If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It

I guess I’m not so good at posting on here. And, from what this school year has already entailed, I’ll not be posting as often as I’d like.

Registered nursing coursework is in full swing. I’m only taking nine credits this semester, and one of those credits is a med ethics class that doesn’t start until October 17. It’s hard to believe that we’re already into week three. I’d have a countdown till Christmas break, but that would just make things more stressful. Focusing on the current coursework is enough work.

This year, the teachers made it extremely clear that we wouldn’t be focusing so much on the data and information that needs memorized as we did last year. Instead, we’ve to learn to think in a whole new way. Yes, we have to remember the information from last year, but we have to use that knowledge and apply it to critical thinking.

And here I thought we were doing a good deal of that last year. Guess not.

The tests are amazingly difficult. The questions are all testing our ability to think critically for different scenarios. I have yet to see a question that simply had to do with knowledge of the material we covered. Last year, we had questions like “Below are listed various lab values. Match them to the appropriate lab tests.” This year, we have questions like:

“Day 1, noon. Jake is a 55-year-old Caucasian male admitted to acute care with a respiratory infection. Jake has a 50 pack year history and a diagnosis of COPD. He awakened this morning with increased shortness of breath and coughing up greenish- brown sputum. Vital signs are BP 146/84; P. 92; R 30; T 100.2 orally. Physician orders include:
– ABGs stat
– Sputum for C&S
– Ampicillin 500 mg IV q 6 hours
– IV D5W at 100mL/h
– Albuterol 3mg per nebulizer qid and prn for acute dyspnea
– 02 at 1.5 – 2 L/min per nasal cannula

 Relate this clinical data to the diagnosis of COPD. What other sings or symptoms would you expect this client to exhibit? In what order would you implement the physician’s orders?”

And that still doesn’t quite seem like the best example. But you get the idea.

The first two weeks we covered mental health. I thought that it would be pretty easy, but – again – I was proved wrong. The question you see quoted above is from a case study for our week 3 respiratory unit. I’m looking forward to these units. Even that question has an answer that makes more sense to this overloaded head of mine. :)

We’ve had labs on starting IVs, changing central line dressings, NGs, assessing the adult from head-to-toe, communication, and miscellaneous other information. Tomorrow, we’ll cover the pediatric assessment.

Speaking of, I’d better get back to reading for it.

Happy September!



One thought on “If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It

  1. Your post reminds me of my experience as a 2nd semester LPN student as well. This semester our instructor told us she didn’t want to lecture anymore since we basically should be beyond that and soon we will be the leaders so we need to think for ourselves. We’ve been doing lots of in-class activities instead of listening to lectures. I miss the lectures when I had an opportunity to at least learn some knowledge base which I could draw on for my critical thinking later. Hang in there. We will endure!

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