Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hoop: Polio and DPT

So I've decided to start blogging about some of the hoops I have to jump through as a student.  There have been many up to this one, but I don't have the time to write them all out.  So I'll start with this most current.

I have been accepted into the nursing program of my choice since June, about 3 months.  I plan to start classes the 3rd week in January.  As a way of keeping up with each student the advisers send reminder emails to the students about anything that still needs to be taken care of.

My email came to me a few weeks ago, stating that the vaccination record I had submitted to the office still didn't have my Polio and DPT on file.  I quickly scanned through my copy of paperwork I turned in and sure enough nothing was submitted.  So I called my mom and asked if she had a copy of my immunization records and she promptly told me no.  Up to this point in my life she didn't think she needed to keep a copy of my records.  (Hummmm mom isn't on the ball on this one)  So I contacted my advisor again and told her the situation, and she suggested to see if my doctor's office from when I was a child would have a copy of my records.  So again I consulted my mom, who had a fountain of information this time regarding my doc's name, my medical record number, and the telephone number to the doc.'s office.  (Wow, my mom is back on the ball.)

I call the medical records dept and come to find out that 7 years after the patient is seen in their office they DESTROY all their records.  WHAT??  What about the surgery I had when I was 5 years old, all that info is gone!  I was devastated.  I emailed my advisor and told her the deal that my records have been destroyed.  And she said, well she wasn't too concerned about the Polio, but for sure the DPT was going to be a problem.  I asked if it was going to cost me my spot in the nursing program and she wasn't sure.  Oh no!

Then I called my mom again, and she suggested trying the school district's main office and asking them if they had a copy of my immunizations from when I entered Kindergarten.  (Again this woman is amazing, I am so grateful to her!)  I never would've thought to do that.  So I called up my school district of a medium sized city and thought the system would be overcrowded with people bogging things down and that it would be weeks before I'd be able to find out what I needed.  To my surprise the lady got back to me that same day with the records I needed.  Proudly I ran up to my adviser's office and handed her the needed records showing all of my shot series for the DPT and the Polio series.  I was sooo excited that day I could have floated off on cloud 9. 

What have I learned through all this??  That I should run out and make copies of my children's HIM records and Immunization records and file them somewhere safe, so that when they come to me when they're 33 years old I can be ready and prepared to hand them what they need.

Nothing is going to stop me from getting to the end goal.  It just seems that with each new day there is inevitably some hoop to jump through almost as a test of how bad I really want this.  It makes me think that the devil is behind making my path a rocky one.  But I will, by the grace of the Almighty get to the finish line!  Amen amen amen.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Medical Terminology Book

I have not taken Medical Terminology and my schooling program doesn't offer it as a separate class.   They build the terminology into the classes you take.  However I've been reading on that it would be best to take a terminology class so that you don't have a separate thing to learn on top of the other work thrown at you. 
Well I'm not keen on the idea of taking another class so I thought why not look up common terms and make flash cards and learn them ahead of time.  To my dismay there are hundreds and hundreds of med terms on the internet and I had no clue where to start. 
Then I started thinking that maybe I could check out a book from my local library for med terms.  The only current copy of med terms my library had is copyrighted in 2009 and was checked out, and second runner up was copyrighted in 1984.  Goodness, sometimes I wish I lived in a bigger city with a few libraries to choose from like when I lived in the MPLS area.
Anyway, after deciding that I didn't want a book as old as 1984 knowing some new terms have been made I'm sure since then, I decided to see how much a new book cost on  Anywhere from $30 and up and I'm not liking the idea of buying a textbook without a class to go with it.
So I was pondering all of this out loud to my buddy who will be in the nursing program with me (we'll call her Rory, since I'm sure this won't be last we hear of her) and Rory said to me, "hey I took Medical Terminology about 10 years ago and I may still have my book if you'd like to borrow for the terms you can".  AAAAAAHHHH the angels from Heaven were singing and smiling down upon her at this moment.  "I said sure, I'd be happy to borrow your book".

Now I'm not one to complain for a free will offering to me from a friend but this book you gotta see.  The copyright is 1997, and it must have come out prior to boom of the CDROM because as you'll see the software that is included are on disks.  I don't think my laptop even has an opening for one of these disks.  How funny.
But I didn't care, I'm grateful for the book and the terms and I'm a flash card making machine at the moment.  THANK YOU RORY!

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's that I hear?

I just got done writing 1-3/4 page paper on John McDermott an Existentialist and I really should put in another page worth of fluff, but don't know what to write...  writers block.

All is quiet in the house and all I hear is the low humming of the refrigerator and the keys on my laptop. Life can be nice with moments like these.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Terms, Terms, Terms.

