Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nursing school: What I do

I have had a couple of conversations with friends and relatives in the past few weeks that make it pretty clear that they don't know how I spend my days. I guess because I live it everyday, I assume that people know what I mean when I say "clinical" or "clinical research".  So here it is, a week in the life of this nursing student:

Monday afternoon: Clinical Research.
I go to the hospital floor and get my patient(s) assignment. Then, I use the computer, the chart, and medication record to look up everything I can about this patient. This includes: medical diagnoses, labs, exams or procedures done, medication prescribed, pyschosocial history, nursing and medical orders, progress notes, and medical history. This usually takes me around an hour. Then, I go and introduce myself to the patient. After I leave the hospital, I have about 2 hours of work fleshing out the information I received. I need to look up unfamiliar conditions, look up all the drugs (actions, classifications, side effects, nursing implications), and begin to put together my care plan for this patient.

Tuesday & Wednesday 7 am - 3 pm: Clinical
I go back to the hospital floor and you know, act all nursey.  As a student, I can most things a nurse can do except give IV push drugs (anything that comes in a syringe and gets injected directly into a vein) and hang blood or blood products.

Thursday 9 am - 3 pm: Class
Where we learn stuff.

Friday 9 am - 1 pm: Exams
We only have 4 exams throughout the semester, but they are always on Fridays. So on 4 Fridays this semester, I have an exam. The actual exam takes 2 hours, but then we do something called collaborative testing where we go through the exam again with a group of students and talk through our answers. I find that it really helps to discuss rationales, as part of doing well on nursing exams is understanding how to take  nursing exams.

Sometimes a question will be asked like this: John has a condition and comes onto your floor at 0900. His vitals signs are blah blah blah. He has just had surgery for the condition. Which of the following would you do first?

Then you get 4 answers. They are all actions you should take. You just have to figure out what the highest priority is.

So yeah. That's what my week looks like. What do you actually do when you do what you do?


Cathy said...

You know, I don't think that others can truly understand the stress, excitement, and life-consumer that is nursing school unless they have gone through it. That is why your nursing school friends become so important, you can freak out to them and they understand your irrationality. Then they become your co-workers and they still understand the trials of nursing better than anyone else as well as provide someone to de-brief with instead of taking it home. I imagine law and medical schools are much the same.

melydia said...

I can't tell you what I do! Muhahaha!

Except that I sit in front of a computer all day. When I'm really busy, I talk to myself. Sometimes cursing is involved.

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