Update! — October 27, 2016

Update!

Hey everyone,

I’ve written a lot of posts about tips and tricks and all that fun stuff lately that I thought I would give you a quick update on me.

Work has been going well. I won’t say I’m 100% comfortable with everything but it gets better every day. Some days are really hard and trying but other days are the most rewarding and I can leave work saying I love what I’m doing. I get along with most of my coworkers but I’m still not completely open which I expected. I’m not scared to ask them questions but I don’t see myself laughing and having a good time at work like most of them do with one another. In due time I hope.

Living at home with my mom and brother has been interesting. It’s crazy how different things are from how I was when I lived on my own. It’s little things that bug me. Stuff like emptying the dishwasher instead of just pulling the clean stuff out that you need, leaving lights or TVs on, or eating out more often than cooking dinner. I can’t change them but I find myself doing a lot more than I expected to. When my parents were married things were SO different in the house than they are now. I’m grateful that I have a place to live for free but it’s very, very different.

I’m doing pretty good recovering from my breakup. I still get sad but I don’t expect that to go away any time soon. I do talk to Tyler almost every day still. Never overly long conversations but just keeping in touch. I do want the best for him and I hope everything that he’s working towards is going to work out in the end. I’m still talking to the guy from my past. Nothing has happened yet but we’re extremely flirty with one another. I also started using Tinder and Bumble. Let me just say I don’t know how I feel about either one. The last time I was single and looking for someone to date smart phones weren’t a thing let alone dating apps (I’m seriously aging myself right now and I’m only 24..). This is all so different and new for me and I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s also not like high school where I was surrounded by guys all the time and could talk to them no problem because I knew them. I’ve learned through all of this that I suck at holding conversations. I’ll keep you posted.

That’s about it with me lately. I’m doing as well as I can expect to be doing. I’m glad that I’m posting more and I hope whoever is reading out there is enjoying what I have to say. Let me know if you have any topic suggestions or questions or if you just want me to keep coming up with stuff and hoping for the best. Until next time…

Advertisements
Things I Wish Nursing School Taught Me — October 22, 2016

Things I Wish Nursing School Taught Me

I spent 4 years in nursing school and I thought I learned everything there was to ever shove in my brain. I was oh so very wrong about that. I go into work every day and realize just how unprepared I was coming into this job and the things that I actually have to do. Here’s just a few things that I wish nursing school had taught me.

  1. How to talk to doctors: Sure they always told us it’s part of the job and they even had us practice these obnoxious SBAR phone calls with one another but actually talking to a doctor either on the phone or face to face is totally different! The SBAR bull doesn’t apply when actually talking to a doctor. Luckily at my hospital we text page the residents and usually we don’t have to talk to them at all. But when we do have to talk…ohh boy do I become a basket case. It has gotten easier but I do feel my heart racing a little when my phone rings and its an MD.
  2. How to put in an IV: Now I get that this is a safety thing for schools and they don’t want anyone getting an accidental stick, but come on! at least let us practice in the simulation lab. I have zero confidence when I have to put in an IV. I’ve put in 4 since I started at the hospital..and that was during orientation. Since then I haven’t had any luck. Maybe one day I’ll get the hang of it but so far nada.
  3. How to take and give report: Again, we practiced the SBAR shit but that’s not what actual report is like. 9 times out of 10 its nothing like that. Some nurses like just the basics, some nurses want a full head to toe, some nurses don’t want anything besides what meds you gave them. Its all a mess. I’m slowly starting to get the hang of it but it’s still nerve wracking when I have to give report (especially to those nurses I know are going to grill me).
  4. How to deal with a difficult patient or family: Every patient a student nurse in school is given is the ideal patient. They don’t have a lot going on and there isn’t a lot that they don’t know about their plan of care so you don’t really have to answer any questions. Now become a nurse where you don’t get the pick of the best patients and you have do deal with the crazy family drama and the patients that are screaming at you because they don’t think you know what you’re doing (fake it til you make it, right?). It’s something I still don’t know how to handle. I’m getting better at answering questions to the best of my ability and when I can’t I say let me page the doctor to come talk to you. Maybe I’ll start gaining some more confidence in this stuff as time goes on?

