My life is...
Merry Christmas!

I must say that I can’t believe how different life is from last year.

Kids are bigger.

I’m no longer a nursing student cringing at the thought of boards, but a Registered Nurse who is on her way to becoming critically care certified and working in a Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

We are all a year older.

We are all a little happier.

My little brother is married and a new daddy!

Sawyer Jane has blessed our family and made it all the more better!

And her momma, my sister-in-love Molly, is just what our family needed.

I’m loving this Christmas season so far. I feel so very blessed with all of the people that are in my life. My family, my close friends, my dance family, my new found friends that are my co-workers, and all of the wonderful people I share my life with and who share theirs with me on the interwebz.

From our family to yours, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year.

And to those of you that are going through trials and life is not so happy please know that we are praying for you and thinking of you.

Love,

The Arguello family.

REBLOG IF YOU ARE A NURSING BLOG or NURSING STUDENT … I WANT TO FOLLOW YOU

I am a nursing blog……among many other things as well! :)

ICU class…

That is what I did all week this week instead of patient care. And this is what I and 2 other co-workers/fellow new orientee’s will be doing for the rest of this month. We have all been on the floor doing patient care for the last 2 months but the highers ups have decided to take us off the floor and put us through 4 weeks of heavy classes.

I have to admit that I was very overwhelmed and extremely sad to be taken away from bedside patient care. I love my job. I love interacting and caring for the patients. So to look at the schedule and see nothing but class was almost heartbreaking.

But this week has filled my head with much more knowledge to help me do my job better. We have had classes on

  • EKG/rhythm interpretations
  • cardiographics
  • hemodynamic monitoring i.e., CVP, Swan-Gans, arterial lines and the machines that they connect to.
  • IV insertion

We still have 3 more weeks to go. We will be learning more about the vented patients and ABG’s, cardiac cath lab procedures, how to recover patients form anesthesia and much more.

While we are doing this we are also working towards starting to become critically care certified, which we start a year after we have been hired.

So all in all this is a good thing. We were all pretty bummed, but now it’s turning out to be a great opportunity.

But even though it’s great to get all this knowledge to become a better ICU nurse, I can’t wait to get back to patient care.

So all you nursing school and new grad people…..be prepared! The learning and class does NOT end with nursing school. You have chosen a profession with life long learning. And they are so proving that to me this month.

I just came off of my third 12 hour shift…

in a row.

If you want to get really nit picky about it, they are actually 13 hour shifts, with having to be there early to get report and then stay late to give report.

My body hurts.

My heart aches for these people. But at the same time my heart is happy because I know I gave them the best care I am able to give.

My body hurts.

But in a weird off note. It was so cool to know that I was able to perform lots of tasks like place NG tubes, place catheters, change PICC line dressings, manage many different drips, do arterial line lab draws and so many other things, that less than 3 months ago, I was so unsure that I would be able to do and now I’m doing them.

It’s such an emotional ride. But I’m thankful that I can do this job. I’m thankful that I can help these people in their worst time of life. I’m thankful that God has given me the ability to have the eyes of compassion when I look on these people to see a person in need.

I’ll be back on when my body stops hurting so much.

Hope you all are well!!! :) <3

To address the reblog I just posted…

In my opinion, I feel like this is an excellent time to become nurses. Hospitals are now becoming more nursing centered. They are realizing that nurses are a vital part of how the hospital runs (no pun intended…well maybe a little.) I’m seeing as a new nurse how the nurses have their own governance committee at the hospital and help each other out. They are making sure that we are taking care of ourselves, like getting lunches and breaks off the floor, with no shop talk, that we are getting our time off and not overworking ourselves, that physicians are nicer to us and give us the respect we deserve and vice versa, so that we are able to take better care of our patients. Because really, it is all about the patient.

Lets face it. We all know that this is a messy profession. We could complain about that until the cows come home. But you have to remember why you chose this profession. To help people. It’s the most rewarding thing I have ever done. In my first week I had a woman thank me for taking such great care of her mother. She told me I did a wonderful job. I felt like I didn’t deserve her compliment because I had only been a nurse on this unit for 3 days at the time. But, I did take care of her mother the best I could and it didn’t matter to her that I was new. In her eyes I had done a good job and she was thanking me so I accepted her compliment with great humility. Because really that’s what it’s all about. Taking care of people no matter what their outcome is, no matter if they like you or not. Maybe they are just being crabby, bitchy, or whatever adjective you would like to use, because they are sick, in the hospital and totally out of control of their situation. Regardless of their attitude, they will remember the kind nurse that made sure their call light and nightstand were within reach every time he/she came into check on them. They will remember the compassion, respect and dignity that you treated them with. They will remember the nurse that translated the doctors medical jargon to them into layman’s terms.

