Digital Irritation: Diary of a Nursing Student

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Under Pressure

Surprise! It's been about three months since my last post, and the pressure to make this fantastic is huge. If I haven't written in three months, I've got to come back with a bang! Well, I don't know if that's the case but here it goes.

School is good, but it's kicking my ass this semester. From day one we've been in class or clinicals about 40 hours per week, reading at least two hundred pages per week and writing papers and taking tests like you wouldn't believe. I have been completely immersed in nursing, with no time to do anything fun like sleep, go to movies or go to my interpretive dance classes. If I can't dance I can't live. But, they say that this is the hardest semester, and they better be right. But, I'm actually feeling more nurse-y, so the school is working. I've been able to work with sick kids (so sad and hard), help take care of adults and witness an abdominal tumor removal surgery (awesome, way better than the Discovery Health Channel), and be in the room when a couple's first child was born (one of the most amazing things, I might want to do that for a living). I can't quite see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the air on my face is feeling a little bit fresher and I'm convinced that an end to this whole school thing is in sight.

I am not only going to school I decided to become an RA this semester. Now I am not just the Old Lady Who Lived in the Dorm, I'm the powerhungry RA looking to bust any willing to break rules in front of me. I was moved into an apartment with three 18-year old girls. They are all really sweet, but young. Just the other night I was given a measuring tape and asked to measure whose "bubble butt" was the biggest. It's a surprise a minute around here. Being an RA is very interesting. So far, someone has been in trouble for peeing in a community microwave, peeing on the side of the building, throwing a huge party and then locking themselves out then denying the existance of the party and trying to convince the RAs that one fo their buddies must have broken in and thrown a party while they weren't home. I've knocked on doors at 11:00 pm and 3:30am because people were complaining about noise. I've only called the cops once, but I'm confident that there will be more before the semester is through. I dream of the day when I will be able to have a "normal" job, it won't be 9-5, but I won't have to worry about inspecting the microwave before I make popcorn.

As I said, I dont' have much time for life. So, I will take a moment to comment on that of others. I hae noticed a lot of women wearing fanny packs lately. I don't know if I am noticing them more or if there are more out there. Are they making a comeback? Could this glorious news be true? I've still got my day-glow orange fanny pack from 4th grade, waiting patiently for the day when it would be acceptable for me to wear it again.

I must be getting old because I have been really disturbed by the news that Nick Lachey is possibly dating Kristin from Laguna Beach. I'm not disturbed because it hasn't been very long since the big breakup, or because I was holding out for Kristin and Talon to get together. I'm upset because he is 31 years old and she is one year out of high school. If it becomes acceptable for these two to date despite the age difference, then I, as a single woman, am screwed. Women my age will be skipped over in favor of high school seniors. Yuck! Oh well, if that's what they want then I don't want them anyway.

What else? I'm on Spring Break right now, and I'm loving every minute of it. School's fun, but vacations and sleeping in are way funner. Yes, I just said funner, felt it has a little more impact. I guess that's it for now. I will try to write more consistently. We start working in the psych ward in clinicals after break. That should be very interesting. I have nightmares of One Flew Over the Coockoo's (I just realized that I don't think that i can spell that word) Nest.

Tah, tah.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

No More School, No More Books, No More Teacher's Dirty Looks!

I'm am writing this blog a little prematurely, but I'm so excited I can't help myself. And, if there's one thing I do well, it's avoid studying at any and all costs.

I am about to be finished with my first semester of nursing school!! Yeah, I'm a little bit excited. I've survived giving oral (medications that is), learning to bathe someone, giving injections, assessing everything from pregnancy to neurological function to testicles, tests, tons of reading and sleeplessness, teaching preschoolers how to stay healthy, a stint in a nursing home, and two emotional breakdowns. But, I've made it through and at this point that's all that matters. One year from now I will be all finished and hopefully working because I have a ton of student loans that need to be paid off.

So, what have I learned so far? Meth makes people really fun to hang out with, at least for a little while. If you feel the symptoms of an oncoming heart attack (chest pain, pain up and down you left arm and up into your neck) and can't get to help in time the best thing to do cough as hard as you can because the compression of your lungs will stimulate some movement of blood through your system. Although they're fun to watch, most medical shows really don't portray life in a hospital correctly. The liver can detoxify 15 mL of alcohol per hour. If the tops of one's ears are lower than their eyes it could be a sign of metal retardation or low IQ. When a pregnant woman's water breaks, usually 5 quarts of amniotic fluid are released (that's over a gallon). These are just a few fun facts. I could bore you with a million more. I love this stuff.

Next semester I'll be helping women deliver babies, helping those with general illnesses and recovering from surgerys, working with psych patients and working with kids. We are going to learn how to properly insert catheters, and how to remove them. We are going to learn how to start an IV and draw blood, among other things. Anyone want to volunteer? I will need someone to practice on. Could anything be more fun?

I plan on spending my brief break Christmas shopping, catching up on my sleep a little, working and reading. My homework for next semester is already assigned and it's an insane amount of stuff. Just when I'm happy and confident that I've got this all figured out rumors of my upcoming semester and it's challenges start looming over my head. I'll ignore it for now. There's nothing wrong with that, right? I'll bask in the glory of having one semester down, only three more to go.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I Want to Play....

I love this game and had to play to!

1. Erin needs another miracle. Enough said. Walking on water pleased the people for awhile, but they are already demanding more.

2. Erin needs what every girl needs, a c*#k that measures inthe double digits. Don't I know it. There are a lot of entries along this line. What is that trying to tell me?

3. Erin needs to go to bed! 90% of the time this is true, but who has the time to sleep? Although I had the best nap today....