Lately here I've come across some terms I've not heard of.  I haven't had a chance to google them, but I'm sure eventually I'll get around to it. 
For instance I've learned that the hospital here in town offers a Critical Care Nurse Residency Program but I don't know what that means.  Yes I've talked to the recruiter but I'm not sure if its a good choice.  Also I was advised to take an Internship during the summer of my junior and senior year of school... what is the advantage of doing that?
Just about every job I see posted has the following terms CPR/BLS is Required and ACLS is Required  I get what CPR means and I think I know what BLS means, but the ACLS, you got me.
Also I was told it would be good if I got experience with the Critical Care units, but the hospital here also said if I could get a job as an Emergency Room Technician it would be great experience.
Plus I'm realizing that with my schooling I'm not required to take a class just for medical terminology, but that it will be included with my regular nursing classes.  However I'm thinking it may be a benefit if I could get a medical terms book or flash cards made to help learn common words or prefixes and suffixes. 
Too much to think about at times, it's overwhelming.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Yesterday afternoon my hubby and I went to my "new" school for the nursing program.  I was invited to an informational meeting for the Nursing Honor's Program.  I have to say that on the one hand yes there will be more work to do but on the other hand I don't think it'll be entirely too much more work.  Plus I'll be able to take a few online/independent classes so that'll leave more time in the lab or time on the floor in clinicals.  And I'll be able to have extra learning in specialty areas of my choosing.

I gotta say I'm diggin' the idea of wearing the Honor's cords during graduation.  I hope I can maintain the GPA needed to stay in the program.

All in all after my hubby and I talked about it, I decided that I should give it a try and see what I can do, if I can't complete the program then that's fine.  At least I gave it a shot.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

980 or so...

980 or so days left give or take a few until I graduate from school according to the hubby.  Let's see I have this semester, then 5 more semesters, not including summer semesters if I so choose.  When my husband told me that number I gotta say I wasn't thrilled.  This light at the end of the tunnel doesn't seem to wanna come, it keeps hiding itself.

So yesterday morning I threw up out of nowhere.  Might've been the glaze icing on the donut holes mixed with the allergy pill that I took or maybe I'm getting sick.  I hope it was just the mixture of food and not the sickness.  I don't want to be sick right now, too much going on.

My daughter called me from school yesterday to say that her glasses broke, right down the bridge of the frame.  Great!  Well the frames are still under warranty but still sucks, and its a good thing I was able to find her back up pair in her room (yikes  a 14 year old girls room can be a nightmare).

Lately I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed with the amount of things to learn that will be coming my way.  I think I need to get back into reading the Word, because I feel these thoughts of wanting to give up are from the Devil.  For instance, I'm not very disciplined when it comes to studying.  I suck at memorizing.  I read slowly.  As much as I make my whole study area organized it still is messy.  Intellectually speaking I think I can pick up on what is being taught, but I'm terrible on tests.  Either way last weekend when I was working I mentioned some of these things to a wonderful God send of a girlfriend who has been a nurse for over 20 years and is a friend of mine.  And she gave such words of comfort that I printed it off and will hang it up around the house and in my car, it went like this : 

u r absolutely the true heart of what it takes to be a good nurse.

Now wasn't that the sweetest thing ever?  I love my supportive family don't get me wrong, but sometimes God blesses you with exactly what you need when you need it.  And this friend said it all for me right there at that moment.  I am grateful for her friendship.

Moving on, I was just sent a pre-orientation email stating that us as students have 1 month left before our real orientation night on Oct. 13th.  They gave us a map with a terrible parking spot and quite a hike just to get to our building.  What am I gonna do in the winter when the temp goes below zero and the wind is cutting at my face and the snow is up to my knees?  I guess I'll just have to get to class early, bundle up and wear boots.  Yuck.  But I was soo thrilled to have gotten this email I felt soo excited inside.  Like its really happening, it truly is happening now.  Awwwwwww, I'm going to Nursing School!!
Tonight I am taking my hubby and we're going to the informational meeting for the Nursing Honors program that they told me I was qualified for.  I have heard it is a tremendously intense program and am concerned if I am even cut out for it.  But I guess it doesn't hurt to listen in on the meeting.  You never know if you don't try right?

By the way, where do you all like to study the most?  At a desk, on the couch, in your comfy bed, on school campus, at the library??  In my own home, I don't have a study area with a door.  So when the kids are running around or the hubby has the tv up loudly I hear it.  I try to pack up all my stuff and go into my bedroom but it slowly becomes a place where I want to nap or sleep.  I'm thinking of taking my dresser out of my bedroom to make room for my desk.  Wonder if this is a good idea.  I just think I need a door to shut...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ultimate Frisbee... Yup I rocked it

Week 2 down and I've gotta say by far these classes are going much better than last semester.  The great amount of reading does seem to be kicking my butt.  Anyone have ideas on how to study with soo much reading?  I don't read in a speedy manner and I don't want to not cover something in case I miss something.

