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I survived maternity and peds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! September 3, 2007

Posted by danucube in Nursing, Nursing School, Providence.
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I survived maternity and peds!!!!!!!!!!! Actually it was not as bad as I thought. Before I would not touch it with a 1000 ft pole… now I just woldn’t touch it with a 100 ft pole.

It has been a tough summer session in nursing school. We took 6
classes at breakneck summer speed which is a bit on the ridiculous
side. What really helped was that we had excellent professors. In
maternity-pediatric theory, I got one of the lowest grade in class, a
B. Lots of people got As since they really like these topics. I am
really happy with a B, a happy B given that I have no intuitive feel
for these subjects.

Hard to describe this summer. So what I’ll do is to give some
snapshots of different scenarios (some are funny).

The following are just snapshots or short stories to give you a taste
of the summer:

* This is the story we heard during our clinical conference at the end
of a clinical day. In pediatrics, one of my classmates had one patient
who is around 4 or 5 years old who just had surgery. Well anyway, she
was suppose to try to get the kid to walk as soon as possible to
prevent postop complications. She tried and tried and tried, the kid
just refuse to walk (the kid got all the pain meds already and so it
was not due to pain). Even her RN tried and the RN could not get the
kid to walk. Anyway, she tried for more than 2 hours and finally
decided to get our clinical instructor. Our clinical instructor went
into the room, talked to the kid for about 2 minutes and went, “Hey!
You want to go to the play room!?” The kid went, “Ok!” and got off
the bed and walked to the playroom with the instructor. My classmate
was REALLY upset now because she tried for 2 hours and all she got was
frustration and our clinical instructor tried for 2 minutes and got
the kid to walk!

This frustration did not stop though. In the playroom, the kid
continue to refuse to do anything my classmate was trying to get him
to do. So our instructor got myself and another male classmate to
play with the kid . We went to the play room, had no problem with the
kid and started to play with the kid. Now our other classmate was
steamed! Again because she tried so hard with no results and here two
guys walked in and immediately have no problems whatsoever with HER
patient (by the way, both of us are nervous about pediatrics and she
knows it; here are two guys who are supposed to be not very good with
kids are having no problem with HER patient). Anyway during
conference, we found out that the instructor took an educated guess
base on her experience that the kid might like a male adult instead of
a female adult better; so she got the guys in the clinical to interact
with the kid and she was right. Anyway, our other classmate now try
to avoid kids at that age range like me trying to avoid maternity. She
said at one point during conference something to the effect, “Give me new borns and toddlers,
I have control over them. Don’t give me these kids at the higher age
range because they run over me, they manipulate me, they mess with me,
and they control me…”

* During one of our conference, we somehow got into a discussion of
what procedure we like to do. Our clinical instructor chimed in and
said that she likes to start IVs. Another classmate went she likes to
give shots (she is really good at it). Then one of the classmates
went, “I like depository.” Silence… for about 2 seconds… half the
clinical group ended up on the ground… laughing…. Noticing there
is still half the clinical group not on the ground, this classmate of
ours went again, “Oh no, I don’t mean I like to receive them, I mean I
like to give them.” Well… now everyone is on the ground…
laughing…. finally… our clinical instructor got her composure back
and went, “are you the class clown?” Well, she may not be the class
clown, but she is real funny sometimes.

* In the postpartum ward, the first day I was already lost. I had to
get out to get something and went out the wrong door… all the alarms
went off… ooops!… it did have this huge sign saying something like
don’t go through this or else alarm will sound. My instructor said
she was surprised I am still alive… but according to her… every
semester… someone will go through that door… I got the record of
doing it so early in the semester… oh… by the way… it was always
a guy who went through the door so far.

* One of the things I get to do in a new born nursery (beside giving
shots, administering eye med which is hard, giving the new born a
bath, setting things up, assessing,… etc) is to get a foot print of
the new born (like getting finger prints). Anyway I got the baby’s
foot print and it did not come out good. Well, it looked like the baby
had 20 toes and the baby had only 10 (I counted, ten). Anyway, the two
nurses in the nursery took one look at the foot print… acted very
professionally and did not laugh at all… for about 5 seconds… and
then they lost it and could not stop laughing.

