Posted in LiFe, Nursing School, organizing, Stress Prevention

Well… Graduation happened. I’ve definitely been feeling the post graduation anxiety👩🏼‍🎓😓

It feels so crazy that it finally happened!! but I did it. I graduated from nursing school. So, now I’ve started the next step, the NCLEX. I’ve started the application process and the studying process. I bought, downloaded, printed, and page protected a wonderful nurses study guide for the NCLEX:

I’ve also purchased UWorld for 60 days. My goal is to study and to take the NCLEX in a month and a half I have a busy summer with 6 total weddings, one being my own.

One thing at a time, the NCLEX is the next item on my list.

Let’s see how this goes…🤞🏻

Well, evidentially things in life change. I ended up not taking my NCLEX until September instead on in June. I was so stressed and so overwhelmed with trying to celebrate graduation, turning 30, and planning weddings. I burnt myself out trying to complete the 75 questions a day on top of all those things listed above, looking for nursing jobs, all while still working as a bartender.

I BEAT MYSELF UP!! I made myself feel awful for not taking my exam when I originally planned. All my friends were doing it so who couldn’t I?! What was wrong with me why didn’t I have a nursing job lined up right out of school, why couldn’t I complete all the questions from UWorld that I had planned on doing, why did I feel so far behind?

If you’re feeling like this…STOP IT!!!

I was so stuck in my head about all of the things I felt like I wasn’t doing, I completely neglected giving myself credit for all the things I had done. Such as, going back to college at a later age (which was terrifying) and graduating with my BSN which is said to be one of the most difficult under grad programs one can get. I was forgetting to celebrate and enjoy the planning of my own wedding and being thankful so many people wanted me to stand up with them at theirs. None of my nursing friends were experiencing the same events in their lives so how could I compare myself to them.

Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. And that is true about everything in life. I am awful about comparing myself to other people around me. I have to constantly remind myself that we are all our own people, going through our own issues and experiences. No two people are expected live their lives the same way. So why do we do it? Why do we make ourselves feel small or less capable compared to other people? Is it societal pressures, parental pressures, community pressures? I believe it’s all of those aspects, it’s all of the aspects that help shape us into the humans we are today and that’s why we compare, we care. I personally never want to let anyone down or want anyone to think less of me. However, I CAN ONLY BE THE PERSON I AM. I will only be able to do what I can.

One thing that helps me remember this is reminding myself,

I can’t give 100%, 100% of the time. It’s not realistically feasible.

If that is what is expected of my then those are unrealistic expectations. I write these words to remind myself and to hopefully help others that may be feeling the same way.

The pressures after graduation are no different than the pressures people feel on a daily basis. The pressure of “I’m supposed to have this all figured out,” unfortunately for those thoughts, the reality is no one has it all figured out at least not 100% of the time.

So, I remind myself and others feeling this way (as my husband continuously reminds me); take it day by day, do what you can each day and don’t expect yourself to do it all in that one day. As the very true and valid cliché says, “Rome was not built in a day.”

Therefore, today I took a little self care and hung out with my best friend while getting our nails done, I’m writing this blog posts to remind myself of the aspects above, I’m going to do some yoga because I can feel my body needs it, I’m going to go to work and do my best that I can despite the dreams I had last night of feeling overwhelmed and insufficient, and maybe tomorrow I’ll work more on nursing sheets. One day at a time.

Check out the nursing sheets that are completed, more to come.

I CAN DO THIS!

And so can others that may be feeling the same way.

You got this!

Posted in LiFe, Nursing School, Stress Prevention

COVID Vaccine Education Sheet

In my nursing program, I took part in a Vaccine clinic. Our project was to inform the community about the COVID vaccine. So, my group and I created a poster to help educate the community around our clinical site. There is a lot of great information on there so I thought I’d share the information on here. This vaccine is an extremely current topic and more information is coming out daily. This is just the basics surrounding the COVID vaccine. Please check out the CDC’s website to get the most up to date information. That is where my fellow students and I found most of our info.

