Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's only Tuesday

The first week is in full swing. I am currently on the couch, not moving much, enjoying what little free time I have from day to day.

Our pathophysiology professor seems very nice, and talks very quietly. And yes, Pathos = suffering, for all of you who didn't know the greek roots of the word "pathology" - in that spirit, we have our first test next Wednesday. Yes, in our second week.

Our Intro to Professional Nursing class is fantastic. We have two professors teaching, both who are incredibly intelligent, and one who is a fireball of animation. I'm in stitches (no pun intended) whenever she lectures, and she makes us want to go to class. Sigh. Thank goodness we've got great instructors. I'd expect no less, but man, the charisma of these people who have developed our program, from the Dean all the way to the instructors to the students is off the charts.
Even though I'm a little tired, I have a smile on my face.

Today was our first clinical skills day, where we spent time learning how to wash our hands properly (15 seconds) and make beds with patients still in them. We also went over giving bed baths, and spent a good hour taking turns in the spotlight, explaining how to bathe a patient, and why it's so important. Good ice breaker, along with good information.

Tuesdays from now on will be spent driving to San Rafael, but today we met our CIs (clinical instructors) whom we will be answering to on Thursdays and Fridays from 7am-4pm, or earlier if placed at Stanford. I already dig my CI, Chuck, who seems really down-to-earth and happy to teach. I lucked out and am at UCSF this quarter, although I get my dose of commuting to Palo Alto in the winter. My fellow MEPN group are all people I know- one friend from Mills, one friend from around SF, and one person in my specialty. All students are in med-surg type wards: some are in trauma, some in geriatrics, some are in oncology, but it's all med-surg. I'm at Long Hospital, on floor 9, which should be super interesting - to quote from the UCSF website:

"Transplant: 9 Long is the unit where all of the kidney, pancreas, and liver transplants are cared for. UCSF is a Center for Excellence in Transplant Surgery, performing over 668 transplants a year."
"The Acute Hemodialysis Unit (AHU) on the 9th floor of Long Hospital provides dialysis/apheresis treatments to adult and pediatric inpatients."

Apparently we also get overflow patients other wards, such as Immunology/Oncology.

Clinicals should be interesting. We only have one day this week- Thursday, although usually it's Th/Fr.
Typical first quarter schedule:
Mon 8-4 class. Go home and read forever
Tuesday 9:30-4:30 clinical skills lab in San Rafael. Carpool, joke around, come home and read and collapse.
Wednesday: 9 or 10-4 class. Go home and read forever.
Thursday: 7a-4 or 5pm clinical. Go home and collapse.
Friday: 7am-4 or 5pm clinical. Drink a beer, go home, collapse.

Yep, it's only Tuesday.
Favorite word encountered so far: "blebbing" in pathophysiology. Say it 5 times fast without laughing. Go on, I dare you.
On to homework...
And tomorrow, we'll see what Pharmacology has in store.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


So, orientation happened. I felt oriented. I came home and completely fell asleep in the arms of my love, because I was exhausted from being talked at.

Some very cool things about orientation: the free breakfast and lunch that are *fantastic,* seeing all the cool people from your interview day who were outgoing and friendly, getting your clinical assignments and having some idea of where you'll be for the entire year. Actually being there. Lunch with a former MEPN (very informational). Bring your laptop; it makes things easier.

Not-so-cool: the reality of financial aid, trying to figure out how the hell you'll get to where you'll be for the next year, getting up at 6:30 after having a month of sleeping way past that, the insane influx of everyone trying to get their ID at the same time (hint for next year- do it at lunch, don't go at the 1-4pm time that's scheduled, because you'll be in line with 60 people).

Other Cool things: Bill, who will be a mainstay of sanity, brought me a little stuffed beaver named Wynona, after the Primus song and because she has been "gay square dancing" a few times with Bill. She's awesome. She even has a little pink necklace. I'll post a photo when I can. She lives in my bookbag now, and makes everyone laugh.

The slight confusion they talk about is true. It's just overwhelming. Be kind to yourself. And start getting sleep.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Books. And 3 weekends left.

This weekend is one of the last three I'll have free for six months. My boyfriend and I are heading to one of my favorite rivers, the Kings, to chill out, work a little, and hike/swim a lot. I'm growing more and more excited to start this program, and feeling some trepidation towards what changes lie ahead.


I just got my books. All $440 worth of them (!). Some other folks have found the same books on Amazon.com, but when I looked, it seemed like the editions were not correct, so I went with the university bookstore. It's been a long time since I've written a paper in APA format- my original BA is in Literature and Women's Studies, so I wrote in MLA. Little things, but still...

We have a gmail group of incoming MEPNs, all 20 of whom are talking about what to expect, what the class schedule might be like, what the work load might be like. Anticipation seems to be thick among us.
And we're wondering if our clinical placements might be geographical in nature this year due to gas being $4.25+/gallon instead of $2.50/gallon.

So, scrubs (check), books (check). Questions will be answered on orientation day.
We apparently have also been given MEPN "buddies" who are available to answer questions for incoming students. They're in the middle of preparing for graduation, so this week is tough as far as getting in touch, but I think the concept is intelligent.
It seems we'll get some more info as to what to expect for the summer, and the year. I'm also curious as to what the job prospects are for RNs and NPs, post-graduation.