Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bonus points for not passing out!!!

Friday was my turn in the OR. We were to sit in and observe as many surgeries as we could between 0630 and 1200. I was super excited, but also nervous. I was the first in our group to go, and had NO IDEA what I was doing!

I check in, change into scrubs, make my way through the surgical staff's lounge, up the stairs, don my booties, cap and jacket and step through the doors. Crap. Which way do I turn? I decide left.

I find the nurse's station.

"Good morning," says Overly Chipper nurse.
"Morning, um, I'm your student nurse for this morning."
"We're getting a student today? Hey, Cathy! Did you know we were getting a student today?"


Overly Chipper Nurse calls someone to verify that they are allowing a student in today. Phone Nurse says "Sure, give her something fun to watch."

After checking with the other RNs around, they find out something "cool" is going on behind curtain number 3.

They shove me behind said curtain, where I find an elderly man lying on a gurney, PreOp Nurse and the anesthesiologist. PreOp nurse starts explaining to me what's going on with Mr. Smith, and before she gets 2 sentences out, the curtain is flung open, and I'm pushed aside for the Almighty Surgeon. I cower in the corner, as quiet as a mouse (which is difficult for me to do).

Almighty Surgeon leaves and Gas Doc and PreOp Nurse resume procedure. They were doing a total block of the right arm. If I could remember the name of the procedure, I'd tell you, but in a nutshell, they were poking in his neck with a long needle trying to find the right nerve to deaden. The cool thing is that the needle was attached to not only a syringe, but also an electrode device. When they hit a nerve, the muscles twitched and jumped! Neat! Once they found the right nerve and administered the anesthetic, they tell me that Mr. Smith is having a total shoulder replacement. I'm super excited!

Guy Nurse and Mother Hen Nurse hurry inside the curtained area, say hello to Mr. Smith, acknowledge my existence and tell me that they are the OR nurses for Mr. Smith.

"When are we going in to the OR?" I ask.

And out they flew with the patient babbling about whiskey, and with me scrambling to keep up.

I imagined that before the surgeon comes in the team is pretty quick and gets everything set up. I way underestimated their speed. In under 5 min (yes, I was timing it), they had the patient under, strapped to the beach chair, covered under piles of blankets and were back to chatting amongst themselves.

20 minutes later, Amazing Surgeon bounces through the door. First thing he does? Plugs in the iPod and turns it up. In 7 minutes, the team finished positioning Mr. Smith, scrubbed in, created the sterile field, covered the arm in surgi-skin and were making the first slice. I was in total awe!

It was absolutely amazing to watch the surgery! I did not get grossed out at all, and was actually a little giddy about the whole thing!

They let me play with the head of the humerus, taught me how to quickly sterilize instruments, and the medical reps gave me a quick run down of where and how everything was being attached!

After 4 hours, Mr. Smith was sewn back up. Amazing Surgeon came over to me.

"So, let me guess, you're gonna switch majors now?"
"No! I loved this! Thank you for letting me tag along and watch!"

Then he invited me to come watch his next surgery! But alas, my time was limited and I needed to see Mr. Smith through to the PACU.

Lessons Learned:
1. I belong in the OR.
2. If its head is covered, I forget its human.
3. Amazing Surgeon and I have the same taste in music.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Obstacles in Studying

She really makes it hard to keep studying...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting back into the swing of it all...

I've had 3 of my 5 classes so far, and this is going to be an interesting semester. I start my med-surg clinicals on Friday at OverInflated Ego Hospital. The part I am looking forward to the most is we found out today we will be able to observe a surgery this semester! I am super excited about that! Seeing as I am considering nurse anesthetists as a career option, it'll be nice to know up front if I can't handle surgery!

I've got quite the course load this time around (17 credit hours! ugh!), but oddly, I seem to have more free time.... that doesn't seem right!

I only know one girl in my classes, but I'm sure to become tight with the rest of them! I'm really proud to know that out of the 200 or so of us that started this process 2 years ago, I am one of the 50 left! Not everyone failed out, some chose to leave the major voluntarily, but still, I'm really proud of myself and I hope to keep doing well!

Today's lecture in Med-Surg was on fluids, and how important it is to understand everything you can about them. My head hurt so much after class! I get easily confused between which fluid (hyper-, hypo-, or isotonic) to use with which situation (hypo-, hyper-, isoomalality). It's kinda backwards, and I felt like I didn't know anything in class. Fortunately, most people didn't know it either, so at least I'm not the only moron here! Any helpful webpages or resources you've got would be insanely appreciated!

