I made it to the finals week!

I can choose to see stress as a challenge and not a setback!

I should be studying right now for my three finals, starting tomorrow and ending on May 6th, 2021. But I decided to make a quick post about my thoughts and feelings as I am nearing down to the end of the semester.

I know I have mentioned a couple of times in my previous posts that nursing school is challenging, and one needs to stay determined and committed. I have lost motivation to study many times, but I kept pushing myself because I am so close to the finish line. There have been times when I have cried and felt frustrated, but I was not alone. All my classmates were suffering along with me. We had a group chat with 7-8 of us, and everyone seemed to be going through the same emotions. I have made some really amazing friends, and if it wasn’t for them, I would have probably had a complete mental breakdown.

Anyways, I cannot wait to take my last final, which is the HESI EXIT EXAM that I am absolutely dreading. All the exams are cumulative, so I am a little worried because I haven’t had the time to continuously brush up on the old material throughout the semester. Having a family makes it a lot tougher because I am usually running on my children’s timetable. I hope that the fall semester will be a lot better when I can go back to campus in person, and my oldest will be back in school.

I think for my finals, I timed myself really poorly. I was supposed to start studying a week ago. I only started yesterday, which basically gives me 48 hours to complete everything. I was on top of my game at the beginning of the semester, and I spiraled down towards the end. Hopefully, the summer will recharge me back again, and I can start my second semester of nursing school strong. So, I am studying the newer materials first and familiarizing myself with the content, and doing a lot of practice questions. I will be skimming through my notes on the older topics. I don’t plan on cramming anything. I am just going to stay calm and take it one hour at a time at this point.

This is exactly what is going on LOL!

So that is it for today’s post. I really wanted to come in here and just give a quick update on what’s going on. I will definitely be posting more after this week, but I don’t want to make any promises. I really appreciate everyone who has subscribed to my blog. It really means a lot to me because it is what keeps me motivated to continue blogging. I will try to bring in more exciting and fun content.

Happy Studying!!

First day of clinicals as a nursing student

When you feel like quitting, think about why you started!

How exciting!!! Every nursing school student dreams of stepping foot in the hospital and getting to learn and see things from the nurse’s point of view. You feel a sense of pride when are able to wear the uniform representing your school and have the stethoscope hanging around the neck.

So, I had quite an eventful first day. I did not know what to expect, but I did go prepared. I had my clipboard, stethoscope, pen and paper, ID badges, and phone. I met up with my friends in the front lobby, and we followed our instructor.
Our instructor introduced us to all the nurses and the health care personnel working on the assigned floor. We did a mini scavenger hunt to become familiar with everything around us. It was a great way to start our day.

I thought since it’s the first day, we were going to be shadowing a nurse. But boy, was I wrong. My instructor goes to me, “Maha, you are going to be checking the vital signs of patients in rooms 120 and 121.” I looked behind me as if there was a different Maha, but nope, it was me. I pointed to myself and was like, “Are you sure that’s a good idea?” one of the nurses was cracking up and reassured me that I would be fine and either she or my instructor would guide me.

I was really nervous. I did not expect to get hands-on with a patient after practicing on the mannequins in school. But I got myself together and went into the room. After taking the vital signs and writing them down, and notifying the nurse in charge of the patient, I felt accomplished. I started to feel confident and so I did the next patient on my own and went back an hour later for reassessment as per my instructions.

Later in the day, our instructor gathered my friends and me into an elderly patient’s room who was immobile and incontinent. We were asked to change the bedsheets and his diaper. We were doing everything as guided, but then we realized that the patient had gone number two and at this point we did not know how to continue. But our instructor gave us wipes and asked us to clean him up. Once again, we all had to get it together and did our job. After cleaning the gentleman and changing his bedsheet, we took turns and fed him his lunch. He thanked us and told us we did a great job. That made all of us happy. I realized this is what I am here for. To make those who are vulnerable feel good.

On a side note, yes we were performing hand hygiene before and after seeing patients. We also wore clean gloves before and after assessing patients.

The rest of the day, we administered oral medications, insulin, inhalers, and checked blood glucose of levels of patients. This was all done under supervision. It was a very humbling experience. I learned a lot more stuff, and it was definitely one of the motivational factors to continue moving forward.

I know I have been MIA the past month, but nursing school has been really rough. I am almost towards the end of the semester, and it is a whole lot of material bombarded at the end that I am barely just finishing up right before the deadline.

I will definitely be writing more about my experiences, so if you haven’t already, go ahead and follow me, so you don’t miss out on any exciting posts.

As always,
Happy Studying!!

How I take notes in nursing school

Be addicted to your passions and not your distractions

Taking notes in nursing school is completely different and the reason being is that the professors usually don’t share power point slides and even if they do, it is pretty vague. They expect you to read the books and understand what they explain in lecture. There is no such thing as memorization in nursing school because all the tests and exams are applied knowledge based.

When I was doing my prerequisities all my notes were neat and clean. They were all rainbows and sunshine (literally!) because I had all the time in the world to decorate with different color pens, and highlight. I had to completely change my style of taking notes when I started my nursing classes. Pretty bummed by it because my notes aren’t as pretty but it’s organized.

Before taking notes, I always read the materials ahead of time. This keeps me focused in class and I understand what the professor is talking about. If I missed anything while reading or had any questions, I would write them down and get it cleared out at the end of class.

So here are the changes I made while taking notes this semester:
1. I use only one type of black ink pen for all my note-taking. It’s the zebra black ink in 0.5 mm tip and it keeps your handwriting neat. This saves my time since I am not constantly changing the colors of the pen in between writing.

The best pen for note-taking.

2. I use the Stabilo Boss highlighter to highlight main points. This highlighter does not smudge your ink and dries quickly. It gives the highlighting a clean finish.

The pastel color is my absolute favorite.

3. There are so many different ways to take notes and it really depends on the person. I feel like the outlining method works best for me and this is how I usually take my notes. I personally don’t like the Cornell method only because it tends to get messy for me.

Outline method

I write down questions on the bottom of my notes if I have any. Because questions pop up when you have covered a certain amount of topics.

I, also have a group study sessions with like 2-3 people and we usually meet up on zoom after we have covered the materials for exam on our own. That way we don’t waste time on going over everything but rather have all the questions ready in hand. It is always best to ask questions to your friends because they might understand a topic (that you’re having difficulty in) in a much simpler and better way and help you out with it.

If you have issues trying to figure out what note-taking methods work best for you, I’d recommend picking a few and giving them a try. See which one you like better and which one helps you take more meaningful notes.

Here are some note-taking methods that you can find online:
=>The outline method
=>The Cornell method
=>The boxing method
=>The charting method
=>The mapping method

As usual, if you have a different note-taking method that works for you, feel free to share on the comments down below! I’d love to learn more about it 🙂

Happy Studying!!