Back to nursing school

I’ve mentioned here a few times about being in nursing school. And now I’m back in school. I had my first day on Tuesday Ekk! Summer is over! 😦

Over the summer I received a scholarship and they asked me a few questions for publication and to learn more about me.

I figured- hey this could be a good blog post!

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I feel like I look more like a doctor more so than a nursing student in this photo lol

-What am I looking forward to this coming school year?

I’m really looking forward to the different clinical settings I will be in this year. I’m finally in hospitals and get to work with other populations. At the moment, I’m doing family health, more so on reproductive health, so pregnancies, and seeing how life starts. I’m excited and yet scared- the videos and pictures I’ve seen is probably the best form of birth control at the moment lol

I get to also do a psych/mental health part later in the school year. I’m also kinda of excited and scared for that one, mental health is important and yet it lacks much support for it. I took an abnormal pysch class and people with bipolar and schizophrenia came to talk to us- it’s truly something you can never understand unless you have it.

-What are my favorite activities outside of school?

I’m sure you can figure out what I put here – Pure Barre, running (even though we are on a break at the moment), my fitbit, stair climbs in Chicago, and running races!

I would also probably add- anything big ten related (especially my ILLINI), Chicago sports pride (bears, cubs, bulls, and hawks).

And of course, I’m always hungry and will try most foods/cuisine in the city. And I’m a cupcake, ice cream, and macaroon lover 🙂

-What goals do I have for my career after graduating from college?

After my program, I will take the NCLEX exam to become and RN. Since I’m in an associates degree, I will then do an RN-BSN bridge program so I can enter a Magnet status hospital. After working awhile, I would love to get an advance degree in nursing- I think nurse practitioners are amazing. I just need to figure out which population and specialty care I would to provide (I have a soft spot for family nurse practitioners- they can see anyone- from the womb to the tomb 🙂 )

So yeah, that’s a bit more about me! Even though I’m excited school is happening again, I’m also already counting down to winter break (12/12) just because the stress level is already so high and it’s only been 2 days and no clinicals yet! Gahhh

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Why do you want to be a nurse?

This is a question I get asked often once people find out I’m in nursing school. It often follows by “what kind if nurse do you want to be?”

With nurses week ending last week and it being the first week of my summer break, I finally had time to watch a movie I’ve been wanting to watch for awhile- a documentary call “Today We Saw the Face of God” through Amazon.

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00IIJJT02/ref=redir_mdp_mobile?ref_=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_gUQdtb0G3EX7C

This movie had a special place in heart since it involves the organizations I work with when I go to Haiti.

Ok, back up- some background information. When I went away for college, I never really had too much of a clear idea of what I wanted to do. Being in health care sounded cool, but besides that I couldn’t tell you exactly what role I wanted in the scheme of things. I picked a major that had the word health in it, and picked the concentration of health administration and planning, it sounded interesting.

Towards the end of my undergrad days, I had to do an internship, so I did one at a free clinic and non-profit group mainly doing office work, and it was there I noticed I was always wondering what the nurses were doing, not really happy just pushing papers and relaying information on how to become a client at the clinic.

Also during my undergrad days, I was really involved with leadership development and community service- I would go on alternative breaks trips around the country. I then wanted to take it a step further- go international.

I tried to go with a group on campus but it fell through, and when this got brought up to one of my BFFs mom (who goes to Haiti regularly) she asked if I would go with her, and I immediately said YES!

So just like that, I signed up to go during my spring break of my super senior year- literally 8 weeks before I get my bachelors degree.

And that trip forever changed me.

It was the first time I ever left the continent. It was the first time I saw poverty fist hand, and the first time I saw how some people weren’t too happy to see Americans, and it was where I saw what else nurses could do.

I’ve been lucky not to have to go to the doctor a lot, so I mainly saw nurses as people I saw before I saw the doctor, the ones that gave me shots, the ones that often asked a lot of questions. That was my interaction with them.

In Haiti, I saw the care and compassion that nurses and nurse practitioners gave, the amount of knowledge they had about almost anything that got tossed at them, and I wanted to be them.

I came back and had to face a hard decision- I never took any classes to get into nursing school, do I really want to start almost all over again?

