Friday, September 9, 2016

The Final Semester is Underway

Hi everyone who still reads this thing... or maybe it's just me here? LOL

Anyway.  I am in the 4th week of my final semester of nursing school!  It has been such a difficult journey and it is almost finished.

I have been working over the summer (and currently) as a nursing assistant on a cardiac telemetry floor in a local hospital.  I LOVE MY JOB.  I wish I would have found out sooner how much I love patient care.  This has been so fulfilling for me.

I am currently taking 2 online classes, Trends and Ethics and Nurse Management and Leadership.  I go to clinical once a week to shadow a nurse manager.  I think I have decided that management at this point in time is not my idea of a happy job (smile). I prefer bedside nursing to managing the nurses while they give bedside care.  I love being hands on with patients and being able to make the difference in someone's hospital stay.  I begin my Capstone class in about 5 weeks.  This course will be difficult as I have to rack up 250 some odd clinical hours in 8 weeks.  I will essentially be working in the hospital as a nurse under the license of a nurse preceptor.  I have so many worries and fears but I refuse to fail, and I will take it on one thing at a time.  I will muster all the confidence and boldness I have to face challenges and shape myself into an amazing nurse.

ALSO!  I already have my big girl job.  I have undergone 3 interviews and 1 call-back interview.  I interviewed for the telemetry floor that I currently aid on, our postpartum mother-baby unit, and pediatrics twice (the nurse manager wasn't in on my initial interview and wanted to interview me herself). I got offers from all 3 positions, and in the end I chose Pediatrics.  So, come January 2017 I will be doing a nurse residency on the hospital's pediatric unit.   I can honestly say that when I went into nursing school pediatrics was not on the top of my list of jobs I wanted as a nurse.  However, I loved my pediatric rotation and I had many moments that allowed me to see the amazing good I could do as a pediatric nurse.  I am nervous, scared, but oh so excited about this opportunity.

I do not know exactly where this nursing career will lead, but I do know I was made to do this.  I have never felt a calling to do anything so strongly in my life as I do with nursing.

As I walk this last stretch of my journey to my BSN degree, I hope to finish strong and realize my dreams.  I hope to make a difference and be a bright spot in people's lives through nursing care.

The next time I post will likely be either close to or after graduation.  I promise pictures and I promise to blog more after I am finished.

Until then, I will get back to immersing myself in my school work.

LOVE!
Amy


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Break and Work!

Hi guys... or to the one or two people who may accidentally read this blog still.  I did it.  I finished my 4th semester of nursing school.  Out of all of the semesters this was my favorite one.  I was not stressed out of my mind and I felt like I learned a TON.

Now I am on summer break.  I decided to take a job as a nursing assistant at one of our hospitals.  I work on the cardiac medical surgical floor.  I really like it.  This kind of work is what I was meant for, and sometimes I get really sad when I think about how long it took me to figure this out, but I am just glad I did figure it out.

So far summer has been pretty uneventful with only a few trips to Silver Dollar City and adjusting to working overnights.  I do have a small vacation planned.  August 5-9 when I will be going to south Texas to see my brother and aunts and uncles.  This should be a nice break before I start back for my 5th and final semester of nursing school.

Nursing school starts back up for me August 15.  That date will be here before I know it.  I am nervous and excited.  I am not for certain how it will effect my working, but I am going to try and keep working while I am in school.  Eight weeks into my semester I will begin my capstone clinical.  This will entail me working full time in the hospital under a nurse preceptor.  I am hoping this experience will lead me to what I want to do as a nurse.

So far I am interested in Cardiac, Postpartum, Pediatrics, Emergency, and ICU nursing.  Time will tell, but I am really excited about what the future holds.  I begin applying for graduate nurse positions in August.  Life is about to become really busy.

For now, that's it.  Sorry, no pictures.  You can follow my IG account, although I don't use it a lot, I do post the occasional picture.  Amyschmamey!

Friday, February 5, 2016

4th Semester Nursing School

I am in the throws of my 4th semester of nursing school.  So far things haven't been too bad.  I love clinical, and I am managing to keep up with my class work.  I haven't gotten too stressed out yet... that will come toward April, I'm sure.

