Friday, February 8, 2013

now the real fun begins

Theoretically, my nursing school program is 2 years, 6 semesters. However, the first semester (this past fall) was 3 upper division general ed classes (ethics, nutrition and anthropology). It seemed silly to me to have to take these classes, but it's part of the program. It was especially silly that the nutrition class used the SAME textbook as a lower division nutrition class I had already taken.

But whatever. I'm paying you a fortune, and I'll do what you say. How is it that it works that way.

In the middle of last semester we had to order our scrubs, buy an expensive "health tote", and set of books for the NCLEX (test to become a registered nurse). Oh, and then spend hundreds on textbooks.

I knew all along that our clinical rotations would begin halfway through the second semester and the first part we'd spend learning skills and preparing to have actual patients. We jumped right in the first day of lab, practicing vital signs (pulse, respirations, blood pressure).

By the middle of the second week I came to the realization that this program really is an 18-month one. Not two years.

Nursing school has truly begun. And it's a doozy. I love it and so far it's not "hard" but there is A LOT of material to learn, memorize and demonstrate.

I'm already scared for summer, that's the truly accelerated portion of this program. Instead of a 16 week semester, it's 12 weeks. And yet we have a full load of classes.

Yet, I love on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when I put on my scrubs and practice new skills. In about a month, we'll be going to a skilled nursing facility to actually DO these skills. This semester the skills are pretty basic and similar to a CNA (certified nursing assistant).

The balance of school and family is a very precarious one. Monday to Wednesday is long and requires me and the rest of the family to meticulously plan and prepare for the day to come. But we are taking it one day at a time. Sometimes one task at a time.

I won't lie...this is intense. But it's also worth it.