* The classmate I carpooled with had not slept for 2 days. As we were
going to clinical early in the morning, she was nodding off. Well, I
was not exactly awake either since I am not a morning person. Anyway,
the exit was coming up and I was like 3 or 4 lanes over still and
showed no sign of turning into the exit. All of a sudden she noticed
and she woke up really fast, panic, yelled on top of her lungs, “Exit!
Exit! Turn! Exit!” Well, that woke me up and I cut across (luckily it
was really early in the morning and that was really no cars) and made
it. My classmate now was wide awake … for about 10 minutes. During
conference at the end of the day, she was extremely agreeable as she
nod her head to everything everybody said… with her eyes closed.

* The pediatric clinical instructor let us start a 1/2 hour later than
usual because she notice all of us are burning out due to lack of
sleep. Well, the classmate I carpooled with and I forgot all about it
and we got there like an hour early that day (5:30am instead of
6:30am). We were wondering where everyone was. Then it dawned on us
and I almost got killed by her because I was the one who got to her
house, woke her up, her husband, and her kids by ringing the doorbell
early in the morning where it was pitch black outside. Then when the
instructor came in and said, “Isn’t it nice that we get to start later
in the morning?” Everybody agreed except the two of us. My classmate
whom I carpooled with looked at me with a look that could kill…
nursing school can be down right dangerous sometimes…

* First day in pediatric clinical… real bad day for our clinical
instructor; with me leading off in giving her a bad day. I was giving
some liquid med in a syring (we squirt the med into the kids mouth) to
my patient who screamed and yelled on top of his lung… his mom
looked totally flustered, and my instructor manage to open my patient
mouth for a moment and I went straight in and squirt… or rather try
to squirt… the liquid med is really thick and I was having problem
squirting it into the kids mouth… my instructor asked me to just push the plunger hard.
So I push the plunger really hard and the medicine finally went into the my patient mouth (remember my
instructor is holding the kid’s mouth open)… well… the medication… well… half the medication went into the kid’s mouth… the other half… because I pushed it too hard… it went into the
kids mouth and out came the meds out of the kid’s mouth and splashing
it on my instructor’s face. My instructor’s face was all red… I
don’t know if it was because the medication is red or because she was
totally flustered with a student who did exactly what she said to
do… the joy of teaching nursing students… you never know what will
happen… even when they do exactly what you told them to do…

Anyway, with me leading off in giving her a bad day… she then
proceed to lose some money… then she could not get into the medicine
dispenser and a new person who was trying to help wiped the finger
print scanner with alcohol (big no-no) and the whole machine stopped
working and nobody can get any medication and had to call the service

The joy of teaching nursing clinical…

* In pediatrics, one of my very small patient wet his diaper and I
changed the diaper and went outside to find a scale. I found a large
scale and rolled the scale into the patient’s room so I can weigh the
diaper with the urine in it. My nurse gave me this really weird look
and finally asked me what I was doing. I told her I am going to weigh
the wet diaper on the scale. She wiped off a smirk real fast and told
me I got the wrong scale. The scale I got is for weighing the infants,
not diapers. She showed me in another hallway where there are these
small scales to weigh the diapers. I told my clinical instructor what
happened and her response was that I was not the first student who
done that. Come to think of it, as she was reflecting, according to
her experience, all her students who made the same mistake as I did
were all guys! She concluded that it must be a “guy” thing.

* I was with a teenage mother who has some serious medical problem
plus some serious psychosocial issue. After she found out that Child
Protective Services is going to take away her new born, she started to
cry. That is just great… her medical condition requires her to be
calm… and now I am assessing her and watching her like a hawk. I did
not say much or do much except listen. Then she blurted out that she
has not even name her baby yet… I picked up on that and asked her to
write what name she wants her baby to have and sign it. Afterwards, I
gave the signed paper to my nurse. My nurse looked at it and went
away, telling me that she can’t guarantee anything, but she’ll try to
do something. About an hour later, someone from the birth registry
came and asked my patient what the name of the new born child should
be. That was very meaningful to me because I advocated for her as her
nursing student (that is what we were taught to do, advocate for your
patient) and her nurse took time out and fought for her patient so she
can name her child (her nurse is very busy, despite her lack of time,
she advocated for her patient).