I hope this information is helpful to some. If you’d like to download it for your own personal clinical to hand out to patients so they have the information, please do so. Our most valuable tool as nurses and nursing students is education.

This past year has been a lot, for many people. And that’s putting it nicely, let’s be honest. We can all use a little help in learning information. I’m sharing this to help provide education for this extremely current situation going on in our lives right now.

Posted in LiFe, Stress Prevention

Understanding My Mental Health

Mental illnesses are a tough subject to discuss. Most people don’t acknowledge their own struggles. Mainly because we’re taught at a young age to hide our feelings, to not express too many emotions, to always be brave. But from my experience, that doesn’t always work. Yes, there are times that we need to be brave but not 100% of the time.

This beautiful author, Rupi Kaur expresses her feelings, emotions, thoughts, and experiences in their entirety. There have been countless times when I felt as though I had written those same words. Words that I couldn’t fully get out of my thoughts to put onto paper. She speaks words that help me to understand myself more than I had before I opened her books. This is a brief little explanation to how wonderful this woman is and how life saving a few words really can be.

Click Book to purchase!

Click Book to purchase!

Click Book to purchase!

These books have been absolutely amazing to read. Since I bought these books, there hasn’t been one day that has gone by when I haven’t been telling at least one person about them. So, that’s why this one is short and sweet so I can plant a seed for those that need it

Posted in LiFe, Nursing School, organizing, Stress Prevention

Clinical Readiness

Clinical bags/bag Essentials

Clinical stress! No matter how many clinical’s I’ve been to in nursing school I get worried and nervous every time. Something that helps me calm down and relax a little, in general, is making a list. I make a list for everything! Chores, groceries, todo lists; if I can put it on a list to cross it off or check mark it so I know that it’s completed, I do it. So, clinical is nothing different. This way I know I’m not forgetting anything. I’ll admit, Amazon is my best friend with these items. So, I’ve become and Amazon Associate so I could attach the links in this blog. And just to be up front and honest, I do receive a small amount from Amazon when people use these links.

Create Your Own List

My Capstone Check List

Each clinical is going to require a few different materials. For instance, in the list above, I’ve included my pediatric pocketbook for my clinical placement on the pediatric floor. I have also included a few different nursing brains that I’ve accumulated from past clinical placements to see which I feel best fits my clinical needs in this particular placement.

Everyone’s Brain is Different!

I mean this literally and figuratively. The Nurse Brains I use may not be the best for every individual person and that is why I HIGHLY recommend acquiring as many Nurse Brains throughout nursing school as clinical placements. By seeing how each department or hospital uses their Nurse Brains I’ve STARTED to figure out which ones work best for me.

Nurse Brains Coming Soon


Clinical Essentials

NurseIQ Info Badges, Stethoscope, Bandage Scissors, Pocket Drug Guide, Nurse Info Clipboard, Pen Light, Pens, and Essential Oil Retractable Badge Holder
I chose 5 Info cards to hold on to that I felt I needed the most for this specific clinical; head to toe, nursing basics, pediatrics, code blue, and medication calculations

NurseIQ Info Badges: Thank you to a wonderful nurse that has made it her goal to help nursing students and other nurses. I was feeling quite intimidated going into my senior practicum/capstone (final clinical before graduation) due to missing my hands on pediatric clinical. Which was missed due to COVID-19, my cohort and I were unable to complete our pediatric clinical hands on, we had to complete it virtually. So, I started looking at resources when I found this beautiful nurse and her amazing aspirations. Additionally, the best thing about these badges are they’re not only for pediatrics! They cover ALL of the basics that students need and nurses may need reminding of.

Essential Oil Retractable Badge Holder: This is what holds my ID badge and my Info Badges together. I chose the essential oil one because let’s be honest, there’s so many smells in the hospital. It comes with different felt disks so you can keep different smells on different disks. I don’t think I’ve changed out the purple felt disk on mine because it’s my lavender one. If the lavender helps me to not stress as much or if it helps a patient to not stress as much, I say, “why the heck not!” I have gotten so many compliments on it and this is one item that I’ve had from the very beginning.

