Friday, September 30, 2011


Today I took a big exam that I have been cramming for the past week and a half; even though I got an 84% (which wasn’t as high as I wanted) I’m just glad to be done with the nervousness that inevitably comes with studying! 

My next big thing to prepare for is a medication skills check off demonstration on Tuesday. I will have a pretend patient and I will have a few medications that I have to give most are oral meds, but one is an injection and our instructor will be watching and asking questions the whole time. 

On the surface this seems like not a big deal to just give a mannequin a few pills and a shot and I’m done, but it’s so much more than that.  I have to triple check the 7 R’s which is verify the correct medication, the correct dosage, the correct route, the correct patient name and medical number, the correct time, while keeping in mind the patient has the right to refuse the medicine and following up with documenting that I did indeed give the drug.  I like this little acronym my friend taught me in class:  DDDIRRT = Drug, Dose, Document, Identify, Refuse, Route, and Time.  I have to give just the scheduled meds and possibly be aware of any prn drugs needed depending on what the patient is complaining of like pain or nausea.  Then I have to know the adverse reactions of the drugs and the common uses of these drugs and be able to tell the instructor when she asks why we’re giving the medication to the patient. 

The injection is just a SQ of either insulin or heparin in the abdomen at a 90 degree angle without aspirating.  Sucky huh? 

I’ve practiced a few times so I feel pretty confident that I’ll get the procedure done, and I can bring in drug notes for when the questions from the instructor are asked, so all in all I feel good. 

But goodness gracious, I've had even less time this semester with friends and family that it's beginning to really bother me.

And for some oddball reason I agreed to working 4 days back to back, what was I thinking???

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Which is better to study for NCLEX, Saunders or Kaplan?  And why?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Apple Orchard = Apple Crisp

My son was invited to go to the apple orchard with our next door neighbors and came home with 15 medium to small apples and asked what we could do with them.  I suggested Apple Crisp and my hubby did a little jump for joy!

First up, wash outside of apple and get to peeling.  These small apples were slightly difficult to hold without them jumping out of my hands every few minutes.

 Time to take out the core and slice thinly.
 Sorry for the brightness in some of these pictures, but here is the brown sugar/butter crumb mixture.
 Here I've coated an 8x8 pan with shortening, then I spread the apples, and started covering with the crumb topping.
 This is what the apple crisp looks like prior to going in the oven.
 And this is what the apple crisp looks like right after I took it out from the oven 30 minutes later.  YUMMY!
 And this was the first of a few helpings for my hubby, who agreed this was just the perfect consistency and tartness of the apples.  Oh how I love making comfort goodies when the weather gets cooler. 
Now I better get back to studying the immune system...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tour of the OR

Tuesday after three hours of lecture it was finally the time we’ve (my class) all been waiting for this week…time for the big tour of the Operating Room.  Our clinical group headed down the long hallway from our school building to the operating floor of the connected hospital.  We stepped beyond the double doors of the Restricted Area where “authorized personnel” are only allowed to go, to see what really goes on. 
The first thing we saw were more hallways with office doors and at the end of that hallway we saw a cart that had rows and shelves of different size scrubs all the same boring color of a medium shade of blue.  We were asked to grab a size that fit us and go into an adjacent locker room to get dressed.  There were nine of us trying to fit into a small locker room and good thing we weren’t too shy because we had to get down to undies and bras next to one another.  After we were all dressed appropriately we grabbed a cap to pull back all of our wild hair and shoe covers. 

We were brought to the OR #1 where there was a robotic machine similar to a giant praying mantis with long arms.  I do not recall the name of the machine but it has the capabilities to do surgery guided by a surgeon behind two small pincher controllers on the other side of the room.  This machine does hysterectomies and prostatectomies just to name a couple.  I was surprised at the amount of questions I asked regarding the small details of what was involved with surgery of this sort.  I even asked one of the nurses taking us on this tour to get behind the controls to show us what it would look like if a surgeon was sitting there.  I like visuals.
Next we just walked up and down to show us what the scrub sinks looked like and then it happened…we walked past a room that had an actual surgery going on.  I must say after glancing through the window it looks nothing like Grey’s Anatomy, the top surgeon wasn’t standing there making light conversation with just a scrub top on and his chesty hair sticking out.  These people were dressed head-to-toe with very little skin showing.  The surgery that we pasted by and witnessed was a Left Total Knee Replacement, according the RN giving us the tour, she said the people in the room have to wear what looks like Hazmat face shields in case of flying debris like bone that could hit them in the face or head.  YUCK! 

