Monday, February 17, 2014

3 Heartbeats, 2 EFMs, & 1 Pregnant Mom

After getting report from the previous nurse, I walked towards my patient’s room wondering how I was going to make it through my shift.  The patient I was assigned to was admitted for overnight observation to rule out labor.  My patient was early in her gestation approximately 26 weeks and was expecting twins.  The previous nurse said she had been in and out of the room all afternoon trying to keep the babies on the external fetal monitors (EFMs), but found it difficult.  At 26 weeks gestation, babies have more room to move inside mom’s uterus; hence it is difficult to trace their heart rate for a long period of time.

Upon entering the room, the lights were dim; the patient was resting peacefully.  Since it was evening the only window in the room was illuminating a dark sky.  Bright lights were coming from the monitor and IV machine, near the patient’s bed.  I introduced myself quietly and asked the patient how she was doing, so I could assess feelings of frustration, weariness, or impatience in her voice.  She mirrored my welcome, with a hint of positivity in her tone.  (Side note: I don’t mind getting a one-sided biased report from the previous nurse but I like to make my own decisions on what kind of patient I will be dealing with by hearing from them myself.)  Before I started adjusting the EFMs, I suggested the patient empty her bladder, get readjusted in bed, and even offered a few extra pillows for support between the knees, and behind the lower back since she was lying on her side.

After the patient was back in bed and more comfortable I began searching for baby As heartbeat.  (Another side note: when adjusting EFMs on mom’s with twin pregnancies, it’s best to turn the volume down on the opposite baby’s heart rate so you hear the one you’re trying to locate.)  Now keep in mind this is the first twin pregnancy I've handled since coming off orientation, so I’m not a master at the art of finding two separate heart beats.  After locating baby As heartbeat I forgot to turn down the monitor before trying to locate baby Bs heartbeat. 

All of a sudden I was hearing two distinct separate heartbeats at the same exact time on the monitor.  Now the more experienced nurse might have quickly figured out she needed to turn down the heartbeat on baby A, so she could locate baby B.  But I sat there for a moment delighting in the miracle of not just hearing one heartbeat but two.  I just kept my hand on the monitor and listened.  I looked at the patient and asked if she had ever heard both her baby’s heartbeats at the same time.  She admitted she hadn't.  She too seemed thrilled at what she was hearing.  So we just sat there listening to both heartbeats for a while.  After attaching the strap that keeps the monitors on the patient’s abdomen, I thought it would be neat to grab my stethoscope and listen to mom’s heart rate while hearing both baby’s heartbeats in the background.  Both baby’s heart rates were quick between 140s and 150s, but mom’s heart rate was slower, more powerful in the 70s-80s range. 

Mom wanted to listen to all three heartbeats; she too thought it was a remarkable moment.  I told her that her strong heart was beating and supplying enough blood to circulate to both of her baby’s hearts inside her.  
After hearing what I said must have registered with her, because her eyes moistened and her voice broke as she tried to get her husband’s attention who was napping in the chair beside her. 

Together the three of us sat quietly listening to the three heartbeats within her. 

Despite the fact that I did have to go back and forth to readjust and keep both babies’ heart rates on the monitor throughout my shift, I didn't mind so much.

I just marveled at the simple beauty of God’s intricate creation of life.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Comfort and Structure

Helping deliver babies is becoming more enjoyable with each work day.  I know that my time spent on L&D consists primarily of standing/moving and going through my checklist.  To-do tasks include taking baby meds out of our medication cabinet and filling out baby papers.  As well as making sure to grab Pitocin and stringing it up to start running post birth for uterine involution.  Of course there is always charting to stay on top of, and ultimately these odd jobs help to keep me busy throughout my shift.
I’m learning how all of the MDs are wired on our unit, including their preferences.  Some MDs want nothing to do with being out at the desk other than to stop in briefly for updates, writing orders, or dictating post-delivery.  These same MDs want very little interaction with the patient as possible.  Then there are other MDs spending most of their day at the nurse’s desk or bedside.  They want to perform all of the cervical exams so they can determine progression exclusively.  They want to watch the strip minute-by-minute especially with deceleration in fetal heart tones, so they can judge the best time to intercede.

I’m learning to feel more comfortable in my abilities as an RN in both approaches, which helps me to enjoy my job more.  I’ve learned that more babies are born in the fall, specifically here in the North, because more couples are conceiving in the winter months.  This sheds more light onto why I felt overwhelmed with my schedule this past fall.  This also explains why I was asked twice last week if I wanted to take low-census or PTO because our unit was slow.

