Dear Ex best friend

Dear Ex beat friend,

I have found myself thinking about you recently, after I updated my phone and had to restore my contacts from my cloud, your nickname popped up in there somehow. I guess I never deleted it during our falling out 5 years ago. I’ve had so much to tell you in the last 5 years but no will to say any of it to you. You taught me so many life lessons. Lessons about trust, lessons about life, lessons about laughter, and most importantly the lesson on how to lose someone so important to you. I still question to this day what happened to our friendship, it was like one day I turned around and you were gone and never looked back again. I had seen you do this to many people before but never thought I’d be one of them. I always thought you’d be there the day I graduated nursing school, I told you about it through our whole friendship, the day we met when we were 8 I already knew and you knew you would be a teacher. Here we are doing the things we desired but not sharing them with each other. I just hope you’re happy in you career. I hope you’re happy in all your life choices.

Dear ex best friend,

Do you ever wonder about me? Do you ever wonder what happened to us in my mind? Do you ever think about where we would be today if we wouldn’t have grown so silent and cold? I know your newest friends are filling your life with warmth. I know you’re family are filling your life with happiness. But a part of me has always wondered.

Oh one last thing, dear ex best friend,

Thank you. Thank you for making me you ex best friend and teaching me all these lessons in life I would have otherwise not learned. Thank you for putting me through the cold dark pain when you shut me out and for taking the trust I ever put into anyone. Thank you for teaching me trust is earned not given. And thank you for walking away when you did.

Your ex best friend.

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Third Semester of Nursing School

So you’re starting third semester, or you are in third semester.  YOU ARE IN THE HOME STRETCH!!!!!!!  Oh my goodness, I remember getting to this point and knowing that I was in the upper class, I could see the finish line, I had it, it was going to be a breeze, and I thought I was going to find someone to mentor.  WRONG!  This didn’t happen for me at all.

Third semester is not the time to slow down and chill out! Third semester is the time to kick it in high gear, get those HIGH grades, strive for deans list before that final semester gets here.  Third semester was my semester of projects as well, LOADS of projects.  I really got to know my class during this semester.  We had daily projects, weekly projects, and we had a few projects that took  months, nuts right, I block out those memories.

So what do we study in third semester?  Specialty!  Third semester I began learning about OB, babies, Labor and Delivery, Cancer, Stroke, Blood clots, and Myocardial Infractions.  This was right where I wanted to be!  I had some really cool clinical experiences, a day in ICU, a day in Neonatal ICU, some med-surg clinical days as well, but I didn’t want to focus on those.  This is a semester you should really enjoy, you will get to see and learn so much!!! BUT YOU HAVE TO STAY FOCUSED ON THOSE GRADES!!!!

You know what else this is prime time to start doing?  Thinking and preparing for NCLEX.  So this is the time to really start practicing those NCLEX questions EVERYDAY if you haven’t!!! I mean it, EVERYDAY!  I practice 15 questions everyday in third semester, I just grabbed my Saunders NCLEX review book and got to work!  You can even just flip right to the subject you are studying and there you go!!! You are knocking out your questions and you are studying for your test!

So in review, don’t give up now, its prime time to push yourself.  Look forward to all your specialty clinical experiences, and buckle down and do those NCLEX questions!!!!

 

Your Nurse friend,

Holly Renee

To my Second Semester Nursing Students

Dear second semester nursing students,

This is probably going to be the most informative, time consuming, and maybe even the hardest semester for you.  I will tell you know that second semester was the hardest for me (read my post about failing).  Yup, you read that I failed my second semester the first time I took it, we wont get back into that, read the post to see all about it!

Second semester is so difficult due to the concept that is covered.  This is the Med-Surg semester! Oh yeah, the semester where you learn all the big basic information you need to know for the rest of your nursing career.

  • diabetes (sometimes covered in first)
  • hypo/hyperthyroid
  • blood pressure control
  • IBD/GERD/Digestion
  • Pain/fractures/back problems/comfort
  • Ashtma/COPD/emphysema

The list goes ON AND ON AND ON!!!!!  But, many programs have you do ALL of your pharmacology class through this semester too.  Lets all talk about stress right?  My program didn’t do pharm in one semester, we did it over three so we wont talk about pharm today, but we will talk about second semester and med-surg.

So how do we survive all of these subjects in a short 8 or 16 week program without panicking?  Well, you will panic, that is normal, and it is OKAY!!!! My best advice to lead with to help with the panic attacks that you may have, find a day each week and take off studying, find something fun to do.  Go for a jog, go to the gym, go shopping, go to dinner, go pain pottery or canvas, play video games, SOMETHING that you enjoy!