I'm just gonna put it out there that Philosophy is for the birds.  Not to put down others out there who believe this stuff, but how can life be soo darn difficult and bothersome?  Here's my take on it all, we were all meant to be on this earth for a purpose.  So live your life to the fullest and glorify God by living your life the best way you can, and know that after you die it's not the end, it's only the beginning.  Can I get an Amen??

For my gym class I've heard through the grapevine that I don't even need this class, that students over 27 years old don't need to take a gym class.  So the story goes through the grapevine though.  Who knows for sure and I'm not interested in checking into it.  I'm loving being active twice a day.  Once in the am's with the hubby at the Y and again during this class.  Friday we played Ultimate Frisbee.  It is a co-ed class but the old fashioned teacher made the guys leave to go to the weight room while 11 of us girls played against each other.  Crazy.  It was pretty fun though I gotta say.  At first we were all awkward but then my competitiveness came out to play and I was knocking girls in the chest and face (by accident of course).  That's about the only competitive level I'm capable of against some poor 18-19 year olds right outta high school.  Oh well what can I do, I had fun!  I was a bucket of sweaty mess.  Before you know it our time was up and we had to finish off in the weight room while the guys played against each other.

Besides that the only other class I had was Soc/Race/Ethnicity, still kinda liking the class, interesting statistics the teacher brings us about ethnicity around the country.  So that's cool, he's entertaining which always helps the time go by.
I better get cracking on my school work for the day.  I'm working my job on the side from school 4 hours on Fridays, and two 10's on Sat. and Sun.  So hence I'm at work today and doing school work.  God has blessed me with a wonderful enjoying job where I can do school work at the same time.  Such a blessing. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010


School update:  I had to read 44 pages for just 1 chapter in my Interpersonal Communications class aka Com-101, and my assignment was to post a 1 page response single spaced starting with a thesis about the chapter and then finishing with a reflection on something I found worth writing about.  My choice was CMC(computer mediated communication) and how the book said its users found this to be a positive way of communicating.  I gave my opinion that even though I agree with CMC (and choice to be lazy in my own home by texting my other family members) that it doesn't replace face-to-face communication on the whole.  After posting my response electronically I am happy to say that I got 20/20!!!  Here is my instructor's comment : Really excellent response, Rachel. Well written with a great personal reflection at the end. Nice job. Keep it up!

Woo hoo!  Feels good to get a comment like that especially when you are first starting a class and not sure what to expect.  Plus I'm a horrible communicator and this just goes to show that maybe I'm a better paper writer.

Math news:  I am enrolled in my last math class called Statistics.  Yes that's right I said last, not first not beginning but last, meaning last needed required math class of my career, and our professor advised us to purchase a graphing calculator telling us how much we'll need it in our upcoming chapter 3 covering Standard Deviation.  Now I wasn't too familiar with mean, mode, and median but I am slowly getting it now.  I was bummed because just spring semester I purchased a newer calculator for algebra and now I have to get another one??  AND this calculator is worth 109.99!  Oh my Sally, that is more money than I'd like to pay for a stinking calc. PLEASE!  Anyway, I chose to put down the green for it and as the cashier handed it to me the calc. weighed nearly the same amount as a small child because of the instruction book that came with it.  Goodness people (meaning school staff) do I look like I need another reading assignment?  I have no clue how to use this thing and after asking my teacher he didn't know either.  What good is this teacher I'm beginning to wonder.  So I've included the pics of my new expensive investment.  And I've decided I'll pass it down to my kids and tell them they must take a Statistics class in high school or college and no questioning me about it.  Hate to sound like a bummer here, but c-mon, a hundred bucks for a calculator that I'm only going to use for 4 months, is outrageous.  Maybe I'll post it on the board at school and try to sell it for $50 if my hubby agrees, otherwise I'm afraid if I hold on to it by the time my kids do get to using it, it will be obsolete.
Off to school again, see ya later.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bug Eyed

