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!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Friday is the last day of classes

'enuf said.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It is almost over......

This is my last week of classes and one of my least favorite classes got cancelled.

Visual: me doing the happy dance.

We still have clinicals next week - but it is almost over as well. This week on the floor we had several meltdowns. Let me tell you, when a teenage girl flips out and the other teenage girls egg her on, it is quite the scene.

I have a group project due this week. I did all of the powepoints in an attempt to not have to be part of the skit. No luck. I hate doing skits in college. It is really stupid and a waste of time. I'm pretty sure that no other major (except maybe drama and they probably don't call them skits) do stuff like this. Would it be that hard to just give us the information?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It is eval time!!!!

My favorite time of the year!!!! It is time for us to get evaluated on our psychiatric clinical prowess and also happens to be time for the students to evaluate our instructors. Yippeee!!

Two issues:

1. I cannot stand the argument that an instructor cannot mark you at the highest level for a midterm evaluation because then you would not have anywhere to grow. That is crap. I am being evaluated on what is expected of me AT THAT TIME. If I am meeting the highest expectations for what I should be able to do AT THAT TIME then I should get the highest mark. And no, marking me at a 5 of 5 does not mean that I know everything there is to know about psych nursing. It means that I am meeting and exceeding the objectives for a 24 month BSN student mid-way through their psych clinical rotation. Now, also do not use the above excuse as a reason to not mark someone high because you do not think they have earned it and don't have the guts to tell them that - but you had also better be able to back that up!

2. Streamline the evaluation process. My school requires an evaluation on anyone who instructs us for 3 or more hours. My school also relies a lot on guest lecturers who lecture for an entire class session which happens to last for 3 hours. Therefore, it is not unusual for us to need to complete 20 or more evaluations. If it is really necessary that we evaluate all of our guest lecturers then make those evaluations available to us as soon as they lecture, not 3 months later. No one wants to fill out 20 evaluations while they are trying to study for exams and pretty much hate nursing school anyway. Also, the more you bug me about completing the evals, the less likely I am to do them and the more likely I am to give you a negative eval if I choose to take the time to fill them out.

Ok - back to work on my group project for my leadership class. Have I ever posted on how much I hate group projects??

A non-nursing school related rant

I, along with many others, made the trek home for Thanksgiving. I decided to drive on Tuesday thinking that less people would be driving that day as opposed to Wednesday. I got a late start since I had my psych clinicals that morning and the weather was horrible. What is normally a 2-2.5 hour drive took me close to 4 hours to make.

I consider myself to be a pretty good driver. I have logged a lot of miles driving on freeways - my car is 7 years old but has really only been driven 5 of those years and has close to 120,000 miles on it. I was taught to drive by my father, who at one time in his life was a truck driver. I have driven in many countries where driving is considered a contact sport and done just fine. I will not rant about the continued decline in the overall abilities of drivers today - I will confine this rant to my trip on Tuesday:

1. If you are not going AT LEAST 5 miles an hour over the speed limit - GET OUT OF THE FAR LEFT LANE.
2. If you are afraid of driving or your car - GET OUT OF THE FAR LEFT LANE.
3. I know it is raining and dark, if you choose to drive 35 miles an hour on a major interstate freeway - DO NOT DO IT IN THE FAR LEFT LANE.
4. If the traffic going in the opposite direction, divided from you by a huge median including a cement wall, stops - YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SLOW DOWN.
5. If you know you are going to exit in the next couple of miles and there is a lot of traffic - PLEASE GET OVER IN THE RIGHT HAND LANE early so you do not have to slow down to an almost stop and wait for someone to let you in.

Now, I know there is someone out there who is cursing my car right now - but I was polite the entire way and did not tailgate anyone or flash my brights, unlike my fellow college student with the Tri-delt sticker on her car (the Delta Delta Delta Sorority - remember the SNL skit, "Delta, delta, delta can I help ya, help ya, help ya...).

In two days I will turn around and go back the other way. I'm lucky, I can wait until Monday - hopefully the majority of the travelers will have gone home on Sunday!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Quote 'o' the day

From my least favorite professor today:

"You learn in psych nursing that sometimes it is ok to leave your patient on the floor."

Although probably true, it seems like it is one of those things you just learn and don't need to admit!

Tonight I was the second degree rep for a Information Session for people interested in the nursing program. I'm not sure I was the right person for the job. Last week I contemplated asking for my money back for an hour of instruction I found particularly useless.
One of them asked if any of us planned on getting our master's degree anytime soon. Before I stop myself, I blurted out, "I'm just trying to graduate." At least I didn't add, "before I tell some of the staff what I really think of them." Then someone asked about the Leadership class and what it entails. Fortunately, the Dean of Academics (or something like that) gave some stock answer. Good thing I didn't have time to say it is silly and a waste of 3 hours a week.

Only 3 more days of classes until this semester is finished! Yippeee!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to the US Marine Corps - 10 November 1775.

It is a day early, but I will be on the road tomorrow heading to the Birthday Ball where we Marines will put on our fanciest uniforms and celebrate our heritage in the same way we do every year - chow, cake, and plenty of alcohol.

I think we look pretty good for 231 years old!

Semper Fi.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Some people just shouldn't breed. But I supposed if you are responsible enough to realize that then you would be responsible enough to not give your daughter cocaine and let your boyfriend beat on her. You also would probably not allow your already tending towards violence 14 year old boy to be exposed to your S&M/bondage fetish.

