First week of the last semester is over! I feel better now that my first Math exam, Mastery skills check off, and orientation to clinicals are over. I feel more optimistic as well, here's why:
1. My instructor seems very nice, laid back, practical, supportive, and intelligent. She proved this on Wed. when she graded my check off and did not freak when my shaky over caffeinated, on asthma medicine hands had a hard time re-inserting the trach cannula. I broke sterility but I acknowledged it and she was cool with that.
2. I'm in the same hospital I was in the entire 2nd semester. It's also run by the same company I work for. This is perfect for many reasons. I am way familiar with the charting system. All the floors at this hospital generally keep everything in the same place. Since this hospital runs almost exactly the same as the hospital I'll work for when I graduate, then it's like training for my own job.
3. After we peppered our instructor with a billion "what can we do with or without your supervision" questions, she said, "You are NURSES this semester, you will take probably 5 patients by the end of this semester, work 8 hour shifts, but with few restrictions. You will do everything a Nurse is expected to do all semester long." I like that.
4. My Clinicals are varied. Unlike second semester where we spent the entire 13 weeks on one floor (Mine was GI/Medsurg, If I get another Pancreatitis I may have to stick an NG tube in my eye). This semester I won't spend more then 2 weeks on any one floor. First, It's on the Neuro floor, then I get the Cardiac/telemetry unit. Then there's Oncology. Mixed in, I get one day in the ER and one in the ICU. After that we do management and team nursing simulations and clinicals in March. I don't know what to expect yet for that.
5. Paperwork is so much less then it was in previous semesters. Seriously, I could do it in less then an hour without a doubt. (And I don't have any to do this weekend)
6. I like everyone in my clinical group, I don't think we have every laughed and joked so much during an orientation (that's including the instructor).
My check off went pretty smoothly. When I came in early I decided to practice the skill I felt least confident about. It's ironic that the skill was Tracheostomy care since my late husband was trached twice in the hospital and I even then cleaned his trache. Unfortunately the military hospital nurses didn't teach me the correct way and there's a lot of sterile technique involved. When I was practicing, I joked with Jon, that this would probably be the skill I got stuck with. Skills were chosen at random by picking index cards that we chose, I got Trach care of course. She said I did good though.
So I feel better. :)