Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Last Nursing School Exam is DONE

Really, truly, I have no more exams in nursing school. 4 years of nursing exams are o-v-e-r. I cannot quite believe that, yet, but I will in very short order. That's won't be a problem to accept.

I am going in for my work shift later today. We have less than 8 weeks left in the program, and all that remains now to do are two papers (one short, one longer -- outlines for both are done) and my remaining clinical shifts.

I am simply loving primary care nursing. It is something that didn't even cross my mind, when dreaming about being a nurse and planning the career change. I was going to be a Labour & Delivery nurse, to the exclusion of all else. Now here I am, a primary care/family practice nurse-to-be...and absolutely loving it. I will still get my peri-natal certification, as I still want to learn to be a LD RN, but it will somehow have to work in conjunction with primary care/family practice nursing.  I truly believe I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. And that is a great feeling.

I am so grateful to be where we are in the program. The end is so close, we can all almost believe it. It was bittersweet being together as a class one last time today. We had the exam in the same room that our first-ever class was in. It felt like the experience had come full circle. It is bittersweet, because it is the end of a phase, an era, but also very, very exciting because we are all very much looking forward to breaking out of the school/student routine, and start actually working as nurses.

Exciting times!!!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I couldn't make this up if I tried

In the my short (8 days, to be precise) experience as a primary care nursing student, I've heard some sentences and learned about some situations that just make me shake my head in wonder.

Today I heard my nurse say the following to me: "You can't miss your patient. She's wearing a orange and green Hawaiian shirt, is barefoot and clutching a stuffed chicken." Say what?


Only it wasn't a chicken, it was a Holstein cow. But I still managed to easily find my patient, even with the wrong animal info.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Final Countdown

(cue the synthesizer music & drum intro...that tune was playing in my head as I wrote that title, so I thought I'd plant that in someone else's head too - you're welcome!  Here's Europe's official video of their song: I digress)

The last semester is (finally) upon us. I must admit, that even though some days (weeks, months) have felt extremely long, when I look back at this nursing school journey now, it honestly seems like about a year, year and a half have gone by. It is a bit of a scary feeling to think how easily I could have still been sitting in my beautiful government office, wishing I had the courage to walk away and be a nurse. I am forever grateful to everyone who supported my in making this huge decision. I could never have had the courage to do it alone.

We officially finished classes. Only once more do I have to go back to the school, in mid February, for one final exam (YIPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). It seems surreal.

My last clinical rotation started a week ago today. I am working full time in a clinic, as a primary care nurse. For most of my nursing school, I had dreamt of being a Labour & Delivery nurse, and maybe an ER nurse. Then this past summer I discovered Primary Care nursing. It gives me the variety that the emergency room provides in terms to variety of people, ages, stages, conditions and needs (variety was the only thing lacking as a LD nurse). It lets me work with pregnant women and newborn babies (assessed 3 day old twins the other day!!!). It teaches me so much about so many conditions, that if I do become a Nurse Practitioner, I'll already have heaps of knowledge and experience to base my practice on. It allow me to build relationships with patients and families (that was the biggest component that was missing, in the ER option). And maybe best of all -- I work days, the occasional weekend, and NO nights!  (A good friend of mine is starting a marathon of 5 consecutive night shifts tonight at her placement -- I'll have to check in on her in a couple days and make sure she's hanging in there)

So who knew that primary care was where I'd ultimately end up. I am so grateful for this opportunity.  I have an incredible preceptor nurse, who is infinitely interested in teaching me the realities of nursing that one does not learn in nursing school. I think I remember reading somewhere that nursing school teaches you the basics of anatomy, physiology, etc, and how to not be a danger to your patients (and yourself!) when you graduate. The real learning comes from experience on the job.

I still think I'll probably start working on my perinatal nursing certification once school is done (thank goodness for 'lifelong learning' in the nursing profession -- I can continue to stress out for exams and tests for as long as I work!!!). In all seriousness, I think I will get that certification, and find a way to work both in the clinic and on a LD floor somewhere. But that will all sort itself out later.

For now, I'm focusing on primary care. The steepest learning curve that was the first week on the job was last week. Now I can hopefully focus on learning and doing as much as I can from this last rotation as a student.

10 more weeks!!!!!