No, really - what is your EMERGENCY?

This used to be the journal of a nursing student at a prestigious 4 year university that will still remain unnamed. This is now the journal of a Registered Nurse working in an Emergency Department in a major US city. All names have been changed to protect the stupid and the mean. There is no educational value in this journal, sometimes it will be downright mean and catty - this is where I come to vent!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

On Vacation

Sorry for the lack of posts, but the Pissed Off Student Nurses are on their much deserved winter break. Note the political correctness of the "winter break." Anyway, several of us are working and most are visiting family members and future family members. Just in case anyone was wondering, we all passed all of our classes and are very, very glad that the semester is over. Don't look for anymore posts until mid January! Hey, everyone needs a break!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Our last exam

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is our last final exam for this semester!!!! We are so relieved for this semester to be over. There are only 50 questions on this exam, so most of us are planning on being finished in about 30 minutes or so. Then it is off to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch and many, many margaritas.

I have to say that, on the whole, our exams have been mostly fair. Our first two were difficult, but most of us expected that. One class was just plain impossible to study for and no one does well on the tests. One of those where you just have to be able to think like the instructor to pick the correct answer. It had questions like, "The proper nursing intervention that would show caring and cultural competence would be...." and then it lists 4 choices that could be correct in any given situation. You have to pick the "bestest" according to the instructor. Another example, "Your patient asks you to stay and pray with her. What would be the best intervention?" There were two obviously wrong choices and the other two were "close the door for privacy and pray with your patient" or "call for an chaplain or spiritual leader to pray with your patient." Well, depending on your personal preference for praying, you might do one or the other. If you are comfortable praying and it is within your personal beliefs and practices, then hey, go ahead and pray. But, if praying is not something you are comfortable with or is not part of your personal beliefs, then it would be appropriate to do a spiritual consult for your patient. So which answer is right????
Our test on Friday that I complained about studying for in the last post was horrible. 125 questions. I finished in about an hour. Apparently the class average was 79%. That is pretty bad for us. It was so bad that the "course coordinator" posted the grades, got so many complaints about them that she took the grades down and is "re-evaluating her scores". Read that to mean there is going to be a curve! Now, don't worry, this class really had nothing to do with the life and death of our patients. Us not doing well will have absolutely NO effet on our ability to provide competent nursing care.

So, most of us survived and will return in January to start this all over again! I will try to post one more time before we go on break, but in case I don't have Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Final Exams

So, right now we are in the middle of final exams. We have one a day for 5 days. I'm not complaining, we could have had more than one a day. And the student services people, who are normally harassing us, have provided coffee, tea, and hot chocolate every morning. We have had two exams so far. They were not easy at all! I didn't expect them to be, they should be hard. One was our basic skills class and the other was our adult health class. Tomorrow we have our growth and development class. Now, I have spent more hours reviewing my notes for this exam than any of my others. This is stupid. I am more concerned about a class that should have been offered as an on-line correspondence course than the ones who actually may have an effect on the life or death of my patients. I've talked about this class before, the one where we do skits on Friday afternoons.....yeah, that one. There is no correlation between the way the class is taught and the difficulty of the tests. The tests are those kind where you look at questions and ask yourself if you are in the right class. Questions about topics that you don't recall anyone discussing in class or it being in the reading. Then there is the book. OH MY GOD. I can't believe it was actually published. It is poorly organized, poorly written, even poorly edited. THERE ARE SPELLING MISTAKES AND TYPOS IN IT. This is a book that I had to pay $74 for USED!

Last rant for this entry: our final today was difficult. But the thing that annoyed me the most (besides the construction noise outside the classroom and the opening of candy wrappers inside) was the shear volume of typos, spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, and just plain mistakes in the test. We had to do some drug dosage questions. Many didn't have the correct units or even units that stayed consistent. Questions with everything in milligrams and all the answers are in milliliters for caplet form meds??? There were even two questions that were exactly the same. Exactly the same, like cut and paste. Obviously, no one proofed this test before they printed it. That is just unacceptable. If I am going to pay the amount of money I am for this school and spend the amount of time I spend studying, I don't think it is too much to ask for the professors to proof read their final exams.

Back to the studying....Freud....Erikson....Piaget.....I DON'T CARE!!!!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Skills Lab Evals

One of our main classes this semester was our basic skills class. Following completion of this course, we will be Certified Nurses Aides II. During the course of the semester we had 4 practical skills evaluations. Basically, we performed selected basic skills while being watched by a graduate student TA who decided that you either did the skill correctly or you needed to redo the skill. You have 3 chances to pass all the skills, if you fail any one of them 3 times, you are dropped from the class. This class also happens to be a prerequisite for all of the other nursing courses. Therefore, if you are dropped, you cannot continue in the regular course progression and will have to enter the "extended studies" program.
So, today, I had my final skills evaluation. I had the easiest evaluator so, of course, I passed. Not that I didn't know how to do the skills! There are evaluators who are considerably more stringent. We have a serious problem with consistency. There is one evaluator who pretty much passes everyone and one who pretty much fails everyone. The problem with this is there is a wide range of competency in basic skills. Some people can maintain the hell out of a sterile field and some couldn't find their way out of a sterile glove. This seems to be a recurring theme at this school.....
I have great faith that "they system" will weed out the idiots eventually!