Most importantly, as the holidays are now beyond me, I’m starting to appreciate my schedule as an RN.  I’m happy that at most I work (3) 12 hour shifts in a row before getting a day off.  And about once a month, I get approximately 5-6 days in a row off at a time.  For this I’m grateful, because with our current artic cold snap, I’ve been able to spend more time with my family with school being cancelled, than I did on their winter break.

With the extra time on my hands, I read a blog post written by Hannah over at hb called When 60 Days Could Change Your Life.  Hannah started implementing 6 changes/resolutions prior to 1/1/14.

This has inspired me to start a structure of sorts in my own life.  It’s no lie I haven’t written a blog post in a while mainly because I was getting used to my new career.  But I’ve also be trying to decide on continuing this blog.  While I love my career and the route I’ve chosen to get where I am, I’ve lost focus on my ambition to write.  I’m not sure what to write about now-a-days, and it seems harder to disguise my experiences with the reality of disrespecting patient confidentiality.  Since I’ve mastered school and getting my degree, I’m not sure what motivates me that I can write about.  I’m taking suggestions if anyone wants to help me figure it out. 

However, I will do my best to keep you all informed of my decision if and when it comes to that point.  For now, I’m taking Hannah’s cue on getting more structured, with a goal in mind.  Happy 2014 everyone!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Labor Nurse by Rachael Clarke

I just had to post this article I found on Facebook, it brought me to tears!
It's called Labor Nurse written by Rachael Clarke posted online via here

"Deep cleansing breath in... breathe out... breathe in... breathe out and PUSH!"

"Okay... the contraction is coming... ready... deep cleansing breath in..."

For two and a half hours.

With no break.

No food, no water, no time for a phone call.

Just your sneakers brushing linoleum as you check my progress, study the screens. With cotton scrubs pressed, blond hair securely fastened.

It's a Saturday morning, mid-April with spring heat blowing, warming the glass of the dust-streaked hospital windows. You've been here since 3:00 a.m., encouraging, smiling, making small talk. Asking if I'd like some water, showing me pictures of your kids. I imagine you're running on coffee and adrenaline.

You're surrounded by several female nursing students now. They shuffle around my bed taking notes on clip boards. Their eyes shyly meet mine as they observe this scene. I see the flush of their cheeks, the nervousness and excitement in their eyes. They've never witnessed a birth before.

"Hold her leg." "Watch the screen for her contractions." "We're going to lift and turn her on three. One... two... three..." Orders are executed deftly, taken humbly with a quiet seriousness. Micah follows your orders as well, takes them with sincerity.

I notice that we're all about the same age. We're all young, all still figuring it out. We were all so recently children. And I think about how we're just people in this moment. No titles, no degrees, no walls. Just people in this beautiful, uncut moment. This moment that ties us, strips us of self, makes us one as we work together to bring a life into this world.

"Okay, the next contraction is coming..."

I feel it. Feel the surge of pain like a wave building and cresting. I know it means that my baby will be here soon. You are standing in front of me, arms moving like a conductor. "And deep cleansing breath in..." Your arms softly swing upward. "And breathe out..." Your hands swing down. You speak loudly, but with encouragement. You look confident, practiced. You make me feel like I can do anything.

You don't look at the clock. You don't sit down. You don't look tired, or impatient, or frustrated. You act as though there's nowhere else you'd rather be than here, like nothing is more important than this moment. You cheer me on even after the doctor arrives to add his cheers, to instruct us all as he safely delivers Tegan.

And after it's all done, after Tegan has been washed and weighed, after I've been mended and the doctor leaves, after the shock has settled and I realize that I'm a mom, you are still here. You help me to my feet, ask a nursing student to come to my other side. And though I am weak, though my body is drained of energy and my face is devoid of color, you help me to press on. We women walk forward together, and soon you help me in ways that I never thought a person could, or would. If I could, I would do the same for you.

Thank you for showing me selflessness. I will never forget it.

Thank you to nurses everywhere.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Outwardly Submissive Inwardly Defiant

I start off with an apology to any/all my fellow readers with my absence from blogging.  Starting my career as a nurse, has taken its toll on me, leaving me with little “free” time.  After landing the job of my dreams and finally passing NCLEX, I figured things would even out a bit.  I imagined when I agreed to working 36 hours per week that (3) 12 hour shifts would be the only time I was expected to be at work. That would leave me with 4 days off per week.  Unfortunately, however, I was wrong. 