What I saw was a patient’s left leg being operated on; the skin looked like an unhealthy tan color which later I figured was un-oxygenated skin flapped open while the surgeon was standing and doing his thing.  To the left of the surgeon I saw on a cart, three gauze rolls about 2” in diameter and 3” wide soaked with blood.  My girlfriend in class shouts out that it looks like when she goes hunting and the deer is “quartered”.  She had no problems, while I was second guessing my interest in the OR setting professionally.
Will I ever figure out what I want to do when I graduate?  Lastly we were shown the PACU with patients waiting in preop and patients who were recovering in postop bays. 

Ultimately the experience was cool, and I’ll be having MY time observing on 12/5.  What I thought was funny, was the preference of music that the nurse made mention to us.  She said that while the ortho docs liked Rock music, the cardiologists preferred no music all.  How funny that any professional doing work in a surgery suite has the option to listen to music at all.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Peds and the Start of Another Semester

Well let’s see where do I begin on my information of how my first week of school has gone so far??  Let me first tell you how my shift on the Peds floor in the hospital went.  Actually I was asked to be a “sitter” for a teenager who supposedly was on suicide watch, but I saw nothing of the sort.  We just sat together and watched movies.  The one thing that turned me off from possibly working on that unit was all the nursing staff that walked from room to room “baby talking” to the patients.  Now I realize given the patient population was mostly kids this was bound to happen, but I just got annoyed pretty quickly with these ladies in their fake voices goo-gooing and gaa-gaaing; it just was too much.  Last thing I want to share about that experience was that I was a little let down that I wasn’t assigned to a baby but I know God had my best interest in mind and assigned me just the right patient so I’m grateful for that.

Moving on to my first week of school which started on Tuesday with meeting up with all of my friends and co-students which was exciting and fun.  We all just fell right back into step with one another. 
This semester I’m taking another 7 credit foundational nursing class along with a class revolving around public health (4 credits), and the last class is regarding the professional role of a nurse (3 credits).  Basically this last class is to teach us how to walk the walk and talk the talk while on the floor to other professionals, along with Evidence Based Practice and learning to write better PICOT questions and I hope it goes well.  So far all of my classes are interesting and I already am feeling busy with each class, here’s my schedule.  Monday’s off, Tuesday’s 6am-5pm (this day includes my clinical rotation and lecture all in one day), Wednesday’s 8-3pm, Thursday's 8-noon, and Friday's 10-noon.  Tuesday’s are the only day that will kick my butt but I’ll just pray that I can get all the necessary homework done for the following Wednesdays and for the endurance in general to get through the day.

I’ve already learned the technique to open and put on a pair of sterile gloves (yay one of my first skills to master on check-off day and I’ve got it nailed!)  I have to admit that the small lecture that went with talking about the operating room and the techniques used to keep a sterile environment were enthralling.  I wonder if this might be a calling for my future in that direction…I get to sit in on a day in the operating room on Dec. 5th.  I think I’ll have a better idea after that date.

My clinical rotation this semester will be on the oncology/hematology floor.  That sounds super exciting to me, because I thought about this area as being an interesting fit too.  Choices, choices!
This week I’ve been balancing my days out better in regards to making sure to make time and get my reading assignments done before class starts and not fall behind.  I think the worst fear as a student is the sinking panicky feeling of falling behind.  So with God’s help I will stay on top of things.  Part of staying organized is using my planner for daily assignments, so tonight I went out and bought a $4 planner (mainly because the school doesn’t just hand out planners for free unless you living in the dorms…dumb) and started filling in my assignments week by week.  I hope this goes well.  So far the kids seem pretty okay this week with not being able to just talk to me when they want.  My hubby has been doing a great job of answering all questions, cooking, and making sure supper is ready for them.  So I have to say we’re off to a great start.  I’ll keep praying the rest of the semester goes this well.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Kids and VB (Day 9 &10)

I have to say that I'm kinda glad this getting to know your blogger day thing is over, because I kinda lost the spirit of it back on Day 3.  Sorry but here are my last two days. 

