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Maternity-Newborn Rotation Orientation May 31, 2007

Posted by danucube in Nursing, Nursing School.
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Today was my first maternity-newborn rotation. I have absolutely no life experience in this area of life and I was a bit anxious about it given everything I know so far are academic. Today the instructor slowly dip us into the environment by having us follow a RN for about an hour an a half among other orientation activities.

The nurse I was to followed is not here today and so the charge nurse put me into the nursery. Turned out the nursery has only 2 babies and it was not very busy when I was there. As a result the nurse there get to spend lots of time explaining things to me which was very nice. I even get to help her to calm a baby down by putting it on the side, stick my gloved pinky into its mouth so it suck on it and and gently pat on its back. Amazing that the baby actually calmed down (which I later learned that the nurse was using a few of the 5s techniques).

Talking about the 5s, that was probably the most educational part of the day as we learned the 5s to calm a crying baby and maybe for patient teaching:



Did Everyone Passed? May 26, 2007

Posted by danucube in Nursing, Nursing School.
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Well, I am still in one working piece.  Really tough semester.

Here is a quick summary of some of the highlights of Spring semester.

Psych-Mental Health Nursing: Got a B+ for the final grade. Missed an A- by 2 points or 1%… oh well.  There were 6 of my classmates who scored higher than me which is highly unusual because I am usually in the middle somewhere.  It turned out psych nursing tests were really hard for all of us. In my case, because of my experience with NAMI and with the chaplaincy at the behavior unit, I had an easier time as I have certain intuitions about it.

The national assessment psych nursing test is a lot easier than the final.  I didn’t think I did that well on it and I was pleasantly surprised that I scored in the 96 percentile. Everyone of my classmates scored fairly well in the national assessment as well… well enough to earn some extra points on our finals.

The professor was very nice as he posted the grade up the very next day… knowing full well that everyone is tensed about their grades… knowing full well also that we are a tight group and if someone does not pass, it is going to hurt given we already lost one member already last Fall due to some personal circumstance. The first classmate who saw the grade posted emailed everyone and all the email said was “EVERYONE PASSED!!!!”. When I saw that, I went “YES!”

Med-Surg Nursing: Med-Surg nursing was hard for me. Last semester, I knew I could fail it and it all depends on the finals given I blew one of the midterm really bad and another midterm, I barely passed.  I got a C+ which was actually better than I thought (was hoping for a C).  This semester, I blew one midterm real bad and the other midterms I did fairly good.  I was expecting a C or C+. Just got the grade yesterday and I got a B- for the course which was a nice surprised as I got a B+ in the finals.

Anyway during final, the prof handed out sweets to us (glucose for the brain to take the test). If we can’t figure out an answer, we take some glucose.

In the national assessment exam, I was caught off guard a little bit. There were a list of topics given to us to study.  I studied those topics and it turned out in the exam, it tested who bunch of topics that are not in the study list.  So I have do it by memory of what I learned last Fall.  I was expecting 60 questions and it had 90 questions… think I was in trouble.  Anyway, to my surprised again, I actually scored in the low 80 percentile on the national scale.  The nice thing about the assessment test is that it tells you what area I am strong in ( e.g. neurosensory, psychsocial integrity) and what area I am weak in (e.g. musculoskletal, trach care).

When the grades were posted, the instructor send all of us an email to let us know EVERYONE PASSED. When I received the email, I gave a little clap because I know I was not the only one who was having problems with med-surg.

I think the professors sort of know one of the characteristic of our cohort… on any tests… telling us individually our grade is not going to calm us down…. we want to know… and it is usually the first question… “did EVERYONE pass?”…

Nursing Process: Everyone got As (I think).  It is suppose to be an easier class which it was.  The hard part of the class was that we have so many different projects. Emotionally, it was not exactly easy as I was in the group that did everything related to death and losses (multiple presentations and papers). Plus the sister of one of our group membered died unexpectedly.  She died of some post-op infection in a different country which made me especially aware when I get a patient that just come out of surgery.

In the beginning of this class, the professor gave us cookie and milk at the end of the first session.  It turned out we are going to be assigned into small groups based on the cookies we picked to eat.  The last session of this class, the professor again provided cookies and milk… and some of us eyed the professor with suspiciousness… the professor laughed and went, “Don’t worry, no hidden intent this time”… and we happily chomped away at the cookies.

Psych clinical – Learned a lot. My clinical instructor has lots of connection with the legal community and so we got quite a few opportunities to visit different jails and even have the opportunity to sit in for the first day on a police training course (this is a week long training on serious mental illness for the police). Enjoyable experiences and even had a chance to tried on a real expensive fancy hallucination simulator.

Medsurg clinical – Nice instructor. My instructor had to remind me once that I am in a medsurg clinical and not a psych clinical because I kept on trying to pick “psych” patients to take care off (yes, you get pysch patient in medsurg sometimes).  Had some opportunity to learn more about Renal nursing… very interesting area. Nurses in the clinical are generally nice.

Reflection:  Although I am interested in many other nursing areas, I think I am narrowing it back down to psych nursing. Psych nursing was originally one of the many things that attracted me into nursing. I have debating back and forth as to whether I should go into psych nursing immediately or do the traditional med-surg for a few years first. From all the nurses I talked to, it seemed like there is two camps. One said you need to do med-surg for a few years first.  Another camp said “go for it” if you know that is where your heart is.  I’ve met nurses who are in psych for decades and never done anything else and they seemed happy about it.  Then I also met nurses who took the traditional medsurg route and they tell me how valuable the experience was.

At of this writing, I have decided to go straight into psych nursing if such opportunity exist because that is where my heart is and I don’t mind doing psych related nursing the rest of my life given I have a strong passion in this area.  If the opportunity does not exist, they I’ll go into some form of medsurg related area and wait for the right opportunity. This is my way of letting God leads me… whatever doors God opens for me, I’ll walk through it.  So I signed up for my preceptor semester in the Fall in terms of preferences in the following order:

  • Pyschiatric-Mental Health Nursing
  • Rehab Nursing
  • Oncology Nursing
  • General MedSurg Nursing

Notice I did not sign up for areas like ER, ICU, CCU, TCU, Maternity, or Peds as they are not my cup of tea.

We will see where God leads.