Sunday, October 28, 2012

Life of a Nursing Major Part II

Welcome back to my life of a Nursing Major.
First, I truly apologize for leaving you hanging with my last post. I guess I needed to do that to make sure you will come back and visit me with this second post :)

So here it is...

Phase 3: The Labs, The First Clinical and The Almost-Fail-Out-Of-Nursing

During my very first semester at PLU, I only had one nursing class, Nursing 220. People call it the "common sense" class but for me it wasn't.
When you read the book, you can tell that yup, these information are common sense. However, when it comes to the test, those information don't appear quite "common-sense" anymore because with the NCLEX style, everything is right, but we as nurses need to be able to pick the "righter" one. And for me as an International Students, it was very very hard to see. I still remember the lecture on Pressure Ulcer and how people with an area of reddened skin that won't go away are at risk for a pressure ulcer. I knew what pressure ulcer was and I knew everything about it. One of the choices was something about "non-blanchable erythema", which is the right way to called an area with reddened skin that won't go away. I did not understand "non-blanchable" nor "erythema" therefore, I totally picked something else and I almost got an F on that very first test.

Labs for Nursing 220 was very early in the morning. It was like at 6 or 7 in the morning and I was always late for it. I was not a morning person and for me to wake up early without coffee or food in labs, it was a nightmare. That's also the reason why I mentioned I can't stay up too late at night and hang with  others like a normal college student. So we had labs the first half of the semester, and when we were all competent with our skills, we went to a Nursing Home for our clinical rotation in the second half of the semester.

Clinical was fun. Dirty, tiring, exhausting,  but fun.

Once you're a nursing student, you don't care about poop or pee or vomit anymore. I remember the day one of my patients peed on me and it was totally my fault. I just had to be professional and cleaned it up afterward instead of screaming out "Gosh, urine, please wipe it off of me right now..." :)
Our clinical was at 6am, therefore, I had to wake up at 4:30 to get ready. This is another reason why I can't socialize with others at night. Clinical at a Nursing Home was not all about practicing nursing skills, it was way more than that. Talking to the patients there really opened my eyes about the difference between a nurse and a good nurse. It allowed me to look at things from the patient's perspective and do my best to meet their needs.

By the end of the semester, I was exhausted and stressed out about everything in life. I turned from a 4.0 student to almost fail out of nursing program. I thought I was gonna lose my scholarship and if that happened, I wouldn't be able to afford for any more schooling.

I cried

and cried

and cried

When you hit rock bottom, you will realize your potential. You will see the things you are capable of doing and you will do your best to get out of that rock bottom.

And that was what I did. I turned around and get myself up. I re-organized schedule and changed my way of studying and luckily enough I got all of my grades up and maintained my scholarship.

Phase 4: The 2nd, 3rd and many more semesters at PLU

As of right now, I am a Junior I in Nursing and I just finished my clinical rotation at a Mental Health Hospital. I am currently at my Medical Surgical Clinical site and everything is going wonderfully.

I am on a Cardiac Unit and I get to see all of the amazing things textbooks can't ever teach me.

Next week, I will be in the O.R for the first time to see some surgeries.
Let's see if I will have something interesting enough to share with you guys in the next post.
As of right now, go study and enjoy life

Happy Halloween
Henry Tieu


  1. I read your Life of a Nursing Major part I and II. I am really proud of you. Very happy for you! I have some questions that I would like to ask you and I hope you can answer them. I know that it's not easy to get in Nursing Program. You need to have a good grade in science classes especially in biology. How did you study effectively and successfully in these classes? I really have a tough time in biology. I can't understand anything. :( Do you have any helpful tips how to study? Please help! Thanks so much. Congrats!

  2. Hello Arvin

    Thanks for your comment.

    I've decided to make a post to answer some of your question.
    Please follow the following to see my post "Tips for Success"