Just taking this semester one day at a time.

This semester is flying by! I’m not sure if I’m excited we ONLY have 7 weeks left or terrified we have 7 WHOLE weeks left. Having 3 clinical courses means the work is never ending. I’m honestly just surprised I’ve managed to wake up and make it where I’ve needed to be that day so far this semester. I’ve been terrible at updating here as well.

 

Adult II
After our first test, I really put my head down and studied my ass off for the second test. The content was shock, respiratory (think ARDS, vents, etc.), burns and renal. (Of course I’ve completely neglected my other two courses during this time which I hate myself for now but what can you do?) Let me tell you, MedCram videos SAVED me because I left lecture like “WTF JUST HAPPENED?!” So if you are struggling with either of these topics I highly suggest taking a few minutes to watch these videos.

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Shock / Sepsis Treatment

Mechanical Ventilation (There are 5 videos in this series so make sure you watch them all.)

 

I managed a 94 on the second test, which, quite honestly, shocked the hell out of me. I was just praying I passed when I walked out.

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Typical group study session. Note the lavender essential oil diffusing to easy the anxiety. 😉
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A little pre-exam pep talk with my nursing BFF’s. I don’t know how I’d survive without them.

 

Mental
I am struggling to find the motivation to actually study for this class. It just isn’t my favorite… like at all. I have friends that love it but it just isn’t for me and that’s okay! But I still need to find the motivation to study more. I got an 87.5 on the first test, which I was fine with because I know I didn’t study well. It also turns out therapeutic communication isn’t exactly my forte. 😉 We have our second test next week and I really need to crack down because we only have 3 exams for the class.

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Peds
I’m still not really sure how I feel about this class. I’ve enjoyed the clinicals but I haven’t been like “OMG I LOVE THIS SO MUCH” like some of my other classmates and lecture doesn’t leave me warm and fuzzy either. Our tests are taken in a group setting, which is pretty strange. I was worried before the last test but I was assigned to a great group and we ended up with a 94 on the test. We have our second test next week (the day before mental) and I REALLY need to get my butt in gear and study. I’m so behind after dedicating my life to my last adult exam.

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My favorite place to study before Texas went all 90 degrees on us.

We had spring break last week and it was MUCH needed. Now I just need to put my head back down and grind out these last 7 weeks! We have quite a few students struggling this semester (specifically with our Adult II class) and it is so heartbreaking to see. Nursing school is challenging to say the least and quite humbling on top of that. So if you are a nursing student who is struggling let me remind you of one thing… YOUR TEST GRADES ARE NOT WHAT WILL MAKE YOU A GOOD NURSE. You got into nursing school so I know you’re pretty smart 😉 so I know it’s hard when you don’t see those A’s anymore but it is about SO much more than that now. Keep grinding it out day after day, never give up, and stay POSITIVE. You CAN do it. You WILL do it. Nursing school is hard and unless you’ve been there you don’t fully understand. But as a fellow nursing student, I believe in you.

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xoxo,

D

Why Beautycounter?

Why Beautycounter? Honestly, I’m surprised I didn’t take the plunge sooner… From working out to reading food labels, I’ve been maintaining a health lifestyle for years now. The choices we make now will carry us for the rest of our lives!

Here’s the thing, I assumed that all products available were safe for consumers. Our skin is our largest organ; the things that we put on it are absorbed systemically. So surely, there are regulations in place to avoid putting questionable items into our system. WRONG! I had no idea that only 11 (now 30) chemicals were banned from our personal care products in the US. Um, excuse me?!

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At Beautycounter, our mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Safer products, not Beautycounter products. We do offer incredible products that are a solution to this problem, but we focus on education first followed by products and then advocacy. We are walking the walk to make change and move the needle in the right direction. (And just in case you are wondering about the performance of these products (I know I was before I took the plunge) they are just as good if not BETTER than the products I was already using yet SAFER!)

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Once I realized that the products I was using daily in my home were threats to my health, there was no turning back. I started to slowly change out my personal care products for Beautycounter ones. I also started sharing with those around me the facts about the cosmetic industry. I didn’t consider becoming a consultant at first. I often joke that I am the busiest person alive and thought I wouldn’t have “time.” But let me tell you if you have 4 hours a week or 40, there is a place for you here! And even if I only get safer products in the hands of ONE person then I consider that a win. If you are someone who loves to share information and help others, I would love to speak with you. Being a part of Beautycounter allows me to have a social impact that is also finically rewarding. I truly believe that it is the best job and best opportunity available. Our products are amazing and our business opportunity is one of a kind and can be absolutely life changing.

