To start, I feel like I owe you guys an apology. This blog post has been on my mind and heart for a very long time but every time I sat down to write it I would get distracted or something would come up so I am sorry to the SUSON students who have been waiting on this for ages. I literally write this on behalf of you guys. Here is the next part to my two-part series of Surviving SUSON. So, let’s dive right into it, shall we?
By the time I started this semester I actually had the nursing school/social life balance under control. I knew my limits of what I could participate in and what I couldn’t. This was by far my best and favorite semester too. This was my OB and Peds rotation. Every beginning of the semester we had a student assembly where the graduating class talked about their matriculation through the program. Every class put a special emphasis on how this was the semester for 2 clinical groups, 2 patients, and 2 care plans. I knew as laid back as the semester felt I couldn’t slack off. On top of school I also had responsibilities with AKA. I celebrated my first Founder’s Day as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Also, I was inducted along with some of my classmates into the Tau Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Some of the experiences this semester led me to wanting to become a midwife. I loved both of my clinical instructors and the tests weren’t as bad as med surg. In my OB rotation, I was able to add to my list of skills while putting these skills to use. If you ask anybody this is the clinical rotation of Foley and straight catheters. Dealing with pregnant women with babies sitting on their bladders is a budding nursing student’s dream. Two events this semester led me to fall in love with OB. Number one: I got to see a baby girl be born. This was this couple’s fifth child and the only girl. The dad was so excited and recorded everything. I remember calling my grandmother crying and telling her how clinical went today. She was like “baby in all my years I have never seen a baby being born besides my own, not even you. You got me on that one.” I also got the comfort a mom of triplets. She had been on the unit for a while and let’s face it being pregnant is scary, knowing you have 3 kids coming is scary, and being in the hospital is scary. It can honestly be a nerve wrecking experience. For some reason she had convinced herself that something was wrong with one of the babies, so she insisted on hearing their heart beats. This was a plus for me because one I had never seen twins before much less triplets, nor had I ever really heard a baby’s heartbeat (in utero) in real life. Comforting her was my job and let’s face it I am a very compassionate person. Being in on that and sharing that experience with that family was the changing point in my career. For years, I knew I wanted to be a peds nurse or a NICU nurse because when I was born, I stayed in the NICU for such a long time and I thought my life should come around in full circle. They helped me become the woman I am today so I should do the same. This semester: everything changed. Moving on to my peds rotation. This was really a fun rotation and I would not trade my experience for the world. Luckily all of my patients were babies (Less than 2 years old) and I had all nice parents. Some of my classmates had experienced some difficulties with some of the parents and I prayed to God that I would not have that happen. I understand parents are very protective of their kids but if someone is there to learn and do a specific job and they are under the supervision of the nurse or clinical instructor, just let them do their job. I loved when I would get patients or parents that would let us learn with no complications. How are future generations supposed to learn if they have no live patients to learn on? But I digress. I had one patient whose mom literally fell in love with me. She said I gave her son the best care and even wanted to follow me on socials so she could keep up with my journey and invite me to her son’s birthday party. Obviously, this is inappropriate as a nursing student and probably violates a bunch of laws that I don’t know. I told her after I graduated find me on Facebook. Guys, a month after graduation she found me and added me. She messaged me and told me she knew I would be a great nurse and she wished me the best of luck. Things like that just makes your heart smile, right?
This semester was by far my biggest headache. This is the semester where you see the light but every time you feel like you get close to it…it disappears. This was Fall 2017 and my last homecoming semester as an undergrad, so I knew I had to be on it if I wanted to enjoy. I had my study group and friends to keep me on the right track. I can honestly say this semester for me was the most uneventful socially because I had to stay on top of the ball to make it to the next semester. This semester we had preclinical to gather information on our patients and two clinical days. This was on top of have two class days. My clinical group was the best and we had the nicest, sweetest clinical instructor ever. She really helped shape me into the nurse I am today. The compassion and loved she showed her patients and use was remarkable. Nursing school will test your faith in God and this semester I really got even closer to him. I needed guidance and the strength to stay focused. This was also the semester I bought a planner so I could pencil in every single detail of my life to stay on track. The lectures were very detailed or as one of my professors so famously put it “304 was the basics of med surg, 410/415 that’s the meat and potatoes.” We basically scratched the surface in the previous semesters, now we had to really dive deep into each organ system. In 410, we covered respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardiac, endocrine and genitourinary. In 415, we covered musculoskeletal, mental health, neurology, sensory and burns. I definitely stayed on top of things. I enjoyed my last homecoming as an undergraduate. I also participated in a lot of community service that semester. I say that to say please get involved on campus. Join organizations that you are passionate about and make a difference while you can. I remember ending that semester thinking if I can conquer this, I can do anything.
