Right Up My Alley

Week 1 of the summer term is under our belts. And I’m exhausted but excited! Since it’s the summer semester, they’ve compressed 15 weeks’ worth of work into 12…should be interesting. But the good news is we only have one clinical rotation (as opposed to the usual 2), and the coursework is very different from class to class, so there will be lots of variety.  Not to mention all three classes intrigue me to no end.

Our OB/Peds class is the tough one, content-wise.  The idea of learning care of the pregnant woman, the newborn, and the child (through adolescence) in three months is a bit intimidating.  But I’ve been waiting for this class since before the program started.  Now that we have experienced Med-Surg and have a foundation in our assessment and caregiving skills, I feel ready to tackle the little ones.  I’ll be doing my Peds rotation in June and July over 6 weeks, and also have to spend four clinical hours in a community-based experience, so I’ll be helping out at a lactation clinic in a couple weeks.  So excited to see all those babies!  My biggest fear about the class is that I’ll figure out that I don’t want to do peds nursing after all; then again, I’ve already figured out that there are other areas of nursing I enjoy, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world. At least I get the experience to figure that out now…

Our Family Nursing class is a good complement to OB/Peds – it’s discussion-based (no exams – yay!!), and centers around how health care issues affect the entire family, rather than the individual client.  Since my career background is in family support, I’m loving this!  We have to write a big research paper, but otherwise most of the work occurs in-class.

And then there’s Evidence-Based Research.  There is a big push within nursing to compare our actual practice with published guidelines about what is “best” practice, in order to improve and advance the profession.  The nerd in me loves this concept, and I am especially excited because this is an area where my eventual MSN as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) will play a HUGE role.  Since staff nurses are so overworked already, CNLs are able to work with them by doing the research and providing education.  Research answers the “why’s” of nursing; rather than simply do something because “this is the way it’s always been done,” we empower ourselves by putting literature into practice.  The only drawback of the class is the statistics (ugh!), but our awesome professor assures us that we will learn to love ’em (?). We also have a group research project, and our group will likely be addressing the question of how to improve nursing student education.

So there you have it…I have to say that I’m pretty pumped about the next few months.  But my brain hurts already!

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