July 9, 2011

Nursing Student | What To Do After You're Accepted Into Nursing School?

First off, congratulations on getting in! Nursing school can be very competitive. Now, before your nursing orientation and the stress begins, you need to get your head wrapped around a few things. You should start off by getting certified in CPR adults/children (by American Heart Association). Most schools require this before you even go to clinicals, so you can handle a code (if the opportunity presents itself). After you've mastered CPR, the next thing you need to do is get your immunizations in order. You WILL NOT be able to go to clinicals unless you've had your PPD (TB skin test) and OSHA mask fitting done. These are for sure deal breakers! On top of those two, you need to get a physical done. This informs the school that you don't have any debilitating injuries that would hinder you from working at the hospital.

After all the tests and physicals are done, it's time to go shopping. Most nursing schools require you to wear certain type or color of scrubs to clinicals, get that out of the way. Getting white scrubs overnighted to you because, no uniform place in the area has your size is super annoying! Oh and grab some shoes too, all white usually. Now that you're all decked out, time to take those artificial nails OFF! Those suckers are bacteria pools! So get use to it early and learn to love your natural nails. Note: This might not apply to you but every hospital I've visited, it was required and only natural nail colors was acceptable.

Time for fun, go out and get a cheap stethoscope. You don't need anything fancy, just grab one from any uniform store. In your first semester, you're new to using one so... why waste $200 if you have no idea how to use it OR what you're hearing? Maybe around 4th semester you can invest in a quality stethoscope, I did. And let me tell you, there is definitely a difference. Once you have your stethoscope, try using it as often as you can. Ask your family members if you can listen to their heart sounds. Listen to the heat sounds, become familiar with them. You'll be ahead of the game in no time.

Now that you have all the real things down, now it's time for you to hit the books. Go out and buy a cheap nursing fundamentals textbook. Every night try to read the some content, learn how to do a head-to-toe assessment. Learn the foundations and skills of nursing BEFORE you have a test on it in 2 days! If it confuses you, don't worry about it. Ignore it for now... you'll be taught it soon enough. You could always buy a medical dictionary to help you out in this department, my favorite is Tabers.

That's really it, the rest is up to you! I'll see you at work!

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