LPN to BSN Semester 4 update

There are so many assignments, journals, learning reflections, and essays in this course. Wow! I struggled in the beginning in practicum as I was dealing with a little bit too much all at once and really had no idea what my role was as a student. Finding the balance between what I am allowed to do and not allowed to do within the student scope versus LPN scope was a little jarring, which was to be expected, but once in the situation of pouring a medication, I had to unwash my brain of 6 years of autonomous practice and accept that I was once again in a learning role.

Fortunately, I did manage to step into the student role and expand my thought processes. I’m grateful that I had an instructor that knew how to navigate the situation with me and allow me to prosper there.

I still have two practice placements left and a semester-end review to complete, so I am working hard to carry on.

I unfortunately have come down with strep throat, which is making it difficult to complete two assignments I have right now.

I really don’t recommend working part time while doing the BSN program. Especially not shift work. I’ve been trying to shift swap with my coworkers where possible, but it isn’t always doable and has resulted in me going from a night shift straight to class on a few occasions. As long as it’s work and then school, I’m okay with that, though. Patients come first and the mannequins’ health is more forgiving to errors 😉

The program itself was difficult to navigate in the beginning since I entered in half-way through the program. I’ve found a lot of help from my classmates and student tutors to help me get to where I need to be.

Family life is difficult as I am always busy and I can see my kids are feeling stressed out because of it. I am so looking forward to summer break where it will just be me working part time and spending as much quality time as I can with my kids. My partner has amazed me with his helpfulness and his son has matured greatly over the past few months — really stepped up in responsibility and I’m quite proud of them both! We’ll see how the four of them fare through my finals… Eek!

First Day is Done

I finished my first day of school today. I was so nervous to enter into the classroom, but not because it was my first day or because I was returning to school after a long absence, but because I was entering into a program where everyone had already had 1.5 years to establish bonds with one another. What a relief it was to enter into the classroom and have the group as a whole be so welcoming and warm to myself and the other two LPNs that joined in through the bridge-in program.

As far as I know, the bridge-in program was temporarily halted… Don’t quote me on this, but we were discussing how many people had actually gotten a seat so far. One person got in last year and three of us joined this year. To remind you, we only enter into the program when a seat opens up due to someone dropping out voluntarily or failing out. There were more than a dozen of us that passed through the bridging-in courses in 2014 and only four of us have gone through so far.

Anyway! It was a good experience. We discussed Ethics and delved into what exactly that entails. It is a tricky thing to define as it is motivated by morals, which I always defined as personal values and beliefs.

I have… quite a few chapters from a handful of textbooks to read, already. Holy gosh! I was expecting this experience to be difficult, but I was really not prepared for the amount of work that was actually going to come with it. I’m talking 3 hours of reading each day, plus daily assignments, plus essays, all on top of full-time attendance in a classroom or practical placement. Whew!

Funny enough, my practicum placement happens to be at where I recently got a temporary job at. I haven’t been orientated there, yet I will be in a practicum placement there. I laughed a lot when I learned that. hehe

Looking forward to tomorrow!

Preparing for my first month of full time school and part time work

Next week, I start a journey that I’m not sure I’m prepared for. I start full time school for my bachelor’s degree. Eek! While also working quite a few evenings and nights. And caring for a home and kids.

With this comes the absolute need to be hyper-organized. Making note of every dollar spent; planning each meal and snack. Driving only when necessary to save on gas. Managing where the kids are going and when.

I will post comprehensive lists of what I’ve planned out later, but for now I encourage you viewers to check out the FlyLady website. Especially if you are struggling to keep things clean and operational in your home. It breaks down basic cleaning and deep cleaning into easy steps.

The easiest way to get started doing something is to just get started… Stop waiting for motivation to find you.

Monday To-Do List

Okay, so it isn’t Monday anymore. It’s still a To-Do List! I came off of my block of shifts and instantly came down with one heck of a cold. I can’t seem to sleep past 5:00 AM, so here I am.

My Week’s To-Do List

  • Clean out my daughter’s room (this is a year overdue)
  • Bathroom deep cleaning (every week!)
  • Sweep and heavy-duty mop kitchen floors
  • reorganize kitchen shelves
  • Pull out Christmas ornaments
  • Sock day. Where I go through the last bits of laundry monthly to pair up those sad and lonely socks and miscellaneous items.
  • Meal plan and prep!

What’s on your to do list this week?

