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Tag Archives: second sequence

Second Semester of Nursing School

27 Aug

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Throughout the first semester of nursing school I was told by professors, advisers, nurses that after the first semester, things get a lot easier.

Liars.

Maybe not entirely a lie, but the second semester was definitely just as time consuming and stressful as the first. I will say that I comprehended material faster and everything does start to click. A lot of nursing school is truly about reshifting the way we think, and it was much easier to get into that mindset.

The roughest part was Pharmacology. So many medications. So many administration parameters. So many contraindications and adverse reactions and therapeutic ranges. It was painful and so so so overwhelming. But finally getting through pharmacology made a lot of other things in nursing make sense. Administering medications and treatments, after all, is one of the biggest responsibilities of a nurse. Doctors prescribe, pharmacists make the drugs, computers scan everything. There are checks and balances. But, still, medical errors (which are usually medication related) are the third leading cause of death in the United States. And nurses are the ones standing beside a patient with the drugs in their hands, the last ones to possibly say, “Huh, this might not be a good idea for this particular patient” or “This seems like too much” or more commonly “Was the doctor/pharmacist aware of XYZ about this patient that could cause an adverse reaction.” In summation, you better know your shit.

Despite spending the majority of my summer locked in an overly air conditioned building, I still love it. Especially as I gain more confidence in my skills and the knowledge I have. I had two professors this semester who I found so inspiring. One of which I really bonded with. A feisty ER nurse from Staten Island who is whip-smart and from my first class with her, all I could think was, “That’s the exact kind of nurse I want to be.” I attended all of her extra tutoring sessions and sat front and center. The day of our final, she came up to me after the exam and gave me a big hug, and we chatted a bit about the semester. It meant the world to me.

Then there was my “Acute Psychiatric Care” class. I went into nursing school thinking I wanted to focus on emergency medicine or even critical care medicine. But I loved my psych class so much. I only got to spend three weeks on the psych floor, and I was sad to leave each day. I also think it’s a great disservice to nursing students to only require the psych class for half a semester instead of for a whole semester. Psych patients don’t just exist on the psych floor. If something physically traumatic happens to them (which is very very common) that takes precedent, and they end up on a medical floor. It takes a special finesse and optimal communication skills to work well with these patients. I loved working with the patients on the floor, and they loved us (often). A lot of the time they just wanted someone to listen to them, to have a sounding board, to have encouragement without judgment. I’m seriously considering pursuing psychiatric nursing or even working in a psychiatric emergency room.

So much to tell and explore and write about. Thank you so much to the readers who have reached out with requests and questions. The semester was too busy to sit down and answer those questions, but I’m proactively setting aside time during this break to write. Really write. I’ll finally put down an update on what happened with the poodle nanny situation, how I pay my way through nursing school, some tips about just SURVIVING nursing school, maybe some stories I’ve picked up along the way, and just some general life lessons gained along the way. I’ve missed writing so much. I’ve been told the next two semesters will be easier, but I just don’t know what to believe any more. But I’ll be here to write. I promise!

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