Category: Deep Thoughts

Clinical Day Simulation

This semester, each clinical group are to have a simulation on one of the clinical days and my clinical group was the first to have a simulation in the simulation center. Deep vein thrombosis vs. pulmonary embolism and stroke vs. hypoglycemia were covered in the topics for that day. Each simulation was 20 minutes long and is a unique experience in my nursing education. Students are to complete “prep” work prior to the day of simulation, and all students has access to these. Experiences in the sim lab is kept private to maintain the integrity of the educational process in the respect to students who have yet had their simulation day (this blog continues to maintain integrity of the learning process).

It seemed my classmates and I were prepared walking into the simulation center. That is, until the expectations and agenda were explained and we began choosing our roles of RN1, RN2, CNA, and Family Member. I have never been Registered Nurse 1, and I felt I have prepared myself well for the simulation. As the professor began showing the equipment the students may need and explaining the scenario, I began to feel anxious.

It comforted me when one of my classmates told me we are a team of nursing students eager to learn. And I remembered that my professor said to us that the simulation center is a place where students are not expected know everything. After all, the scenarios experienced here may be emergencies in real life. The simulation center pieces a multitude of topics and materials I have been learning and practicing in my nursing education here in Elmhurst College.

After each scenario, we spend ample time in a briefing and we do so collectively. The professor facilitates constructive criticism and team collaboration. I learn a lot after each simulation and the simulation scenarios compliments the learning experienced inside the classroom.

Techniques for Nursing Content

In nursing school, there is a heavy-load of readings. Nursing students have to know new terms, best practice, and case studies! This semester I will be more efficient with my readings by implementing these techniques on reading a textbook.

  1. Gaze over the chapter title, headings, and subheadings to get a general idea of will be presented.
  2. Skip to the chapter summary to get more sense of the chapter
  3. Review chapter questions
  4. Inspect the vocabulary list even if each term is not immediately identified, to focus on the generally ideas
  5. Pay extra attention to images and diagrams while reading. More information could made out of them than simply words
  6. Begin reading! Review content after each paragraph and begin to piece together the entire concept
  7. Answer the chapter questions again to test your knowledge

First day of Clinical Rotations!

On my first day of clinical rotation I was on the fifth floor of Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. If you could imagine me, I was a nursing student with a fresh view of the clinical setting, saying hello to everyone – patient care technicians, nurses, medical doctors, transporters, radiologist, and speech therapists! On the first day I got to view a video swallow! On the first day I gave a subcutaneous injection! On the first day I entered an isolation room!

 

After I reflected on the first day, I learned that it’s not that I don’t know what I need to be able to perform – it’s that I need to focus what I already know and expand by being present mentally and physically in every clinical rotation. The first day of clinical rotation feels like being an American who has never been outside the country, adjusting due to lack of exposure. This made me realize that I don’t know how to do the more intricate skills and how much more effort and resources and knowledge professionals on the floor had to acquire to earn their bachelor’s degree they deeply coveted. Wearing this Elmhurst College nursing scrub uniform is an elite status symbol when worn in the clinical setting and I have to remind myself that I am seen as a representative of the college.

A New Perspective

It’s my third year in Elmhurst College and I have reminded myself to view every semester with new challenges, friendships, and opportunities.

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Year Three

I am in my third year of college, which is a big year for nursing! This is the time nursing students hone skills to care for awaiting patients in clinical settings. This semester I am placed in Elmhurst Memorial Hospital – a magnet hospital! The course, both lecture and lab portions, is fast-paced. Within the first three days of classes, two quizzes have been held! Nursing is challenging yet intellectually and physically stimulation. This is what I attend college for! To become the best professionally trained student nurse!

 

Aside from an extensive three weeks of nursing classwork and simulation lab time, my year starts off differently because I have been thinking a lot about relationships.

 

I didn’t want my college years to be a repeat of high school, so one of my goals is to have a “special” person to grow with.

 

This is my college years – which is suppose to be the best years of my life (so they say). I should spend this time for self-exploration and discovery. Should relationships be my priority right now?