When you’re a new L&D nurse, there are certifications that you must pass like Neonatal Resuscitation Program NRP, and renewing my Basic Life Support BLS.  I’ve had mandatory unit meetings, emergency drills, skills fairs, not to forget to mention the hospital required quarterly meetings, and numerous CBTs (computer based trainings) that needed to be finished before starting a new fiscal year.  I’ve attended workshops, insurance meetings, and new hire orientations.  My head is figuratively swimming in overload and I can’t see straight.    

Should I even go into the “variable” shift?  Yes, I better so you all get the full picture here.  My shift is variable which means I could work any shift as long as they’re 12 hour shifts, and usually the same shift for the full week.  For example I could work any of these shifts 7A-730p, 7p-730a, I’ve even worked 3p-330a and 3a-330p for the 3 days I’m scheduled that week.  But during my first month and a half, my schedule was something like Monday 7P-730A, off Tuesday, Wednesday 7A-730P, off Thursday, and then Friday 7p-730A.  What the heck, talk about screwing up my body clock big time!  Some weeks they schedule me (3) 8 hour shifts usually 3P-1130P, and then a 12 hour shift to round it out.  Add to that the expected/mandatory 28 hours of on-call in a 6-week period and the excessive amounts of charting that turns any 12 hour shift into 14 hours easy, and my measly 3 days of work quickly turns into regular overtime.  The beginning of the month has gotten better; I’ve been working days mainly instead of that crazy yo-yo day/night routine.

My co-workers say it’s just the time of year for all these meetings that coincidentally seem to fall within my current schedule.  They say things should “let up” soon and to “hang in there”.  Let me be the first to say, I’m truly grateful for being employed, amen, hallelujah!  I know there are people out there who would trade places with me in a heartbeat if they heard me gripping.  It’s just difficult to be so entwined with this job that I forget what day it is.  I’m not in-the-know with how my kids are doing in school or socially.  My bed is cold and lonely without being able to sleep with my hubby.  My body is more present at the hospital than it is in my own home.

I guess this just gets to me because I’ve had to sacrifice the past 5 years, being present but absent from my kids, with my commitment to school.  I truly thought my family life would be better, but in some ways its worse.  I still miss important school outings (unless I show up, after working an overnighter, and have been awake for 24 hours with my eyes squinting because I’m using every ounce of energy just to keep them open).  My only time away from work seems to match up perfectly with my hubby and kids’ school/work hours, so as soon as they come home I give a quick kiss and “I love yous” and I’m out the door.  The work life is better in the sense that I’m not constantly worrying about some test I have to take or which chapter I need to study, or what project I should work on, or which partner I should call for group work.  When I’m done working, I leave work at work.

I’ve tried to take a moment and talk to my husband about maybe cutting back on hours, so instead of working 36hpw, I would work 28hpw.  That way I could still pick up hours (and help out when needed), but have more time away from the place.  My hubby is skittish of this plan because he’s worried there will be slow times, with no hours to pick up, leaving us financially wounded.  He wants me to stick it out until the first of the year when we both have a moment to look at the budget and see if it’s possible to cut back on hours.  I have to agree with him.  Since moving into a bigger home and attaining new monthly bills, the last thing I would want is to not be making enough money.  Still sucks to have to wait though!

On top of all this change, my hubby got promoted and I’m very, very, very joyful for him (really I am)!  He got a pay raise, feels more accomplished than ever, and gets to travel with his company more.  In the future this job promotion could even bring me to places I’ve never been.  However, he has to travel 4-5 days per week around the country, which brings a sense of worry to me being the only parent close to home.  An even bigger worry during those days that I’m working an overnight shift and my kids are home alone.  They’re both teenagers, but I still don’t like the idea of no one being home with them on those nights.  Unfortunately my unavailability has brought me to look for a new job.  Something that offers school time hours, with no nights or weekends.  Wait a minute…let me do the laughing for you, hahahahahahahaha!  Such a pipe dream I’m living in, to think a new nurse could ever land a job like that!!! 

Well I’m also praying for the Lord’s direction and His will be done.  I know my kids and hubby will survive when this is all said and done.  It’s just that I didn’t think I’d have to sacrifice my days off.  And yet, it seems, in this new profession, that’s exactly what I’ll have to do.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Baby RN Feeling Overcome

So now that I’ve earned my license and I’ve floated on cloud 9 for a while…REALITY hits quite fast and hard.

