Posts Tagged ‘nursing school’

Peosta Campus

Originally uploaded by Kibbles

This building, right here, is where my medical terminology class takes place. Yes, my college is also the home of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety.

There is a tractor in one of the ‘rooms’. (AG1) I heard there is an upside down one behind the building to help students learn about farming accidents. I need to see if I can find that.


I love it, but it is so different from my earlier college experiences in NYC.

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So, tomorrow I’m back in school. I have A&P tomorrow, a break (you’ll see me online) and then lab.  A pretty decent schedule, I only have A&P on campus, as well as medical terminology (not required for my RN, but highly recommended by my advisor).  My dosage calculation class is online, as well as my sociology class.  I never had a class entirely online, only a hybrid class (half online, half lecture).  I hope I can stay motivated enough in the online classes.

I need to find good A&P study aids.  I want a coloring book, and think some sort of software for my PDA would be nice. I’ll probably have to buy a case of flash cards for my classes, too.  My son is already looking forward to quizzing me; he’s a hard taskmaster.

I’m looking forward to this, but I am a bit overwhelmed. I have my books and it just seems like so much to know. And knowing that this is the BEGINNING of everything I need to know can be a bit intimidating. But I get good pep talks from family and friends, and that helps.  I had to stop with the self depreciating nonsense and get some confidence.  I think the CNA this summer helped with that.

I’m also glad that I was able to work my schedule around all my sons’ therapy appointments.  I know it won’t always be so easy, but that is one of the reasons I am glad I go to a tiny community college instead of the larger private 4 year colleges that cater to students fresh out of high school. I get that attention and flexibility.  I leave after my kids go to school and am home before them every day except Thursdays, if lab takes a while.  Even then, I’ll be home no later than one hour after my oldest gets home, and coming home around the same time the middle one comes home (the youngest comes home in between).  Not bad!

So here’s to keeping up my quite lovely GPA, I’ll be needing it!  (Way to go, kiddo, give yourself a toast.)

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I knew that it would happen in steps. Today, I heard of the deaths of two residents from where my first clinical experience in school was.  I didn’t witness it, but it was the first time that someone I had some responsibility for, even in a very limited manner, has died.

I’m analying/overanalyizing my reaction.  I was very worried about it, selfishly. After some volunteer work a number of years ago, I saw a rape victim in the ER I was in.  It really rattled me for a while.  So I was concerned that with each step like this, with each stage, (like the first time I did anything with a hospice patient) I’d back down. I’d decide that nursing wasn’t for me.

But I felt sadness, and fond memories.  I found out through the obituary that a name that one resident would say all the time was actually a special relative to her. That made me smile, because it meant even though the fog of dementia, there was still someone from before that touched her so deeply, it stayed.  That spoke to me a lot about the human condition, and the power we all have to touch people.  Who will I remember? Who will remember me?

And it was nice to talk to family members a bit about this. They knew who I was talking about, and could share in my bit of sadness. The thought of that ripple, of people even from the fringes of your life, thinking about your passing and remembering you.

Anyway, my reaction was not what I expected. I found myself thinking, “Did I do enough? Did I make the last days of their life more pleasant? Or was I a burden? Did I rush too much? Was I impatient? Or did I pick up on their non verbal cues and give them what they needed to be as happy as they could be?”

I’d like to think that I was a positive part of their life, or at least neutral. I’d hate to think that I was part of what was sad about the end.  And I have to focus on that, throughout my career. Am I doing enough? Am I making their life better, or worse?

And I hope to constantly check my feelings, like this. I want to be good, and I don’t want to burn out. So, lots of navel gazing for me.

And goodbye to my friends, both in their 90s, who I was just a small blip in their long, long lives.  They touched me.

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This week, I start a clinical component of my education, in a nursing home.  So, to prepare us, the school had us watch a 20 minute or so video put out by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.  It was about psychiatric issues in residential care facilities, including dementia.  It was very thorough, blunt, and educational.  (I will admit it was also similar to life with an autistic child.)

Anyways, we had a pop verbal quiz by our instructor, which was as enlightening as the lecture we had, as well as the video.  It was just one question.

“What was the name of the four residents highlighted in the video?”

And this is why I want to stay here. I’ve run into more compassionate people here, than anywhere else.

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