* I had to do this procedure on this kid. Well,
I waited for my clinical instructor to do it with me. There were a
long line of other classmates who were waiting for my clinical
instructor also. Well… things did not go well at all…

What happened was that I got this huge syringe and some meds for the
kid. Set everything up, and I dropped the meds on the floor. And we
had to go through the whole process to get the meds again from the
machine. The machine would not let us get the med and we were having
problem overriding the machine. Did I mention that there was a long
line of my classmate waiting for my clinical instructor? Finally we
got someone to override it. My instructor told me not to drop the
medicine… what gave her that funny idea?

Anyway we started this procedure with this huge syringe… it was not
going well… the dad who was helping went, “Bro, I think your syringe
is leaking.” Oh yea… did I tell you now the dad call me “Bro”… as
we finally had a connection after some rocky start. Back to the
syringe… yep… the syringe was leaking… of all the syringe I
picked, I picked the one that leaked… now we needed a new syringe
and had to refill the syringe again… did I mention that there was a
long line of my classmates who were waiting for my clinical
instructor? They are going to kill me. My instructor went out real
quick and got everything… like a syringe that does not leak…
finally the procedure is over… just a bad day… except I was the
only one the dad called “bro” as far as I know.

* Since I did really well with a mother who had some mental health related
issues in labor and delivery, my clinical instructor asked me if I
want another labor and delivery rotation. I immediately went, “No!”
She then asked me if I would be interested if she can find a mother
with some kind of mental health issue. I paused… and gave a soft…
“ok…” Afterwards, I can’t believe I took the bait!!!!!!

* Talking about PICU, one of my classmate who is also sponsored by the
same hospital as I am was interested in neonatal. She was thinking if
she can’t get neonatal, maybe pediatricas would be nice, maybe
something in PICU. I warned her that in our sponsoring hospital, PICU
is not Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit… it is Psychiatric Intensive
Care Unit. Don’t want her to have the surprise of her life if she
applied to PICU and got in and ended up seeing me working there and
wondering why I am in a pediatric unit and why the unit is locked.

* During one of my vaginal labor and delivery rotation, one of the
nurse was stationed in the corner of the room ready to receive the
baby and help do the assessment immediately and any suctioning. She
was very funny because she refused to look at the mother who was going
through labor because she said that if she looks, she’ll never never
never going to have any kids.

Well, hope you have a good taste of what happened during summer.
Fall started already. It basically is going to be community health
nursing plus preceptorship (I got into acute psychiatric nursing).

Taking 5 classes this semester and to my surprise again… two of my professors are psych nurses. I am always surprised since psych nursing is not exactly popular as it too has its own stigma associated with it. So far, I had 6 professors who are psych nurses, one TA who is also a psych nurse, and my preceptor and my hospital manager are also psych nurses. Educational levels of these psych nurses ranged from a BSN to Master degrees, to doctorate degrees,quite diverse. I am just amazed how God leads.

God is full of surprises because two of my most meaningful clinical days (up to this point) are in the maternity rotation where I played a significant role in taking care of the mothers… mothers who have some serious mental health issues… mothers who many people would rather not have anything to deal with if they have a choice.  And no, I am not going into maternity… I am staying with psych.


Fall 2006 December 22, 2006

Posted by danucube in Nursing, Nursing School, Providence, reflections.
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During Fall, I took process (another one… mostly on nursing diagnosis… a royal pain… and other stuff like connecting to patients and patient teaching which actually is quite interesting as there are so much psycho-social stuff in this area), med-surge, 2nd skills class, and my first med-surge clinical.

This semester, however, was very hard for me emotionally. Now as I looked back, I proabably was having difficulty at concentrating for at least the first half of the semester.