I came home last night feeling defeated, deflated, and depressed.  I unloaded my stress and fears unto my hubby before bed and cried myself to sleep.  I hope my hubby wasn’t shocked or upset by the many things that spurted out of my mouth like, “I don’t want to be a nurse”, or “I thought getting the license was only the hard part”, or “I just don’t want to work this hard”.

Part of this stems from the sacrifice of my family time through school, all of summer studying, and now getting used to my RN job in OB.  I just want time with my family.  I want to enjoy them.  I want to put work and “learning new things” on the backburner or auto pilot so I can focus on what really matters to me. 

I’ve been working in OB for almost 2 years.  Right after graduation I transitioned to graduate nurse until I passed my boards.  I’ve had about 2.5 months of orientation on postpartum and labor and delivery.  Unfortunately my orientation was scheduled to accommodate my need to study to pass my boards which meant a lot of overnights.  Many times I only saw vaginal progression of labor, but few deliveries and zero c-sections.  In fact a little over a week ago, I set sail off of orientation, on my own without even seeing or knowing what to do in a c-section.  One of my two preceptors was appalled that I hadn’t seen one yet, because as she put it, “potentially any delivery could become a c-section and you have to be prepared”.  I think she must have thought my other preceptor showed me one and vice versa.  Either way Wednesday of this week my boss switched my schedule around to get me some time through an entire c-section from prep, to section, to recovery. 

Bless the nurse I was following that day, she made me a little to-do list, which helped but there are always things that get forgotten, and the day wasn’t running smoothly.  She had forgotten a med to give and lab forgot to draw a platelet count that the doctor ordered to have done before the c/s, so the surgery was delayed over an hour.  Ultimately things went well after that, and I did most of the recovery.

Fast forward to yesterday (just a day later) and I was helping a co-worker through a twin delivery.  The doctor for good measure had the mom delivery in the OR “just in case”, because she was having them vaginally.  After she pushed the first twin out, the second twin started to get in trouble.  The whole situation went from stable to emergency stat c/s asap!  I didn’t know what to do and I just froze.  The secondary MD looked me right in the eyes and yelled “SCRUB HER BELLY NOW”!!!  So I did.  If I hadn’t been in the c/s the day before I wouldn’t even know what to grab or what to do.  The Lord was with me through that but I was still shaken up. 

Afterwards the docs and nurses all sat around the nurses stations digesting what had happened but I just listened.  I went on break shortly thereafter and called my hubby and cried about it.  I went back up to my unit, and nearly broke down to another co-worker who said “geez you’ve been through a bunch of tough situations right after being off orientation”, “how are you doing”?  I told her if I stopped to talk about it I would cry and I had to round on my next set of patients so I didn’t have time.

After I got done with rounding, the charge nurse told me that my manager wanted to talk to me for 5 minutes and to go to her office.  When I got there she wanted to know how I was doing, if I thought I felt comfortable on my own, and did I need more orientation time.  I admitted that I don’t feel comfortable in L&D with either a vaginal delivery or c/s.  I’m fine and feel confident after baby comes out and recovery, but leading up to that is hard for me.  I’m okay for the most part as far as checking the dilation of the cervix except if she’s a mul-tip because the cervix stretches.  I can’t figure out effacement, nor do I understand station well.  And because there’s soo many small details and things to accomplish before delivery, and not wanting to hurt the cervix I don’t know when to tell mom to start pushing.  I’m fine during the actual pushing and moving out of the way for the doctor when the mom starts crowning.

After relaying all this to my manager and then some, I also followed up with the fact that I ask lots of questions and never hesitate to stop if I don’t know something or don’t feel right about something. 

Basically she just agreed that I’m not ready to be on my own yet.  She suggested I take 2 more weeks of orientation, sit down with her assistant manager and go over critical thinking exercises, ask a different co-worker for a list of “to-do lists” she created when she was brand new and see how it goes from there.  They’re going to follow up with me weekly to see how I’m doing.

…But really, all I want to do is run and hide.  I feel embarrassed that I haven’t gotten to a place where I feel comfortable yet.  I really just want to quit, maybe find a desk job.  At least until my kids are on their own and not home as much… Then I could work bedside and be gone for a 12 hour scheduled shift that turns into 14/15 hours. 

