Second semester is in the bag. There were a few bumps in the road, however, I must say it went better (grade wise) than the first. As far as the bumps go…
My pharmacology class was not what I was expecting at the least. Sad to say because that was the one class I was looking forward to taking while in nursing school. I guess the program moved things around this past semester, so the professor who normally teaches pharm was only going to teach patho, not both. And for some reason they either found or had a new professor for pharm. Which is fine but how the semester played out, it all just ended up being a mess of a class. I believe we had 4 classes out of the 13 classes cancelled. Each class having 5-10 chapters to cover. Topics were moved around, weeks were moved around, and some topics were taken out. Along with this, the class was one of those where the professor sits at the podium and reads every word on the powerpoint. And please note that these powerpoints are the ones that are made by the textbook company. To me, this isn’t a biology 101 class, it is pharmacology. I mean, sure I can read the book to learn something but I’m paying tuition for professors to teach, aide, and contribute something more to me learning the material. I want to learn from them explaining it, from their experiences, and their knowledge. Not just by listening to them read the important information they picked out from a text book. I know I probably shouldn’t be bashing this class because who knows who’s reading this! But I do want to share my experience with other nursing students, whether your going into this program or any other nursing program. I guess I was just a little upset because I was expecting a lot more from this class. A student who was retaking it said she thought we got lucky that we didn’t have to take it with the old professor. I do agree, it would have been harder and I may have gotten a lower grade because the other professor’s exams are more difficult, but I think I would have learned more. I don’t want to sound regretful, because I’m not. I don’t regret it, I learned what I learned and made the best of the situation and worked my butt off to learn what I needed to to past the exams.
The other bump, was with my independent study course. Now as a two year student, we will be the only people taking this course. Well, that is, if you actually need to be a part time student AKA you need financial aid…then you take this course. That being said, those who take this course have minimal experience with writing case studies and care plans. The IS only has one assignment all semester and it is to write a case study on a patient. Care plans we wrote one once in the past for our psych clinical, although speaking only personally, I had to figure that one out on my own as well. As far as case studies go, we haven’t been shown or taught anything about them before. Which is fine, I mean if we were actually provided with material on how to correctly write or format the two. But that wasn’t the case. I think my main concern was that, the professor who would be grading the papers was very particular and a difficult grader. So I didn’t want to write the care plan in paragraph form because I didn’t know to do it in chart form and get 10 points taken off because the directions weren’t clear. I was also unsure if my nursing diagnoses were correct or at least going in the right direction. I have only written psych nursing diagnoses and interventions before, and I must say those are a bit different than one for COPD. Long story short, I wasn’t able to get in contact with the professor by phone, in-person, or email to try and get help. I ended up seeking out a different professor for guidance with the paper. All in all, I came out with a very good grade on it and a nice email from the professor (funny how that works) after the semester ended.
Things I’ve learned:
- I think I have figured out the best study habits for myself. However, this seems to change based on each class I take.
- Dont depend on others to get you through this program. Do what you need to do to get through it, its only 2 years or 6 semesters (less if you’re in the one year program) so just keep going.
- You are going to have shit professors and you are going to have amazing ones. But that’s going to happen at any college and in any program you go into. So make the best of what you get and don’t rely on the professor to get you through the class.
- Use your resources. As in your classmates. This semester I begged my friends to do study sessions and even reached out to other classmates to study with as well. I knew I wasn’t retaining information because I wasn’t getting the bigger picture of topics and what I needed was to discuss and explain and describe things to someone else to make sure I was on the right page.
- Sure, use your professors as well. I mean, that is if you didn’t get one of the crappy ones and actually have a good one. Then utilize them! They will help. Even sometimes the ones you think are bad, may actually come through to help you with something if you ask. It never hurts to ask a question, the worst that can happen is they’ll decline and then you move on and find help elsewhere.
- It may seem very hard during your first semester. But as you progress through this program the things you learn will help build your knowledge for future classes. You’ll be able to use previous information learned from one class to help get you through other classes.
- That being said, the HESI exam got a lot easier for me the second time around. I was very worried about it because 1-it was for pharm and well you heard me already complain about that and 2-I bombed the psych hesi last semester. However, I was able to use previous patho and some psych knowledge to get me through that hesi exam.
- I also learned to ditch the ear plugs during the Hesi test, use my scrap paper to write key words down (because its on the computer), and not to worry about the time! They give you two hours to take it and even though I was only on question 25 (out of 55) when the first girl left, at least I wasn’t stressing over every question and unsure if I gotten it right or wrong.
I’m interested to see how many students come back this next semester. Rumor is that most students get filtered out of the program after the 1st and 2nd semesters. We started around 50 students, the 2nd semester we had 31, and now we’ll see where we’re at in a couple weeks! And thats including both the 1 and 2 year students I started with in the fall.
Summer classes start June 1st, it isn’t going to be anything very interesting for me at least. Another slow semester. One day a week of an ethics class + two online classes (one of them being another Independent study). The elective I’m taking is Historical Issues in Nursing, although I’m still unsure if I even want to take it. The other option was Holistic Nursing and Integrative Healing. Anyone have any opinions on it?? The thing is 1-holistic nursing does not interest me, I’m more of a heal you in a practical way kind of girl. 2-the Holistic class has a professor who I have never met but has very bad reviews online, while Historical I know nothing about the professor. 3-Historical is all online, while Holistic is online except you need to attend class 3 times during the summer. 4-Historical may be boring and sounds like a bunch of papers! But if you think about it, they’re probably all a bunch of papers. So my view on this, is that it’s either an easy way out for me to just take historical nursing or take a class that doesn’t interest me but I may be judging a book by its cover. Let me know what you think!
Until then, I have three more weeks off until classes start. Thursday is our 4 year anniversary. But don’t get too excited, we are going upstate (I can’t believe I’m calling Poughkeepsie upstate!) that day to watch Andrew’s brother graduate college and then we’ll probably do dinner with his family. So much for a romantic evening. I don’t mean that in a negative way, it’s just that we just haven’t had an anniversary yet to celebrate together, we finally live together and still can’t celebrate it alone. I am quite excited to go to the graduation though. I’m really proud of his brother and I know its going to mean a lot to him if we’re there. Plus on Saturday (we pushed the celebration back a couple days) we’ll be headed 10 hours south of here for our own mini vacation in South Carolina, just the two of us. That’ll be a fun road trip! Relationship bonding at its finest. By the time we get back, it’ll be just in time for my best friend to come visit me down in the city for the weekend before classes start back up.
I made a new workout schedule for myself. I have been following it for the past 2 weeks and going to try and stick with it for the most part during our vacation. I think it will be doable. I will type it up and post it tomorrow, its nothing too crazy but something to do for now. I’ve also been playing around with my macros a bit so I will let you all know how that’s been going as well!