I know this because I was the patient’s mother a decade ago. I am still friends with many of the nurses that took care of my son and some of them still do. Now I have joined their cool club.

So yes, encourage people you know, male and female, who show signs that they would be someone you could see doing what you do. As nurses we recognize like, sometimes even before the person themselves realizes. I know this because everyone I know knew I was going to be a nurse, even before I wanted to be one.

It’s a great profession. It’s ever changing. It has a broad spectrum of career oppourtunities within itself. And it’s just rewarding to be able to care so much for others.

So go to nursing school and don’t worry too much about making it through. I know it sucks when you are in the midst of it. But it’s so worth it in the end!

Tips to surviving Nursing school….well my tips anyway.

Nursing school will be the most awful, wonderful, stressful, gross, interesting, time demanding, emotionally and physically draining, yet fulfilling thing you will ever do. When you sit down in your first Fundamentals class for the first time, with a stack of textbooks in front of you, your teacher talking about physicals, immunizations needed to start clinical, getting fitted for your whites and making sure that your nursing school patch is on them, plus how you will need to know how to do a laundry list of nursing skills that you may have never done before, in the next 8 weeks. Not to mention the course load and testing schedule on top of all that!

Yeah, you kind of want to laugh and cry and get up and walk out of the room really fast.

I so have been there. But here are some random bits of nonsense I learned a long the way.

  1. Make a nursing school buddy. Eventually this will happen in some way. Even though my entire class was friends, we all kind of paired off. They will be your rock and support during the next 2 years. And more than likely your friend for life!
  2. Form study groups. Unfortunately my class did not do this until our 2nd year, boy was that a mistake. It’s great to be able to see things from other peoples points of view. Maybe you missed a word in the lecture that is making you not understand everything, another person’s take can be an eye opener.
  3. Remember…you are not the only one in that class who is stressed the F out. EVERYONE who is sitting around you is stressed to the max. Just because they don’t seem like it, doesn’t mean that they aren’t. Not everyone stresses the same way. And please, when you are stressed….DON’T take it out on your classmates. That is not acceptable and will earn you the right for your fellow classmates to ostracize you. If you do freak out…..apologize. Everyone will understand. You all have to stick together.
  4. Buy a good NCLEX review book now and read only the chapters that are pertaining to what you are studying now. DO NOT read ahead too much. It will only cause you to panic about what is to come.
  5. Adopt the same philosophy as Alcoholics Anonymous…. One day at a time. Worry about what is right in front of you. The careplans that are due on Friday, yes dwell on that. The fact that you may or may not pass boards, NO. Not right now. Worry about the NCLEX when you have completed the program. It’s not going anywhere and will be there when you need it to be there so worry about it when you have to.
  6. Find a tutor. Ask the college if they offer one, if they don’t, beg and plead with your clinical instructors to meet with you maybe one night a week and then meet with your peers only on a different night. BUT on the nights you meet with a tutor….come prepared with questions.
  7. Invest in a Tide stain remover pen for your whites. Keep it in your pocket. And don’t get the generic as they leave yellow rings.
  8. When you get a break from school, as long as you don’t have a project due, DON’T think about school. Give your mind a break. Do something you like to do that you haven’t been able to do because of nursing school dominating your time. Spend time with your kids, significant other, read a book that doesn’t have anything to do with nursing, see a movie, get really drunk. Enjoy.
  9. Know that you will have to say NO to A LOT of things. Your friends babyshower or birthday party, seeing your kids do things like games or dance recitals……you will miss those things. Nursing school will take over your life. But YOU WILL get it back when it’s over. And you kind of won’t know what to do with yourself, trust me, I’m having this issue now.
  10. Accept also that you will have to give up some or most of the responsibility in your household. Your husband/significant other will have to give you a huge helping hand with everything. Chores will become hard to do because you will want to study instead. That’s okay, you can always clean in 2 years, the mess will still be there. :) But also know that it’s okay to ask for help too. We all have type A personalities so probably prefer to do it by ourselves or will try to do it and keep it together for as long as we can before we lose it. I speak from personal experience. But you are going to need help with daily life so please don’t feel like this is bad. And remember….its only for 2 years.
  11. Care plans, med sheets and cumulative finals…..oh my. Learn to love them they will be with you for the next 2 years.
  12. If you don’t spell well…..change that. Spelling is a big deal in charting. Pay attention to the unapproved abbreviations as well. Again a big no no. And remember…IF YOU DIDN’T DO IT, DON’T CHART IT!!!
  13. If you don’t like to ask questions to have people go into greater detail as they are explaining things, change that too. You can NEVER ask too many questions. If your instructor doesn’t like for you to ask too many questions during lecture, make yourself a note and stay after class.
  14. Make sure you get enough rest and drink lots of water to help ward off sickness!
  15. Try to stay positive. You WILL make a great nurse one day! You WILL pass nursing school.
  16. Accept the fact that you will probably gain a few pounds due to stress…..it WILL come off after you have graduated!
  17. Accept the fact that you are going to be an emotional basket case over the next few years. We have all bleed, cried and gone a little coo-coo in nursing school. Your sanity will return again once you have graduated.

