Monday, April 29, 2013

Next Step

My next step, is to try to update my curriculum vitae/résumé.  I would like to find a part-time or casual job as a home care worker this summer, as I'd like to get some health care experience.  Some extra money wouldn't hurt either!

I'll be going to meet with my univerity's career counselling people this week.  I hope they have some good insight to share with me, regarding how best to update my c.v. in a way that includes my transferrable skills from my first career, plus my education and relevant health-related volunteer experience.  This should be interesting.  I've researched this topic a bit on the web, and there is no shortage of suggestions out there - and they vary widely!

I've volunteered to help out as part of the medical team for my city's upcoming marathon.  They want nursing students.  Yay!

Now that classes, labs and clinicals ore over until September, I've realized that I miss wearing scrubs!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Freedom is a (GREAT) Feeling!

Well, its done!  I'm officially "half" a nurse.  Every class, every clinical shift, every care plan from here on it, will be on the latter half towards the finish line.  It's as if these past two years have been 'climbing' to the peak, and the next two years, will be sliding down to the finish line.

It feels great to be half-way done. 

I truly cannot believe how quickly these two years have flown by.  And what's a bit scary to think about too, is how quickly two years would have also flown by had I still been thinking and agonizing over my decision to quit my job in my first career, and start nursing school.  I could so easily have found myself still sitting in my chair, in my little office, wishing I had the nerve to start nursing school and dreaming about being a nurse.

Well, guess what?  I did it - I made the decision and haven't looked back.  One of the best decisions of my life, and without a doubt, THE most difficult. 

Now to relax a bit, start to tackle my huge list of projects around the home that need to be done by September, get myself back into shape and catch up on having some fun times without school hanging over my head. 

Today, I am an 'rn'...not an RN, but an 'rn' (lower case).  This time last year, when I finished first year, my son declared that I was a "lower case r", this year I've earned the "lower case n".  Next year I'll be working on getting a capital R...

Future Nurse Kate

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

T minus 2 hours

Two more hours to go until my final exam of second year mercifully begins.  The waiting is killing me.  Ijust want to sit down and write the test.  100 multiple choice questions (100 little coloured in circles on a scan sheet!) stand between 4 school-free months.  Bring it on.

I just took my dog for a nice, long walk.  I'm at the point where I really can't retain any more info.  I know what I know, and I'll try my best, but cramming at this point is useless.  Instead, my brain is refreshed from being outside, and I feel calmer...and my dog is happy too!

Bring the last exam on....champagne is waiting in the fridge for later today!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

One more day to go

Just one more day stand between having four months free from school...and FINALLY getting around to tackling the clutter pile that is my house.

I have my schedule for third year, and I realize I truly need to get my house in order, literally, before the start of third year.  House-related things need to be functioning smoothly and relativerly easily, in order that we'll be able to keep up the other family-related demands a family of 5 has.  I've got the summer to purge, de-clutter, organize, clean, paint and streamline, and now I also have the impetus (i.e. 3rd year nursing school's schedule looming over my head!) to do so.

Just one more day to do my best at sitting at my desk and trying to learn what's in the textbook and in my notes. 

Oh, and my youngest child had her two front teeth knocked out at school yesterday, when they made contact with her friend's head.  She is resilient and has re-bounded fully, and I am still somewhat shaken.  One was knocked clean out, and the other was hanging all askew and bloody.  Ugh.

Yesterday at the dentist's office, I was the mom who had to briefly leave the room as her child's tooth got yanked.  I just couldn't bear to watch.  I now fully understand the need for a "degree of separation" needed in the medical field.  It's not an absolute must, if truly needed I'd have stayed there and been composed...or even participated if I'd had to...but honestly, it would be so hard caring/treating a family member or friend. 

Just one more day!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

RN - expanded scope of practice!

Now this is seriously cool!  I hope it'll be in place when I graduate.  It makes so much sense to make these changes.  Way to go!!!


Expanded role for RNs = greater access to care for patients

TORONTO, April 15, 2013 /CNW/ - People in Ontario stand to benefit from changes announced Friday (April 12) by Premier Kathleen Wynne that will expand the role of registered nurses (RN).
In her address to nurses attending the 88th Annual General Meeting of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), Premier Wynne said she recognizes that nurses want their scope of practice to match their expertise. The changes include working with the College of Nurses of Ontario (the body that regulates the nursing profession in the province) to expand the scope of practice of nurses so they can dispense medication in specific circumstances (for example, when patients do not have quick access to a pharmacy), and to identify additional opportunities to expand their scope to include allowing RNs to prescribe certain medications and nurse practitioners (NP) prescribing controlled substances.
"We're very pleased with this news," said RNAO President Rhonda Seidman-Carlson, adding she understands the public's frustration when they can't get access to care in a timely way. "When all health professionals are able to work to their full and optimized scope of practice, patients will benefit and we will have a better and more efficient health system." Seidman-Carlson pointed to other jurisdictions that are already ahead. "If RNs can diagnose common ailments such as an ear infection or a sore throat, and prescribe medications in UK, why not in Ontario?"
RNAO's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) echoed her colleague's remarks. "RNAO is delighted with the announcement made by Premier Kathleen Wynne. It demonstrates the government's commitment to increasing timely access to quality care for the public, and recognizes the central role Ontario's nurses play in our health system. Maximizing and expanding the scope of practice of nurses is in keeping with RNAO's Primary Solutions to Primary Care report released last June," said Dr. Doris Grinspun.
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.
For more information about RNAO, visit our website at You can also check out our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter at
SOURCE: Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
For further information:
To arrange an interview with a nurse, please contact:
Marion Zych
Director of Communications, RNAO
647-406-5605 (cell)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Still trying to concentrate on studying

On one hand, it was great to have an almost two week break between the end of classes and the start of my final exams.

Actually, given all the sickness, fevers, coughs, congestion and general lack of sleep and energy of the past week, its been a totally needed break.  I haven't been sick all year, and now, as soon as classes ended, I was flattened with sickness.  Then my older daughter got sick, and then my younger daughter got sick.  And when there's sick kids awake at night, there's a mama awake at night.  There is hope on the horizon that we are all finally overcoming this potent virus.

But seriously, it is so hard to maintain a sustained concentration on studies.  Memorizing all the drug names for pharmacology has just been the worst.  The only bit of gratitude I have in memorizing all those names is that my exercising my brain at my age, to this extent, will hopefully stave off my developing dementia when I'm old.  One can but hope that memorizing all those crazy names will have a benefit that outlasts the three-hour exam! Lol!

Back to the books.  This will all be over in another 10 days...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On the homestretch of second year of nursing school

The end of second year is in sight.

Only three exams stand between me being officially "half" a nurse!

Thank goodness the weather is co-operating by being utterly miserable and cold.  At least that helps keep me firmly planted in my chair, studying.  If it was beautiful outside, studying would be torture given that all I'd want to do is spend time outside.

Getting there!!!

Friday, April 5, 2013


...during today's final LTC clinical shift, I witnessed first-hand the incredible power of Milk of Magnesia. 

The PSWs were all on break, so the two RPNs were left to deal with the ambulatory patient who had no intention of going back to his room.  Finally, I just felt too sorry for them, got a pair of gloves, and went to help them out.

What I learned during today's shift: always administer Milk of Magnesia approximately 30 minutes before the end of your shift.

I'm still reeling (and laughing!) from the sight of today's episode!!!  That was simply surreal.  :-)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Final week of second year BScN program!!!

Today is my lab exam -- talking my way through an exam as I show the instructors how I do practical skills. 

It'll be either giving injections or doing sterile dressing changes.  I have to prepare both procedures thoroughly, and then I find out which one I'm doing at the exam.  I just want this over with -- waiting is always the hardest part. Doing something is always much better than waiting to do something!

Tomorrow is my last shift of my LTC rotation.  I'm going to miss 'my' patients in the end-stage dementia unit.  I've certainly learned a lot there --both in terms of nursing skills and what's truly important in life, what priorities are key in life.

The past few weeks have been a very bumpy ride, and I am extremely grateful that the end of second year is in sight.  After tomorrow's clinical shift, I just have 3 final exams to study for, and that's that.  I'll officially be "half" a nurse -- half way through nursing school.

Whew.  It's flying by faster than I ever expected.