Now, studying.  NCLEX questions, do all of them, as many as you can find in any form you can find!  Sarah RN on youtube has amazing videos that usually has links to NCLEX questions.  Many programs provide you with a NCLEX book, use it, go buy a Saunders NCLEX review book!!!!!!! BEST BOOK ON THE MARKET!!  Also, find out what kind of learner you are.  I personally was a kinestetic learner meaning that I needed to do to learn.  I took notes, again and again to help me retain the information I needed for the test.  I wrote down anything I questioned through out all of nursing school.  Some people needs to read more to learn, re-read the book or your notes if that helps you.

DON’T GIVE UP THOUGH!!! It will all get better!!!!

 

Your new nurse friend,

Holly Renee.

Since Graduation

Looking at the title you now know what I have been holding out on.  YES! I did finally graduate from Nursing school, December 13, 2018.  This was a day I had been waiting for longer than you can even imagine, and it was so magical, okay the ceremony was boring as heck but the feeling of being done, that was the magic!

46423387_128910074778518_1685568943529357291_nYeah, so here is little baby nurse Holly all happy, not knowing what the next few weeks will hold for her as she starts her new career (we will get to that).

 

So I will cat you all up now as to what has happened since we last talked (my first week of 4th semester).  I finished nursing school (another post), obviously, graduated (not a big story), quiet one job, started my career, and here we are.  Okay, okay, a little more detail right?

So I will just tell you about leaving my nurse tech job.  This was a job I started at 19 years old.  It was the most amazing job I think I could have ever came to in my pre-nursing life.  I worked with some of the most amazing people ever, I also got to work night shift and day shift, so I got to know EVERYONE!  I got to learn so much in this position, from foley catheter insertion/care/taking it out, I learned about drawing blood, Vital sign assessment, reading telemetry, and a lot more!  Leaving this job was really hard for me, along with making the decision to not take a nursing position here.  I feel like the people I worked with here were family, but sometimes you have to grow up and move out, that doesn’t mean I wont stay in contact with them all!!

 

So the real tea is the new job right?  I took a job in a Neuro-Trauma ICU and I started working on the floor on January 27.  The first week was a roller coaster (without breaking HIPPA), needless to say, things didn’t go as planned for my patients as I hoped, but I learned very quickly that death is part of being in ICU.  This came quickly, but was easy to accept for me.  I have now been on the floor for almost three whole weeks and all I can say is I am in love with making a difference in the patients lives!  I am making new friends in this new job, but I have to say it is so weird to ask a PCA to do something for me still.  Delegation is still something I am working on.

2531760_0  OH YEAH, did I mention that I PASSED THE NCLEX!?!?!?!

 

Your new Nurse,

Holly Renee.

Nursing School, week in review

So I have now completed 2 full weeks in my last semester of nursing school and wow have they been crazy! Lets just review!

Week one was a little out of the normal for a week in our school.  Lecture starts Monday morning at 0800.  I get to class about 0730, have to get the best seat, and we sign in by 0745.  We made silly name tags, and got right to the point.  Reviewed the quiz we had to take before class and started notes on dysrhythmias.  Class is over by 1200, no lunch break.  Pretty easy day.  Day 2 was pretty much the same thing.  Day 3 was the start of clinical days.  We were at the school building though because we had those fun skills checks, math tests, and of course HESI exams.  None the less, I ended up with a fever of 103.2 before my HESI, making it really hard to take the exam.  Don’t worry fourth semester only gets better for me in the second week.

Week two comes around, on to coronary artery disease in lecture.  Pretty normal lecture day.  Take notes, ask questions, go home at noon and eat and review.  But this week we started clinicals at the hospital!  My group is on a trauma/tele floor.  I got a patient that was pretty confused, and somehow ended up with pee IN MY SHOE, not on my pants, not on my shoes, IN MY SHOE!!!! WHAT?!?!?!?! This was crazy to me! But it totally happened.  I then had to pass medication to my confused patient.  45 minutes later, this task was complete and it was on to my second patient.  The second patient was not confused at all.  They only had an IV piggyback medication, so super easy prep, super easy pass.  The day was nice and long having a confused patient to take care of.  But day 2 was just as strange.  I had a different patient.  Got to pass medication through an NG tube, for the first time, I LOVED THIS.  But then my new patient became confused! DO WE SEE A TREND!?  Will this be my new black cloud of the semester?

 

I will keep you posted,

Holly, the confused nursing student….

Studying 101

Most of you have probably survived at least a week of nursing school now, so lets talk about that first exam that is coming quicker than you expect!

Nursing school is much different than all of you pre-requisite classes that were taken to get into this program.  I spent a lot of time making a reviewing flash cards when I was in A&P, Biology, Chem, so-on and so-on.  But in nursing school I have yet to have time to make any flash cards to review.  But I have found some other helpful ways to help me study the information for the test.