Well there you have it, 4 things I REALLY wish nursing school taught me. It would have made the transition a hell of a lot easier. For those of you who graduated, what are some things you wish you learned in school?? For those of you going into nursing school, what do you hope you absolutely learn to make you the best nurse possible? Let me know!

Tips For Moving Back Home — October 18, 2016

Tips For Moving Back Home

Let me be the first to say that moving back home sucks. It sucks even more when your parents are divorced and you feel like you have to choose who to live with. It’s a sick reality that most of us will have to move back home thanks to graduating college and having tons of debt (me..), not being able to afford living on your own anymore (me..), or breaking up with your significant other who you’ve lived with for X amount of years (also me…). Fear not! I’m here with some tips on how to make the move back home slightly less awful.

  1. Make sure you have your own space: I really wouldn’t suggest moving back home if you’re going to be forced to share a space with a sibling. Moving home is tough on everyone and being locked in a room with your brother would make you start to resent him. Before you tell Mom you’re moving back in, make sure she has the space where you’ll be able to walk around in your underwear and not be ashamed.
  2. Make your space your own: In college you were able to decorate your dorm however you liked. Same goes for if you lived in your own apartment. Make your space represent you! Now that doesn’t mean you have to go and paint the walls funky colors or buy all new furniture (you’re trying to save money remember…) but it does mean adding pictures and posters and anything else that represents you!
  3. Buy your own food: Trust me, it sucks to have to do it but it’s easier than having to fight with your brother over who gets the last of the cookies. Be sure to share but if you bought it you get first and last dibs.
  4. Be comfortable: You shouldn’t have to live in a house where you feel like you can’t talk out the issues that may arise. No, you’re not living under your own roof but you’re an adult and you should be able to voice your concerns. Do it nicely though!
  5. Clean up after yourself: Just because you’re living with mom or dad doesn’t mean that you can rely on them to do everything for you like when you were a kid. If you were able to survive on your own either in college or your own place, you can do it while living in their house. Pick up your dishes, clean up after yourself, do your own laundry. It makes the whole cohabitating situation a lot easier to deal with.

There’s just some of the many tips I have about surviving moving back home after being on your own. Remember, you’re not the only one whose had to do it so don’t feel bad about it. Share your tips with me on how you make it work!

Tips For Surviving a Breakup — October 17, 2016

Tips For Surviving a Breakup

I didn’t think I’d actually ever have to write about this. Sure, I’ve had two other breakups before but I thought that with Tyler that was it. Fast forward 7 years and things are a lot different then where I thought they’d be way back when. I thought it might be helpful (and therapeutic for me..) to give you guys my tips for surviving a breakup.

  1. Don’t be afraid to cry: or to yell, or to scream. Let every emotion out. Keeping it bottled up inside isn’t going to make anything better. It doesn’t make you seem stronger, especially if on the inside you’re slowly dying. Breakups are hard. No one expects you to be a heartless bitch and have no feelings about it. Let it out!
  2. Have a great support system: this is crucial. Like I said in tip #1 you don’t need to keep it all in. Talk to someone whether it’s your mom, your best friend, or your brother. My entire family plus my friends are what kept me sane through this entire ordeal. I’m not one to talk about a lot of stuff but they forced me to talk, especially my best friend Megan. Without the love and support from everyone around me I don’t think I would have gotten through everything like I did (and trust me I was still a train wreck).
  3. Don’t be afraid to get away: even if it’s only a drive around town. Sometimes you just need to escape everything that’s going on and be by yourself. For me I drove, a lot, and I still do. It lets me be alone with my thoughts and jam out to my favorite guilty pleasure songs (Britney Spears anyone??). I also knew I needed to get away for what should have been my wedding weekend. Now this doesn’t apply to everyone but I was in a 7 year relationship and we had planned a wedding almost completely and then broke up 3 months before we were supposed to say “I Do”. I knew I was going to be a mess that weekend because this isn’t what I wanted and I wanted to be wearing the white dress and dancing the night away with my new husband. So Megan and I packed up the car and headed to Rhode Island. We didn’t do anything special but getting out of this house and this town and this state and away from all my family who were looking forward to the wedding as much as me was something that made the weekend a little more tolerable.
  4. Talk to your ex: as weird as it may sound. Hear me out on this one…Tyler and I were together for 7 years. For 7 years he was my best friend, my go to for everything. He knows everything about me, has seen me at my absolute best and seen me at the lowest points of my life. He is still my best friend. It took some time for us to get to a friendship point after the breakup because I was (and still am..) heartbroken over everything. He was my first true love and nothing will ever change that, I’m always going to love him. We’re now a little over 4 months broken up and I can honestly say I talk to him pretty much every day. We went to a hockey game the other night, we’ve gone and gotten dinner and caught up. It’s making it easier knowing that I haven’t lost him completely. Not saying that this will work for everyone, but our breakup wasn’t on terrible terms. We both want to remain best friends and I’m going to try my hardest to have that happen.