 

In college I have been goal-oriented to the point where every task I need to accomplish is mandated in my schedule. I have been described by some as a Robot – always thinking logically. However, A romantic relationship surfaces the Human side of me. An aspect long suppressed and ideally-developed by morals, beliefs, and expectations.

El Salvador: Habitat for Humanity

I think everyone in college should have an abroad experience because it’s well worth your time. If you’ve ever considered how to develop as adult, having a study away experience is one way to explore the rest of the world. I wanted to look back in my college years and feel like I have gone somewhere else, abroad, other than work-and-study.

 

From Jan 4 – 15 of 2015, I was part a service experience with Habitat for Humanity and Global Village in El Salvador. We built a house for a family, learned the history of the country through many museums and people, and did a little R&R in between. I love the team I was with, I love the cold and precipitation-free weather, I love the carefree feeling of not having to think about what I’m going to have for my next meal, driving, or any part-time job.

 

I would love to go one more trips but: (1) it is expensive; (2) my nursing curriculum almost doesn’t allow for anymore study abroad trips (3) It takes a lot of effort to prepare. But please do your future self a favor and study away – even if it is a service experience like Habitat for Humanity. You won’t regret it!

Ways To Be More Happy :)

I was going to write how to deal with stress but I figured everyone becomes stressed but not everyone becomes happy. The last chapter covered in my Introduction to Psychology course was emotion, stress, and health. Our emotions, stress, and health can have an impact on our everyday lives and our relationships with other people.

How do we become happier? Well, happiness is a choice. What you decide to do will have an impact on your emotions. Love what you do and do what you love! You should not consider that your end goal would bring you the happiness you expect, but rather appreciate the happy moments your journey provides.

Find something that you enjoy. Find something that makes you laugh. For me, watching videos of Kevin Hart puts me on a good mood.  Are you that type of person that feels good when you complete a task? Then you should start making a to-do-list so you could start feeling accomplished!

 

final exam for blog

Should You Start Studying For Your Final Now?

As of April 16th 2014, there are 35 days left until my first final exam. I have always struggled in comprehensive final exams. I realized it is impossible to recuperate materials learned in 16 weeks (multiply all that information by 4 for four courses). Spring break ended two weeks ago and results from second exams were returned a little more than a week ago, but I feel that it is just the right time to start going over the contents of the first six chapters.

 

I’m probably going to study during any free time I have after this week. I will study the materials for the next exams at the same time as reviewing materials from the start of the semester. It is something I have not done before but I think would be beneficial. I will try to meet up with some friends and form study groups in the coming weeks. I have learned to study for each class and each exam in those classes differently. Often I find it helpful to learn materials through various mediums like YouTube, Khan Academy, diagrams, other professors, and classmates. Each source provides a new perspective on the same material. Send me an e-mail if you have a good study method and I will bring it up on a future post!

 

Close Enough

So you’ve been trying to reach that higher grade right before the semester ended. You knew that the final exam will either break or make your grade, especially since you’re sitting on the borderline. Blackboard has been updated and you see that you didn’t receive the grade you aimed for. You might feel some sadness, but be reassured that this isn’t the end of the world…and that many of your fellow students feel or have felt what you do now.

 

This experience reminds me of my favorite philosophy from the book, This I Believe. It’s titled “Natural Links in a Long Chain of Being” by Victor Hanson. The following is an except from Hanson’s piece:

 

“We must struggle in our brief existence to find some transcendent meaning during reoccurring heart-break and disappointment and so find solace in the knowledge that our ancestors have all gone through this before. You may find all that too intrusive, living with the past as present. I find it exhilarating . I believe there is an old answer for every new problem – that wise whispers of the past are with us to assure us that if we just listen and remember, we are not alone; we have been here before.”Victor Hanson

 

Hanson and I believe in the same idea. There is no reason to panic or worry – still continue to live life as fully as possible. There is always someone else at some other time that has experienced the same struggle.  Do not be so heart-stricken that you may not have earned the grade you hoped for, because someone has overcome this obstacle before. The difference is, how the obstacle will impact your future.