I am taking Medical Surgical Nursing II, Community and Public Health Nursing, and the ABC's of PQRST.  Med Surg is my big class where I learn the bulk of nursing within a hospital setting.  The exams are really brutal... you haven't taken an exam until you have taken an exam full of NCLEX style questions.  It's like trickery... but it's not.  Last semester I took classes divided into 8 weeks which meant that I had a test every single week.  That was tough.  I am so glad this semester there is actually room to breathe between each exam.  This decreases the stress level by so much.

Community and Public Health Nursing does not have any exams, but it has a lot of busy-work and projects.  I can't decide if I would rather take exams or do projects, ha.  This class is not as consistent as I would like; we don't have class every week, and we have a sporadic clinical schedule.  That is the worst aspect of this class, though.  I feel like I am winging it a lot of the time.

The ABC's of PQRST is all about reading EKG strips.  I really love the professor in this class.  She is so smart and she explains things very well.  I think I am going to learn a lot about the heart this way.  The heart has always taken a lot of effort for me to understand pathology, but between my Pediatrics course and this course I feel like I understand it a whole lot better than I did.

Now for some annoying chit chat about grades... you can skip over this section if you really don't care about grades.  When I finished my pre-requisites I had a 4.0 GPA.  From my first Nursing exam on I have been plagued with B's.  The grading system is a lot tougher than it was at Ozarks Technical Community College.  Where an A was 90-100, at the school I am at an A is 93-100... B is 84-92... C is 75-83... so if you make an 92.85% you have made a B... that happened to me in a few courses... I just couldn't squeeze out that A.  So, I have been cursed with a 3.1-3.0 GPA... except for last semester!  I managed to make 3 A's and 1 B... so, I ended up having a high enough GPA to get on the Dean's List with a 3.692.  Woo hoo!  I miss making straight A's, but I'm trying the best I can, and in the end, the result is the same... I will be a nurse.  That is all that matters.

I basically just wanted to get my thoughts down on this semester and how it has been going.  That's all from me, and unless I get the urge to post before the end of the semester, the next blog post will be the middle of May.

Enjoy the next few months of life, everyone.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

For Me

I doubt anyone really even reads my blog anymore.  Since I have gone back to school my posts have been lacking.  I am currently in the middle of my 3rd semester of nursing school and it is eating my life up whole.  I have very little time to do anything other than study, do assignments, and study some more.

I am currently in my OB rotation... or as I like to call it "babies and vaginas."  I have only had a rotation in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) so far, so I really do not know how I feel about it, yet.  I really liked NICU, though... but, that's a given, because I find I just enjoy intensive care unit nursing in general.

I still do not know where I want to work when I become a nurse, but I can tell you with certainty that I want to work in a hospital.  Whether that ends up being on a medical surgical floor, an ICU, or the emergency room... I just want to work in the hospital.  My clinical experiences have all been so fulfilling, and I haven't regretted pursuing nursing for one minute.  I would be lying, though, if I said I loved nursing school... because I don't.  I hate it, but it is a means to an end, and it will get me to my dream career... my calling.  I do believe I was meant for nursing.

I decided to grow my pixie cut out a little over 2 months ago.  So, for visuals I will post my grow out process so far :)

This is when I decided to grow

This is 4 weeks later

This is another 4 weeks later

This is 5 weeks after that

So, we are on the grow.  I like my hair short, and it seems I go through two year cycles for cutting it off into a pixie.  As I am getting older, though, I don't want the typical short haircut for older women, ya know?  So, I think from here on out I want to keep it at least shoulder length and styled.  I'm glad I am chronicling the grow out process, though.  I like to see the progress.  My hair seems to grow at the expected 1/2 inch per month.  It doesn't grow fast or slow... just normal.  

Anyway.  enough with the boring stuff.  I hope everyone else is doing well.  I can't wait to be done with nursing school.  December 2016 cannot get here quick enough.  Just a little over 1 year and 2 1/2 semesters.

Love.
Amy

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Three Weeks Later

My last day of classes for the semester was three weeks ago.  That says a lot about how stressful this past semester was that it took me three weeks to decompress and feel like posting a blog. Ha.

I now have semester two complete.  Medical Surgical Nursing 1 was probably my favorite class, but at the end of the semester that class was about to cause me to have a psychiatric break.  I think I cried no less than three times.  The tests were insanely difficult, but I passed with a B.  Psychiatric Nursing was annoying.  I pretty much know that I will not be going into that field when I graduate.  I passed that class with a B, but it was hard fought.  I also took a class on Gerontological Nursing; I made an A in that class.  