So there’s four tips on how to survive a breakup. They might not apply to everyone because every breakup is different but these are what are helping me get through it. Like I said, he’s my best friend and the love of my life and this has been the worst possible life experience I could ever imagine for myself. Breakups suck ass but remember that you will get through it in time and that you’re not alone.

Should I Be a PCA Before an RN? — October 11, 2016

Should I Be a PCA Before an RN?

Hey everyone,

As I’ve mentioned before I was a PCA, patient care associate, at the hospital I ended up getting hired as an RN for a little over a year. I had this job while in nursing school and let me tell you it was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s tough work being a PCA but it is also so rewarding. Here’s a few reasons why I think you should be a PCA before becoming an RN.

  1. It helps you gain confidence: I am an extremely shy person. I don’t like talking to people I don’t know that much. As a nurse, that’s obviously your main job. You talk to patients, families, doctors..the list goes on and on. By being a PCA before I became an RN I was able to work on developing the confidence that I needed to talk to patients and families. Now I can walk into a patient’s room or talk on the phone with the MD (granted that’s still petrifying) and feel more at ease with it.
  2. You learn basic skills: They teach them in nursing school but for me it was a quick class where they taught you how to change an occupied bed and the importance of using assistive mobility devices. It wasn’t until I was working in a hospital and had to do q2 hour turns, clean up incontinent patients, and walk a post-op patient in the hallway that I really gained the skills that not only PCAs but RNs need as well. Trust me, being an RN doesn’t mean you’re above cleaning up a patient. Everyone works as a team and being more comfortable with these skills that we take for granted is a lifesaver.
  3. Gives you a new appreciation for the PCAs you’re going to be working with: I never realized just how hard PCAs work on a daily basis. Yes, RNs have a lot going on with their 4-5 patient assignment but PCAs have sometimes 10-15 patients. Everyone works as a team. No job is more important, everyone has the same goal..keep the patient safe, comfortable, and help them get better. After being a PCA for a year I’m more than okay taking a set of vitals if I’m going into a patient’s room instead of asking the PCA who has to take vitals on 9 other patients.

So to answer the question should you be a PCA before an RN, I would say absolutely. It’s a different world working in a hospital. Everyone works hard, everyone puts in the time and hours, and everyone is a team. Bottom line..appreciate your PCAs, they’re going to be the ones who have your back when your confused patient is throwing feces around the room.

Tips For Surviving Nursing School — October 9, 2016

Tips For Surviving Nursing School

Hey everyone,

Since school is back in full swing for everyone I thought it was fitting to share the tips I learned about surviving nursing school.

As most of us know, nursing school is one of the hardest and most trying times in someone’s life. Not to say that other majors don’t have their moments and don’t work hard but I’ve seen grown women cry because they got an 80 on an exam. Remember, you’re not alone through this. Nurses and nursing students past and present have all gone through what you have and will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So here they are..my tips for surviving nursing school.