Pocket Drug Guide: To be fully prepared when dispensing medications. This is one of my most necessary items in my bag. I do not know every med out there, not many do. And one should never administer something they don’t know what its indicatios are or possible side effects to look out for. This book has probably 95% of the medications that I’ve looked up and it fits right in my pocket. For my clinical prep I would mark all of the medications my patient was on. When I would have more than 1 patient I would mark on the tabs, “1” or “2” or even “both” so I know which med goes to which patient and I have the possible side effects, nursing implications, and dosages marked before I go to give the patient their meds. I’ve attached the newest version here.

Bandage Scissors: This was an item I wish I had from the beginning. There had been multiple times that nurses had asked me if I had scissors on me and I always felt behind or forgetful when I had to embarrassingly say, “No.” I will admit that this is not an item I use on a daily basis, however, having them on me when they’re needed is more of a, “HECK YES! I have a pair of scissors!” Instead of feeling any type of disappointment. This particular pair can cut through a penny and can be put in an autoclave. Now, I was not looking for the strongest pair out there. What I was looking for was a sturdy and lasting pair of scissors and after two 12 hour shifts they’re holding up great :).

Pediatric Pocket Book: This item is one that comes in handy more than you’d think. During down time, I look it over and if there’s anything that I don’t remember from the class I highlight it or write it down. I was naive to think that I would remember everything from each course. I would love to be able to remember everything that I’ve learned but unfortunately, that’s not very realistic. I have to remind, reiterate, and rewrite topics to be able to remember them. I’ve also seen that they have these pocket books for other courses. I personally have not used them but if they have as much information (I would assume they would) as this particular pocket book, it’s a great resource. So, I put links to others that I’ve thought about getting, just in case.

A Couple Pen Lights: While performing assessments as a nursing student it’s hard to remember everything you’re supposed to check. There’s so many things running though your mind that it feels like it’s about to explode. One of the assessments I forget most is checking pupils PERRLA (Pupils are Equal, Round, Reactive to Light and Accommodating). With the pen light in my pocket and my nursing basics info badge it makes it easier to remember this assessment. Also, on the pen light they have pupil sizes so you can measure (nice little perk).

Nursing Clipboard: This was another item I unfortunately waited to get until my senior practicum. There were many times I’d try writing on the wall when I needed to add information to my nurse brains. This is another great resource for things such as lab values, pupil measurements, injection sites, all things that when I was in class I thought, “Oh I know this, I understand this,” but then when I’m in the setting I second guess myself and this is an amazing reassurance or double check.

Stethoscope: Now I’ll be honest, I’ve had my stethoscope since I first became a Vet Tech in 2010, so I wont preach about which one is the best because that is something I’m still figuring out. One thing I have figured out is to not spend the most amount of money on my first stethoscope. This is an item that I think is a perfect graduation present for a nursing student. In nursing school your stethoscope gets passed around, taken, moved, tossed, you name it and that’s why I don’t recommend getting your “perfect” stethoscope from the get go.

Posted in Nursing School, organizing, Stress Prevention

Management of the Older Adult Two: Medical Surgical “Med Surg” Two

Well, 2020 has been a bit difficult for just about everyone. Probably a bit more difficult than this course is. So, that means we could all use a little help. I have attached my study guides from my Med Surg 2 class. There’s a Doc available for each exam for download. I recommended adding whatever one feels is necessary from their own lecture. I’ve also attached PDF photos of my own additions to my study guide I added during my actually studying for the exam when I was answering questions on the additional question study guide that is attached. As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, everyone studies and learns differently and that is likely to change from course to course. Being able to adapt ones studying techniques to the course is going to aid in excelling and understanding in the course.