I would say 90% of the teens that are on my psych clinical floor would not be there if they had even semi-capable parents. Honestly, that is a maddening thought - these kids are screwed up (some of them permanently) because their parents are idiots. Now, there are some that have mental health disorders that probably would have developed no matter what like schizophrenia, but most have behavior issues that are learned or are reactions to disruptions/lack of support in their psychosocial development. I will agree that some kids are just genetically pre-disposed to having a mental illness, but for many it may not manifest itself if there is not a precipitating stressor - like abuse from a parent.

Things I learned today:

1. Nurses have more tact than doctors and a better chance of explaining things so the 8th grade educated mother of a schizophrenic teenager can understand what is happening.
2. Nothing good ever comes of a sentence that starts, "So, the mother's boyfriend....."
3. Cucumbers don't stay fresh for 2 weeks after they have been cut up.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Should be studying.......

So, I should be studying for my Peds exam this week, but I am not. By the way, it is my last regular exam before finals for this semester!!!! Big cheers for that - we are getting closer to being done and the hell out of here.

Congrats to Ashley from my psych clinicals who has landed herself a sweet job at a MAJOR hospital for after we graduate. Yes, you heard me right - it is November and she already has a job lined up for June. Impressive.

My psych clinical assignment today was interesting. Oppositional defiant, conduct disorder, anti-social disorder tendancies - the standard animal torturer, fire setting type. I think he was mildly disappointed when some of the things he said got no reaction from me. That might be why my preceptor assigned me to him - some of the things he said would probably have sent some of my fellow students running. I'm almost intrigued with what he will come up with tomorrow. Or, most likely, he will actually talk to me since his attempts to get a reaction out of me failed. The creepiest thing is this tracking thing he does with his eyes. He puts his head down and then looks up with his eyes and tracks the other kids as they walk around the room. Unfortunately I think this kid is headed for trouble in the future. In the meantime, my clinical preceptor will really enjoy my Interpersonal Process Recording this week. The IPR is where we write down what we said and then what the patient said and then what we would have said if we had thought of it and how it made us feel and all that therapeutic crap. Somehow I will have to keep this week's just R-rated instead of X-rated.

Ok - back to studying - it would be nice if I did well on my last big semester exam!

Friday, November 03, 2006

So, I have started my psych clinicals. I am pretty much liking it, although my patients are teenagers, so I have to work really hard at relating to them. I was a good kid - or at least I think I was a good kid. So I don't have any personal background with getting so angry I found it necessary to take a sledge hammer to my parent's house (my first patient). I was also a pretty healthy kid so I don't have any personal background with suicidal gestures after being told I have lesions growing on my brain, especially after having had cancer and my thyroid removed the year before (my second patient). So I went from kids with cancer in my pediatrics clinical to teenagers with serious coping problems in my psych clinical.

We laugh a lot during my psych clinical post-conference. During the conference we are supposed to discuss our experiences on the floor and how we related to our patients and what we learned. I don't know why our painful attempts at therapeutic communication are so hilarious, but they are. What is even better is when we try to therapeutically communicate with each other - "So, how did that make you feel?" "So, what I am hearing you say is that you were uncomfortable when your patient started drawing a picture of her stabbing her baby?" Good times, good times.....

I am sure this is a common phenomenon, but my nursing school class has reached the end of our patience with nursing school. It seems to be pervasive, even the most chipper and positive students are getting bitter and jaded. Most of us truly hate going to our lectures, dread our clinicals, really dread the writing assignments for our clinicals, despise our two nursing professional classes. The volume of snide comments and crossword puzzles done today in our leadership class surpassed the previous records. We are barely halfway through the semester with one more left. I hope that we get our second (or third or fourth) wind by next semester. I don't know anyone who has started studying for an exam earlier than the night before, people are actually writing papers the day they are due, and class attendance has really dropped. I am right in there with them and can not get motivated - hopefully it gets better.

We put together a women's soccer team to play in our university intramural recreational league. We have had two games and confirmed the fact that we really suck. Our team name, The Sterile Fielders, is the best part of our game. But, I have to say, we have a really, really good time. And we did much better on our second game - we only lost 4 to 1. We lost our first game 10 to 0. Actually, I think they scored more than 10 goals, but I'm pretty sure the league quits counting at 10. Granted that first game we were only playing with 7 people instead of 9 and the other team had all of their players. Oh yeah, and there are more people on the team who have never played soccer than those who have. I played in high school and a little in college my first time around, but it has probably been at least 10 years since I played any soccer other than Marine Corps combat soccer (not the same!). We have one of those girls who is good at everything she does and another couple of girls who played in high school. The rest are just out there to have a good time, and I love 'em! During the last game I had to remind a couple of them what direction we were going in! The off-sides rule has them all confused and one, in typical nursing student fashion, questioned the rational behind the rule. We may not be able to play soccer, but we sure can be entertaining! My only beef - there were more than 20 people who signed up on the roster and the first game we didn't even have enough people to field a whole team. It was better this week, but it still pisses me off that some of my fellow students can't take a commitment seriously. I know it is only a recreational soccer game, but there are some people who really enjoy this and it isn't fair to them if we have to forfeit a game because we don't have enough people. Not to mention the $20 we forfeit if not enough people show up. So, I am sore as all get out from playing soccer, but we are really having a good time!

So that is the past week - suicidal and homicidal teenagers, un-motivated nursing students, therapeutic communication gone bad, and horrible soccer games

Next week - more homicidal teenagers, probably more un-motivated nursing students, hopefully therapeutic communication gone good, a horrible soccer game and the US Marine Corps Birthday Ball.