What could I have done ALL day yesterday instead of gorging myself on large quantities of dead bird and canned cranberry dressing and pie and cake and bread dressing and deviled eggs and soda and green bean casserole and and and and...HOW ABOUT STUDY? See, now I'm yelling. I need to get a grip.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Super Nurse and her Apathetic Sidekick Cats

Nursing school is an adventure like never before, where Super Nurse (really Student Super Nurse, but we aren't going to get into technicalities here) leaps bedpans with single bounds and dodges exams with her amazing super powers. Her apathetic cats diffuse her textbooks into her mind with their amazing powers of osmosis! Okay, not really. Nursing school is hilarious. There is that single awkward moment where you have your gloved hand on a man's genitals, a catheter tube in the other, and you suddenly realize you dropped the lube. Oh, did I mention that there are three other nurses watching? I need somewhere to record all of these ridiculous moments, and some of the serious ones. There is all sorts of things that go on in a hospital that isn't like what you see on television. What I have discovered is most important in this business is that each and every patient that you have is first and foremost a human being. They are not the condition they have or the disease that has ravaged them. They are a human soul that needs caring for. The nurses that care for these patients are human too, and it seems to be an amazing relationship between the two. Usually the relationship is one of trust and dependence. When someone else is wiping your ass, it can get a little sticky. The doctors may diagnose you, but I am the one that keeps you alive: remember this.