Thursday, February 8, 2007

really here

So, I'm starting to feel like I'm in nursing school. I went to my second nursing student association meeting today, and beyond promising myself to expunge 'um' from my public speaking if I ever decide to run for an office in this organization, I was shocked to figure out that I've been here a month already!

I still have no clue what the prof in Fundamentals is talking about (nursing diagnoses all sound the same to me - and apparently there's some difference between 'as evidenced by neuromuscular weakness on left side' and 'related to inability to use left side of body', though it's certainly not obvious to me!), but the stuff she says is starting to sound familiar. I still don't get it, but I know she talks about it every class! I really feel like the first lecture in that class should be totally reworked - I didn't understand anything of what she said, and it was apparently really important, because I haven't understood her since then. Thankfully, I think I signed up to be on the advisory board for this class - maybe I can bring this up to her then. She is hands down one of my fav. profs!

My big news this week is that I passed my first skills eval - hand washing, sterile gloving, universal precautions with gown mask and gloves, and vital signs !!!! SHEW - what a relief to have that done and done well, according to the teaching assistant. There was a lot of contention among the students that didn't pass those skills the first time - they had to come back later this week and re-do specific skills - crazy stress and lots of folks felt like the variation of TA's was unfair. I don't know - it's not Scantron, and there are specific little checklists to follow... but I did see at least two instances of TA assholery that would have just done me in. Pa-Pow! Apoptosis! I felt lucky that the TA evaluating me was the TA who teaches my lab section - so easy. I think, though, that I will sign up for practice lab sections with some of the other, scarier TA's so that if I happen to get them in an eval, I won't freak out as badly.

My other big news is that I made an A a B+ on my first exam! It was more general than I was expecting, but it feels like I studied the right stuff and knew the kinds of things she asked. It was in Health Assessment, where we talk about what you expect to find in physical exams of patients, and what various findings might mean. We go from head to toe, and this class has a big evaluation at the end of the semester, where we do a head to toe assessment on someone (which apparently takes a couple hours!). We have labs to practice that examination, and this test was over the lecture portion of the class. this A makes me feel so confident that I'm doing what I should be to handle this material. I also have a little more confidence that I can handle this seven-point grading scale! A 92 is an A-, but it's still an A! (Right?!!! Isn't it!!????) oh well, maybe she'll throw out a question that I missed, like the one about what fungusy fingernails look like.

Nice to have two successes this week, since I've got two tests next week. Development, which will be nothin', and Patho, which is making more and more sense as I actually read the book.

So. my dishes are dirty, and my laundry is in mountains. But I'm happy, and feeling good. I'm eating well and remembering to bring my lunch to school most days. I went to the kid's school last week and taught his class to knit - wow! I'm still reading with a couple of kids at his school each week as a volunteer. I'm singing with a chorus led by a woman who used to teach music at the kid's preschool - she's super cool and full of quotes by Rumi and Hafiz about the present moment and releasing attachment to thought. And I'm going to a conference of officers of other Association of Student Nurses chapters this Saturday. The kid is good and super excited about his birthday next week! This birthday really seems like a departure from babyhood/toddlerhood.