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"