That’s it for now. I know there is lots more but I can’t think of it at the moment. There are lots of information sites here on tumblr of nurses who have survived nursing school and have lived to tell the tale. 

Some of them are:

http://www.theitunurse.com/

http://y0-ellie-visser.tumblr.com/

http://dorasnursing.tumblr.com/

http://jhanursing.tumblr.com/

I’m sure there are more, but I haven’t found them yet.

GOOD LUCK!!! My ask box is always open!

dorasnursing:

Looking for a comprehensive guide that will get you through nursing school without a hitch? Well, we’re here to tell you that there is no such thing.

Nursing school is a whirlwind—it’s the nature of the beast! However, this list by nursing student Lelisa Beth Gross is full of indispensable…

 Any one who is in Nursing School or has survived Nursing School will LOVE this! PLEASE READ!!

nursing student survivors

caiteralligator:

I’d like to follow you! reblog, reblog, reblog! (: 

I survived nursing school! And boards!

What does one do when you have accomplished a dream?

No. Really.

I have managed to actually finish something. That is kind of a big deal for me. Hell, I can’t even finish the damn A-Z meme here on tumblr, but I managed to graduate from college. Pass nursing boards on the first try and now I am licensed in the state to practice as a registered nurse.

Wow.

I survived the pressure of nursing school, the stress of taking boards and now am navigating through the challenge of looking for a job. Which in comparison, is no where near as bad as going through nursing school.

It seemed like 4 years ago, when I decided to become a nurse instead of a social worker, that getting to the end was nothing more than a distant dream. I would dream of being able to take care of my own group of patients. I would dream of wearing the cool white nursing shoes that my mom always would wear when I was a kid. (Yeah, I thought those were cool. It was my mom, she was my hero and still is. Who doesn’t want to grow up to be like their mom?!) I would dream of getting those two little, but very important initials after my name. I would dream of knowing the secret language that nurses speak. I would dream about knowing what to listen for when I put my stethoscope on peoples chests. How did they differentiate those sounds? How could I ever do that?

And now my dream has come true. I can do all those things. I have some cool white nursing shoes. I can speak that secret language. And I can differentiate coarse lung sounds from a pleural friction rub with the best of them.  Most importantly I have those two little initials after my name. They are almost as exciting as the three little letters I got to add before my name when I got married!

So now that my days aren’t filled with such stress about nursing school in the back of my brain and I’ve got to check a dream off my list….what does one do with ones self?

I guess this means I have to find a new dream…..but what?

I will have to think on this. Any suggestions are welcome.

OH FUUUUUUUUUUUUDDDGGGGEEE!!!!!

I only got 75 questions!

75 questions on the NCLEX and the mother effing exam shut the eff off!!

I am freaking the eff out right now!

(I’m not cursing because my mom reads my blog occasionally and even though I’m 34, my mother still hates when I curse.)

Excuse me while I go cry and puke now.

Good vibes, prayers and we are skipping prescribed meds and accepting illicit drugs at this point, are all still much appreciated!