4. Erin needs to concentrate on her surf lines and understand that one Phil Collins is enough. What, one is enough? I refuse to go on without more Phil Collins in my life. My surfing will suffer greatly from this.

5. Erin needs to wear shirts. This can't be true. Does the world truly not enjoy my topless antics?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I'm Fighting the Urge to Stuff My Bra...

I loved this title, but now am afraid that my entry won't live up to it, but I'll give it a try anyway...

I am about to go on a second date with a guy who I might really be interested in. This hasn't happened to me in a very long time. I have been happily single for a while now and really thought that I would be dateless for the next year (only 13 months left!) of school. Well, I've always heard that this sort of thing finds you when you least expect it. I'm not going to go into details, but I'm really excited and nervous about this, I'm just not good at dating/relationship stuff. Time will help me figure it all out I guess.

Anyway, on to nurse-y stuff since this an electronic journal of my quest to become an RN and I have done a horrible job keeping it up. I had my first real clinical experience today- in a community medical clinic. I followed a nurse around helped out to the best of my ability. I gave my first shot to a stranger, and thanked my lucky stars that it was a grown up and not a 2 year old in need of immunizations. She didn't seem to be too bothered by my injection and my instructor said that I did pretty well, despite forgetting one very tiny detail. No, it's really nothing to worry about, my teacher said it was fine. I also saw my first cervix, a sentence that not everyone in this world can utter. Overall, it was a fun day, although I have realized that clinic nursing is not my bag, baby.

Let's see. Two tests next week, about 250 pages to read for next week and one fabulous trip to Disneyland to distract me from it all. Isn't life grand?

That's it for now. I'm not going to stuff, although having the extra Kleenex on hand would be nice. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Tales from the Dorm

First, an update. I have been given the okay to go forth and inject! I passed my test and now have about two weeks before I have to stress about the next one. I am now back to my normal, happily single state. Thanks for the words of comfort. I'll try to skip the self-wallowing next time.

On to the fun stuff. I quit my job (for now) and this weekend is my last weekend. I told my boss that right now working four days a week was just too much with school. (I didn't tell him that working that much and making no money was the real problem for me.) As a final insult he scheduled me for four shifts this weekend; Friday night, Saturday night and all day today. Needless to say, he's not my favorite person at the moment.

So, I got home last night and dedicated myself to catch up on the reading I have been avoiding all week. Well, that didn't last long. My eyes tend to have trouble staying open when I'm curled up in my bed reading about heart sounds. I woke up in my book around midnight to the sounds of some of my fellow dorm residents running up and down the halls screaming at the top of their lungs. Not wanting to feel like the "Old Woman Who Lives in the Dorm" I put on my iPod (thanks for all the great music Matt!), mumbled "Crazy kids" and tried to go back to sleep. I was awakened again at 3:30 to the sounds of sex coming from the dorm room next door to me. Loud sex, I couldn't block it out completely with my iPod. I eventually fell back to sleep, but it took awhile. Too top it all off, I found the source of the mystery smell in our apartment this morning, revealed by the light of day. My roommates seem to have trouble doing dishes, or even rinsing dishes for that matter. My apartment smells like old crusty dish food that has been sitting in the sink for a lot of days. How many more months are there until August?


PS- Borborygmi is the scientific word for the sounds your stomach make when it's hungry. So much for the game.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Stress Relief

I am usually a calm person and stress hasn't ever really effected me before. Well, that has changed since I entered nursing school. Aside from many nights awake at night I have had two crying episodes and quite a few phone calls to my mom for comfort.

Today is one of my least favorite days. It's check off day. I am getting graded (pass/fail) on how well I can administer an injection. The idea that forgetting one tiny thing could fail me is stress enough. But now I have to worry about jamming a needle into my partner without hesitation. That's what's really getting me.

I'm a little nervous, so I decided to make myself a bowl of Life and write a quick blog. No good stories today. It's depressing to look back on the last few weeks and have no highlights but school. But, such is life.

I attended a wedding this weekend (it was beautiful Brianna!!). Weddings always make me think about my current relationship status: nonexistant. I'm very content being single and I wouldn't go back to my past relationship for anything (he was a cheerleader for the Denver Nuggets now, but not gay, I don't think). It's been so long since I've been in a relationship that I'm afraid I wouldn't know how to act. I love that I can go out and not have to answer to anyone. I can pick up and go out of town for a weekend without having to worry about attachments. I can travel and see the world through nursing when I'm finishing school and not have to worry about the needs and wants of another person. But, I want to experience life with someone someday. Seeing other couples in love is helping to prepare me for when it's right for me. Wow, this got sad and sappy really quick.

I'll end with a game. I am giving you a health term and I want you to come up with a definition. No Google or dictionaries, that's just cheating. If you want to play, post in my comments.

The word is Borborygmi

Good luck!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I just learned the most bizarre thing and had to share it with the rest of the world. I was literally reading my Pharmacology (drug) textbook read the passage that I am about to describe, dropped my book and ran over to my computer. If there was ever something to blog about this is it.

I am reading a chapter about Antidepressants and the different drugs that can treat it. One of the types of drugs used to treat depression are called tricyclic antidepressants. They are a pretty mild treatment and appear to be quite effective. Apart from that, they also tend to create a phenomena called a yawngasm. Yes, you guessed it, a spontaneous orgasm when one yawns. How wild is that? It kind of inspires one to tinker with depression. It makes me think differently about all the yawning that goes on in some of my classes. They say that yawning is contagious....

Just a random thought I thought I'd share with ya'll. I've got to go and finish my reading. Diana i'm sorry that this is not a very beefy entry, maybe next time.