MineCraft Quilt Along

I was hoping to get a quit-along going for the month of December using Minecraft as the theme, but I got swept up in working a heck of a lot. I have a 67% line at work, but am also picking up shifts in between at all three job sites. Between work, the kids, keeping the house, and pre-reading for school… I have very little time for actual hobbies.

Fortunately, I’ve found time to blog recently as we’ve moved the computer from the living room into our bedroom to make room for our Christmas tree, which we will be on the hunt for this week! Yay!

I’ve also been looking into making vlogs. Now that I’m too old to care what strangers on the Internet say about how I look, I think it would be pretty interesting to have a weekly vlog outlining how it is to work almost full time while in nursing school with kids. It should be interesting!

I’m still chipping away at my Monday To-Do List, but I’m quite happy with what I accomplished yesterday. Back to the grind then off to work.

 

Keep smiling :)

Mondays! Wonderful Mondays

haha. Just kidding!

Today marks my second day off in a row! How sweet is that? I’ve been picking up shifts a lot lately, so haven’t really had much down time.

My honey spent the past two weekends fixing up the bathroom for our landlords, which included completely replacing the ceiling due to water damage. He used a pine board style ceiling, which looks amazing in our little bathroom. He replaced the light fixture and had a go at replacing the fan, but the electrical wiring was a little too… Strange? It’s an older house and had a few homeowner fixes done to it, so the wiring was very wonky.

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Pine Wood Ceiling

That said, the bathroom is due for a good cleaning today as dust got into the tiny crevices that no human ever knew existed.

Here’s my Monday To Do List:

  • Poly up the windows in the living room for winter
  • Remove all items from the bathroom medicine cabinet. Clean said items and dust the cabinet.
  • Bathtub upstairs and downstairs
  • Toilet upstairs and downstairs
  • Sweep and mop both bathrooms and kitchen floor
  • Make dentist appointments
  • Make an eye appointment for myself
  • Make a hearing appointment (ack!) For myself
  • Finish all laundry and put all away (not bad, we do keep up on it, but mm fresh sheets)
  • Plan out the meals for the week
  • Get something started for dinner
  • Find and start learning a video editing software
  • Work on a few more chapters of Hencke’s Med-Math
  • Take my kiddos outside for some time in nature after the eldest is back from school

Although we keep a clean house, there are still weekly tasks. This weeks is just a little more intense of a clean in the bathroom given the recent construction. And laundry has been a little daunting while the youngest learns to live life without diapers on at night.

What is your Monday (or week’s) To Do list?

My BzzKit is Here!

I received my sample of Olay’s Total Effects 7 in one anti-aging moisturizer from BzzAgent. Hopefully, this moisturizer will last four weeks, allowing me to fully test its ability to make my skin look “up to 10 years younger after just four weeks.” Obviously, mine won’t look 10 years younger as I’m 31 at the moment, but if I can see a visible decrease in some of my newly developing fine lines, I will be very impressed.

Step one will be to take a before picture of myself, which I haven not yet done, but will do before I start on this journey.

For your educational purposes, let’s see what the packaging says, paraphrased:

  1. Smooths fine lines and wrinkles
  2. Evening skin tone
  3. Brightens appearance
  4. Reduces look of pores
  5. Reduces look of age spots
  6. Restores skin firmness
  7. Replenishes moisture

The ingredients include niacinamide, panthenol, and vitamin E. In essence.

I’ve dived into skin care nose first after realizing I’m in my 30’s… Like, really realized it. I’m not the spry 20-something I used to be and it’s starting to show on my face. Not necessarily a bad thing; I’ve lived a pretty good life so far and have a few accomplishments under my belt. I’d just like to put my best face forward. With all the night shifts I work, the stress will get under my skin more easily and I’m sure I will age faster than I would under a more normal schedule, so I’m doing all I can.

Hero_Olay-Total-Effects

Surviving the Night Shift

I’ve been an LPN for 6 years now and in that time, I’ve worked my fair share of night shifts. In fact, my current position includes mostly night shifts. I’ve come across some tips and tricks that work for me!

First, make sure you’re taking care of yourself on your off days. Sleep in, but don’t over do it. You can’t simply “catch up” on sleep, but you can deprive your body of awake moments in daytime. The sun is important, so make sure you say hello to it when the opportunity rises.

Surviving the night shift:

  1. Don’t sit down longer than 10 minutes at a time.
  2. