Saturday, October 28, 2006

Where is the 'delete blog' button?

A funny thing happened yesterday. I have been remis in my posting, and thought to myself, whats the point? I pretty much resigned myself to deleting my blog - but I couldn't find the button!! after searching around for a while another thought crossed my mind. What if my blog is an opportunity to reach out to the cyber nurse community - something which I may well cherish when I start work in the big bad world of nursing? So I made a decision. Keep the blog, but think of a new name (not theoretically a nurse anymore - not once the registration arrives) and give it a facelift. So here goes - this is the last post of the theortical nurse, next time the blog will look different and will have a different name too!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's All Over!

Well it feels somewhat surreal. I feel like I am dancing on a continium between laughing and crying. Yesterday was my last day as an undergraduate! I dont think it has really set in yet. No more assignments, no more tests, lectures, tutorials, treks to the library, no more study days, last minute edits, scouring though journals for references, no more......

Strangely apart from feeling very relieved, I am quite sad. I have been doing this for 4 years now, and I don't know if I know how to be not a student nurse.

I am very much looking forward to starting work, but it seems like eons away. Like something so far in the distance that it is intagible. So for now I will concerntrate on spending time with my beautiful children, taking time for myself to relax and enjoy my time off and I might even get a chance to spend some time with my husband, who has taken up so much of the slack over the past 4 years.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Final Preparations!!!

This final semester has just zoomed by. I feel guilty for not taking the time to put some of my thoughts down and keeping up with all the nursey blogs I love to read, I have been flat out, and really felt that I didnt have the clarity to get writing - funnily enough probably when I could have used the blogging the most!!!

Well what has happened so far this semester? I went to school for the first 2 weeks, then I had 3 weeks full time in a Medical ward of a local hospital. I chose the ward that my mentor was the Nurse Unit Manager of, so that I could combine my commitments to both my prac and my mentor program. The ward work was so-so. I learnt plenty and eventually the staff acknowledged our prescence but I have to say my heart wasn't in it. The ability to time manage has never been a problem, and I have always had confidence in my ability to link pathophysiology to clinical presentation so that was good practice, I just dont particularly enjoy knowing what is coming up around the corner, what to expect out of each day. Even when the unexpected crops up it just doesnt feel the same as in the ED!!

So after 3 weeks on the Medical wards it is back to Uni for 2 weeks. Finish off and hand in 2 assignments, work on 2 more and now it is back to the hospital system for 3 more weeks. Oh did I forget to mention that job applications also closed the week we went back to uni, so there is all the preparations for interviews, resume stuff and criteria to answer? Phew, it sure has been a hectic time.

I put my applications in and held my breath in anticipation. I heard from my first choice first who offered my an interview (I had it today) Then nothing...... After what seemed like an eternity I finally heard from my 2nd choice offering an interview for ED!! I was stoked as I was told my 2nd choice wouldnt be considered as I was aiming for such a popular specialty. Late last week I also heard from my 3rd choice. So last friday I went to my 2nd and 3rd choices for interviews which was really humbling and quite difficult. Complicating the matter is the fact that I have been battling a cold for several days now. The 3 choice interview went ok, then I was off to my 2nd choice. The interview seemed to go ok, but it is really hard to tell sometimes!

So I turn up to my first day of prac yesterday and nearly everyone seems to have job offers already. Eventhough nothing can be done officially many hospitals make 'unofficial' job offers to students so that they can start to think about and plan where they will accept. I was starting to get bummed, and doubting my ability to get any job, let alone a highly sought after job in the ED of one of the bigger hospitals!! Anyway my 2nd choice said they would let us know early this week. Lunchtime yesterday I had a message waiting - with anticipation getting the better of me I returned to call the the NUM and amazingly I had got the job!!! I was thrilled, at the same time I was a little sad as my 2 best friends who had also gone for those positions had not yet heard!

Today I had the interview for my 1st choice (reconsidering that now) and my 2 friends also got offered positions at the ED of my 2nd choice!!! we are all so excited, there were only 4 positions available and the 3 of us all got one, we are all thrilled!! It will be amazing to have the support of each other as we transition to registered nurses.

It is my birthday tomorrow and I cant think of a better present than to have been offered a job I have wanted for so long, and to be doing it with 2 of my best uni mates!!!

Well it is getting late now, and it will be an early start on prac tomorrow. Till next time.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Results, Recovery & Resting

Got all of my results and I have to say that I am pretty happy. Eventhough I really didn't put in enough effort into this semester I still managed 2 distinctions and 1 high distinction. At least my GPA didn't slip too much! Sigh - I just feel like I have had enough, and at the same time I feel like I am far from ready to enter the workforce as a fully fledged RN. I suppose it is normal to feel this way???? I will head out to cyber nurse world and look around for some support and reassurance.

Things on the personal front continue to move along, my best friend is handling her cancer very well and I am using the time off to help her as much as I can.

I am knee deep in preparations for my final semester of work. I have already been to one pre interview meet and greet with a potential employer in a very busy emergency department close to home so that is very exciting. My resume is all prepared and I am just in the process of finalising my referees. My next placement is in general med surg ward so it will be a good opportunity to get some of my work done and get prepared for job hunting.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Final Exam is over

Today was my final exam for my Bachelor of Nursing. I can't believe that it is finished!!! Next semester is all coursework, prac and assignments but for the meantime it is holidays for me!

Reflecting on this semester I see that I have found the work easier to do but I have also put in far less effort than I usually do. I have had the consistant feeling that I am bored and anxious about finishing off after 13 more weeks of school.

Things on the job front are starting to come along nicely. I am gathering all my information and getting prepared for the graduate job market.

After a few celebratory drinks today I am in the midst of planning what to do with my holidays especially when the kids return to school.

I am so relieved it is over for another semester!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Nurse Expo - Exams!! - I need a break

I went to the Nurse Expo last weekend. It is a open house exibition run by the Royal College of Nursing Australia. All the local hospitals, Universities and Nursing recruiting agencies have stalls where you can pick up loads of information and more importantly freebies like pens, bags etc. It was great to see all the different options out there just waiting for us to graduate. It is so overwhelming at the moment, it seems like we are a few deep breaths away from being RN's, it seems unbelievable - and so long coming.

My final exams are coming up next week. I mean Final exams, there are no exams next semester, just group presentations, a work book and a couple of written assignments. This is it!! It seems almost surreal. I really should start thinking about studying, but in all honesty I know that the study I do on the day of the exam is much more beneificial to me than any study I do this far out.

I spent today indulging in my passion for second hand shopping. I do love to browse around 2nd hand stores looking for treasures and then going to antique shops and seeing what unreal prices everything has on it! My feet are sore but I had a great day by myself, just me and myself and I had a great time, hardly thought about Uni and exams and working at all.

After exams (3) it is a month off for me, than down to the last couple of months. I am nervous, excited, anxious and giddy with anticipation.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Procrastinating, I must have an assignment due

Yep what better time to write in my blog than when I have an essay due!!! Yesterday instead of writing my essay I rearranged furniture in my house. Today I cleaned, cooked a nice pot of homemade soup, played with my son and got the heater out in preparation for the recent onset of cold weather. The topic is quite interesting - Maggot debridement therapy, the word limit is acheivable, yet still I am bored and cant seem to finish the damn thing off.

I still have mixed feelings about my final year at Uni. I am really starting to feel like a real nurse, and I actually feel like I could handle myself well in the workplace. I just have so much apprehension about getting the graduate position I want because I just cant imagine myself on a general ward for any length of time, I can honestly admit I dont have it in me!

The government has announced 1800 more nursing positions for our state, one of our lecturers assured us all yesterday that we would all be offered several positions. This really helped ease my concerns, I just wish I knew what was coming, the uncertainty is torture.

Well have to go pick up my kids from school and then I will force myself to get back to the essay.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Post Practicum blues

I have just gone back to Uni after another two weeks full time on prac. I was lucky to get an Emergency Department Placement which was awesome. I loved it. The staff were wonderful (nearly all of them) and I felt useful and challenged and I felt rewarded for my time. Anyway it certainly cemented my desire to get into Emergency Nursing.

Next semester we will have 2 more 3 week pracs which will be interesting. I believe I will have to do a surgical placement and I am hoping that I will be able to organise another 3 weeks in an Emergency Department hopefully the hospital where I want my grad program. Anyway fingers crossed and wish me luck......

Back to Uni and everything feels like a shambles... This semester has been so disjointed and disorganised, 2 weeks school 2 weeks prac 2 weeks school, it has been really difficult to maintain momentum, stay focussed and be positive. The workload is crazy and everyone seems exhausted from trying to get assignments in when we are working fulltime on prac....

Anyway only 2.5 more weeks and we will be into exams then a break!!! I am looking forward to what the next 6 months will bring....

Saturday, April 29, 2006

More bad news.... and back on prac

Well this past two weeks has been shocking. My best friend who is also my sister in law was diagnosed with breast cancer last week and had her breast and lymph nodes removed on Wednesday morning. It has been pretty busy with visits to the hospital, being with her for tests and helping with her 2 kids. Her family and friends have been awesome. I stayed with her yesterday while she had bone scans. She had had her organs scanned that morning. After the bone scan which took about an hour, they redid the scan of her knee and then took her off for xrays of the knee, by this stage I was getting pretty worried but the specialist said she was all clear apart from the breast and lymph nodes. She is scheduled for Chemo and radiation later this month so fingers crossed she is on the up and up.

Uni has been a bit so so. I finally finished and handed in 2 of my major essays. One of them was ok, the other was a total waste of time, glad to say I am certainly not the only one who felt that way. A couple of my mates were struggling so I helped them finish off their assignments too. I am out on prac next week at one of the semi-local hospitals. There is a possibility of an Emergency Department placement but I know that lots of my colleagues also want the ED so fingers crossed I am lucky. I look forward to getting into the swing of things again.

Feeling a bit ho hum so will go do some reading I think

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Clinical Prac, More Clinical Prac and back to Uni

Well I have just finished my first 2 weeks of clinical prac for my final year. I have to admit that apart from the initial apprehension about my abilities as an RN I am really starting to feel like a nurse.

I have spent the past 2 weeks community nursing with one of the more prominent community nurisng providers. I certainly got some great exposure to different patients and especially some interesting wounds. I really didn't know how I would handle dressing my first fungating malignant tumor but I handled it fine, I just kept thinking to myself, I am really helping this patient and if nurses weren't willing to do it who would? and ofcourse I breathed through my mouth!!! I did lots of interesting patient cares, for lots of interesting patients.

Whilst I never imagined that community nursing would be what I would like to do when I graduate I am grateful for the experience and for the wonderful preceptors who treated me with respect and shared their knowledge and experiences.

I am back at Uni now and have tried to settle into research for my next 4 essays. I have practically got one of them done now, and have moved onto the next one with gusto. I feel totally lost with the topic which is all about communities and the Jakarta declaration etc and I feel uninspired and can't really imagine how it all relates to the reality of nursing practice.

The year is really flying by and easter is just around the corner. The kids are on holidays at the end of this week which by the way I am not on my uni holidays till they go back to school - Hooray for family friendly studies!!!!! NOT.

Well best get back to researching this rediculously complex paper.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Emotional Week

This week has been full of ups and downs. I returned to Uni which was very exciting. I have dilligently started on all of my assessment items and am getting prepared for commencing prac in 2 weeks time. My first placement is in the Community with the local community nurses which should be very interesting and different. My second placement will be at a medium sized hospital about 30mins drive away. There will be 8 of us there and the wards will be ED, ICU, OT and Pallative care. Funnily I used to want to work in Pal care when I finished but my goals have changed so much that I think that is the place I would least like to be on prac. I would love to be at ED but I know for sure that at least 6 of the 8 of us want ED so it might get messy.

Whilst chatting with one of my lecturers he indicated that I could do some sessional work at Uni next year, teaching labs and marking assessments etc. I am absolutely wrapt, very excited. I will be doing my Masters there also and hope to get a grad program with the local feeder hospital which works very closely with the University so it looks like with a bit of hard work this year I could be looking at a very exciting, scary and busy year in 2007.

On Tuesday I got a phone call at Uni and had to miss a couple of lectures. My Grandmother had taken a turn for the worst and was not expected to live through the night. I organised to pick up my kids and go for a visit to say goodbye. We all made it out there in time and spent a little time saying goodbye then my husband took my kids home. My Mum and I stayed with Grandma through the night and her condition slowly deteriorated. The next morning she was struggling for each breath and I was trying to get the doctor to consider more effective pain relief. Unfortunately the nursing homes policy is no IV meds so that was difficult. At about 11.00am we left the room so the nurses could turn her and she slipped away. I can't say that it was peaceful or painless but at least all her children had a chance to say goodbye and she had the opportunity to be in her own room.

So all in all it has been a difficult week, but of joy, bit of sadness, lots to do. I am finally feeling like I have caught up on the loss of sleep and Mum is taking the loss well.

Thanks for stopping in

Friday, February 24, 2006

Orientation, Tutoring and Graduation Ceremony

Well this week at Uni has been very interesting. I have adored being the big kid as I walked the newbies through orientation. My campus and library tours were very sucessful and I had questions and comments galore about how helpful I was. Yeah! I surprised myself with the wealth of information I have accumulated over the last three years and really enjoyed the ability to share it with the students who were all so attentive and responsive!!! This is the reason for the blog update and new page on my website dedicated to top tips for newbie students!

I got a call the other morning whilst I was cleaning house to see if I wanted to be a tutor for an Aboriginal student who was seeking help. The pay is pretty good but that wasn't why I was so excited about the prospect. I absolutely love to help people learn stuff and the chance to have my pick of subjects (or all of them) was a realy bonus. I have chosen to commit to 1 subject as this year is pretty busy for me and I want to maintain my GPA (actually want to improve it, currently is 6.5 want to get it closer to 7 - Lowest is 1 highest is 7) and because I get to pick I chose my fav subject - Anatomy & Physiology!! It should look really nice on my resume and since I want to get into teaching the experience will be invaluable.

We heard from last years cohort that each graduating student could only invite 3 guests to their ceremony!!!! Spewing!!! I can't believe that our campus is the only campus of our Uni that limits the number of guests we can have at our ceremony!!! Most of the people I know have more than 3 kids, not to mention their partners, parents, siblings and all the important people who have helped us get to this point!! I have contacted the Uni to get the details and they have confirmed that we will be limited in the number of tickets, they cant tell us how many at this stage as they dont know final graduating student numbers! They have indicated that they will not be looking for a larger location to hold the ceremony at and that it is really tough titties that we think it is unfair!!! Makes me feel like a boycot if it wasnt such an important event..... Will keep posted with the updates.

Top Tips for New Students

I have updated my web page again with tips I hope will help out the newbie students. If you ahve any tips to share please leave as a comment and I will add them to my web site.

1. Do your readings - Make sure you read through your lecture notes and do the required readings before going to the lectures, tutorials or labs. I can almost hear the lecturers cheering this one! Believe me you will be able to keep up much better with the content covered and you will have more time to listen and add to your notes.

2. Groups - Form study groups with people with similar interests to you. Try to make sure that the people in the group have similar expectations and commitment levels. When you are working on assignments split up the task load and share your resources. When you are being assessed as groups try to pick groups where you can trust that each member will contribute.

3. Research - Remember that just because something is written in a book or a journal doesn't make it right! When you are gathering information don't automatically assume that it is fact just because it has been published. Make sure that the source is reputable and current, also compare and contrast the information to other reputable sources before deciding if it is right to use.

4. Attend - There is nothing like being there! Go to as many lecturers, tutes and labs as you possibly can. The notes provided over the web will not be enough if you want to do well. It has been my experience that the lecturers provide hints to the exams all the way through the course, not to mention the content is often delivered by way of stories and experiences which make it much easier to remember later on.

5. Exam Preparation - Start early!!! I use a small exercise book and start a "glossary" from the very beginning of the course. To this glossary I add definitions and content covered in lectures that strikes me as important. When you are starting out it is often difficult to know what is important, so while you will have to decide this for yourself try adding things that are mentioned a few times in lecture notes. Some lecturers will cover important topics in the next lecture as "revision" this may be a hint that the topic is important and should be studied. Some lecturers will also give away subtle or obvious hints in their lectures that you can add to your glossary. Then when it comes to studying for your exam you should have a good place to start.

6. Notebooks for prac - If you are dreading trying to remember all the important stuff when you go out on prac try putting together a notebook to carry in your pocket. The sort of information you might find useful in these is common abbreviations, reference ranges for vital signs and common drug information. If you use an alphabetised book finding your information quickly will be easy.

7. Prac - If you are dreading prac in general try to relax and enjoy the experience. Easier said than done! I still have anxiety about prac but that usually subsides by the time I actually finish my first shift. Prac is an essential component of learning and provides invaluable experience. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and seek guidance from your experienced RN's or your facilitator when you need it. Don't forget that you can always contact the Uni if you have problems when on prac. Try not to wish away your prac experience ("I wish it was over!!!"), enjoy the learning experience because it won't be long till you enter the workforce as an RN and will need all the experience you can get for the transition.

8. Lecturers - Ask questions if you don't understand and seek assistance early if you have problems. Asking for help the day before the assignment is due in is not going to work.

9. Get involved in the University Community - Get involved in what's going on around the University. Start building your personal resume early by being active and involved.

10. Enjoy the experience! It might just change your life

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Freedom to change my mind

I have been doing some thinking lately about whether to remain anonymous on my blog and what the benefits and repocussion of such a decision might be.

As I get into my last year at Uni I intend to use my the Student Nurse website I developed as an important part of my resume, thus it would be remiss of me not to have my name on it. I don't use the blog as a forum to vent about patients, nor do I breach any confidentiality. Given that I would also like the ability to post pictures on my blog I have decided that for me I am no longer going to stress over being anonymous. Having said that I am not about to advertise my personal details for all to see, I am going to be discreet, but not stress over every little link to my name or my work, especially on my website.

Hi, I am Emma and I am a Student Nurse (and proud of it!).

Friday, February 17, 2006

Back in the saddle...

Yeah! my wait is finally over. Next week is 'O' Week I will be going in most days to help orientate all the new students, and Week 1 of Uni is the week after that!

Our course information went online yesterday so I spend the afternoon printing hundreds of pages of reading material to cover before semester starts again. I feel so happy that there is real work to be done. I told my husband yesterday that my courses were up and I could start working again - his reply was one of surprise - I didn't realise you actually stopped!, I responded with you must have blinked and misssed it. But seriously I have been pretty lazy (as usual) over the summer break. We always say we are going to be dedicated and work at a steady pace to get the things done we want to, but it never happens, then later we look back and cringe at all the time we wasted.

We have begun busily fundraising for our Graduation Ball. We have sold chocolates to get us off the ground, next we will be raffling stationary hamper for the new students at 'o' week (pens, heaps of paper for printing, note books, desk sets, folders etc). We have all sorts of raffles planned and are going to do a hot chocolate, easter egg, hot cross bun day closer to easter (when the weather finally cools off a bit).

I found the outfit I am going to wear to the ball the other day. I was in a second hand store (one of my fav passtimes) and spotted the most fabulous vintage skirt. It is floor lenght, varying shades of aqua and has silver sequins on it. I have paired it with a crisp white shirt and lovely heels and I am set to go! I will be looking out for some fab jewellery to top it off, but I have plenty of time for that!!!

Well now that I have finally got books to hit, I am going to get some work done.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Gilmore Girls

I forgot to mention I have been spending/wasting (depends who you ask) my time watching the Gilmore Girls. I never really got it before but caught a couple reruns of the first series on Pay TV her the other day, since then I have been hooked!!! I have watched about 6 eps of the first series now and am desperately trying to find a friend who has the series who can lend them to me so I can have a big TV fest.

I don't know what it is about the show, I love the girliness, I love the town - I am desperate to move the family to a small town out of the suburbs ( I grew up in a small town, very small and really want the kids to be able to have that experience for a while), I love the Mother & Daughter relationship which has inspired me to make sure I do some creative things which my own daughter while we have time together(before school gets busy again), I love the decorating style of Loralai & Rory's home (and the Inn in the 4th season, which I have caught a few eps of). So thats what I have been doing for fun, something new which I have really enjoyed.

Graduation Ball

Well the Graduation Ball committee met again this week and we set the venue and date of the big Grad Ball!! We are having it at the same function centre as last years cohort which is a lovely place overlooking the Brisbane River - Amazingly it is called Riverside. We have set the date for 4th November which will be the Saturday after we finish school for this year. As we have no exams in Semester 2 it will be earlier than the rest of the classes finish but 3rd years will be finished. The menu and location sound excellent. We have busily arranged for heaps of fundraising to take place and are now in the midst of selling our chocolates and raffle tickets so we can reduce the overall price of the tickets. Last years cohort raised about $10000 and halved ticket prices.

I am still busy reviewing my work for this year and have begun some serious ECG work and some reading about Clinical Judgement and decision making processes - Just for FUN!!! No don't laugh, I may look at something relating to this for my Masters/Honours so it isn't wasted time.

I am feeling a bit better about my withdrawal from study and feeling upbeat about going back to school next week.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Same, Same but different!

Well it looks like my run with technology has continued.... After months, dare I say years (time flies) of nearly effortless uploading of my webpage to URL my internet provider have changed their system and no longer support frontpage extensions!!! So I thought this can't be too bad I will learn a new way to do it! I had the best intensions but somewhere along the way I deleted something critical and lost my ENTIRE web. I tried and tried and tried but couldn't work it out. Last night I went to bed after a marathon effort of trying without success to get it back on track. I had to settle for just the pages with links but no pictures or pretty stuff.

This morning I did some more working with my files, RELOADED and relinked every file, picture and background and eventually got it working again....

I love to look at the bright side of things so here is what I can say for myself - at least I persisted, I learnt heaps and even taught myself how to design my own backgrounds in Photoshop. Yeah! It illustrates nicely my love hate relationship I have with computers. Another cheery moment was when my new RAM arrived in the mail and I opened up my machine with confidence and popped it right in, bit of wobbling and jiggling and holding my tongue in the right position and - It Worked!!!! Yeah for me ! - I am sorry but not 2 weeks ago this was a foreign language to me so I am pround of learning something new.

Brings me to this last week. Not much is new, Kids are both back at school and settled in nicely. I stood up to the principle and had my daughter moved after the first week into a smaller class which I think will prove to be most beneficial in the long run. My son has settled into preschool well and has adjusted to his new routine.

I have completed a chunk of my "to do" list for returning to study, I have done acid-base, clotting cascade, cardiomyopathy, Wolf Parkinson White, Pain, Shock and Endocarditis. Having said that I feel like already I don't remember enough and will revisit again over the course of the semester.

UUURRRRGGGHHH - I am frustrated and bored!!! I can't wait for school to go back, I am not used to having spare time - I know I could get so much housework done........ nevermind. I signed up for some workshops on developing a resume and job interviewing skills today, that will help me to get into the spirit of things......

Friday, January 27, 2006

Please Help!!!

As you know I have a Student Nurse Website ( which I try to keep up to date with all the great links I find in cyberspace to share with my fellow students and nurses. Last year I added a page which has nursing stories in it. Part of the reason for this page it so post poems and stories dedicated to nursing, the other reason is to highlight the diverse path that nursing can take.

This is where I need help. So far only one person has done a story for the page and I am desperate to put up some more stories. It would be great to be able to expand this page to include several stories as the 1st years will be starting at Uni soon and the lecturers usually tell the newbies about my site. I would really like to inspire them to think about all the roads nursing can take.

So PLEASE if you would be willing to share a story about your wonderful career, or if you have had a particularly unique experience, or can you write about your transition to practice? If you can help or have any other ideas please, please contact me.


3rd and "FINAL" year (for now anyway)

Well final year is just around the corner. We had to go to Uni last Monday and preference for Pracs for first semester. I can't tell you how dissapointed I was to see the prac placements. There was practically no choice and chances are most of us will end up in a general Med/Surg ward!!!! Oh I am dreading that! I know, that is what most of nursing is, but it just isn't for me. I was hoping that in my final year I might actually get to spend time in ICU or ED or Crit Care, or somewhere that might actually challenge me instead of bore me. I thought this was the times we were enhancing our reputations and building networks to help with job placements? Last year's 3rd years seemed to have a much better variety of prac placements.

Well it is 1 month today till we start classes again. Our semesters this year will run from 27 Feb to 23rd June, and 24th July to 17th November. As we have no final semester exams (only assignments) I think our last day would be 27th October or 4th November. We have planned our Graduation Ball for either 28th October or 5th November. I am so excited already!!! First semester I am doing Adapting to health changes, Wound and Pain management, and Community Health and Diversity (lighter load as I have already completed some of my 3rd year subjects). In second semester I will be doing Transitions to Practice (double load), Leadership & management, and Contemporary Nursing. Fingers crossed they will be better in reality than they sound by their names!!!!!

Well back to the books, I have nearly finished Acid-Base disorders, next onto fluid and electrolytes (since they go so nicely together).

A man and his wife were sitting in the living room and he said to her,

"Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

His wife got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all of his beer.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Once again it has been ages since my last post. Last Saturday my computer died!!! What a nightmare. Sunday I purchased a "new" one and spent the entire day rebuilding the machine. I have spent the last week trying to retrieve my data from hard drives, importing email settings and getting the machine set up the way I want it.....I love computers until they turn evil and ruin your life!!!!

Anyway enough whinging. This week I went to see my favourite lecturer at Uni to have one of our fabulous discussions. We talked about Clinical Judgement Decision Making and why it is such a difficult topic to "teach" or "learn" and that it is equally about who you are as it is about what you know. Very indepth and fascinating. I felt like a bit of an idiot at times (side effect of mixing with genius!) but all in all a wonderful discussion.

I have finally begun to get my act together with getting into a serious study routine in preparation for my final year (yeah!). I have put together a folder with all the big topics that I want to refresh on and am using my favourite textbooks, websites and lecture notes to remind myself of all the important concepts. My big topics so far include Acid/base & Fluid/electrolyte imbalances, Cardiac related conditions, Chest X-ray interpretation, Haemodynamics, Pain, Shock, ECG interpretation, Crash Cart and common ED drugs and Advanced Airway management. I figure with 1 month left till I go back to school I should be well and truly refreshed after I finish with all that. Today I have started on Acid/Base imbalances and it feels so good to be learning again.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

ECG Links update

I have just updated my web site ( to include some links I have found to help with ECG interpretation. I covered this topic in Pathophysiology and Pharmacology about 18 months ago and I feel it is time for a refresher before I hit the wards again in a couple of weeks.

I don't know what it is about ECG interpretation but I think I have got it, then a couple of weeks later it is gone again....

As usual I would love to hear from anyone who has some good links to share, and your feedback is always welcome.

PS - thanks for the information from ICU 101: How to be an ICU RN

Friday, January 13, 2006

Clinical Judgements/Decision Making

I have been contemplating the process of making decisions as a novice RN. I think although this is largely experience based and would be difficult to prepare for if some of you could share some advice about making judgement based decisions as new grads (or new grads you have assisted, or witnessed) I am sure that will help me feel more prepared. For instance you may remember a situation where there were several different things to consider eg: you have a patient who is due for an IM anti-nausea medication, but has vomited on themselves, and needs to be cleaned up for a procedure, what do you do and why????

If anyone has any experiences like this and would be willing to share I would be most grateful.

"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up for the ride anyway"

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Honours Questions ???

It has been on my mind for some time now about what I could study for my honours. I went to see one of my particularly supportive lecturers who suggested I enroll in my masters next year coupled with my graduate program (seems strange to me that you can be considered a novice and partake in a 'Masters' program concurrently) then do an extra year of study on the end of my masters as my honours. That way I can do some of the honours work as electives and masters programs.

We were having a particularly lively conversation (as we always do) and he was telling me about his PhD topic which relates to clinical decision making for paramedics. I got to thinking about how new graduates make decisions and what judgments they use. Hundreds of questions followed in my head as I thought this through. So I am fleshing the ideas out at the moment, then I am going to hit the journals in search of current literature. Fun! I hear you say. Well I enjoy it immensely and I am bored sitting at home without deadlines and structured studying. Who knows I may end up with a nice little honours question out of it.

"Mental Floss prevents Moral Decay"

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Middle Ground

Well I thought that since I have chosen to remain an anonymous blogger for now a compromise would be to share with you all the general gist of my most recent submission. I won't bore you with the whole review but just share the most interesting pieces. I hope that you like it and more importantly I hope that just as I have you learn something or something you already know is refreshed.....

And so it goes....

