It’s only been half a decade, but nursing school seems so long ago. Let me rephrase that — me as a student nurse seems almost unbelievable.
I mean in the past 5 years I have grown so much as a nurse and as a professional that when I think about myself as a nurse back then I am just speechless at how much I DID NOT know. Not only that — but I had no idea how much I would learn.
I thought nursing school was THE ‘ticket’ — after nursing school I would be ready. Boy was I wrong. But the ‘me’ now (meaning me as nurse) wants to stay as grounded as possible, so I’m remembering all the ‘highlights’ from nursing that were (clearing my throat) eye-opening and just down-right side-stitching laugh-out-loud entertaining. At least they are now.
I remember from nursing school:
- How much I hated looking like a walking Q-tip (students wore all white uniforms)
- My very first stethoscope – boy it was horribly heavy
- The concept of the stethoscope being put in your ears properly – I didn’t get that at first. LOL
- Learning to give my first bed bath (people get baths in bed? Really?)
- Learning to give my first subcutaneous injection to an orange (that poor orange)
- Starting my very first IV on a patient as she sat up at the bedside and cried in horror (true story)
- Learning that the arm above the toilets only worked when you lowered them down (yes – I ducked the first time I used it)
- Lowering the patient’s bed is a good thing (I left it sky high once – and forgot)
- Hanging my first IV fluids and IV antibiotic (I thought it was the coolest thing in the world)
- EKG’s scared the bejesus outta me at first (PQRST? What the heck does the alphabet have to do with those lines?)
- Taking a blood pressure in front of my instructors ( I dropped the cuff twice – my palms were sweaty)
- My first subcutaneous injection given to a ‘real’ patient (I was shaking)
- My obnoxiously large clipboard that carried everything to clinicals (it had pockets, a calculator, ruler, calculations, etc)
- Looking up all those darn drugs for clinicals each day (I lost a lot of sleep)
- Care plans became the devil (I lost even more sleep)
- Time management took on a whole new meaning (I really wanted someone to invent the 30 + hour day – 24 just wasn’t enough)
And I remembered, and am reminded every day, that not everyone could do this job.
How about you? What do you remember from nursing school?