I say all this because I went to and found a good post called “New nurse feeling overwhelmed” posted in 2006.  One of the responses was from anne74, and she said after I hit the sixth month mark, I'm having moments of feeling -sort of- like I know what I'm doing. I still ask questions constantly, but there's no way of knowing everything without experiencing it first. And the only way to experience it is to show up every day and learn. That doesn't always feel good and it's frustrating, but you'll get there.

You will start to see changes, you'll be able to answer questions more often and you'll start to catch things all by yourself. You'll even feel comfortable suggesting things to doctors, etc. The only way to gain this wisdom is through experience, and you'll get there in time. Seriously - it gets better. But it doesn't happen in a nice, linear fashion. It goes in spurts - good days, bad days, etc.

No one really tells you how hard - and awful - your first year of nursing is. I think the people who have it the hardest are the ones who are challenged the most, and in the long run become the best nurses.

A piece of good advice I got from my Mom (a retired RN) is after every shift, think of 3 new things you now know how to do. Before, I was only focusing on mistakes I made, and totally ignoring my accomplishments. Take time to see how far you've gone already, and it only goes up from there.

After reading that, I was inspired to write a blog post.  I just have to look at where I’m at and say for instance, I learned on Wednesday how to scrub the abdomen during a c/s.  That came in handy because I put my skills to the test the following day.

I am learning, I am growing, but I just wish I didn’t have to sacrifice anymore family time along the way.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Zazzy RN

Well after many weeks of soul-searching humility, coupled with lots of blood sweat and tears of studying every free moment. 

I’m happy to announce I passed my NCLEX!!!!!  Yahooooooo, I’m finally a registered nurse.

What a difference 10 weeks of hard-core studying will do to help a person pass that all-important test. 

It couldn’t have happened any sooner either.  My boss thankfully allowed me to continue my nursing orientation since graduating.  So, all the while working full-time as a graduate nurse on my unit gaining experience, I was also studying for my retest.  I was soo very thrilled to announce to everyone that I had passed and was official; I got high-fives, and dessert!

The afternoon when I left the testing center, for the second time, I walked out to my car much more confident than the first time.  I had taken my first break after question 62, and promised myself to chill out, relax because I was ready to sit for the entire thing again if I had to.  However, after answering the 75th question the screen shut off and I was done.  I drove to the nearest wi-fi location (McDs) and checked the Pearson Vue trick (watch this video that explains what I mean) and saw the “good pop-up” screen and squealed with glee!  Then proceeded to purchase a meal, hehe.
Weird huh?  I went from taking it the first time with the maximum amount of questions to taking it the second time with the minimum amount of questions, either way makes no difference to me.  I'm a nurse :-)

Oh my I have to admit I never thought in a million years that I would have failed the test the first time.  I really thought only DUMMIES failed their first time. But once again God showed me that I need another slice of humble pie and that I wasn’t truly ready.

Hindsight is always 20/20 and after I swallowed the huge pill of denial and acceptance I realized He was right.  I wasn’t ready, and after the extra hard work I put in, I’m glad I know now what I didn’t know then.

I owe a big thank you to my husband for (the list could go on and on, but I’ll sum it up):

1) helping me to step out of the denial and own the failure quickly

2) reaching out to one of my nursing instructors (who is one of the smartest women I know), and somehow talking her into agreeing to tutor me

3) continuing to wear the single-parent hat with our two kids over the entire summer when his tank was on empty

4) encouraging me when there was no encouragement available; this man is my rock, my partner, and my heart.

I didn’t tell my hubby my retesting day(because of how ill he was on the original date), instead I said he would know I passed the test because he would see that I got my hair cut and colored.  His reaction was priceless.  There’s no fooling the fooler, interestingly enough he already knew my retesting day and with the help of my son, surprised me with a spraying of silly string and noise makers and a balloon that said “congrats”.




Amen for God’s faithfulness, especially about 2 weeks before my retesting date, when I had a break-down moment of insanity and instability.  I reached out and up, and asked God to help me…and save me.  He redirected my path and reminded me to be faithful and obedient.  That he didn’t bring me this far not to see me through.  After the help of repetitious prayer, and lots of broadcasts from  James MacDonald on Perseverance, and Faithfulness, I was restored.  My doubt vanished and was replaced with serenity. 
Here are a couple verses that helped me through it all:

John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.

(my favorite) Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.  “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Matthew 11: 28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fires, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.