It was hard emotioinally because we lost one of our classmate due to some personal circumstances. I guess it would not be as hard if I was not so involved in helping my classmate (with plenty of help from other classmates also). I aslo guess that is the disadvantage of a close knit cohort as everyone were affected. Also another one of my friend who has a major influence in me going into nursing was not doing well medically.

As for my clinical this semester, got some good feedback from my clinical instructor as to what areas I might consider and what areas I should not touch with a 10-foot pole. Areas like ER or ICU, I probably would not touch with a 100-foot pole. Areas where it requires lots of pt-nurse psycho-social interactioins are areas I should look into. Some potential areas that fits this according to my instructor are Burn Nursing, Oncological Nursing, and Postpartum Nursing (aaahhhh… don’t think so…. I don’t think I’ll touch maternity related areas). Another area I notice could be Nephrological Nursing might fit. This is, of course, on top of psych nursing, pallitive nursing, and geriatric nursing (I thought I was suppose to narrow these things down, not expand them…).

And I learned something very interesting in clinical… I was emotionally prepared to see really bad things… and I did see some really sad situations in clinical and I was ok… what blind sided me was the small things…. one was when I was feeding a pt and that brought back memories of me feeding my mom when she was very illed which was ok…. another was a patient who had very high blood pressure and it was climbing, the pt was vomiting, elderly, and it was at night…. that triggered me BIG time as all I could see was when my mom first had her stroke which her blood pressure was 220/150. The vomiting trigger a little bit of the memory of my dad actually since that was what happened to him before he died. The main trigger was the one of the numbers in the BP, it was over 200.

That was a horrible clinical night as I basically blew it… like I missed whole bunch of stuff which I should have reported to the RN and these were potentially very critical stuff (I wrote them down but I did not report it, I have no idea why). When my instructor asked me a few questions and the answer was right in my notes and I was looking at my notes; I couldn’t answer the question b/c I ddi not see the answer although I was looking at it. One of my classmate noticed something was wrong and asked what was going on. The instructor also noticed something was wrong.

We stayed way over our normal hours at night to try to reverse the mistakes I made. I got a stern lecture from the instructor and also from the RN whom I was working with. But despite the horrible clinical night, there was grace. Grace in the form of two very insightful nurses (my instructor happens to be a psych nurse). They did not stop with the lecture, they digged and found out the 220 trigger. I actually could not talk at one point (got a frog in my throat) because of the 220. Both of them helped me to understand that it is not uncommon for small things to trigger big time. They were very compassionate with me. I actually gave the RN a hug (I never thought I would do that as I seldom hug normally) b/c of the many different things she taught me during that night and b/c of her compassion. My instructor told me that I would need to grief again. I did not grief… until two days later early in the morning… all of a sudden… the grief hit me. The next Monday, my instructor personally found me in lab and pulled me out of lab to check on how I was doing. I could not have a better instructor and I told her about something which I will share here.

Ever since one night I went looking for one of my very illed friend in a super dark night, with heavy rain, thunder, and lighting, I never did like rain since then. After that very dark night at clinical… it was dark (around 11:30 at night) and it was raining… a strange mysterious thing happened… my dislike of rain stopped…. the rain now signify that God was showering me with grace…. grace in the form of two very insightful and compassionate nurses who took me under their wings during that dark clinical night. Someday, when I am good enough, I hope I will pass the same kind of grace that I experienced to others around me.

Althogh it was hard emotionally this semester, there was also a third gracegrace in the middle of darkness… God provided a nursing buddy for me to study with, to share with, and to pray with. It is interesting that this semester I took a class call “Glimps of grace.” How appropriate.

We’ll see if I survive the next year… stay tune…

All finals finished! May 22, 2006

Posted by danucube in Classes, Prenursing, Providence.
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My last final is finished tonight!!!!! Long semester. Can't believed I took five classes and wrote around 25 papers (average 5 papers per class). Never wrote so many papers in my life! However, they were all interesting papers though and I learned a lot (two papers, I got an A+ for content, but my grammar is messed up and my grade got knocked down). Also I am blessed to have all very good prof again.