During that semester I was beginning to question whether I was experiencing cardiovascular issues, because I would experience chest pain that would make it difficult to breathe at times, but as I decompressed after the semester, I have not experienced any chest pain.  Anxiety can really mess your body up.  This is true.

Now I have a whole summer in front of me that is already going by way too fast.  I made a collage of some of the highlights from the last three weeks...
The top row is from mother's day.  I visited my sister as soon as school was out with my mom.  That was awesome fun.  I got to play Yahtzee with my grandma and son, and the steak and shake pictures were from a lunch date with the family.  

Goals for the summer include losing the 10 lbs that I put on from being so sedentary during nursing school... that's slowly coming along.  I have been working out every day on my elliptical.  I also plan on doing some LIGHT studying to keep me fresh for next semester. 

Tomorrow night I am going to a women's event at my church.  It's a pinterest party and I'm so excited.  

June 15th is my birthday!  UGH.  I'm getting so old.  It will be number 36 for me! (insert shocked face emoji).

June 26th-July 4th is going to be vacation time in San Antonio, Texas.  We will be spending time with my brother and sister in law for a week, and then going to Corpus Christi for a family reunion.  I'm really looking forward to that.

Before I know it I will be back for my third semester of nursing school.  Next semester is a couple of brutal online informatics classes, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics.  But, I'm not going to focus on that until I have to.  Right now, I 'm enjoying my sanity and my family again.

I hope you all have big fun plans this summer.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Pixie is Back!

Every two years... Almost like clockwork... I am struck by an almost uncontrollable urge to get a pixie cut. Usually, the grow out begins right after the cut. This time I think I'm going to let it stick around... At least until August. Time will tell. But anyway. Here is a picture taken shortly before the cut...
And here are a couple after photos 
Avery was being silly and sticking her gum on the top of her tongue. 

Happy Monday, everyone! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

An Apple Girl's Experience in the Android World

I realize this is a complete first world problem post, but I really wanted to post this, just in case there is some Apple fan person out there considering Android.

In December of 2008 I decided to ditch the flip phone and get a smart phone.  I purchased my first ever iPhone 3G. From then until 2012, I have been a loyal Apple customer.  However, I am a curious gal, and like to know if there is something I am missing.  I tried the Windows Phone for about 2 months before realizing I could never be happy with it; I missed Apple.  So back to Apple I went.

You would think I had learned my lesson, but nope.  Curiosity got the better of me again.  I was certain that I needed a bigger screen and the ability to customize.  I decided this past December to use my 2 year upgrade to test the Android waters, so to speak.  I got the LG G3 for no money down.
image source: http://cdn3.pcadvisor.co.uk/cmsdata/reviews/3586914/LG_G3_review.jpg
Boy was this phone BIG and the screen resolution, WOW!  This was it.  No more Apple products for me.  How awesome to be able to change your font without jailbreaking, change app icons with little effort, and use any ringtone your heart could desire with the Zedge app.  I liked it.  A lot.

The love affair didn't last long, though.  The first thing I missed was the fluidity of the iOS.  I'm not sure if it is just an LG thing, or if it is android straight across the board, but movement between apps was a disjointed and lagged experience. I convinced myself that it wasn't that big of a deal, though, and I did have a bigger better screen... so,maybe it was a good trade-off.

The next thing, and probably the biggest thing that I missed is probably the biggest advantage that iPhone has over Android... that is iMessage.  Hangouts does not even come close to tapping into what iMessage can do.  The built in text apps are even worse.  You can't send video unless it's crap quality and you can't get read receipts.  Sending plain ol' texts took a lot longer than with iMessage as well.  I text a lot.  I would much rather text than talk on the phone... usually, so for my texting experience to not be that good, well, that was a big deal.  If Android wants to win over iPhone users, they HAVE to get hangouts competitive with iMessage... allow them to send videos of higher quality, allow for a quick text messaging experience... this is REALLY important.

