Okay, so I lied. I said I was gonna post throughout nursing school, but it's sucked away so much of my time that I haven't had time for things like blog posting. First semester was kindergarten compared to second (I didn't think so at the time, but I know now). I had a lot of things go my way though.
The hardest, most stressful thing about first semester was lab finals. All through the semester we learned how to perform various skills. Everything from hand washing to inserting a catheter. We had to video tape ourselves doing it, then turn it in to be graded. They were really tough on things like sterile fields. If the shadow of your hand crosses something that's supposed to be sterile... FAIL! Fail more than twice then you are kicked from the program. That sucked but I got through it all. Lab finals was a sort of live test of those. You draw a scenario, and perform all of the skills on it in front of the teachers, who watch and grade you live. I lucked out and drew an easy scenario. I had to wash my hands, wrap a stump (amputee), clean a dry, closed wound (easiest one), and give some basic meds (two kinds of insulin mixed, a couple pills, and something else that I can't remember).
I bombed it... the only thing I passed was the stump wrap. I left a little spot of soap on my arm, so I failed hand washing. I let my hand drop below my waist (contaminating my sterile hand), so I failed the wound. I said the wrong number outloud after I drew up an injection, and therefore failed pharm. I was devastated. You only get two chances... if I failed again, that was it for me.
For the second try you draw another random scenario... I walked in and picked a different number hoping for the best. I was so pissed that I blew the first try, since it was the easiest possible scenario for me... now I was probably going to have to do an irrigated open, wet dressed wound or insert a foley with a specimen collection (not that that would phase me this semester, but last semester it was scary). I should have bought a lottery ticket that day because somehow, even though it was random, I drew the EXACT same scenario! Needless to say I nailed it... on to second semester, which I'll post about when I feel less lazy.