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It feels like the weeks just keep getting faster!  We started this week with a simulation on Monday.  This one was about endocrine disorders.  It actually wasn't too difficult--mostly we just had to assess the patient and get the right meds hung.  We have one more simulation left.  Tuesday we continued learning about autoimmune diseases (Myasthenia gravis and Lupus).  Wednesday we began learning about Shock--which is any situation that causes the blood pressure to be so low that the organs don't get enough blood.  This can happen during a heart attack, or hemorrhage, or spinal cord damage that causes the blood vessels to dilate so much that the existing blood doesn't provide enough volume, or because of burns (where lots of fluid is lost through the burnt tissue--even if it's not blood leaking out, the fluid was still needed by the body) etc..  We'll learn more about treating Shock on Tuesday.

Our Bridging class this week featured a trio of three recent graduates sharing their experiences from their first year of practice with us.  It was interesting, but also intimidating--they all talked about having instances where they'd cried because of the way another nurse had treated them, and it took all of them a few months after graduation to find and start work [some of that is because some agencies can't hire you until you've passed your certification exam; it's usually 6 weeks to 2 months before you're allowed to take the exam after graduation].  On the other hand, all of them survived their orientation periods, and seem to like the units they're working on now.

Thursday and Friday were, as usual, devoted to Clinical.  I had 3 patients again this week, and each week I do makes me feel a little more confident about it!  It's not actually a requirement of the program that we be able to manage 3 patients--just 2--but on most floors the nurses have 5-6 patients.  (Of course, most staff nurses don't need to have someone else check all of their medications--just narcotics, chemotherapy, and other high-risk stuff!  This adds a huge amount of time to our day, I think.)

This weekend I worked on one of the computerized exams we have to take for our Bridging class.  Increasingly, I don't like them!  They're written by an outside company, and the whole purpose (I think) is that they're supposed to help us review.  The same company publishes review books--kind of a "Cliff's Notes" (does anyone still use those?) of various nursing topics.  But the exams don't necessarily cover information from the review books, and the answers (which are displayed with 'rationales') often don't include any meaningful rationale.  ie: if you didn't understand the concept before, the rationale provided won't help you understand it now!  Anyway, we're required to do them, and the review books are provided for us (I'm sure we've paid for them in our tuition), but really I'd rather review from the actual textbook.

Okay, back to work.  I'm trying to finish the 2nd written assignment for the Bridging class, but it isn't due until Wednesday and thus my brain does not want to work on it... 

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