This semester is turning out to be a lot more enjoyable that last semester, and there seems to be a lot less pressure on us as students. The instructors seem to be spending a lot less time introducing us to new concepts, and instead are trying to show us how to use the concepts that we have been taught to make the connection to actual patient care.
My lecture class has been focusing on role of the nurse issues and concepts, and how to practice within the scope of the Nurse Practice Act. We are getting into a perception unit right now, and will move on to maternal-infant (my favorite) next.
We just had our first clinical day this past week. I actually did two days of clinical; one day was in a long-term acute care children's facility, and the next day was my regular med-surg clinical day. The children's facility was an interesting, but sad experience; a lot of these children are CPS cases, or have been victims of abuse or neglect. I am glad that I was able to go, but I don't think I could handle it emotionally to work there. I have an opportunity to go back later in the semester, as well.
As far as my regular clinical day, I am in the same hospital as last semester, but with a different instructor. It's always hard to get used to a new instructor, and their expectations, but I think I am really going to like this instructor, as well as learn a lot from her. I didn't get to do a whole lot this week; I had to be checked off on PO meds again, and did a lot of drink-fetching for the patients. It was good to ease back into it, though. Next week, we begin team nursing, and I am actually the team leader. I'll have three other students working with me, and we will be in charge of 4-6 patients. We actually evaluate each other, and I hope I do a good job with it. We'll spend the next four weeks in teams, rotating through the positions of team leader, medication nurse, treatment nurse, and float nurse. I am excited, but nervous about it.
Later in the semester, I get to go back to the specialty areas where I am considering working. I am looking forward to that, because I am still unsure exactly where I would like to work. I started nursing school with my heart set on labor and delivery, but as time has gone by, have become more interested in pediatrics. If I am being realistic, in order to get a pediatric job, I will have to drive into the medical center downtown, but I don't want to be that far away from my kids. Most of the local hospitals have very small pediatric units, and send the more acute cases to the children's hospitals in the medical center. I think I could really like labor and delivery, so that may be where I will apply initially. Who knows if I will even be able to get a job in a specialty area; I may end up in a med-surg unit (although I really hope not) for the first couple of years. I don't think I want to do ER, OR, or ICU, either. It's so funny that I can actually talk about looking for a job in the near future...
We are supposed to be doing somewhere around 350-500 NCLEX/HESI questions per week this semester as a way to practice for our actual HESI test on April 8th. I have been trying to make the time to do that, but have not been successful every week. This week, I had class or clinical every day, and that combined with the stubborn sinus infection that I had, was exhausting. Having a week like that makes it so hard to study, or do any other work outside of class. I'm determined to pass the HESI on the first try, so I need to keep my eye on the prize.
Have a great week!