—–> Shop here: http://www.beautycounter.com/daniellewhite

Beautycounter is also so confident in our products we offer a 60 day money back guarantee! So what do you have to lose? Shop safe, shop Beautycounter!

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S1… the semester that broke me.

I have always heard that S1 was the toughest semester in our program. Well, so far it is living up to its reputation! We aren’t even a month in and I feel like there is no way I’m surviving until the end.

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We have 3 clinical classes this semester… Adult Health II (critical care), Mental Health, and Children’s Health.

Here is a glimpse at what my schedule looks like. Not including peer tutoring sessions.

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The first couple of weeks have been spent in lecture, labs and simulations pretty much all day everyday. I am talking 8 hours of lecture or 8 hours of skills practice. My brain was so fried. I’ve been wondering when we are actually supposed to study this semester?!!!! This week is the first week we have actually been to clinicals and I’m already exhausted.

We had a “Code Blue” simulation, which was probably the most fun I’ve had during a simulation thus far. We got to run a code on a patient without really having any knowledge of what we were doing. Then we watched ourselves on video, went through different prep stations and got a chance to repeat running a code. As you would assume, the second time around was much smoother. 😉

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I am most excited about our Adult II class as this is the area I have been thinking I want to go into once school is finished. This semester we get rotations in 5 different ICU’s, the ED, and a telemetry floor. We did have our first test this week and it covered all cardiac material (which I find super interesting) but I walked out of the test feeling like a bus hit me. The test was rough but somehow I walked away with an 84! I was super happy with it (even thought normally this grade would have brought me to my knees). This semester is not going to be the semester for A’s and I have accepted that.

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Prepping for clinical

 

I am probably the most nervous for mental health clincials. We are not performing skills or assessments during clinical. We are just talking with people the entire time. I am mostly terrified of saying the wrong thing. We’ll see how it goes!

I LOVE children but I am not sure how I am going to feel about working with them in the hospital setting. So I guess we’ll see how that goes as well. 😉

We have a mental health test this week followed by a ped’s test the next week. The entire semester is just nonstop test after test. But at least we are so busy, it is going to fly by. Right?!?!

I’ve been told by both my boyfriend and my nursing friends I’m already “end of the semester delusional” on more than one occasion and we’re only heading into week 5. But hey, delusional trumps crying! Ya’ll pray my sanity is still in tact come May!

 

xoxo,

Danielle

 

50% RN!

J2 is officially DONE!! Which means I’m officially 50% RN!!

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What studying for finals looks like.. a steady stream of coffee + snacks to keep us going strong!

This semester really flew by and I didn’t really do many updates for this semester! Hell, this YEAR flew by. How am I already half way done with my BSN?!?

For the most part, this semester wasn’t that bad, but I sure am glad its over! My online classes were a breeze and it was just a matter of keeping up with due dates and getting things done on time. One of the classes was self-paced and I finished it by the first month of the semester. I walked away with all A’s in those classes.

For Adult/Med-Surg- well lets just say this was my least favorite class so far. I ended up crushing the HESI with a 1317 (which converts to 99.99%) so I didn’t take the final and squeaked by with an A in the class. Praise the Lord!

Women’s was my favorite class this semester! We had our last test a week before the cumulative final so it was a sprint to the finish. Thankfully, I had done well all semester because the final was a bit brutal. I still walked away with an A!

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Studying L&D with my favorite nugget.

I loved my clinical instructors and clinical groups for both clinicals this semester! Overall, clinicals were way more fun than J1 as well. I was able to see and experience so much during both! I also got to practice a lot of clinical skills, which is always a plus.

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My awesome clinical group with our research poster which earned 2nd place!

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Veterans Day parade!

There were times this semester when I didn’t know if I was going to make it (physically and mentally). For the first month of school I had 3 jobs then I went down to 1 job at 20 hours every week and 1 job pet sitting as needed. I usually ended up only having one day off every week. I really struggled to find balance with my fitness routine this semester but ultimately I realized that getting rest when I needed it was more important. I’m really proud to walk away with all A’s this semester but I have a feeling next semester is going to be very humbling! S1 is known to be the toughest in our program. So I am going to try to relax and enjoy the holiday break because next semester is sure to be a beat down!

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Legit, wouldn’t survive with these girls by my side.
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Celebrating being half nurses!!!

xoxo

Nashville, TN

I had one of the worst weeks I’ve had since starting nursing school last week. We are half way through the semester and I was just so worn down. It was a busy week and we had our second test in Adult Health and it didn’t go as well as I would have liked. I know it’s going to happen and I shouldn’t even be upset about my grade but I got my first “B” (an 82 to be exact) and it just sucked. Luckily, I had plans to head out of town for a bachelorette weekend in Nashville and it was perfect timing and I SO needed a break.

