|Posted by laneccsna on January 16, 2013 at 9:55 PM|
Patho, pharm, and chronic…Oh my!
Welcome to winter term students. As second years enter what has been dubbed the “most difficult term” of nursing school, first years are excited to do something other than learn about motivational interviewing and proper hand washing techniques (no offense instructors, we understand these are valuable lessons). At this point people are becoming more familiar with each other and everyone has their “study buddies” picked out. That being said, here is some advice for you first year students trying to figure out how the heck you’re going to study so much material: study early, study often, and study with a lot of different people – everybody has different techniques for learning and often pick up on things you may have missed. Here are some other tips to get you through this crazy term:
1. Take notes while you read. Personally, I get nothing out of reading 40 pages about different respiratory pathologies or whatever the reading is about. Instead, I take notes from the reading, add them to my lecture notes and clarify any missing pieces of information. It takes WAY more time but this way I UNDERSTAND the information, rather than saying, “I just spent six hours reading and I couldn’t tell you one thing I read.”
2. When studying pharmacology, initially try to just remember the names and most basic method of action first – this literally used to take me an entire day but then I could generally deduce adverse effects myself, as opposed to simply memorizing information.
3. Study the patho, pharm and chronic TOGETHER. If you’re learning about congestive heart failure, why not learn etiologies, drugs and how to care for the CHF patient at the same time? Eventually tests will be a culmination of these things, so start getting used to it.
4. Everything you learn this year will come back to haunt you next year, as my class is quickly finding out. Keep your notes organized so you can easily find them next year.
5. Study for understanding, not memorization. It’s a great feeling when an instructor asks a question during second year and you for some reason remember the answer. If you memorize, you’ll have to learn it all over again next year (not to mention the fact that they think we know this stuff…).
6. Around week four, you’ll start to think, “Are we SERIOUSLY getting MORE information?” You get to a point where you feel like you’re so behind that they may as well keep piling it on, cause, who cares at that point. Just know, you’ll be okay. You’ll develop techniques to help get you through the immense amount of information you’re about to attempt to store in your brain. It’s terrible, it’s stressful, it seems impossible. But, you WILL get through it.
7. Warn your family and friends ahead of time that they may not be seeing much of you this term. Try to find balance, but know that school is temporary and there will be an end…eventually.
8. Have fun and appreciate your nursing school friends – they’re the only one’s who truly understand what you’re going through.
9. As always, don’t be afraid to ask any of us for study tips. We’ve all been there and know exactly what you’re going through.
Thailand: What an amazing experience
As most of you may know, ten of us were fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Surin, Thailand over winter break. For me, this experience was completely out of my comfort zone. In fact, at no point before nursing school did I ever think I would be interested in traveling abroad. I’m not afraid to share my ignorance; I’m only doing so to reach out to those who also feel uncomfortable or hesitant to travel to such distant places.
That being said, I am forever a changed person. The people we cared for in Thailand were incredible, to say the least. The first half of each day was spent either walking from home to home, or setting up shop in a central location where villagers would come to us. In this way, we were able to provide care to hundreds of people in rural villages, performing CBG’s, blood pressures, and weight and waist measurements. In Thailand, these were considered the patient’s “annual checkups”. Each afternoon we would be given two “special cases,” where we would travel with the nurses we worked with to a patient’s home. Some of these special cases included a 22-year-old man with gigantism, (he was 8’6” tall and completely bed bound), a paraplegic who’s sister sold the roof of their home to have the money to cover additional costs, a Vietnam War vet, and a 102-year-old woman who was recently diagnosed with hypertension with no additional co-morbidities.
In addition to providing direct patient care, we were able to visit the Surin nursing school and hospital, which were amazing experiences in and of themselves.
Are you interested in this December’s study abroad trip? Please join us for an informational meeting, date TBD. Planning and preparing for last year’s trip was NOT easy, so we want to give you guys some pointers on fundraising and volunteer opportunities. Last year we felt it was important to split our time between fundraising events and volunteering, so people in our own community felt we were making our presence known here as well. We will be in contact soon regarding date and time of this meeting.
Board of Directors elections are coming up!
Calling all you first-year students! We have decided to move up the dates for electing next year’s board of directors. Last year we felt the “passing of the torch” was…rocky, due to the fact that it happened spring term when second-year students were rarely at school and were more concerned with trying to graduate and pass NCLEX than the SNA. Monday, February 4 during the February SNA meeting is when elections will take place, so please have your applications in by Friday February 1. Please turn applications in to Jesse Kennedy’s mail box in the mailroom. To apply and vote, you must be a registered SNA member. To access the application, click the tab on the left that says, “Board Members / Run for Office”.
First Year: Shelly Schmidt
Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Shelly Schmidt. I grew up in California but moved to Iowa my senior year of high school where I lived for 27 years before moving to Oregon in 2007 where I met my current husband. I have one daughter and a granddaughter who was born 11/11/11 11 weeks early.
Why did you decide to go to nursing school?
I always knew I wanted to be a nurse - I was a Candy Striper when I was in high school. While in Iowa I spent 10 years on a volunteer fire department that covered a Township of approximately 6,500 people. We ran over 1,000 medical and 350 fire/rescue calls each year on average. I ended my career as Deputy Chief and the only female Paramedic on the department. I loved every minute of my time on the department knowing I was making a difference in people's lives with my medical knowledge. In 2010 my husband encouraged me to go back to school to get my nursing degree, so here I am!
What are you looking forward to this term?
While I really do enjoy learning in the classroom, my favorite thing is time in clinicals. I am in Neuro with Fran this term, I am excited to learn from her and all the nurses.
Where do you see yourself working when school is over?
My dream job would be in the Labor & Delivery department at either hospital, but realistically that isn't going to happen. I will be happy to find a nursing job where I can put all these hard earned skills to use.
Second Year: Casey Good
I am 29 y/o, married, have a 3 y/o son, and am 31 weeks pregnant. I went to UCC in Roseburg last year for my first year of nursing. I transferred to LCC after the first year because I live in Eugene and the commute was very hard on my family and me. Everyone at LCC has been SO nice and helpful. The transition couldn't have gone smoother, except for the fact that I had to learn a whole new hospital and their computer system. It seems that even though both schools “follow” the OCNE curriculum, there are differences in what is taught, the books, and emphasis on what is important. Lab skills and projects were different than what LLC students did. Having come to a new school, I always feel that I may not have learned everything they did, but so far it has been OK.
After I graduate I want to start my nursing career in the hospital so I can practice my skills. After that I am thinking I would like to work somewhere where they emphasize health promotion and patient education. I might try to work in a pediatric office since I think it is SO important to start teaching young children healthy habits at a young age. I am also interested in diabetic education.
A piece of advice I would give to first year is try to do as many skills as you can at the hospital, understand lab values early on, and ingrain medications in your brain! Those will all help SO much.
Saturday, February 9 OHVI Heart Fair at Valley River Center 1000-1500
Saturday, February 9 OSNA Annual Convention, Portland Community College
Tuesday February 12 Head Start – Whittaker Time TBD
Thursday February 14 Head Start – Brattain Time TBD
Tuesday February 19 ONA Lobby Day, Salem, OR 0900
Wednesday February 20 ESL Health Promotion, LCC Downtown 1800
Questions, comments, concerns? Feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] Thanks for reading!