Comprehensive information relating to thromboembolism treatment and prevention for healthcare practitioners can be found at The Thrombosis Clinic online at is an educational web site for healthcare practitioners with an interest in the prevention and management of thrombosis, a leading challenge in healthcare. aims to be a primary resource for thrombosis education and provides daily updates from leading experts, treatment advances, and educational tools and materials to answer practical questions. has many features beneficial to the healthcare practitioner such as up to date news articles and hot topics some specifically aimed at heath care professionals within primary healthcare teams and settings.

Slide presentations are downloadable for review. These presentations and mini-lectures which can be downloaded or viewed online are a clear and comprehensive educational tool.

Self directed learning packages provide a significant tool for the enhancement of professional knowledge for health care workers. The educational materials provide an excellent opportunity to health care workers to improve their general knowledge base about thrombosis. The website allows for registered users to complete CME (Continuing Medical Education) accredited programs to enhance their thrombosis understanding and management.

Boring I know.... but as a registered user you can complete a survey and 2 self paced courses offered online for free which will provide you with great information and they will even send you free textbooks!!!! As sceptical as I was I have already received my first textbook which is about Emergency Medicine - Hand delivered to my door in Australia!!!

If you have some free time (I know most of you are very busy) check it out... Till next time.

"Politicians and diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason".

Friday, January 06, 2006


I have just found out that my 3rd "published" work has come online. It is a website review that is published in an online medical journal. One of my lecturers at University is an editor of this journal and in 2005 asked me to make a contribution. My conundrum is that I am proud of my achievement and want to share it with my fellow bloggers, if I give in to this (ego initiated desire for recognition) I can no longer call my blog anonymous which may or may not have unforeseen repocussions in the future. What to do??? While I ponder this I will fill you in on why I am proud of this achievement.

It all started when my lecturer approached me to review a book or website on the Journal's topic of interest - given that I authored and published my own student nursing website ( he recommended I start with a website review. When I checked around the Journal's home page I was stunned to find that all the other contributors are amazing academics or experts in their field, I felt both overwhelmed and proud that I had been asked to contribute. So I submitted my work and with his guidance and direction have now had 3 submissions published. One of the submissions was a joint work with my lecturer as he said it would look great on my resume to have worked along side someone on a project. So there you have it.... I guess I will maintain my anonymity and pack my ego away.

Till next time....

"The believer is happy. The doubter is wise."

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Final Year Nerves!!!

Last night it hit me like a slap in the face....2 semesters of hard work and I will actually be a RN (assuming the academic gods are willing!!) I am soo not ready for this!!! Is it normal for panic to set in after 3 years of hard work?? I just don't feel equipped to handle anything yet. Maybe it is that I haven't been on prac for ages and I have lost my groove. I think the responsibility of the job is setting in.

In kind of a double edged sword thingy - I really enjoy reading other nurses, graduates and students blogs' as it is inspiring and comforting to know I am not alone. Then I get to thinking...Did they all feel overwhelemed like me? Were they full of panic or were they well prepared by the time graduation rolls round? I have always felt that the semester break of nearly 4 months is just too damn long. All the best intensions and well developed study habits go out the window as other responsibilities like caring for family, and other desires such as shopping and relaxing kick in. When going back to Uni it usually takes me the first 3 weeks to settle back into any sort of routine. By then panic sets in as there is always assessments due in week 4. I just need to spend my spare time reading and refreshing my knowledge base so I am ready to take on the responsibility of being a final year nursing student.

Thanks for stopping in.....

"Hear and you forget; see and you remember; do and you understand."

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

On a happy note our son is finally home...He is so much brighter and apart from looking like a pin cushion he is happy and in good spirits.

Thankfully Kowsaki disease is one of the first things they ruled out in the ED. They have been closely monitoring his blood work and he will have a follow up blood test this week and a CHX next week to make sure he is progressing. The other concern I had was Hand, Foot and Mouth which I raised with the Medical staff but 3 different Paediatric Dr's all said they believed it was caused by the bacteria releasing toxins when his temp was high and his whole body could peel. He is still on 2 oral antibiotics and we will have to go straight back if his temp rises above 38oC.

Anywho I am really happy to have him home and with a smile on his face. Thanks for your interest and concern.
Happy New Year.

"Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it"