I've only completed two days of school but feel like a big ball of work has been dropped in my lap, mainly reading assignments.  Gosh I really wish I was like Inspector Gadget where I could use my go go gadget reading abilities to get through all this stuff in a fast manner.  But then I'd need to absorb it all too.  Yikes too much to ask??
Thursday morning I had Statistics, let's just say this professor is a charm, a real charm.  He sweats profusely, during his lecturing he doesn't make eye contact he just kinda looks up at the ceiling, then he'll ask "Is that clear" yet he's not really making eye contact so he never really knows if it's clear or not.  He just keeps looking up at the ceiling.  Too funny.  He had 33 PowerPoint overhead slides for JUST chapter 1 in our Stats book.  Then he told us to read the whole chapter and start answering the even numbered questions after the chapter and to have it done by next Thursday's class.  Not liking the non-committal assignment of just doing even numbered problems until the end.  He never gave us a stopping point.  We're just suppose to do them all.  Odd, however I did get something out of his class regarding reading pie charts and bar graphs, that is I should be waving my hands in the air or doing back flips if I need his attention because he's not looking at any of us.  I'm thinking this is because he's new and not quite confident in his lecturing.
Second class for that day was in the evening called Existentialism, again assigned reading with such authors as McDermott's "Ill-At-Ease", Dostoevsky-Notes from Underground, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Kafka-Metamorphosis, Sartre-No Exit and Camus.  Now I'm not one iota familiar with any of these men who are considered Existentialists, but I do know this subject isn't light or funny or too optimistic, it's actually down right dark, depressing and kinda disturbing.  These authors and others like them according to my professor have a stance of rebelling against philosophy.  Ultimately they believe that no one besides themselves have the answers to life's toughest questions like Why are we here, What is the meaning to life, or Why do we do the things we do?  I'm finding just from the first meeting that this class will try to challenge my faith, but I won't let it.  I'm kinda torn if I should continue with this class, but then the other side of me thinks that's silly of course I can separate teaching and others beliefs from my own beliefs.  God has saved me time and time again to just let a crazy class like this take away my opinion of the one true God and his will in my life.  I'll keep you all posted...
Friday my day started with a (2) credit gym class, called Fitness for Life.  Now this class I'm actually looking forward to taking, I love to get out and being active.  The professor said it will be his goal "to make us sweat each day" and need to take a shower after everyone of his classes.  Whoa fella, now I'm all for a great workout, but don't count your chickens until their hatched with me sweating and needing showers here.  Either way he is going to expose us to organized games in the gym, walking paths, Tennis, possibly Softball etc.  During the winter months he said we will either be in the gymnasium, or the weight room doing something cardio.  He also asked us to work on a goal for the end of the semester whether it be weight loss, becoming more active, eating healthier etc.  He said if we maintain working out in some sort of way at least 3-4 days a week we can expect to get an A in his class.  No problem, as a matter of fact the hubby and I are incorporating a workout plan 5 days a week anyway.  Going to the Y each morning before work and school, that sounds do-able and I think I'll be able to manage an easy A that way.  Second he said we'll be given a final on in class lecture regarding health, and a separate final on book work.  Silliness, it's only a (2) credit class for goodness sakes.  Too much pressure already in that class, but I welcome the fitness expectations especially to break up the stresses of the other classes.
The last class I had on Friday was Soc/ Race /Ethnicity, now this professor rocks!  He seems nice and recently just moved from New Mexico, he's going to teach us all about diversity in the US, so that is neat!  With my Mexican and German backgrounds along with my marriage to a Polish man, I'm all set to learn more about our heritages.  Plus this guy has some good reads in his class, but AGAIN more reading!  Ugg.  I guess I better get use to reading huh? 
Awwww, too much reading!
Read, read, read, lots of reading up my alley this semester.  Hopefully my eyes don't bug out in the process.  Any advice from other nurses out there on how you get all this reading done?
Testing out this new feature on my phone to see if I can blog from it???

Friday, September 3, 2010

Here I go!

This is my first official blog I created just for my nursing adventures.  I am currently starting the second semester in my 2nd year of my 4 year BSN degree(wow that sound confusing).  This semester I am finishing up most of my general requirements which include classes like Statistics, Interpersonal Communications, Fitness for Life, Race/Ethnicty, and Existentialism. 
I lived in central Wisconsin with my husband of 13 years, and my two children daughter (14), and son (10).  We live in a nice sized (but slowly becoming more cozy sized) home that we own.  I love Wisconsin, I love living up north.  I love the changing of the seasons, the huge pine trees and lots of lakes around.  This summer has been extremely humid  and quite warm, but I enjoyed most of it because I still am not a huge fan of the winter months and the 20 degree below zero weather.
I recently have been accepted into the nursing program and start my first nursing classes this January.  I am sooo thrilled to pieces I can't get over it.  I was recently reading another blog by NurseXY and was quite inspired to start blogging through the process of my experiences.  I look forward to some day being able to talk like a nurse and know what I mean when I say big words.
I'm a very optimistic person who has a heart the size of Texas!  I grew up in Minneapolis along with living near the Dallas area and have seen some harsh realities of a bigger city.  I wouldn't classify myself as being naive, so I'm seasoned in my perception of other people and I still genuinely love getting to know and learn about other people and their differences.  I think we all are unique and have interesting stories and I hope to get to know others through this blog and through school on my way to becoming a nurse.
I just had my first class of Existentialism last night and have to say that I'm not sure if I'll like the class.  Kinda conflicts with my faith and to see past that and just appreciate the class for what its meant for is difficult right now.  I'll blog more about that later.