Exam 1 Gastrointestinal & Renal

Exam 1 Additional Notes page 1
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Exam Two Endocrine & Cardiovascular

Exam 2 Additional Notes page 1
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Exam 3 Immune & Neurology

Exam 3 Additional Notes page 1
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Exam 4 Shock & Burns

Exam 4 Additional Notes page 1
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Exam 4 Additional Notes page 5
Posted in Nursing School, organizing, Stress Prevention

Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself

We live in a society where we go, go, go, and then we go some more. We forget to check in on ourselves. I say this because I am also 100% guilty of this. Unfortunately, I tend to realize how little I’ve checked in when it seems too late and I’m having a break down. I’ll admit it, I’m human and can emotionally only take so much. Let me say that again, I’m human, we’re all human, we’re aloud to have emotions. We are aloud to express our emotions. However, society has made it difficult to acceptably express our emotions. So, with this in mind we have to check in and figure out what helps release those emotions. Some activities that I have come to realize have been helping me are:

Mandala Colorings

When it comes to drawing, I am not the best. Coloring on the other hand, is something that I very much enjoy. It makes me feel like a little kid again and when I say that I mean, I feel like I have no worries, except maybe staying in the lines. The only “worries” are which colors to use, staying in the lines, and what do I want this to look like. There have been plenty of studies that have shown how coloring can relax the fear center of the brain. This is just one small, easy way to take the mind off anything that keeps playing of repeat over and over in the mind.

Mandala Coloring Book For Adults With Thick Artist Quality Paper, Hardback Covers, and Spiral Binding by ColorIt

Yoga

Yoga is another activity that I didn’t believe in at first. I have been doing yoga for a few years now, never religiously, just when I could. Yoga works if it’s done every day or if it’s done it once a month. Giving myself even the small amount of 20 minutes to stretch and focus just on me, relieves a ridiculous amount of stress. This video has been one of the best stress relievers that I have found. Take the time to relief stress and tension.

Breathing

Breathing and meditation are something that I feel like many people have said, “You should really try this! It really helps!” and yet for some reason, in my mind, I thought, “Yea, ok, yea right” However, my thoughts were completely wrong. I didn’t believe that meditation and breathing would honestly help me to relax and focus my energy. Even though, that’s exactly what it’s designed for. I still didn’t or couldn’t believe it. It took me until I saw first hand how it could help someone.

My fiancé started following the Wim How method. I would hear him breathing in the shower in the mornings. Then when he would come home from work, he’d head down stairs and I could hear him doing the breathing exercises again. At first I was thinking again, “I’m not sure this is really going to help,” and “I’m not so sure I believe in it.” After awhile my fiancé would come up stairs after meditating and breathing and he would have the biggest smile on his face and almost seemed as though he was a completely new person. I could feel how relaxed and at ease he felt. It was electrifying and contagious. So, I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t think I felt different after the first time so my fiancé said that’s normal and it’ll take a few times to feel the effects. He was very encouraging. And let’s be honest, nothing happens in one day or after one time. I have done the Wim Hof breathing for a couple weeks now and I can definitely feel the effects. This is something that is free, easy, and it works. I highly recommend giving it a shot, and giving it your all. The only person being suffering is you. The first couple times I tried it, I didn’t let myself give it my all and that’s why it didn’t work. Then, I realized the only person I’m not helping is myself.

Meditating

While doing some of the breathing exercises I also listen to a meditation. My fiancé had the amazing idea that we combine the Wim Hof breathing method with a guided meditation. I found one meditation that is all about grounding and accepting. When combining the meditation with the breathing I was able to feel like I was floating. I felt like I was able to ground myself and feel free at the same time. For someone who was so against meditating and breathing and didn’t believe in either, I have become a strong believer. I didn’t realize how disconnected from myself I had become, and honestly, still am. Yet, I am and will continue to work on it, to work on my, work on finding myself and grounding myself. So, for anyone who is hesitant to give any of this a try, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! But, think about it who will it hurt? The only thing it can do is either help, or not do anything. Either way there’s nothing lost.

Posted in Nursing School, organizing, Stress Prevention, Wedding Planning

2nd Week

Alright. Second week down. First couple exams this week in addition to make up classes. This week was another full week. But I did it, I did well on my exams, I don’t have any missing assignments, we’re getting the internet system figured out. I think the positives of this week override the negatives, the stresses. I must admit, I had a few anxiety break downs; but what I quickly realized was, I’M NOT ALONE! Every corner I turned Tuesday morning, I heard another person telling their friend about their break down! At that moment I took a GIANT breathe, obviously not because these people were also having anxiety but because I wasn’t alone in how I felt. I’ve said this 100 times in the last two weeks. “This program is difficult, it should be difficult! We are taking care of lives, of human lives. I would be more concerned if it wasn’t difficult.” So, what do we do about it being difficult? We adjust.