9 - What’s something you worry about for the future?
See blog posting #3

10 - Do you play any sports?
See blog posting #6

Saturday, September 3, 2011


It’s the weirdest thing after completing one semester of nursing school and preparing for the start of another.  I have been feeling the urge to do what pregnant women go through called “nesting”.  I think this comes from the reality that my time is so precious and short to keep up on cleaning my house, that I need to make up for that fact by over-cleaning.  Don’t get me wrong my house could be much cleaner and kept up better than it is, but lately I’ve had the urge to clean the strangest things. 
For instance I have a longer house in the fact that the front room and kitchen are open to each other and from where I sit in my recliner most days in the front room lead my eyesight directly to a few windows on the opposite side of the kitchen.  This direct line of sight shows the most obvious smudge marks on the windows when the sun is shining just right, and two days ago I got up, grabbed the Windex and cleaned them!
Then last weekend I assigned my son to take care of the cobwebs in all the four corners of each room on the main floor of our house, but him being an 11 year old active boy who would love nothing more than to be outside playing with his friends, ended up missing lots of webs.  So I attacked them with a vengeance.  I grabbed a moist towel and with 3 rubber bands I secured the towel over the end of my broom (where the bristles are) and the webs came off like a charm. 
Yesterday after reading about Jen and her guest blogger’s Sweet Pantry Makeover, I was inspired to buy two new glass jars to hold both my sugar and flour.  These two ingredients seemed to be purchased multiply times, because I always second guess how much I have on hand.  So after getting advice from Jen’s blog that stated, to know how much ingredients you have on hand you should store them in see through containers, and that is exactly what I did.  Even though I have guests coming from out of town this weekend, after they leave my plan is to purge everything out of the pantry, de-clutter, and rearrange making a spot for everything and throwing outdated or expired things in the garbage.

bookshelf #2 sorry for the dark pic.
Lastly my school book shelving unit area seems to be quite a beast to be tamed and I think I’ll be undertaking that today.  Think of me and send your prayers for a successful endeavor. 
main uncontrolled bookshelf

Friday, September 2, 2011

Kids' First Day of School-Fall 2011

My kids started back to school yesterday morning and I was up by 5:05am starting my chocolate chips cookies in the oven.  What better way to wake up on the first day of school than to have the aroma of fresh baked cookies being baked just for you. 

Then I cooked up some bacon, eggs, and served them on a biscuit for each kid.  My goal was to be healthier this fall and yet we were fresh out of fruit, so we did without. 

Oh well… then I explained how proud I was of them and got a quick picture of both of them before I headed out to drop them off. 

I was worried for my daughter the most.  She is a freshman in senior high this year and even I was quite scared driving past the monster of a school when I dropped her off.  First off, I didn’t even know where to park so I slowed down in an area where there wasn’t much traffic and she jumped out.  As I continued down the street there was an ordinance control officer in his van who was writing something down while eyeballing my license plate.  This is what was running through my head c-mon man, it’s the first day of school and am I going to get a ticket over this?  He didn’t stop me and I’m praying no tickets get mailed to me. 

On the way to taking my son to his school I nearly started shedding tears.  I was surprised by this because him being my youngest and heading into 6th grade, you’d think my sappy crying days on the first day of school were over.  So I chuckled to myself and when he asked what was so funny I said “I think I’m choking up about you going to school”.  He laughed and said “oh mom”!
After the kids came home, they both reported they had a good day.  My son who loves to talk out every detail of his day (kinda like me) started from the beginning and ended with the fact that he broke up with his girlfriend he had over the summer at the end of the school day.  He said they didn’t have much in common anymore and that they didn’t keep in touch during the summer so he’s done dating her.  Phew, 5th grade romance can be so hard!  J
My daughter who would rather not mention all the details of her day, hit on the high points and low points including the fact that the upper classmen don’t get to leave campus during lunch until the second week of September, so there was minimal seating and although she found her friends to sit by, she was forced to sit on a space that was about 5” wide.  Either way she said she thinks she’ll be enjoying her classes and the smaller class time. 
Like my mom said, one year started means one year closer to the finish.