To start, this semester was by far my laziest. I felt like I could slack off because we really only had to study for comps and precept. (I would also like to add I had to work on my senior honors thesis this semester so stressed out was an understatement, but that is a story for another post.) We started the semester with making our skit to do for the nursing school assembly. My classmates and I got together over the break decided a theme and crafted our celebration of starting the best semester of our lives. Our theme was the SUSON Survivors and we were like none other. Hopefully I can add the video to the post because it turned out so cute. This was also the semester to precept and work 12-hour shifts like a real nurse lol. We got to choose a specialty the semester before and our professor tried his best to make sure everybody got what they wanted. I put Labor and Delivery as my first option, but he only got one preceptor at the facility I was at in New Orleans, so I got my second option Mother-Baby. I absolutely loved it. I had the best preceptor and she really allowed me to really learn a lot and put my skills to use. Because I was in N.O. mostly, I cannot lie to you I lived my best life. I was able to hang out more with my line sisters and friends. I went to Zulu ball and Mardi Gras. I bought UWorld to help me start studying for comps and I knew it would last me until I took boards. We had two live reviews paid for by the school: Hurst and Kaplan. I absolutely loved Hurst review. As a student nurse, you learn everything so separately. So, for me some things would click together automatically but other things I knew they related but I couldn’t tie it all together. Hurst review was the icing on the cake to help me start putting together this massive puzzle piece called the human body. Kaplan and the decision tree were so boring to me, but I knew there might have been a possibility that my comps test would be Kaplan, so I tried my hardest to pay attention. I did the 7 of the QBanks tests, all the Hurst practice tests Although I felt I studied as best as I could for my first comps test, I failed by 1 point. When I tell you, I was devastated? DEVASTATED. I cut everybody off. I didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t want to go on the trip I had planned to take the day after…nothing. I felt that I didn’t deserve to do anything fun because I should’ve studied harder to pass the first the time. If anybody knows me, they know my grandma is my entire world and she is the only person who can comfort me in times of devastation. I called her and her simple response was to pray. So…I did just that. I didn’t question God and ask why all my friends passed and I didn’t. I just knew the need to work harder so I could pass the second time. I’ve said all of this to say to my upcoming graduating seniors and just any nursing student who may have failed a test or class…it’s okay if you don’t pass the first time. God has a plan for you, and he will lead and cover you as you walk the path, he has for you. Never give up if you know this is what you are meant to do. I knew I was meant to be a nurse; therefore, I was not giving up on achieving my dream and neither should you. We had a HESI practice test in between comps 1 and comps 2 and I passed it with a very high percentile so I knew I would do better the next time. Although, deep down I was still a little down about failing I studied hard and still went through with my plans: taking grad pictures, getting invites made to send out, and finishing my preceptorship. The morning of comps 2, apparently no one was on the same page and one of the proctors came in and told us to open a test and start it, then right after we started, told us to stop because that was the wrong test. I had a full-on panic attack. I was already nervous because I knew this was my only chance at graduation and they were playing with me. I remember our class president and my fake school mom telling me to calm down and then she said “who are we…survivors right? We thrive in f*cked up sh*t. This is the fucked up sh*t we thrive in.” Right before the real test began, I went to the bathroom, sniffed my stress relief lotion, said a quick prayer and passed comps 2. Seeing that score at the end solidified two things, prayer always works and…. we thrive in f*cked up sh*t. To this day, I still tell myself that. I can do anything in the midst of chaos. And that’s on that! Guys, again I’m sorry it took so long for this piece to be fulfilled. It just brought back one of the hardest moments of my life, but like our theme… I am a SUSON Survivor. 😘
The Klassic Nurse 💋
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