This past weekend I probably studied for exams, and finished homework assignments for approximately 12 hours. From Saturday to Monday. I was trying to get as far on homework as I possibly could.

Organize and Set Yourself up for Success

One thing I do to help myself and organize myself is finish as many assignments (especially ones that don’t take a long period of time to complete) as I possibly can, more importantly I do it at the very beginning of the semester. I don’t know about anyone else but when I start to come up on the end of the semester a lot of assignments are due, I’m trying to study for finals, and let’s be honest at this point of the semester I am beat. I’m physically and more understandably, I’m mentally exhausted. I just studied almost everyday for the last 16ish weeks.

So, I help myself out for later in the semester. I am more able and willing to study even when mentally, I’m ready to throw in the towel. I do better on finals because it’s the only thing on my plate.

Alright, that was my speal about getting stuff done early and honestly that could go for just about anything in life. Easier said than done, right? Yes, BUT one at a time makes everything easier. That’s all I know I can do. I can multi task, yes, however I can only complete one assignment at a time.

So, I put them in order of urgency just as I would if I was a nurse in a hospital setting. My primary urgency is anything that is due the next day. My secondary urgency is anything that is due that week. Finally, my third urgency is assignments that are due the next week and then the following week and so on and so forth. Then, I could break it down even further and look at which ones are going to be difficult and time consuming and which ones I can knock out quickly. The ones I can get done fast I will finish first then work on the longer ones. TIME MANAGEMENT, boom!

Organized chaos
Redi-Tag Divider Sticky Notes, Tabbed Self-Stick Lined Note Pad, 60 Ruled Notes, 4 x 6 Inches, Assorted Neon Colors (29500)

This is my study station. I like to spread out. I put just about everything in front of me so I can see it and grab it if I have a hot train of thought going. This looks like I just threw a bunch of stuff on my bed but I know where everything is and I know what I need to get done. My agenda is one thing that is right next to me.

Color coded
HARDCOVER Academic Planner 2019-2020: (June 2019 Through July 2020) 5.5″x8″ Daily Weekly Monthly Planner Yearly Agenda. Bonus Bookmark, Pocket Folder and Sticky Note Set (Pink Marble Triangles)

It’s almost as if I have two agendas in one. I write down the daily assignments and such that my teachers mention. Then, I have my list on the right that has what I need to have done for each class that week. I have had nightmares about forgetting assignments or exams or being late and missing an exam. Other type A people, especially nursing students know exactly what I’m talking about. Well, this has stopped those nightmares.

If It Takes 5 Minutes…

A wise man once told me, “If you’re afraid of forgetting something, write it down. Save yourself even the slightest amount of stress just by writing it down.” Simple right? But, I did it just last night. I had a great idea for my blog today and for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. So, instead of taking the time to even type it in my phone I forgot it and now I’m beating myself up for it. I don’t need any/or want anymore stress so why didn’t I take that wise man’s advice? I was being just a little bit lazy. It would have taken me 1 minute max to type it in a note. This is something that I too have to continue to work on. Good rule of thumb: if it takes less than 5 minutes to get it done, just do it and get it done. You’ll spend more time thinking about how it needs to get done then the time the task actually takes.

Wedding Planning

Amongst all the chaos I made time for myself to finish up our Save the Dates. To make my life easier I bought clear address labels that I can place right onto the Save the Date postcard. I decided on postcards for our Save the Dates. This way I dont have to worry about or pay the money for envelopes, or take the time to write out everyone’s address. In addition to not having to spend the time hand writing the addresses, I have all of the adresses saved for the Wedding invitations and Thank You cards. I’ll just have to print them out. I am all about making things less difficult and less stressful.