I am very lucky.

After a soccer accident, I had a sore neck. I thought that it was seriously strained. I went to an urgent care facility and was given some pain killers, muscle relaxers, and steroids. The usual to conservatively treat a strain. I did not think that X-rays were necessary. A couple of weeks went by and every morning I would wake up feeling a little bit better. The end of the day was tough, but I have been injured enough to know that these things take time to heal. I was feeling a bit nervous as we were studying muscles and bones in class and I had a nagging feeling that I had done more damage than I would have liked to admit. I went in for X-rays. The PA (physicians assistant) checked my X-rays and wanted a radiologist to look at them. The next day, I got a phone call saying that I had done some serious damage and I should get myself to the hospital as soon as possible. This sort of news is difficult to take in. They tried to explain things on the phone, but I had stopped listening.

I went to the Swedish First Hill Emergency Room and was well taken care of. They took more X-rays and didn’t like what they saw. My C6 vertebrae was not aligned with the others. Most notably, the C7 below it. If the C6 fell off the C7 I could be paralyzed or dead. For two weeks, I was walking around, working, digging in the garden, and had no idea how seriously injured I was.

I was transferred (my first time in an ambulance) from First Hill to Cherry Hill and put on the neurosciences floor. The memories of my brother being on a neuro floor came flooding back. I kept telling myself how lucky I was to catch this before I was seriously injured. My brother is also lucky to walking and alive.

So I arrived at 1am and was put into a bed. I was told to keep my big collar on, not get up, and pee in the urinal. It took a couple of hours for the doctors orders to arrive. I was given a saline IV with 20 mEq/L of potassium. Apparently, my potassium levels were 3.3 mEq/L (normal is 3.5-5). Here is where my nursing friends and I start to geek out. My nurses and NACs that I met were all great. They treated me well and kept me updated before my surgery. One of the surgeons came in at about 3am to tell me that the team would be meeting in the morning and would get me into surgery the next day.

The next morning (really just a few hours later) I met with the surgeon and I immediately liked him. He showed me his scar where he has a similar surgery. It was nice to be able to ask real world questions like, “What will my range of motion be after the surgery?” and get a true answer. Instead of a textbook answer, he would move his head around. I was nervous most of the day just waiting for the operating room to be ready, but I had some great friends keep me company. My crew of support has been fantastic. I cannot thank Derek, Casey, Stefanie, Ed, Patty, Jenn, Adam, and of course Amanda enough.

I was eventually led into surgery and the staff was all great. They calmed my nerves and we made small talk until I slid onto the operating table. My neck was still in a collar, but I couldn’t bring myself to look around too much. The cold sterility of the room made me more nervous than I would like to admit. Surgery was apparently a success. I didn’t do much for the 45 minutes that it took, but I woke up glad that it was now time to start recovering. I was up walking around later that day. I am able to drink fluids and eat soft foods. They discharged me the day after surgery. Now I am at home recovering.

Standard ambulance selfie.

It is nice to sit by the fire sometimes. Before surgery.

Happy after surgery.

In summary, I had an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

ACDF

3D medical animation, not the real thing, can be seen here.

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New nursing things.

I have given my first injection on a real human being. I think that is all that I am allowed to say about that.

I also was hired as a volunteer at Swedish Hospital in the Emergency Department. I was given a free TB test.
Screen shot 2014-02-06 at 6.31.15 PM
The hallways were empty as there was a parade going on.Screen shot 2014-02-06 at 6.31.08 PMThe view from the 12th floor. Fitting, huh?
Screen shot 2014-02-06 at 6.31.36 PMI hope to never see any of you as a patient at this place!

So my days consist of school, work , clinicals at the VA, a little soccer to stay sane, and watching fly fishing videos online to remind myself why I am doing this. Thanks, Moldy Chum!

Accepted to nursing school!

The next couple of years of my life will look like this:

1’st Quarter Cr
MATH&107** MATH IN SOCIETY 5
Primarily for liberal arts majors. Designed to enhance mathematics literacy. Instructors choose college-level topics centered around a theme such as Environmental Math, History of Math, or General Topics in Math. Fulfills QSR requirement for A.A. degree. Minimum 2.0 required to meet Intermediate Algebra proficiency and QSR.
NUR 101 NURSING I: FUNDAMENTALS OF NURSING 5
Intro to core nursing concepts, organized around the individual as a biopsychosocial being, constantly interacting with and adapting to a changing environment. Covers principles of critical thinking, the nursing process, the role of the nurse, cultural views of health and principles of growth and development with emphasis on the aging process. Addresses images and impressions of nursing, current trends in health care delivery and legal and ethical issues in nursing. Coreq: NUR 111, 122 and MATH& 107.
NUR 111 NURSING PRACTICE I 3
Apply nursing concepts from NUR 101. Assess four adaptive modes in the clinical setting: physiologic-physical, self-concept-group identity, role function and interdependence. Covers basic assessment and, care planning. Apply principled application of nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting. Coreq: NUR 101, 122 & MATH& 107.
NUR 122 PSYCHOSOCIAL NURSING I 2
First of 2 psychosocial nursing courses. Focuses on communication pertinent to the care of clients in various health care settings throughout the lifespan. Practice therapeutic and professional communication techniques. Assess adaptation in self-concept, role function and independence of clients who are coping with acute and chronic illness. Learn group process. Coreqs: NUR 101, 111 and MATH& 107.
2’nd Quarter Cr
NTR 150 ** HUMAN NUTRITION 5
Intro to the science of nutrition and its role in normal growth and functioning across thelifespan, with an emphasis on personal health and wellness. Topics include analysis of personal diet habits, the role of exercise, and public health issues such as obesity, the role of nutrition in prevention of chronic diseases, nutrition during pregnancy and lactation eating disorders, and food safety.
NUR 102 NURSING II: MEDICAL-SURGICAL NURSING 3
First of 4 medical-surgical theory courses. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasis on alterations in fluid and electrolyte balance, acid-base balance, endocrine functions, compromise in wound healing and peripheral vascular circulation.
NUR 112 NURSING PRACTICE II 3
Builds on NUR 111. Apply concepts relevant to adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes, client response and administration of medications. Assess the four adaptive modes. Gain experience in complete assessment, care planning and principled application of nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
NUR 123 PHARMACOLOGY FOR NURSING 4
Intro to basic concepts of drug therapy, roles and responsibilities of nurses, and applying critical thinking and the nursing process for safe medication administration. Includes terminology, resources and regulations related to drug therapy and principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacotherapeutics. Major classifications of drugs include autonomic nervous system agents; parenteral fluids; electrolytes; vitamins and minerals; endocrine, neurologic, respiratory and selected cardiovascular agents; anesthetic, immune system and gastrointestinal agents. Coreqs: NUR 102, 112 & NTR 150.
3’rd Quarter Cr
NUR 103 NURSING III: MEDICAL SURGICAL NURSING 4
Second of 4 medical-surgical theory courses. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and adaptation with emphasis on alterations in neurologic, musculoskeletal, chronic respiratory and chronic cardiovascular systems. Covers key concepts of adaptation to the complex processes of movement and cognition, oxygenation and circulation.
NUR 113 NURSING PRACTICE III 4
Builds on NUR 112. Emphasizes integrating nursing theory, clinical data, skills in providing nursing care and developing priorities. Assess the four adaptive modes, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
NUR 185 GERONTOLOGY FOR NURSES 2
Study adaptations of normal aging, differentiating these adaptations from disease and learn the implications for nursing care. Covers psychosocial, legal and ethical issues common in gerontological nursing practice.
PSYC&200** LIFESPAN PSYCHOLOGY 5
Survey of human physical, psychological, and social development from conception through death. Emphasis on major developmental theories, research and research methods of studying life-span development.
4’th Quarter Cr
NUR 201 NURSING IVA: PSYCHOSOCIAL NURSING II 2
Second of 2 psychosocial nursing courses. Builds on NUR 122 (or NUR 106). Focuses on caring for clients with mental illness using a system with cognator and regulator subsystems to maintain adaptation in the four adaptive modes. Covers psychosocial assessment and therapeutic interventions in psychiatric disorders at three levels: integrated, compensatory and compromised.
NUR 206 NURSING IVB: MEDICAL-SURGICAL NURSING 3
Third of 4 medical-surgical courses. Builds on NUR 101, 102 & 103. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasizes alterations in select integumentary and immune or protective responses and surgical therapies.
NUR 211 NURSING PRACTICE IVA 3
In a psychiatric setting focus on adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Integrates nursing theory, clinical data and skills in nursing care and developing priorities. Assess the four adaptive modes in clinical setting, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply therapeutic skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
NUR 216 NURSING PRACTICE IVB 3
Focuses on concepts relevant to adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Emphasizes comprehensive care and the relationships of the various components of client data and health care interventions. Assess the four adaptive modes, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
5’th Quarter Cr
NUR 207 NURSING V: MEDICAL-SURGICAL NURSING 4
Fourth of 4 medical surgical courses. Builds on NUR 101, 102, 103 & 206. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasizes acute respiratory, acute cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and renal alterations.
NUR 217 NURSING PRACTICE V 5
Study adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Emphasizes analysis of client data and health care interventions, initiating nursing assessments and interventions, health promotions and education and developing leadership skills. Assess the four adaptive modes, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply nursing skills in a variety of clinical settings.
NUR 220 HEALTH PROMOTIONS AND MANAGING CARE 2
Intro to theoretical foundations of health promotion, education and wellness maintenance across the lifespan and to the leadership role in Nursing. Emphasizes planning health promotions and managing care in a variety of settings. Addresses leadership in nursing: traits, styles, problem-solving, change, team communication, conflict management, delegation, time management and the implications of health care trends. Linked to final medical-surgical rotation.
6’th Quarter Cr
NUR 208 NURSING VI: DEVELOPING FAMILY NURSING 6
Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of maternal, newborn and pediatric clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasizes learning and promoting normal family development and understanding adaptive and maladaptive physiologic and psychosocial responses to childbearing, childrearing and illness in childhood.
NUR 218 NURSING PRACTICE VI 3
Emphasis on adaptation in the developing family. Apply concepts from NUR 208 relevant to adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Assess the four adaptive modes in the clinical setting. Obtain experience in individualized assessment, care planning, and principled application of nursing skills in a variety of clinical settings. Coreqs: NUR 208, 230.
NUR 230 TRANSITION TO PROFESSIONAL NURSING ROLE 2
Covers the transition from the role of student to Registered Nurse. Focuses on the role of the RN in health care, the community and organizations. Emphasizes professional and legal obligations, obtaining and maintaining licensure, professional organizations, continuing education and job searching. Includes preparation for the NCLEX/RN exam.
Total Credits = 108

 

Being a CNA

In my everyday life, I don’t realize how much love and compassion exists in this world. Going to a nursing home or rehabilitation facility can show you a lot about people. CNAs are under paid and under appreciated. They spend the most amount of time with the residents and know about their everyday lives. The LPNs that I saw waited in the hallways and rarely entered the rooms of the residents. The CNA would rotate the residents, feed the residents, and monitor their health. There was only one resident that had their family show up every day.

CNA class

Eventually, we finished the required hours of real world experience and received a certificate. Now, I can go and get a job. Well, another job. I will spare you all of the details and what happened while we were working.