Just reflecting… I don't think I would have gotten the As and A+s in my papers if I did not have the life experience. If I have taken the same classes say the first time around with my first bach, I would not have the depth to write these hard papers to get the high grades. God's has His timing. 

Got this week to relax a little before next week nursing school start.

Met one of my potential instructor April 11, 2006

Posted by danucube in Classes, Nursing, Nursing School, Providence.
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I went to a a local NAMI meeting tonight.  Met a person whom I know and we talked a little bit.  She is a retired RN.  Found out she is going to teach one of the nursing class in the accelerated program that I am in!  I might get her in the future during psych rotation.  Psycho rotation is one rotation I am really looking forward to.

Sacred Ministry April 10, 2006

Posted by danucube in Nursing, Nursing School, Providence, reflections.
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I have been reading O'Brien's book because I am trying to a paper that deals with Christian nursing spirituality and Logotherapy somehow.

Mary O'Brien latest book (2006) is "The Nurse with an Alabaster Jar: A Biblical Approach to Nursing." Her other classics are "Spirituality in Nursing: Standing on Holy Ground" and "The Nurse's Calling: A Christian Spirituality of Caring for the Sick."

She really is giving me a good feel of what a vocation is. Basically nursing is a sacred calling, a noble and sacred calling from God. If I was asked why I decided to make this huge transition from computers to nursing… I would have to say I am called into it.

I am blessed to be called into this sacred ministry, a ministry where I can be God's channel of encouragment, comfort, and hope.

Accepted into the Accelerated Program! April 10, 2006

Posted by danucube in Nursing, Nursing School, Providence.
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Around 10 till 5 o'clock to day, I got an email telling me that I am accepted into the Accelerated Nursing program.  I was in the quiet area of the library.  So I can't scream or anything even if I wanted to.
I thought I would be overjoy… but I was not.  The feeling was more of a relief and a very calm sort of peace.

God has truely lead me into this program.  Here are some of the things that happened that lead me into this program:

  1. I took a introduction to nursing class with one of my friend just out of curiosity and got real interested in nursing as a result.
  2. The same friend gotten real ill and I had a hard time concentrating in microbiology. As a matter of fact, I blew the midterm.  But God pulled me through with an A.
  3. I met a former coworker of mine many years ago in microbiology.  She was also going into nursing and she was the one who suggested I should look at the accelerated program.
  4. I looked at the accelerated program and got interested in it.  Had to do some last minute changes to my schedule as I now need to take a few extra classes like inorganic and organic chemistry (yuk).
  5. I was also doing bad with Nutrition as I still have some problem concentrating because my friend is still ill.  I actually got a C in the final and I got a very low A for the course!  Turned out it was the tons of extra credit that I did which barely pulled me through.
  6. To my surprise, got an A in both inorganic and organic chemistry.  Don't ask me anything in it… please.  Had really great teachers.
  7. With the exception of one class (statistics which I have a B), all my nursing prereq are As.  I never had straight As like this in my life as I have one great teacher after another in every single course I took.  Good teachers make such a great difference. Now I know why God gave me a 3.9+ prenursing GPA… because I need it to get into the accelerated program (at least 10 out of 30 people in this program have a 4.0 GPA). It was as if God was moving mountains of obstacles to get me into this program despite the fact I was having problems concentrating in micro and nutrition; and despite the fact that I really don't like chemistry at all.

Nursing school… waiting…waiting April 3, 2006

Posted by danucube in Nursing School, Providence.
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Late last week, I got an notification saying this week they will decide who will be accepted in the nursing school that I am applying for. I was invited to an info meeting today.

This is what happened at the meeting.

All of us who were invited to the meeting (about 25 people) are accepted either into the regular nursling program or are accepted into the accelerated program. Guess we are the "top of the cream" according to the nursing coordinator.  If a person in our group do not get accepted into the accelerated program, that person will automatically get accepted into the regular nursing program(has over 160 applicants and they are accepting around 60 or so) since they will be the top of the applicants pool.