Apple's lock screen was another thing I missed.  The design is clean, simple, and easy to use with a security code.  I had to set my Android phone up to not have a pass code, because it was just so difficult for me to open my phone, especially one handed.  I know it has a one handed setting, but I couldn't handle the left or right shift of the touch buttons... I guess that's OCD or perfectionism or something... so it drove me more nuts to have my phone not centered, ha.  Even without a pass code on the lock screen, in order to open a notification on my lock screen, I had to swipe the phone open first.  WHY?  That is completely pointless.  With iPhone, if you don't have a security code then you can just open the phone up through the notification.  I can't be the only one who thinks it makes no sense to require you to swipe open a phone that doesn't have a security code... But whatever.  That was another small issue.  There are plenty of lock screen apps in Google Play to change this up, but that's a separate issue.

The customization of an Android phone is the OS's supposed BIG advantage over iPhone.  Well, to me, customization was a hassle.  I can see how some people would enjoy it, but I found it frustrating, because I wanted to customize, but in order to do so I had to download this app, that needed this other app, and that app needed another app.  Sure you can get your Android to do just about anything, but OH MY GOOOOOSH, what a hassle!  All this to get my Android to function like an iPhone... You see, iPhone doesn't need to be completely customize-able, because what I have found is that they get it pretty darn right out of the box.  The OS is pretty, clean, and the app icons are nice (with the exception of a couple like their games icon, which I find pretty lamely designed).  HOWEVER, if you like complicating your life and fixing stuff that isn't broken, then you can jailbreak the sucker and have it.  The iPhone isn't as anti-customization as people think.  All the customization this girl needs is to be able to change her wallpaper and her ringtones... all doable on iPhone.

Another small minor thing that I missed was iPhone's built in visual voice mail.  SO EASY TO USE.  SO EASY TO SET UP.  Getting my Android visual voice mail setup was almost a cause for me to return my phone within the first week, but I ended up getting it resolved and kept the phone.  I probably should have just taken it back...

The last thing I will talk about that I really missed about iPhone was the clean and simple OS and lack of bloatware.  The iPhone comes preloaded with a few crap apps, as I like to call them, and I used to find them annoying, until I got an Android.  HOLY "CRAP APP" OVERLOAD, BATMAN!  AT&T app this, Google app that... So many pointless apps... Android, if you are so big on customization, then give people a choice as to what apps they want taking up space on their phone.  Sheesh maleesh.  I think iPhone could work on this too, but their built in apps aren't nearly as pointless and overwhelming as Android.

So, basically, after nearly 3 months in the Android world... it's official, I like the iPhone better.  It wasn't without a lot of effort and periods of denial.  The things I think Android has going for them are few, but I will say that the file access is a huge one.  If I download a file on an iPhone I have no clue where that download goes, but with Android, there is a file folder where you can access all of your downloads.  That was so nice for school.  If I want to store downloaded files on my iPhone I have to get an app for that.  (Unless someone knows something I don't know).

Another thing I liked about my Android was the option of having extra storage, although I NEVER used it.  I think that is something that iPhone needs to consider incorporating into their future phone designs, because I know a lot of people who get the 32 GB models and run out of space on them.  I know iPhone wants to make money off of their higher capacity phones, but couldn't they do that through designing an SD type card specific to the iPhone/iPad that would allow people to expand their phone memory, but still allow Apple to make even more ridiculous amounts of money?  Wouldn't this also save them money because they wouldn't have to produce phones of different memory capacity, they would just develop, say a 16 GB phone and then sell the iPhone memory expansion cards?  A card is a lot smaller than a phone after all.  Smaller = less material = less cost? Right?  I mean, I can't be the first person to think of this.

However, other than those two things, I find the iPhone to be cleaner, prettier, less complicated, smoother, and much more effective in it's capabilities.  My android seemed to get clogged up, and I was needing to restart it every day because it started lagging and acting bogged down.  I would do the phone sweep thing, I would close out my open apps, and I would clean my internet history.  I just couldn't figure out how to make this phone meet my needs, and iPhone does it with little effort.

After all of this, I am back on an iPhone.  I found an Android fan boy that went iPhone and hated it.  He traded me his 32 GB iPhone 5 for my LG G3 straight across, no cost.  He got the newer bigger phone, but I am okay with that, because I feel like I have the better functioning phone.

Lesson learned.  I like iPhone, and as much as I want to like Android, I just can't.  So, Dear future Amy, if you get bored with your phone, just remember... you've done this twice now, and both times you end up back at Apple... So stop already.  Thanks.

I firmly believe that whatever OS you enter the smartphone world on is what you will usually be partial to, and that is what you will feel most comfortable operating.  So, if you are bored and looking for something new, get a case.