1. DON’T CRAM

This is super important.  Do not cram before the test.  I learned this first hand.  Cramming is a sure way to get a C or lower.  Spend time learning the information.  Start by reading the chapter/material the weekend or night before the lecture.  Take some notes before the lecture on things you understand, or questions you have.  Then remember the day after the lecture START REVIEWING!!! Take your notes, review your notes, answer your questions, or find the answers if you didn’t get an answer.

2. COLOR

Use color when taking notes.  This makes it much more interesting to review your notes.  I know some people in my class take their notes in black, but when they rewrite their notes they will write them with a color code.  THIS INCLUDES THE HIGHLIGHTING.  I type my notes in class, but I come home and WRITE them in color, and highlight my typed notes with a color code.  My color code changes from time to time so I don’t get bored.

3. NCLEX question

This is my FAVORITE way to study!!!!!! I love practice NCLEX questions! This doesn’t just prepare you for you test coming up, but this will prepare you for the biggest test coming up at the end of nursing school!  If your text book comes with an online text book, these often come with a test bank as well.  This is a good source for NCLEX style questions geared to the material you are studying for the test.  Another great source of NCLEX questions are NCLEX review books.  Some schools require you to order one with you text books, mine did but I found one I liked much better.  I love my Saunders NCLEX review.

Image result for saunders nclex This not only has NCLEX questions in it but it also has review material to help study and the understanding of the material.

Another test bank would be HESI, if you have access too it, use the case studies that are provided in here with the questions.  This is a great sources even if you get them wrong.  READ EVERYTHING!!!

4. READ READ READ

Finally, I would like to say don’t forget to READ!!!!!! Always read your material.  This is so important! Your instructors may give you assigned reading pages, DO IT!!!! My instructors are known for not lecturing on these pages, but pulling LOTS of questions out of these pages of material.  READ THE MATERIAL, ask questions if you don’t understand, and review the material until you get it!!!!

 

I hope these few study tips will help you while you try to find a good study style to helps you succeed in nursing school.  You will become adaptable to school and the way you need to study to succeed.  Good luck everyone, I hope you do amazing on your first test!

 

Just another nursing student,

Holly

Failing

So when we get into college we are all told, failing isn’t an option.  Let me tell you something, FAILURE HAPPENS!!!!! I want to share the HARDEST time in my nursing school journey that I have yet to face.

I started nursing school in August of 2016.  This was a 2 year program, putting me on track to graduate May of 2018.  But here I am August of 2018 going into my 4th semester.  So as you have guessed by now, yes I failed a semester.

If you read my blog about my first semester you know that I had some personal struggles, but still came out on top and passed with flying colors.  Now come my second semester, things took a different turn.  Spring semester of 2017 will haunt me forever.  I started the semester with, you guessed it, A LOT OF FAMILY DRAMA!!!! Now, the mistake I made was letting it all get to me when I should have removed myself from the situation and focused on my goals.

My school is a little different than some others, so in order for this to make since I will give you a quick break down of the semester.  Each semester is made up of 2 courses, and these courses are divided into 8 week blocks.  This being said, there are 2 chances at failures, the first 8 weeks or the second 8 weeks.  So in each 8 week block there are 2 test and then a final, leaving very little room for messing up.

In my second semester I failed in the first 8 weeks.  There were actually 36 of us that originally failed, but 30 people got to retake the test, and I was not one of them sadly.  The craziest part of this whole thing was the first test I got an 88% on, then the second test I received a 64%, but the final test was the one that hurt me the most, I got a 74% on the test.  In order to pass the course I needed a 75% overall in the course and some how between these test and the very few assignments I had to do, I ended up with a 74.6% in the course, and nursing school doesn’t round.

The second 8 weeks of the course was spend in a remediation class, where I sat in a lecture for 2 hours on Monday mornings and then did nothing the rest of my week, well nothing school related.  This is where I started having problems. I went into a terrible depression.  I started drinking more, going out with friends (things that looked like normal college kids do), but this is out of character for me.  I stopped engaging with friends I’ve had my whole life, I became more reserved, when we weren’t out, I did work more often to keep my mind busy.  All things that are not like me at all.  I totally lost myself.

Crazy thing about that last paragraph, I think I am just now finding myself.  There are days I still think I am lost and not sure when the real Holly will be out, but I think I am where I need to be.  Somewhere between failing, and not dropping out, I learned how to take test better, I learned how to study, I even participated in some therapy to help me get back on my feet and out of my depression.

I guess, the point of this post is, don’t lose yourself.  If you fail, it is NOT the end of the world, DO NOT give up, KEEP GOING! It will all be worth it in the end!

 

Keep pushing on,

Your 4th semester Friend.