Saturday, January 13, 2007

Fourth Level!

So. Third level was excellent for my GPA; one B, the rest As. Now it's time for the COOL stuff.

Fourth level focuses on Mental Health, Nursing Research, and Critical Care. I could care less about the first two, but I've been waiting all of college to get to the CC class. It's what I'm interested in and what I care about, so I'm enthusiastic about the semester.

General impressions after the first week:

Nursing research has the potential to be very interesting or very tedious. We basically have to do a big group project the whole semester. I'm trying to think up topics. In the past people have done stuff like studying and working and develop better practices of TB screenings on prison inmates (a population with relatively high TB). I have though of some interesting ideas, but I honestly don't see how they could be studied. Things like "If a student is employed as a Nurse Tech program while in school, does this affect their pass rates on the NCLEX in a positive way?" or even "How does the layout/structure of the nurses' station affect the quality of patient care?" (Is it better open or closed?)
Those kinds of questions can't have a proper control group on this small scale, so I can't compare anything. I'm looking around at work to see what other ideas jump out at me... but otherwise it's been slow going.
I can already see that the total freedom to chose, research, and pace my own study is going to be the most difficult part of the project. Managing time. I'm going to talk my group into meeting 3 hours a week rain or shine.

Orientation for Critical Care was great. I walked into the room only to be immediately handed a stack of ECG strips and taught how to analyze dysrhythmias. We just jumped right in on the first day. And much to my delight, this one class was taught by Instructor Fantastic! She won't be the usual instructor, but I always enjoy listening to her teach. She's smart and funny and loud enough to make things stick in my brain.

Mental Health was... um... interesting.
It's obvious that Instructor Psych knows a lot about taking care of mental health patients. And her anecdotal advice was very good; she'd illustrate principles of communication with really hilarious stories. But she also has some eccentricities that made me laugh. Right off the bat she told us there were definitely ghosts in the local psychiatric hospital. Also, she told us that she swears because we're going to hear it a lot on the mental health floors anyway. "And the first time I say 'fuck', I always get reported upstairs to the Dean!", she laughed. Oh my gosh! All my past instructors have had their eccentricities, but I can tell these lectures are going to be... colorful.

I did get my first level clinical instructor again as my Psych clinical instructor. She's sweet, so I'm glad.

I'll tell you how it goes. If I can find the time to post.

7 Comments:

Hi! I just found your blog when I was googling stuff. I found it soooo helpful. Right out of high school I played around with college and did not take it seriously. I ended up working for a travel agency and now i'm stuck there. Last summer I had a realization that this job is not going to be my career. So I went back to community college then I want to transfer to a University for my Bachelors in Nursing. My biggest problem now is getting into the medical field. I am at a point in my job that it is a really good job. A lot better than other places. When I went to fill out the scholarship forms I came to the question of what am I doing now that has to do with my career. Nothing! At this point i'm thinking about staying were I am till I get my degree; however, I have been thinking about volunteering at the hospitals to get a foot in. From what I can tell you think this is a good idea and it worked well for you. Thanks for the help you gave me.

By Blogger dragonjennifer, at Saturday, January 13, 2007 at 5:48:00 PM PST  

I was the only person I ever met in school who liked nursing research. :)

It can be very exciting and interesting.

By Blogger Mandy, at Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 10:37:00 AM PST  

BLOG MOAR, EASY.

By Blogger Ahab, at Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 11:52:00 AM PST  

Reading your post about critical care made me really excited. It has always been something that I have been interested in. My own clinicals will begin next semester and I can't wait!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, March 17, 2007 at 8:54:00 AM PDT  

Hi! I accidently found your blog and you are an excellent writer. I lived in Shreveport for several years (husband was stationed at Barksdale) and I have a good friend who graduated from Northwestern. Did you know, back then, they made the student nurses start cathedars (sp?) on each other!! AAHHHHH!! When I went for my nursing school interview that was one of my first questions-how do labs work!!! I start in Aug and can't wait. I will check your blog frequently! Good luck!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 6:44:00 PM PDT  

Back then was 20 years ago...sorry, forgot to mention that!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 6:45:00 PM PDT  

Heather,

Hey! I've been keeping up with your blog for several semesters. You see, I am also a Nursing Student and actually am attending Northwestern...one semester behind you! Remember in one of your posts, "Ding! I Leveled Up" you mentioned speaking to the 1st level BSN students and how confused they looked? I was in there! Ha Ha. And yes, we were all very confused. One has to remember how heavy the work load is for 1st level (7 courses). Well anyway, you hadn't posted much about 4th level. And just like you were, I am looking forward to my Critical Care rotation. How'd you do? What was it like? Post something soon!! Thanks

By Anonymous Donny, at Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 10:33:00 PM PDT  

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