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

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hi again!
So while classes have been extremely fun, they've been difficult and time-consuming at the same time. That's why it's nice to spend some time during the weekend hanging out with friends and just having fun.
Last weekend, one of my friends turned 18, so she drove us over to the Lakewood Center to watch a movie. We got to the movie theater around 10:00. While scanning through the list of movie titles and times, we dicided that we wanted to watch the new movie Looper (if you haven't seen it yet, you should!) which was showing at 11:30. Since we had over an hour until the movie started, we decided to go to Denny's  and ordered some food wile wating for the movie to start. Though we didn't do much of anything that was "crazy" and "adventurous" it was just really nice to eat good food and talk together, not having to worry about assignments due the next week. A lot of people emphasize that studying is important, and I agree with this. However, I also think that it's important to occasionally take a break and have fun with friends.

It's also really nice to get away from campus to do some grocery shopping. I went to Target with some friends and bought bread, cereal bars, coffee, and snacks. We also went to Panera (a bakery-style cafe) and grabbed some dinner there.

There's a lot of opportunities to get away from school for a bit with friends and have an evening off!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hooray, the rain is back in Washington!

The title says it all; after almost three months of nearly drought (in Washington, can you believe it?!) the rain is finally back.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I've missed it!

Now, the creeks will start streaming and the grass will be green again, AND, a great excuse to wear my new rain jacket!

The birds aren't complaining either as these ones were chilling on a traffic light pole, chattering amongst themselves.

All I can say is: WELCOME BACK TO WASHINGTON, RAIN. I've missed you. :)


Friday, October 5, 2012

My Transition to a New Community

Sorry for the late update my friends:)

I have been busy since the beginning of the semester, as you can probably tell from me not being able to post this blog on time. There are SO MANY activities happening on campus! And I am so anxious to get involved in every single event. Here is when reality kicks in, the time is not enough. I finally understand how difficult it can be to manage the time between school and fun activities.

The first day of school went well. I am taking five classes in total. COMA 215 (Writing for Communication), Religion 236 (Native American Religious Traditions), and Ballroom Dance are my favorite courses so far. I enjoy being in the classes taught by professors who have the passions in teaching. I guess I learn better that way when I know the professors care about the subjects and are aware of what they are doing. Professors of this kind never fail bringing positive influences into my life, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world by only thinking about them. From my writing course, I learned to think and say that "I am working on improving my writing", instead of "I am not good at writing". From the religion class, I studied about Native American traditions, which opened my eyes to a totally different world. Finally in my Ballroom Dance class, I dance,of course. And I am also having lots of fun dancing with others!

Studying has been my top priority for the past 14 years, so I decided to shift my way of thinking this time. I became more interested in spending more time with people, rather than interacting with only textbooks and loads of homework. Once I made up my mind to change, I noticed the difference immediately.

I appreciate all of the amazing people I have met so far. Spending time with them gives me a special kind of pleasure. I believe friendship is built upon communication. The more we spend time talking to our friends, the more we know about them. The more we know about them, the closer we get to their hearts. During the past month, I had a chance to interact with many people and to embrace different cultures at the same time. I just felt in love with the feeling of being with people.The life stories others shared made me reflect on my own through a third-person view. It brought up so many new meanings of life that I haven't really thought about before.

My journey at PLU has just begun, and I really look forward to the future. Whether or not it's challenging, I am ready.