I decided yes, and went to try to pursuit that dream- taking chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology was tough, and to go from living on my own to back home was tough (and still is somewhat). I had many decisions to make- what route did I want to go with my education ( I had every route available since I have my bachelors already) It was rough, and after getting letters that said “No” I seriously considered giving up, I didn’t know what else to do. I can only try so much and improve my application in so many ways, and I felt I was reaching at the end of the rope. But I finally got a “Yes” and the journey has interesting. It has it’s ups and downs, but I’m sure it will all be worth it in the end.

I’ve been to Haiti 3 times now (2011, 2012, and 2013) this year was the first year I couldn’t go due to school, but it exciting to know the next time I go, I will have RN next to my name 🙂

What kind of nurse do I want to be? I don’t know, but a good one. It changes every day- from an ER nurse, to nurse anesthetist, to birth and delivery (I start that in August!), to flight nurse, to a peds or family nurse practitioner, to a womens health nurse, or something with diabetes education, as you can tell, the list goes on and changes daily. But what I do look forward to is being able to give back not just on a community level, but globally also.

we run dc: day 1: travel/nike Georgetown/packet pickup/expotique and ostomy bag be gone!

I can now officially say that I completed my first half marathon! How exciting is that?!?!

This runcation was awesome and I couldn’t ask for a better one! I’m going to do a recap of the whole weekend by each day.

Friday, April 25

Travel day! And what better way to travel than after pulling an all-nighter and hoping on an airplane!? (Can’t you tell I am a little bit of a procrastinator? lol) I know this is strange, but during my undergrad years, I never pulled an all-nighter, so this was the first for me! Oh nursing school, what have you done to me!?

Since I was doing this half marathon with Lauren and Kathleen from sistertosisterrunning.wordpress.com, I was traveling with Kathleen and then meeting Lauren in DC! Lauren is one of my BFFs and I couldn’t wait not only to see her again but also to have two veterans of half marathons to help me out that weekend!

Me and Kathleen got to O’Hare in no time since we left my place so early, so we grabbed some breakfast and then waited for our plane. That was a little bit of a disaster, I guess they really needed two people to give up their seats and they were willing to give $600 in towards your next flight! I would of done it, but I needed to get to DC that day, and they weren’t getting me to DC until night time, and we had quite a day planned!

Once I got on the plane, I passed out until we landed in DC. We meet up with Lauren and then Kathleen’s friend Brandon picked us up from the airport. And look what the hotel had!

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After checking into our hotel, all of us headed into Georgetown to go to packet pick up, explore the expotique and get some race merchandise at the Nike Georgetown!

We saw Nike Georgetown first, and all of the merchandise was upstairs. I really had to restrain myself from buying everything! I ended up w/a quarter zip, a thank top and socks. I’m still considering maybe buying a pair of shoes and this sweatshirt I saw.

I love the quarter zip, and it has thumbholes! The tank I ended up wearing it for the race and loved it also, the same goes for the socks.

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And here’s the back of the quarter zip

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Next to Nike Georgetown is the WE RUN DC name wall on the side, so we went to look for our name! It’s in alphabetical order from left to right. My name was in a cool location, in the N of RUN, and it’s two colors 🙂

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After that, we headed to packet pick up, and on the Washington Harbour is where we saw the WE RUN sign so we took a pic of that also. Here’s my fail attempt to look like a really cool runner.

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Then right down the hill was the packet pick up and expotique. Packet pick up went well, they scan your barcode that was your confirmation number for the race and then assign you a bib. And then you were sent to another tent to get your shirt.

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I’m not a big fan of the shirt. I feel like it’s kind of plain and I would of liked it better if it was in a different color. Also, you couldn’t exchange your shirt for another size here, if you wanted a different size, you could only do it on Saturday night. I didn’t have time to go to it 😦 Nike kind of fits funny on me, depending on the item, I can be a small or a medium and you had to put this information down when you are entering the lottery and there’s no way to go back and check to see you put down or change it later (at least for shirts and pace corrals, I had to change the date of packet pick up, which was easy to do, I just had to email Nike)

The expotique was interesting, it had it’s ups and downs. One cool thing right away I noticed is they had a screen that would scan your bib and right away your name would come up and say something to encourage you for your the race, and then it disappears too quickly for you to try to take a picture with it, so it’s a lot of people entering in and out of the lines in order to get their name to appear on the screen again.