 

I arrived Saturday morning bright eyed and bushy tailed to a group of slow moving ladies who experienced Nashville the night before in all of it’s glory. We headed out to 12 South to do some exploring. We ended up having drinks at The Flipside (BOGO mimosas and bloody marys FTW) while we were waiting for our reservation at Pharmacy Burger for lunch. We waited quite some time for our food but it was worth it. After lunch we headed back over to 12 South and got some coffee at Frothy Monkey, did a little exploring, ate 100 layer donuts at The Five Daughters, visited the “I believe in Nashville” mural then headed back to the house to get ready for the night.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake 100 layer donut. AMAZING!
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Lunch at Pharmacy Burger

We had late dinner reservations at Sambucca. We were still pretty full from lunch so I just ordered a couple of appetizers but the buca beignets were amazing! We headed out for the night from there and ended up at Acme Feed and Seed. We ended up having such a good time with the band there we stayed there all night. They played everything from rap to country to rock and it was so fun! We ended the night by cramming 9 women into one minivan (sorry Uber driver)! I was away for almost 24 hours but it was worth it!

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The Corey Mac Show @ Acme Feed and Seed
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Ladies on our roof top deck @ our house!

On Sunday we started with brunch at The Farm House and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had! I had the farm house biscuit and the sausage on it was melt in your mouth good and the egg was the perfect sunny side up. The fries were crispy and the gravy on top was amazing. (Can you tell I really enjoyed my meal? Hah) It was a great farm to table restaurant. We then headed out to do the Pedal Tavern. I know it is probably the most basic tourist things you can do in Nashville but we had a great time! (Ask for Larry—he was the best tour guide and also easy to look at. ;)) After our tour we stopped by the Country Music Hall of Fame, which had some great memorabilia and tributes to music. [Tip: We went an hour before closing and got a discount on admission.] We did a little more exploring and headed in for the night. Everyone was pretty wiped out so we had a girls night in.

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French press + mimosa… what else do you really need?

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Pedaling through the streets of Nash!

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Monday we headed out to Biscuit Love and to bonuts were AMAZING!! Seriously, a biscuit meets a donut, how can you go wrong?!  The East Nasty was also mouth watering. [Tip: Go early and on a weekday if you can. This place gets busy! I’m talking line wrapped around the block busy. But so worth it!] (I seriously gained a solid 5 pounds in 2.5 days I spent in town but it was worth it. ) We headed back to The Flipside to redeem our BOGO mimosas and ended up staying to have a few drinks. Check out this insane bloody mary! After the rest of the girls left I headed back to Frothy Monkey for more coffee then to Jeni’s icecream for another treat before heading to the airport my self.

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East Nasty and Bonuts

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I didn’t have anything to do with the planning of this trip but I thought the girls did a GREAT job! I think we all agreed we LOVED Nashville. We were in a beautiful house in the perfect location that literally was a 5 minute Uber/Lyft to wherever we wanted to go. I had a great time visiting a new city with some of my favorite girls from back home and even met some new friends too. I’m headed into this week refreshed and ready to take on the rest of this semester!

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xoxo,

D

How *I* study for nursing school

nursing-this-weekI have never seen a more accurate statement in my life.

How is this semester so crazy? I only have two classes and two clinicals. Oh that’s right, I’m also working 20+ hours a week and we have 3 online classes with assignments galore. And can I just say, group projects in nursing school are such a waste of time. To organize a schedule between 5+ people with different clinical and work schedules just isn’t going to happen. Thank God for Google docs!

I’ve also be able to do more skills so far in clinical than I did all last semester. I’ve inserted an IV, done blood draws, give LOTS of injections (SQ and IM), and performed an EKG.

My clinical instructors this semester are awesome. They are so laid back which makes it easy to be open and honest with them. This week during post conference our instructor was asking us about how we use resources and study for class.

Our conversation went a little like this:

“How do you feel about the teaching methods for (certain class)?” “I get nothing out of class, I read the book to facilitate learning.”
“Do you review the notes before class?” “Absolutely not. Who has time for that?”
“Did the core drug list provided help?” “I haven’t look at that since it was given to us.”
“Did you use the concepts book last semester for J1?” “Only for practice questions, otherwise, no.”
“Did you watch the learning videos for skills?” “Nope, felt like it was a complete waste of money.”

I love that the faculty values our input and wants to take into consideration as to what works for us. But after this conversation I wondered if people in my clinical group felt like I just flat out didn’t care about school? HAH, ya’ll I swear I do and I actually make good grades!