  1. Make friends who are going to be your ride or die: I can’t stress this enough. Believe me when I say there is no one who is going to understand what you’re going through besides the people in your class. They’re the ones that know the frustration and stress level and utter exhaustion. You need to find a few good friends who are going to be your go to for every bump in the road, every life changing moment, and everything in between. For me it was my friends Kate and Sarah. I wouldn’t have made it through if it wasn’t for them pushing me harder, crying with me, laughing with me, and helping me realize that I’m going to be a great nurse and I know my shit. These are going to be the friends you hold onto and freak out about NCLEX and life as a nurse. Trust me.
  2. Listen to your teachers: This might seem pretty obvious, they’re the ones who are teaching the material, making up tests, and giving you the grade you work your ass off for. You’ll see that there are teachers who go above and beyond that. One teacher I had in particular, Dr. Knecht, was not only concerned about us learning and understanding the material for class but also that we learned the skills we needed to succeed on the NCLEX and as an RN. She would meet with us one on one, in small groups, or as a class and have heart to heart sessions with us. She would challenge us to think outside of what the book was telling us. Which leads me to my next point…
  3. Remember life isn’t like the textbooks: This is the most true statement that I wish someone had stressed more all throughout college. In the books you get presented with the perfect, ideal patient who has all of the symptoms of one disease process and there’s few options that are set in stone and the procedures you preform are going to go perfectly. Hate to break it to you but that’s not real life. When you get to clinical you’ll quickly realize that your perfect textbook patient doesn’t exist and they’re going to have multiple disease processes which most of the time the treatment for one is contraindicated for another. The sooner you realize that you’re textbooks aren’t going to be your saving grace, the quicker you’ll start learning how to critically think.
  4. Stay organized: Another obvious one you would think, right? WRONG! There are more times that I can count or would like to admit that I completely forgot about a homework assignment or what chapters we needed to read. Finally by spring semester of junior year I started using my agenda like it was my lifeline. Nursing students are beyond busy, keeping organized and knowing what’s happening when is essential. Also your ride or die friends will help keep you in check.
  5. Advocate for yourself: All throughout nursing school I was taught to advocate for your patients. This is also true for yourself. There’s going to be times where teachers are busy and might not realize that you need extra help or another explanation of a topic. There might be a time where a clinical instructor is belittling you to the point of tears (it happens..trust me). You need to be able to stand up for yourself and make sure that you’re getting the most out of every situation in nursing school. You’re going to graduate and have people’s lives in your hands. Make sure you know that topic like the back of your hand, make sure someone knows that you’re not being treated fairly and not comfortable with a clinical instructor (it helps for when you’re not comfortable with how a coworker is treating you). Don’t get all high and mighty thinking you deserve to be treated better than everyone else but make sure that your voice is heard so you can become the best nurse possible.
  6. Remember to schedule ‘you’ time: This one is probably the hardest for most nursing students. We go into each semester with the mentality that we need to study X amount of hours in order to get the grade we need to pass the class. As true as this is, you also need to remember your mental health is crucial, not only in surviving nursing school but being a safe and competent nurse. Give yourself at least an hour a day to unwind and for once not think about the patho of a medication and how it works in the body. That hour will mean more to you than you know.

So there you have it. Six tips for surviving nursing school. It won’t be easy and these tips aren’t going to make or break you, but they’ll make the hardest journey of your life a tad bit more tolerable. You’re never alone in nursing school. Your class goes in as a team and comes out as one. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of every girl in my class (I say girl because I went to an all girl’s school..). You make friends with the people you normally would never talk to because you all have this one common goal, to become a kick ass nurse. Accept and embrace it, these people are going to be the backbone to your success and you’ll be part of theirs.

Did You Miss Me?!? — October 5, 2016

Did You Miss Me?!?

Where do I even begin? I’m sorry that I haven’t updated in a long time but I think I have a pretty valid excuse. Where do I even begin…

Last I updated I was in my final semester of school, planning my wedding, and prepping for NCLEX and finding a job. Things definitely have changed. Lets start with school…

I graduated! On May 7th I somehow managed to walk across the stage without falling and got my diploma and never looked back. Pinning and graduation were such emotional days for me. I worked so hard to make it to that point. I cried so many tears getting there, questioned if I was even meant to be a nurse, and gave up my entire social life to put on that cap and gown and walk across the stage. I worked my ass off and it was so worth it. I made some of the best friends a girl could ask for in college and even though it took me a little longer than planned I did it.

