Friday, August 19, 2011

(Nursing) First Week

I've successfully completed my first week back to school. As a life-long lover of learning, I've always enjoyed being in school, having education shape my routine and structure my days. And though I've been out for over three years, going back was like slipping into an old, but favorite, pair of shoes.

There are differences this time, of course--my undergraduate time was spent as an English major with a heavy dose of art and theatre courses. For class, I bought a hundred bucks' worth of novels and maybe some lit theory essays. "Homework" consisted of reading the text and being prepared to analyze and discuss during class. I grew tremendously as a writer during those years, both academic and non-academic, and I learned to think critically and analyze anything written. Those are skills.

But now I'm learning skills. As I told my brother on the phone yesterday, it's a crazy, amazing feeling to walk into class knowing nothing, and walk out 4 hours later knowing how to do things. Like, take vital signs, including blood pressure with the cuff (which has always been mysterious and interesting to me). Getting CPR-certified was another eye-opener. You suddenly have this weight of responsibility--if you see someone go down,  more than likely you're the only one who's going to know how to respond. That's a lot of pressure. I constantly think about giving CPR, different scenarios in which it might happen, and run through the steps over and over in my head.

Learning a skilled trade is a whole different ballgame than getting a liberal arts degree. I wouldn't give up my degree for anything, and if I could do it over again, I would--every single time.

But nursing school is already drawing on a different part of my brain.

This weekend I have to write a paper about Why I Chose Nursing/What Nursing Means to Me. I have so many feelings about this subject, some of which I'm not sure belong in that paper. Such as: I like knowing things. I like having facts in my head like secrets the rest of the world doesn't know. When someone asks a question, I like to know the answer. I like being asked for an opinion because I'm the most qualified to answer.

Anatomy and Physiology makes me giddy. I'm going to know the name and function of every part of your body. It's like a secret language, an In club that only certain people are part of.

It's amazing.


Also, we're going to have a cadaver lab in mid-October and I am so excited.


These are all my nursing books--a cool dozen. They weigh about a thousand pounds. Mack for size reference. 

16 comments:

Jess said...

That's so cool! I love learning as well and it's so cool that you know CPR! awesome post today!

Teri Anne Stanley said...

Knowing that apnea is incompatible with life is also a good bit of knowledge...you know, next time you are on Jeopardy.

In an interesting ironic twist, I have a biology degree and used to teach A&P to nursing students...and now am thinking about going back to get an English degree. Huh.

But it IS cool to know stuff. I like to know the WHY of things, especially about bodies. V. Cool.

Liza said...

Congratulations on taking this huge step...your excitement is contagious!

Meredith said...

Knowing the answer when someone has a question is always a cool feeling. So glad you're enjoying nursing school!

Old Kitty said...

Oh it's brilliant to hear you are really enjoying your first week!! That's so so good to hear!! Awww look at those fantastic books next to gorgeous Mack!! Yay for you! take care
x

Linda G. said...

It's good to know that if we meet in person someday, and I collapse, you'll know just what to do. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you're enjoying it! You should've started with the line about the cadaver lab - would've really caught people's attention.

Jessica Hill said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying being back in school! I'm like you, I've always loved learning and knowing things. It's so good to hear you're so excited! :]

julie fedderson said...

Urgh, I remember cadaver lab. Could not eat boiled chicken breast for almost a year after that. You'll understand when you get there. I'm glad you are enjoying your school--we need more enthusiastic students like you!

NiaRaie said...

I love learning and I will probably be one of those lifetime students in some form of another. Also, I loved Anatomy but cadavers? Um...not ready for that,thanks.

Amish Stories said...

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Zinn said...

Congrats :) That sounds very exciting! Glad you have been learning lots. I found that happened in college versus university. University was all theory - I never felt like I could do anything after it! After college ... I gained a few skills :) It was nice!

Best of luck in the rest of your college!

Lola Sharp said...

I'm glad it's going well and that you're excited. :)

<3

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Aww! Mack wants to be a nurse. GASP! Mack's gonna be Dr Tiny Cat!!

Tara said...

Being CPR certified scares me for the same reason!

You're doing great, girl! You will rock this. :)

Jamie Burch said...

Congratulations, Summer! So excited for you and thrilled that you're having such a great time. *Happy dance*