I read a lot of blog posts on “how to study for nursing school” and let me just tell you… Most of it does NOT work for me.

So instead…. Here’s my study method:

As I said, I don’t review any of the material before class. I simply do NOT have time for this with my work schedule and trying to get everything else done that has an actual due date.

I do NOT sit in the front of the class. My teacher called us all “back row beauties” but technically I sit a few rows from the back. 😉

I also don’t review my notes immediately after class. This would be ideal but once again WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT? [Granted I do try to do my reading (for the class I read for) that same week we have lecture on the topic.]

This semester in med-surg (Adult Health) I’m not getting much out of lecture. I have found that reading the section in the book that covers the topic and adding to my notes key facts has been my “go-to” method for that class. My notes usually end up very colorful and I can later remember “ok that was on the top right of the page in pink.”

I also try to do a lot of practice questions from Med Surg Success and also on the Evolve Website questions from our book. I find these REALLY help me identify what I know and what I don’t.

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Colorful and most of the writing is “extra” info from the book. 

For my women’s health class, I get everything from lecture and have yet to crack the book this semester. (I was told to not even get the book, but it was only $30 to rent so I did. Could have saved that money.) Lots of practice questions for this class as well.

I do go to tutoring every week. Hearing the material reviewed again and getting the material in a different format has proven to be very helpful!

I have also made what I call my “nugget” sheets. As I am studying I usually have a blank piece of paper and jot down “nuggets” I think are important. Usually during our study sessions I will quiz everyone from these sheets.

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Example “nugget sheet” from my last Women’s Health exam.

Speaking of group study sessions. I study with the same group of girls almost weekly. I try to go into our study sessions having already studied on my own. We do a lot of practice questions together and also review our notes and “talk out” the things we don’t understand. Having multiple brains working together works well for us.

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So I guess the moral of this is… find out what works for YOU. It may be different from what everyone else is doing or advice you’ve gotten from others. Since this is my 3rd degree I really know what works for me (perks of being a lifetime student). Re-writing the material (nugget sheets) and tons of practice questions are my secrets to success.

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This nugget was so annoyed I chose studying Adult over throwing his ball. Just look at his face. 
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Today’s study set up!

I’m off to spend the rest of the day studying for my upcoming Adult exam.

Happy Studying!

xoxo

J2 so far

This semester is already flying by. I feel like I am always saying that but literally when you are this busy time really does fly by!

Between class, hospital orientation, skills days, and simulations for both of my clinical courses I feel like the last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I calculated that between school and work I’ve been spending just over 50 hours a week at each place. That doesn’t include the time I’ve spent studying and working on assignments outside of class/clinical hours. No wonder I’ve been exhausted!

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The best thing about J2 so far is how much more laid back it is than J1. For our skills day, we were told to review our skills guide, we watched a demo from our teachers then we were expected to immediately check off. Whereas J1 was multiple practice days/labs and our instructors were so rigid when it came to performing the skills in front of them (which I understand why—most people have zero medical knowledge at this point). For our Women’s Health skills day we had a breastfeeding lecture, IV starts, IV spike/push, foley review, newborn and postpartum care, and labor support skill where we learned different ways to support a laboring mom. For our Adult Health skills day we had tracheostomy suctioning/care, NGT insertion, ostomy care, CVAD dressing change, and IV push/IV pump.

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Practicing IV starts. (Note: This isn’t a real arm.)

We had a simulation day in Adult Health where we were in charge of care of a patient with CHF exacerbation. We all had different roles (primary nurse, med nurse, documentation, etc) and we basically walked into the room and jumped into caring for our patient. We have our simulation for Women’s Health later this semester.

I also had my first women’s clinical day and it was so much fun! We only have them every other week because they are 12 hour clinicals. On my first day I was in L&D and I saw a vaginal birth, a c-section, and spent time in the women’s ED. Even though L&D is not a field I’ve ever considered before watching life come into this world is amazing!! It definitely opened my eyes into a different niche in the nursing world. I can’t wait for my next clinical day!

We had our first test of the semester in Adult Health this week. It was over ABG’s, electrolyte/fluid imbalances, EKG interpretation, CHF, CAD, HTN, PVD, Asthma, PN, COPD, and TB… so you know not much to study at all. 😉 I went into the test wishing I had of studied more. I feel like this course is really going to be one that is “self-taught”. I ended up squeaking by with an A on the exam but I am definitely going to spend more time preparing for the next test. We have our first clinical this week in the hospital so I am hoping that is more fun than the class itself.

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No way I’d make it through without these crazies!!

xoxo,

D


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