Next came finding a job..

I had interviewed with so many places and submitted so many applications but had no job offer. I was really worried because almost all of my class had secured jobs. I wanted to be one of those girls. Finally I got a call from the Women’s Health floor at the hospital I work at. I interviewed with the manager the next day, a few days later I shadowed a nurse on the floor, and a day after that I got a phone call with a job offer! Finally! I love the floor and the staff and was so excited to finally have a plan for after state boards.

Next came NCLEX..

As soon as I graduated I got to studying. We had prep classes we had to go to, I took more practice questions that I ever thought possible, and read more than I probably ever did all throughout school. On June 22nd I sat for the scariest test I ever took. I had no confidence going in. I took the exam at the same time as my friend Sarah and to say we were freaking out was an understatement. I walked in, put on my noise canceling headphones, and started clicking. 75 questions later the computer shut off and I wanted to cry. I went out for drinks with Sarah and began the longest 48 hour wait of my life. Thank god CT allows for quick results for the NCLEX because I don’t think I would have made it if I had to wait 4 weeks. June 24th rolls around and I open up the Pearson Vue website. Freaking out the entire time I log into my account and pay for the quick results. The page pops up and … I PASSED!!! I was so emotional that I bawled my eyes out. It wasn’t hitting me that I was actually a registered nurse. All of my hard work paid off and I had RN at the end of my name. Little did I know that my happiness and excitement would all come to an end a few hours later..

Tyler and I had been having problems for a little while. We were trying to work things out, I was trying to stay positive, I was willing to do whatever it took because I love him. Tyler came home from work on June 24th and everything came crashing down. We had been fighting for a solid week and it all came to a halt. I was no longer happy about passing…I was crying in sadness. I knew the way that he avoided eye contact with me meant only one thing. He told me he didn’t know if he wanted to marry me and that he was more confused about everything than he ever had been. The love of my life, my fiancée, my best friend, the guy who I had spent almost 7 years with didn’t know if he wanted to be with me. I lost it..I left for my moms house and told him to figure things out. I wanted to die. What should have been the happiest day of my life to date, the day I should remember forever will now be a day that I dread. We went on a break where he promised me that he would try. We were going to try and get back to where we started and find the love again. To be completely honest I never lost the love..I would have done anything for him or to save us. I seriously believe that he’s my soul mate. He didn’t feel the same way. We officially broke up and called off the wedding in early July. I was beyond heartbroken, I was beyond hurt. I didn’t understand, I still don’t.

What should have been the best year of my life turned into the worst. Sure, I started my nursing career and have the support of my family and friends but it’s not the same. I watched what should have been my wedding day come and go. I look at my dress on a daily basis because it’s hanging on the back of my door in a room that I don’t share with anyone. We’re trying to be friends but it’s beyond difficult. I don’t want to lose him completely, I won’t let that happen. I know that we’re not together and I’ve accepted that but I still love him and I always will. He was the first love of my life, quite possibly my one great love. I’m getting better everyday but it’s still hard every single day.

I’ve started talking to an old friend who I have a past with. I’m not going to go into details but I’m hoping things pick up where we left them. I’m not looking for a relationship..I want to have fun and be single and enjoy my 20s. For 7 years I was with Tyler and they were the best 7 years but now it’s time for me to do stuff for me. I’m going to enjoy my life and whatever happens, happens. I went through my sadness and now I’m turning the corner and starting a new chapter. I will forever consider Tyler my best friend and if something happens in the future so be it but for right now I’m going to focus on me, my career, and having fun.

Well, that about sums it up. Pretty good excuse for not posting right? Now that I have my own computer and more free time since school and NCLEX are over..I promise to post more often. I know I’ve said that time and time again but this time is for real. I’m big into planning now so I’m going to plan at least 1 day a week to fit in posting. What I’m going to write about I’m not too sure about but it’ll be an interesting ride. Maybe work stuff, planning stuff, juicy details of my dating experiences (no names obviously..). Who knows. All I know is I’m happy to be back and I hope this is as therapeutic for someone else as it is for me.

Until next time..