The beauty of being at the start of the Junior level in the fall is that we get to give flu shots! I'm apprehensive about IM injections, but I'm sure I'll get over it.

For now, I'm going to kick back, ignore some readings and just watch the good ol' boob tube. :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm baaaaack!!

Hello! Living up to my name, I've been M.I.A. from the blogging world this summer. After 3 straight years of school, and an insanely intense last semester, I took a break from all this nursing and school related. I worked in an office over the summer and did not take summer school. But now I'm back!

While the semester officially starts tomorrow, us Nursing Gals had a drug calculations test this past Friday. I'm happy to say, I easily passed it!

We haven't been given much in the way of homework over the summer, which was nice. I actually had a fantastic summer because of it! I've been to baseball games, some amazing concerts (Billy Joel & Elton John, Nickleback, Hinder, Papa Roach as the highlights), got to spend a week with my whole family in town (and had my nephews help me blow out the candles on my birthday cake!) and spend some much needed quality time with The Boy. He's been so supportive of my education and dreams, and he never complains that my schoolwork forces him to be put on the back burner often. I'm really glad that I could spend this time with him before heading back in for another year of crazy!

It's starting to feel like autum here in the midwest. This week was the first week with 50s at night and that crisp feel is in the air. I'm in absolute heaven!

I'm really excited to start this semester and get back in the swing of it. I start clinicals immediately, and have been told that the unit I'm on is the orthopedic unit. I'm not really sure what to expect, but I'll find out Friday.

Now, if you'll excuse me.... I have to stop my cat from eating the donuts... He really likes them.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I'm seriously about to cry!

So, I've been passing all of my classes with no problems, save one: Pathophysiology. I have been doing absolutely miserable in that class; in fact, failing it. Our last test was yesterday, and the final is on Monday. My prof told me that I needed and 84% on both the last test and the final to pass the class. That seemed pretty daunting, considering my highest grade so far was a 79%.

I was pretty nervous, but knew that I would do well on the last test, it covers two of my favorite areas: GI and reproductive. I know these systems so well, even before we started covering these sections. I studied my butt off, and I went in to take the test. I got there at 0630 and sat in my car for an hour studying the material again, and met with some classmates from 0730 to 0800, again studying. After I took the test, I was not sure. I knew I didn't fail it, and I really felt like I aced it. But I didn't want to say anything for fear of jinxing myself! All last night I was second guessing myself, I even dreamed that I got a 16% on the test!

The results are in! (drumroll please...) 95%!!!!!! Which means I am going into my final actually passing the class!!

I soooo happy!

Everyone light a candle and pray for me on Monday morning!! That's when the patho final is!

Ok, back to studying now!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


With 7 days of the semester left, I'm seriously dying.

I am no longer able to spell normal, non-medical words; I no longer have a spine that will stay in an upright, erect position; I'm starting to fall asleep sitting up; my shoulders "crunch" when I move them; I managed to wake up at 0600 today and not have a single bite to eat until 1700; and I've had a perma-headache for 1 month straight.

Am I a nurse yet?? Please??

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I know it's been a while so here's a brief synopsis of what's happened lately:
We moved into our new apartment, and we love it here! It's a great little apartment community in the middle of nowhere and it's so quiet and our neighbors are all around our age too!

My classes are slowing down, but clinicals are picking up! I've only got 2 weeks left until finals, and I cannot wait! I seriously need a break!

My patient this week was a very sweet old man who was in an amazing amount of pain (gangrene on R foot and osteomyelitis) and I felt awful for him! I've never had a patient that was in that much pain before (and he kept refusing pain meds), so I was pretty nervous. I actually felt like I didn't know what I was doing! My nurse said that I was doing everything well, but I don't know...

I kept forgetting to do part of my assessment, and I lost track of the order I was going in, and I kept having to go back in to him. At least this week my patient actually needed me. I was forgetting the simple things and that's what was bothering me. The main thing that I kept forgetting was to put on gloves! He was in contact isolation because he has MRSA and I kept forgetting that! I'm not terribly worried, he was on vancomycin IVPB for 3 days already. But still... My instructor didn't say anything to me, which is a good thing because she WILL let you know if there is something you need to work on. She actually pretty much leaves me alone on clinicals, and will just pop her head in maybe twice and say "are you doing ok?" I assume that's a good sign that she trusts me, now if only I could trust myself...

But for now, I'm going to enjoy the first day of 70+ degree weather since October. I'm actually sitting outside on my balcony typing this, feeling like quite the yuppie!

And careplans were created by the devil. My first one took me about 15 hours to do! Ugh... I should probably start on the one for this week soon...

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!