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There was a Luna station for you to try different flavors and to make signs. There was also a Nuun station, which I thought was cool. I was able to try the flavors that they will have out on the race course and other flavors as well. I’ve never had Nuun before so I found this to be a pretty cool experience.

There was also a Paul Mitchell area for you to get your hair done, but that was a pretty long line so I passed on that and the next appointment was in 2 hours. There was also a mini Feet Fleet area for you to get some last minute race gear, but it was so small, I don’t know what you would of gotten there, mainly Nuun tablets if you found a flavor you really liked from the Nuun stations.

After that, there was a huge wall you could sign your name on it. I don’t know where people sign their name on Saturday, I came on Friday and it was full already!

Other things they had at the expotique was a Nike + Member services area, I didn’t go there, but it seem like an area you could get a gait analysis done. There was also a lot of modeling mannequins showing off Nike’s products and gear for the race.

The expotique was… ok. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either.

After this, we started to explore more of DC. We headed to BTS for some burgers.

And to Georgetown Cupcakes! I love cupcakes and I’ve watched the show too, so I was super excited for this! I got to try the cherry blossom and red velvet, both were good in my book 🙂

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Red velvet on the left, cherry blossom on the right

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After this, we headed back to the hotel to rest a bit and then got pizza at PIOLA before meeting up with more of Kathleen’s friends in the DuPont area. I was excited at this point because I was FINALLY able to take off that ostomy bag!

Overall, my experience with the ostomy bag was just me being annoyed with it. I felt like it got in the way of picking my clothes and I didn’t like having random plastic sticking to me all the time. It did teach me some of the struggles a person having one has to face, I can’t imagine it being easy to get use to, I had trouble and I only had it for a day!

Whew! That was quite a Friday! Tomorrow, I’ll update on what we did on Saturday!

Final training run w/an ostomy bag

Yup, you read that title right! The latest from nursing school- I get to wear an ostomy bag for 24 hours. Of course this happens when I need to do my final run and travel to dc for my half marathon!

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The run went well but I was fearful that maybe while I run that the bag might fall off and land on the track!

It’s crazy to think this was my last run in Illinois. Today is a rest day (much needed for traveling to dc, and I pulled my first all nighter so I’ve been up since 7am ish yesterday) and I’m not sure if I’ll do my 2 mike run tomorrow but we shall see.

So back to the ostomy bag, so far some challenges I’ve had are:

-showering- that was a hassle. The heat from the shower expanded my bag so I had to “burp” it. And the adhesive is like melting on my skin now.

-getting dressed- to go to the airport I couldn’t wear my original outfit since my tshirt is foam fitting so the ostomy bag would of shown through! So I had to pick another baggy top to wear.

-air travel- the whole time I was in line at tsa I was hoping like ahhh don’t pat me, because, really I can explain! It’s for nursing school! It’s not real! Look I can take it off! And gah I don’t want people to look at me!

But in reality what made tsa stop me is my Victoria secret pink leggings have pink spelled out on the back with bling so yeah lol

Well, I’m exhausted so I might try to nap before I board for this flight! Dc here I come!

Nursing school: Functional assessment in the elder population

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As you probably picked up from this blog, even though I already have my Bachelor’s degree, I decided to go into nursing after I graduated. I just started nursing school in January ’14 and boy has it been a ride! And some days have been memorable lessons I know I will remember forever.

Today in nursing school we had an interesting lab. We are learning about functional assessment in the elder population and they wanted us to experience some things our future patients may face.

I was a patient with:
-diabetic neuropathy in both of my feet (they made us put rice, random noodle, macaroni, and popcorn kernel in both of my shoes)
-cataracts in both of my eyes (my glasses were covered in Vaseline)
-bad right knee (covered my knee with newspaper and ace bandage it in place)
-could only walk using a walker that had no wheels

This was an eye-opener for me. The only thing I have to worry about in my life is my eyes by wearing glasses or contacts. I’m like blind without them. Cataracts are scary, they made us read an eye chart and it was hard for me to do it.

The foot pain is what really got to me. I often see older people shuffling their feet and I don’t blame them- they don’t want to lose their balance or feel anymore pain.

The knee pain was hard, to make sure you always start with your good leg when walking was hard, since I never had to worry about that. And using a walker, you just feel so slow and you’re not making any progress.

Remember- good foot/leg, bad foot/leg.

I always enjoy lessons like these- they are memorable and stay with you forever.