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navigating through nursing school
N.B.: The names and organization of my classes have the potentiality of outing my identity, here, because I’m not sure what other programs run like ours. If you figure out which school I go to please don’t tell anyone or think anything of it!
Well, the semester ended back on the 22nd with my make-up clinical and then I proceeded to wait approximately forever to actually receive my grades. (“Approximately forever” = “a week,” but I felt like I was the last person of anyone I knew still in school who hadn’t gotten grades – well, of people at other schools, anyway! People in my program had to wait just as long.)
The good news is unlike quite a few other people (which is normal), I get to stay in the program, having worked myself to the bone to save grades that were low in the beginning of the semester from staying low. I still wasn’t sure if I’d actually manage to pass everything, despite trying – I wasn’t ever sure until I actually got my grades. Starting out nursing school recovering from a summer where I was seriously ill didn’t go too well. My initial microbiology test grades, for instance, were a 50 and a 58. Once I started to feel fully like myself and really work at it, combined with getting the right help in the right places, I got two 94s and an 81 on the final. This combined with lab grades left me with a frustrating 79 as a final grade. She gave me a C, of course, because while I could hope, improvement over a semester isn’t really grounds for rounding up an entire point.
Anatomy & Physiology I was where I was totally in the dark. My lab grades were pretty bad, largely because of issues with hand tremor that have, thankfully, also been resolved. (My medication for it was wearing off just as the lab started, and nobody ever noticed the tremor because when it came to things like giving injections in clinicals, my hands moved smoothly and without any problems. I knew it was there but wasn’t aware of how much it had an effect on what I was doing.) My final exam grade was a 93. My exam-exam grades were all over the 70 and 80 spectrum, and we had an abstract-writing (as opposed to abstract writing) assignment that I got a 25/25 on that of course I couldn’t recall the actual grade computation value of.
Turned out the final and the lab grade canceled each other out, leaving me with a C. I never got the actual number.
Nursing I? Nursing I was a headache and a half, because I was doing fantastically well with the exception of one exam. And then I was sick for a quiz. Boyfriend called me in, which I was never even aware of due to the fact that I had a migraine and had just never really made it out of bed – I don’t actually remember that morning at all, so I didn’t know he’d called me in. I only figured out after he must have, because I went to check postings to see if I was eligible for a makeup.
My name was on the list, but of course by the time I thought to look, the quiz makeup had already passed. So my comfortable B (which had even been a comfortable A until that one exam!) vanished, becoming an uncertain B instead.
And the final was absolutely horrid. I had real trouble with the final, and I still don’t know why. There were a lot of questions I found hard to understand despite having done NCLEX questions to prepare. Part of the problem was likely tiredness and nerves; my microbiology final, which I had to get a B on to pass the course, was immediately after. I had ten minutes between tests.
I got a C on that final. But it was enough, leaving me with a B in the class – a B I barely scraped by, but a B nonetheless.
Now, issues with my previous program screwing things up and refusing to fix them (I have documentation of how many times I asked them to fix this problem, and none of my emails or phone calls were even responded to let alone handled) my previously-good GPA tanked over the summer, and this semester did not really bring it up. I think it maybe brought it down a little bit, and I need it higher to actually be a candidate for BSN programs. I’ve heard admissions looks at the difficulty of the courses and the school you went to for your ADN and not just raw GPA and the fact you passed the NCLEX (I don’t know if they look at NCLEX scores) but I can’t be sure of that. I have enough problems figuring out how to get in all the electives the BSN programs want you to have!
So who knows what’s going to happen with that, but that’s a year and a half away, and while I obviously need to think some about pre-reqs because of all the additional electives, clearly my actual focus point has to be on passing what’s required for my degree and passing the NCLEX. I’d just rather not have to stay in school longer to take additional electives when I’ve already gotten my ADN; it seems like a pain and I think the nonmatriculated course prices are higher.
But I’ve only got three semesters and 1 summer left, and in that summer I’m having maxilofacial surgery so I don’t know how much of it will be left for school! Hopefully it all works out. Right now I’ve got about five days to enjoy winter break before I’ve got to have a bunch of dental work done, and that’s worrisome enough.
I literally just had the test and am in a lecture, but couldn’t possibly wait to share this question as I was afraid I would forget it. It’s one of the most cleverly written exam questions I’ve ever encountered.
#. Which procedure is correct to follow when listening to breath sounds?
A. Auscultate the anterior chest at 6 different points.
B. Use the zig-zag pattern to listen, comparing sounds from right to left.
C. Ask the patient to take a deep breath and hold it in so you can listen.
D. Instruct the patient to breathe slowly and deeply in and out through the nose.
If I didn’t know before that my instructor wrote NCLEX questions (not examples, but the actual NCLEX) I would definitely know it now. I’m very impressed by the sneakiness of this question’s wording! If not reading carefully you’d definitely be screwed on this one.
It’s official: microbiology is suddenly boring.
I find the topics completely fascinating, I love learning about microbes of all sorts and causative agents of disease and why things are the way they are. But a week and a half into the class (and okay, I missed two classes due to my current raging Mystery Illness) I am absolutely bored out of my mind. The first major exam is in two hours and I’m staring blankly at all my practice quizzes, getting everything wrong because I’m so bored all the words are swimming around.
Despite my passion for infectious disease, I can’t get into the early stuff. It used to come naturally, but now it’s a pile of dull that doesn’t stick in my memory.
In my last two semesters of college, I’ve had courseloads of 22 credits for Fall 2009 and 18 credits for Spring 2010. This summer, I’ve got one class (microbiology) that counts for the current degree I am nearly complete with as well as my ADN, as well as two other courses, giving me a load of 10 credits, but hey, it’s summer and I’m going to be working six days a week (Sunday-Friday) as well.
So imagine my horror when I get my schedule worked out for Fall 2010 and discover that I only have a load of 8 credits.
And I do, in fact, mean horror. The best way to get something done, as many people including my father yesterday evening have said, is to give it to a busy person. I operate under momentum. The more I have to do, the more I do, and I never take breaks, because if I stop it’s the next day before I get going again. I work through and work through and finish and then relax.
So what on earth am I supposed to do with no classes on Tuesday or Friday? Admittedly the classes I’m in are Anatomy & Physiology and Nursing I, neither of which are walks in the park, but suddenly I’m cursing the fact that my previous degree has me entering nursing school with more than half the classes done already.
I might need to take some non-required electives (that won’t even count for anything, as I have all my required electives done) just so that I don’t start failing exams because I’ve got too much downtime to remain able to retain information and stay focused.
“Too little work” is not a conundrum I ever thought I would find myself in. And yet, here I am, wishing I had a learning style that allowed me to sleep every now and then.