It looks like the cohort I am in for the accelerated program has lots of tough applicants. They only have 30 open spots and at least ten applicants to the accelerated program have a 4.0 GPA.  I know of at least on applicant indirectly that she not only has a 4.0 GPA, but she scored the maximum score in the nursing entrance exam.

From my observatiion, I think everyone in the room would make it into the accelerated program or make it as an alternate to the accelrated program.  This is based on the meeting invitational list which only contains 24 names and there are 20 spots opened and 5 alternate spots opened.  During the meeting, we had an updated number and it is now 15 people had already been accepted.  So there are 15 more seats left and 5 alternated seates left.   

This accelerated program is brand new and they weren't sure if the first cohort last year would make it given that it is quite intense.  The good news is that nobody dropped in the first cohort and the average GPA is actually around 3.6.  The first cohort is also writing some tips for the second cohort (us).  One of the tip they had is that they actually created a web site for this tight group of 30 students.  Everything is very organized in terms of helping each other to study.  It is going to be something like boot camp I guess…  the 30 of us will bond by the end of the 18 months for we would have helped each other to survive; and probably will laugh and cry together.

Now I know for sure why God pulled me through in micro and in nutrition and ended up barely with an A.  I would have gotten a B for sure given I was having great difficulty concentrating at that time due to some health problem with someone I know.  In both classes, it was all the little extra credits that the prof gave out and I did as many of them as possible and barely squeak by with an A.  And it looked like I needed these As to get into the accelerated program or the regular program given the intense competition.
I asked lots of people to pray for me.  I am feeling relatively calm.  If I get into the accelerated prgram, great!  If not, it is fine with me to go into the regular program as I would have enough time to do a minor.  I might go for a minor in gerontology or complementary health care.  We'll see. 

Sad January 27, 2006

Posted by danucube in chaplaincy, Providence.
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Today I was in a chaplaincy “retreat” for about 1/2 day. We met at a beautiful place up in the mountains. We could see the fog gently rolled in. Lots of tress and the crystal clear water drops hanging of tree branches reflecting the sun was very beautiful.

However, I also found out one of the patient died. I only visited her twice a while back last year. She was on a floor where people are usually paralyze in one way or another. I’ve heard she left the hospital and was doing well… and then all of a sudden she died. I felt sad as I remembered praying for her and her faithful family many times. She was one of those patients you don’t forget easily. I only visited her briefly but to this day I still remember her joyful smile. The smile is a huge contrast to the physical conditio she was in. It was a very uplifting and infectious smile. A smile I’ve brought with me to other patients I visited later. A smile that was a blessing to me and to the patients I visited. I was privileged to meet her and her family for a brief moment, a brief moment in a very difficult situation. Guess I’ll get to know her and her family more in eternity and I will see Christ’s joy and smile in her face again.

Turned in my official nursing school application January 17, 2006

Posted by danucube in Nursing, Prenursing, Providence.
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Finally opened an official nursing folder with my local university.  I am officially applying to nursing school.  Am applying for the accelerated program (1 1/2 years of nursing school instead of 3 years).  The advisor said I have a good chance of getting in after she examined all my qualifications (but no gurantee of course as there are something like 20 seats or less left).

Part of the accelerated program involve a hospital who will sponsor me and pay for my fees (the whole accelerated nursing program costs something like around $24000) and I will work for the hospital for 2 years in return.  They of course could put me anywhere… I just they don’t put me in ER or ICU… or worst… maternaty!

If I am accepted, I probably will get interviews with hospitals around Feb… coming up fast.

It is interesting how I found out about this program by “accident”.  I was in the same class with a former engineer coworker of mine in microbiology.  We talked a little as we did not see each other for many years and found out we were both interested in nursing.  Then we “happened” to be in the same lab section also.  During one of the lab test, I finished early and walked outside to take a break.  Then this former coworker of mine also finished and she walked outside also ane we talked again about nursing.  She all of a sudden mentioned this accelerated program and said I should take a look at it.  Well I took a look at it and I got interested in it.

Jury duty January 2, 2006

Posted by danucube in Personal, Providence.

Well, this week is it… on call for jury duty.  We’ll see if I survive this week without being picked.