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December 18, 2017

Nursing Student Gift Guide

Hi, guys!

It's the best time of the year! The holidays are right around the corner! If you are looking for a gift for a nursing or medical student that is near and dear to your heart, I got you covered. Keep reading for 5 great ideas! 

1.  I absolutely love my Whitecoat Clipboard -it has been a complete lifesaver for clinical! It fits right in my scrub pocket and folds into a clipboard, so when I'm taking report or need to write down something in a patient's room I'm covered! Not to mention, it has lab values and other fun things right on the front of it! Perfect for a fast reference when in need! 
2. Another lifesaver for nursing school has been my Hydroflask. I have the 32 oz bottle and I think it is the perfect size! These water bottles will keep your drinks hot/cold all day long! Great for the 10 hour clinical days. 
3. Another necessity that a nursing student can never have enough of is compression socks! In clinical nursing students are on their feet all day long. No one wants varicose veins when they're older! Plus, nurses are all about prevention! Plus, the socks I linked are cute AND on sale! Win-win. 
4.  Another great and affordable gift for a nursing student is a watch for clinical! I personally use this exact watch from Amazon. I prefer cheap watches because I never want to risk getting a nice watch wet from washing my hands or bodily fluids- haha! 

5.  If you're feeling generous this holiday... I'm sure the nursing student in your life would LOVE this stethoscope! This is the stethoscope that I have and I get so many compliments on it! Plus, I can hear everything with it. I even picked up a murmur at clinical with this stethoscope! 



September 23, 2017

MY EXTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE: THE ER!

Oh my gosh, it has been 5 months since my last blog post! Long time, no talk right? I have been so extremely busy these past couple months between an accelerated 6 week Pharmacology/Pathophysiology course and working in the Emergency Department as a Nurse Extern! I have gotten a lot of questions asking about my externship experience, so that's what I am here to talk about today!



1. The Application Process

The application process itself was very competitive. I did my externship through a very well-hospital system around where I go to school. Due to this, they had a large number of applicants (500!) and they only took around 100 students. I didn't start my externship until May, but my application was due by January. Side note: If you are looking to do an externship before your senior year, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for applications! They do start early!

The first step of the application was to submit your typical resume, cover letter, CPR cards, and 4 recommendations from professors/managers, and a letter stating your top three hospitals and floors where you would like to work. Then once they saw whether or not I met the requirements, I received an invitation for a video interview. This was the most nerve wracking part of the whole application process. I had to film myself answering questions and I could not re-record anything! I also only had 2 minutes to read each question before it started recording me. After that was submitted, I was later invited to an in-person interview where I interviewed with the manager and nurse educator of the Emergency Department. 

About one month after my in-person interview, I received an email stating I had been accepted! Overall, the whole application process took around 4 months.

2. Orientation 
Before I started in the Emergency Department, I had to go through a lot of training. This included phlebotomy training, ED safe classes, and general classes that all Nurse Externs were required to attend to learn about patient care (vital signs, restraints, taking urine samples, checking blood sugars, and more). Once I was finished with the classroom training, I then started on the floor! I then had to complete 80 hours of orientation with a preceptor before I could work on my own. 

I had worked prior to this on a Medical/Surgical floor as a Nursing Assistant, so I thought I would be somewhat prepared when I started. Boy, was I wrong.  The ER and the floors are like night and day. I was used to having a structure to my day and having a routine. I would do vital signs at this time, change patients at this time, etc. In the ER, there is no routine. Every shift is different and you never know what time something will get done. During orientation, I did countless EKGs, straight sticks, started IVs, and got to participate in so many critical events like cardiac arrests. 

3. Why did I pick the ER? 
I chose to put the ER at the top of my list for preferences because I knew that I would learn so much there. The ER sees so many different patients and I wanted to expose myself to as much as I could before my senior year. Being a Nurse Extern allows the nurses I work with to know that I am a student. Due to this, they are always pulling me into rooms to teach me different things! I feel like every shift I work, I leave learning something new and that is something so valuable and worthwhile to me. I am constantly advancing my skill set and that is why I love the ER. 

I hope this answered some of your questions and gives you a little insight to my experience so far in the ER! If any of you are applying for externships this summer, I highly recommend trying to get into the Emergency Department. Thank you all for being so patient and understanding with my lack of blogging! If you guys have any other questions, please feel free to comment or email me! 






May 13, 2017

HOW I MAKE MY OUTLINES.

Hey Guys! It has been awhile since I have had time to sit down and write a blog post, but I am super excited for this one because it is so highly requested! Today's blog post will feature how I make my outlines. I've found that this technique has worked best for me studying wise, and hope that it will help you out too! All you need to make outlines like mine is Microsoft Word.


Steps to Outline Making

Step 1: Insert a table on Word with 2 columns

Step 2: Add the information!
What I like to do is make the main idea on the left, and the other details on the right. 
I usually use my powerpoint slides as a guide for this part and add information from the book. 

Step 3: Print and you'll have something like this!


Step 4: Color code and add notes!
This part is optional, but I like to color code my notes using colored highlighters.
I also add in hand-written notes when I relisten to my lectures. 
My color coding usually involves something like this:
          • Orange: Anything with #s.
          • Blue: Drugs
          • Pink: Adverse effects 
          • Green: A main idea column that I have mastered






January 10, 2017

PREPPING FOR SPRING SEMESTER: DIY BINDER COVERS




Hi, Everyone!

Today I wanted to cover one of my favorite things to do to prep for spring semester, decorate my binders! I often get asked how I go about this and hope that this post will help!
  • Google 'binder covers' and look under images. I love Lilly Pulitzer, so I google 'Lilly Pulitzer binder covers'
  • Copy the image of your choice and post in onto a Microsoft Word document
  • Drag the corners of the picture to fit the page until you get something along the lines of this:

  • Next you want to draw a text box where the white space is
  • Then type the name of your course:

  • After that, you can print it out and put it in the front of your binder to get something like this!



January 4, 2017

THIRD YEAR CLINICAL: PSYCHIATRICS

Length of rotation: 6 weeks
Location: Inner city psychiatric hospital
Typical day:
  • Arrive at 6:20 am 
  • Go to pre-conference with clinical group + instructor
  • Arrive on the floor for report at 6:50 am
  • Receive report on patients from staff 
  • 7:30 am: Go on to the floor
  • Between 7:30am-4:00pm interact with patients
    • Attend groups
    • Perform Mental Status Assessments (MSA)
    • Teach patients about their medications + compliance
  • 4:00 pm: Post-conference w/ group + instructor
  • 5:00 pm: Head home!
Mental Health is definitely not like Med/Surg by any means. It is a whole different type of nursing! It is much less direct patient contact and more talking to patients and trying to understand what they are going through personally. I saw many psychiatric disorders first hand that made it much easier to learn about from a textbook later in class. Overall, this rotation made me appreciate the importance of mental health and the nursing care that is involved with it.

HESI Studying Materials Used:

  • Evolve Adaptive Quizzing
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Success




PREPPING FOR SPRING SEMESTER: CREATING A SCHEDULE



Hi, Everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your holiday break. As I begin to prep for the upcoming semester, the first thing I always do is create a schedule!

I typically use Microsoft Word and create a table with times ranging from 0800am-0600pm. I then color code my classes with their prospective time frames.This template is so great to have because I can make a new one every semester! Here are some pictures of what mine looks like for this
semester:



I have attached a download so that you can just print it out and create your own! Enjoy!

Link to the download: download here