August 24, 2007

I survived Day 1

Everyone is nice, the instructors are personable, and they've told us flat out that it's going to be a lot of hard work.  I already have 5 units' worth of reading to do by Monday, which is going to be tough this weekend due to significant family commitments.  Also, looking at the calendar (they explained how to decode it), I'm going to have a lot of reading each day that needs to be done BEFORE class or lab.  And oh yeah, I'll need to have reviewed all the lab skills BEFORE each lab too.

Oh boy.  Welcome to nursing school, Meriwhen.  This first class is going to be an 8-week rollercoaster.

I started reading and making notes last night.  They told us about the Cornell Note-Taking system, which is kind of what I had been doing already...the big difference is that I usually end up rewriting all the notes on the computer before I end up summarizing and forming review guidelines, and the Cornell system if done correctly should let me skip that.  With all this reading I have to do, I need to be as efficient as possible...but we'll see how I do on the first test on the 4th to know if this note-taking system will work.

I need to get more binders, looseleaf paper, notebooks and a ruler.

I'm also going to try (ha!) to get all of the week's reading done the weekend before, so then all I have to do is review each night.  But this may be tough as each week's test (yes, a 90-question test nearly every week, of which I need at least an 80 to pass) is on a Monday.

Is it too late to go into teaching? :)

I'll get it done somehow, I'm sure.  I have no choice.

They never mentioned anything about PDAs, so I'm guessing I may be able to hold off on upgrading mine for a while...though I'm going to ask my graduate pen-pal about it just to be safe.

August 22, 2007

Tomorrow's the day

Though it's mostly orientation stuff tomorrow, not actual nursing education.  Still, I can't help but be a bit nervous.  Wish me luck.

August 20, 2007

3 days to go - the uniforms are here

The student nurse uniforms arrived just as I was about to phone the uniform company to ask when they'd arrive. Talk about good timing.

The shirts are white and teal, collared, zipper in the back, long like a tunic but fitted, and with this kind of bib thing that buttons onto the front. My first thought on seeing it was that they sent me the dress uniform by mistake. In fact, my better half was also worried at first until we figured out it was the shirt--it is long enough that it could pass for a dress, though it's a length that would likely be seen in some bad soft-porn movie instead of at clinicals. I think the zipper in the back is what threw us off.

The shirts are not cotton, so I expect to be hot as hell while wearing them. Also, the fabric is on the scratchy size so if I'm wise, I'll wear a white cotton tank top underneath. Pants are basic white cotton scrub pants, thank God. All I need are my shoes and some knee-high hose and I'm ready for clinicals.

Next on my mental To-Do list is PDA shopping. I have an old Tungsten E, which still works well except that the battery life sucks. But from what I'm told, the E won't be enough to handle all of the nursing programs they recommend that we have on it. So I'm going to see if the school has any recommendations as to what model to get, and then start hitting eBay.

August 19, 2007

4 days to go

I decided to just scrap all the pre-reading and enjoy the time off while I can, especially since the better half is home on leave :)

August 10, 2007

13 days to go

I'm just savoring the last entirely uncomplicated downtime that it looks like I won't get have over the next two years.

Not much else to say today.  I'm going to crack open a beer and put my feet up :)

August 2, 2007

Childcare woes over/nursing woes (the other nursing) beginning

21 days until school starts.  Almost everything's done except for getting nursing shoes, but I have some time on that one.   Now it's just killing time by reading my textbooks and seeing what's up at

I'm reminded of another old saying:  "Everytime God closes a door, He opens a window."   That very same day, I found the perfect place for my son to go to childcare.  This is the most professional home care provider I ever met, plus Carpetshark loved being there (he accompanies me on all these interviews).  Big added plus:  she's located on the way to work, so I now have only 10 extra minutes of driving time instead of that damned hour.  So today we go and sign the contract.

Now we move into weaning.  I should tell you that my son's 2 1/2, so it's not as though the poor Baby's got to go on the Enfamil just to see tomorrow.  The "poor Baby" knows where the num-nums are and how to help himself to them.  In fact, he's trying to help himself as I type.  If it wasn't for Shaun the Sheep playing on the other side of the monitor screen, he'd be under the shirt.

But yeah, weaning. 

I'm not sure if I mentioned this here before, but I've never had a Hepatitis B vaccine.  I was born before they were mandatory.  It's a series of three shots.  For me to be OK for clinicals when they start, I'll have to start the shots no later than mid-September.  That will put me at having two of the three before clinicals start, and I'll just have to be careful as hell to avoid needlesticks and other exposures until the last one in January.

My doctors and my son's doctors can't give me a definite answer as to whether it would be safe for me to continue nursing while getting the vaccines.  Everything they find is "safe in pregnancy, affect on breastmilk unknown."  So of course, they will err on the side of caution and not give it unless the need outweighs the risks...which, as I'm not in clinicals yet, doesn't.   So I wrotre La Leche League for their opinion, since they are the ones that specialize in all things lactation. 

In the meantime, I've got to get him weaned off.  Cold Turkey quitting is out except as a very last resort--I've suffered through several bouts of mastitis and it is NOT fun.  The husband is home for two weeks starting next week, so I think that's when I'll make the big push:  he and I will try to keep Carpetshark so distracted that he hardly thinks of nursing.   I did finally teach him how to go to bed on his own without it, so that's a big hurdle cleared--it used to be that he'd only fall asleep at night if he was attached.

Until then, I'm putting off any requests for num-num for as long as I can.