Matthew 14:31 “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

James 1:6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Lastly I want to share a quote that helped me and spoke directly to me:

The longer you have to wait for something, the more you will appreciate it when it finally arrives. The harder you have to fight for something, the more priceless it will become once you achieve it. And the more pain you have to endure on your journey, the sweeter the arrival at your destination. All good things are worth waiting for and worth fighting for.
- Susan Gale

Sunday, June 30, 2013

NCLEX Failure

I’m sad to announce that I took the NCLEX on Tuesday the 25th and failed.  I’m in a state of shock, and bewilderment to say the least.  I didn’t expect this kind of outcome and didn’t see it coming from miles away.  I sat for 5.5 hours, and answered all 265 questions.  After the first 2 hour break, no one was left in the testing room with me, and I felt alone and kind of frustrated, but determined that I wasn’t out of the game. 

After I finished, I had a sense of doom and left the testing center.  I pulled over at the nearest Wi-Fi location and opened my laptop to do the Pearson Vue Trick, only to see I had advanced to the CC screen.  I thought it was a fluke, so I drove for another 20 miles and tried again and got the same screen. 

By 2pm the following day, the state updated their website saying my temp. nursing license had been voided.  My heart dropped into my stomach, and I crumbled.  All of the flaws and insecurities I had about myself resurfaced, and once again I felt like the kid who couldn’t pay attention or sit still in school, who couldn’t catch on to what the teacher was teaching, who wasn’t getting the point of the lesson.  I felt like the nursing student who couldn’t pass any exams during the semester within the 90s range because the best I had was 70s.  I felt like despite my achievements throughout my life, the failure of this test, confirmed my worth as mediocre. 

I used to hear stories, even folklores if you will, from upperclassmen who had failed the NCLEX.  But I never really knew anyone who had failed.  I used to think to myself, boy they must have been some dumbbbbb people to have failed.  I mean I know the test is tough, but it can’t be that tough.  And for me in particular, I came from a well-respected school of nursing that prepares their students for success.  The school started us from the first semester with application questioning so we were familiar with the same style of testing as NCLEX. 

However, in the end, I fell short.  I have to say, I was a little cocky and arrogant about my abilities post-graduation.  I felt like I was well equipped and prepared, that I knew most of what I needed for NCLEX.  I took the Kaplan review course and learned all about strategy and the decision tree.  I understood what key words to look for, I understood ABC’s, I understood Maslow’s Hierarchy, I understood assessment vs. implementation, and I even understood that no matter what keep the patient safe at all times.  But I still failed!

I believe my downfall didn’t have much to do with strategy as it did with lack of content.  I wasn’t a 100% sure of all the diseases whether it was patho, interventions, outcomes, meds etc.  Nor was I completely accurate on the order of certain skills, like suctioning a trach pt.  Because of this, on testing day I didn’t feel as confident as I should have. 

The importance of this test was/is so gigantic in my life, up to this point nothing tops it.  The importance of passing this test the first time was put so high on the priority list that nothing should have gotten in my way.  I didn’t take the test as seriously as I should have, and as a result of failing, I’ve been left to feeling low, incompetent, stupid, embarrassed, worthless, and just plain unsure of myself.  Besides letting myself down, I let my husband and children down.  I made a lot of promises to be with them this summer, which now, will be incorrect.  Instead of watching the kids play their summer sports, I’ll be back with my nose in my nursing books.  Instead of going to work, and coming home after each shift and not worrying about studying anymore, that’s exactly what I will be doing again.

It’s funny how the stages of grief they teach you in school really are true being, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  I know I stayed in denial the first full day, moved on to anger for a short while, didn’t really hang out in bargaining for long, but have been hanging out in depression for quite some time.  Acceptance is right around the corner, and since I’ll be trying to retest within 45 days, I know I’ll be back to studying before you know it.  It’s just hard, you know what I mean?!  I’m just really upset that I didn’t end up on the right side of the passing line for NCLEX.

Ultimately, I will be getting a refund from Kaplan, and my hubby has ensured me he will support and encourage me as much as he can.  I purchased the Saunders book with CD, and will be enrolling in the 5 week course with NCSBN within the next few weeks.  My hubby went to the library to check out lots of books as tools for my studying time.  Bless his heart; he even contacted one of my nursing instructors who I immensely admire, to help tutor me.  I’ll find out later today how that will go, but as of now I’m moving into the direction of acceptance laced with self-loathing.

I’ve agreed to take away many of the distractions I had the first go round like facebook, pinterest, twitter, snapchat, and anything else that interrupts my studies.  I do not plan to post again on this blog until I have passed the NCLEX successfully.  Thanks for listening and your patience through this tough time.