Sunday, December 16, 2012

3 terms done, 5 more to go!

I guess that makes me 37.5% RN!  Getting there, slowly but surely!

Final exams finished last week.  Am pleased to say I survived.  Not so sure I thrived this time, but I definitely survived. 

Two exams on one day, one right after another, is brutal.  Studying for two exams for the same day is also brutal.  I hope that never happens again.  But it's over, and as I like to say, "If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger!" -- I guess I am that much stronger for having had that experience.

Just before my last exam on Thursday afternoon, I guess the stress level of everything going on that week was finally getting to me (studying stress, I got sick for the first time all term, the kids were getting sick, school was cancelled one day due to bad weather, raging hormones...), and I was briefly, ever so briefly, regretting my career-change decision. 

How easy it would have been to have been sitting in my nice office all week, enjoying my wonderful paycheque, and not studying for or stressing about anything school-related.  I texted a couple friends who I turn to often, with these thoughts.  My one friend, who is already a RPN, wrote back with the best possible words I could have read.  She said, "It'll pass the first day of hospital clinical when you touch someone's life forever...or when someone touches yours."  So true. 

I knew that feeling was temporary and fleeting, basically just during that exam week, and as soon as the exams were over, I was again beyond thrilled and grateful to be exactly where I am, in nursing school!!!  I just thought that answer was so beautifully written and it's so true -- that basically sums up my motivation and thinking to make this career change into a 'helping' profession. 


I'm not naive and am very realistic- I'm not expecting to become Florence Nightengale, and I know full well there are many stresses, issues and conflicts in nursing- just like in any job/career.  Probably even more-so than in my first career...or at the very least, different stressors.  However, nursing also gives the opportunity to touch someone's life, or have mine touched by someone else, in a way that my previous career simply could not.  And to me, that makes all the difference in the world.  I cannot fully express how grateful I am to have had the courage and the support from my dearest husband, to have made this change.

While driving home from the last final, I was calculating in my head how many more final exams I need to do until I'm finished (Have I mentioned I like countdowns!?!?)  I have 24 more courses to finish, but I have no idea how the clinical courses will be marked, tested and evaluated.  I don't know if there will be a written final exam in those courses, or if we're just marked on our work performance and preparation. 

So 24 more final exams await me, at the most.  Then there's also the "detail" of the licensing exam, the CRNE, so I guess that technically makes 25 more exams until RN, at the most.  Somehow, thinking in concrete terms like that makes it seems more real and do-able.  I also love the thought that we're almost half way done!  And clinicals finally start next month - that should bring a whole new dimension of experiences to write about on my blog!!!

I've been in a vague sense of fog since finals finished on Thursday evening, but am now fully waking up and getting into Christmas prep mode.  My cards are going to be super-late this year, and my poor sponsor kids in Brazil and El Salvador....well....they'll probably get their Christmas packages in March or April...nothing like spreading the Christmas spirit out over the year, eh?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Timmy Global Health

For the Canadians reading my blog, "Timmy" does not refer to our national "cultural" icon and beloved coffee shops...only Canadians will get that reference!  LOL!

Yesterday evening I took a study break for a few minutes.  I plunked myself down in front of the TV, thinking I'd have a few minutes of mindless entertainment to give my tired old brain a break.  After channel surfing a bit, I came across an award-type show listing caught my interest, so I paused.

It turns out it was the American Giving Awards (I'd never heard of that before, but what a great concept and idea!!!).  The nominees were just being listed for the health-care/wellness category when I arrived on that channel.  All the nominees were very inspirational, to say the least, but the one I found myself rooting for was the Timmy Global Health Foundation.  And guess what, they won that category!!!

I admit I didn't stick around watching the acceptance speeches or even really try to find out what that win means for that organization.  My study break was over and I went back to my books and computer.  But, I did look up Timmy Global Health Foundation, and research their work.  Wow.

When I read about an organization like that, it simply re-inforces my passion and desire to be a medical professional.  I dream of one day volunteering on medical missions, such as the ones run by the Timmy Foundation.  I know I have so much to give and share with the world in my career, and that aspect was something that was severely lacking in my first career.

I cannot wait to be finished school and have my medical paperwork in hand, that will allow me to make these brief, yet life-changing, volunteer medical trips.  Life-changing for everyone involved -- all the people I'll have the priviledge of helping, and me.

Check them out! What great work they do.  I plan to remember them when I finally get my RN registration papers and am qualified to be part of a medical team, and most definitely when I have my NP papers safely in hand.  I have so much to give back and share with others.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Registering for Clinicals today!

Tuesday morning, 10h40

Oh the anticipation as I wait for 11 am to come.  We register online for our first clinical placements (Long Term Care and Public Health (school nursing)) at that time.  They said that the site becomes live at 11 am, and usually by 11:05, the registration is complete.

We had a practice registration session last week, and the site showed all the available spots for each location.  However, I'm told that only about 3/4 of the class participated in the run-through, so it will definitely be more intense today when we do it for real.

I think I'll easily get the placement that I'm hoping to get, given that the location of the LTC placement I want is a for-profit nursing home, located on the outer edges of our town.  During the practice sign up session, it was evident that most people preferred to be in the hospital-type settings for LTC that were offered, and they are located downtown.  As for me, I'm looking for a good experience (which I know I'll get in any LTC placement), an easy commute (I've spent enough years already doing commutes I didn't enjoy), and free parking (which is a bonus for facilities located out of the downtown core, where space is ample.) 

What I'm most interested in getting is the lab placement in the time slot I want.  Actually, it's a need, given that there is only one that works with my kids' schedule and means I don't need extra daycare.

Fingers crossed!!!  The countdown to registration is on...


Tuesday morning, 11h05

Well, that took all of 20 seconds to do, once the site was live.  I got both the placement I wanted, as well as the lab time I was hoping for.  All is well.

I was right, though, in my prediction that the placement location I chose was not one of the coveted ones.  I noticed that there was still one spot left at my placement location, when I logged off.  All I can say is I hope there are not a bunch of not-too-happy-nursing students in my placement group, who got there by default, because their first choices were filled!

Another new experience done. Now to just focus on preparing for next week's exams.  That is somewhat stressful to think of, when I realize just how soon they are.

And Christmas prep, that I'm completely putting on hold until final exams are finished....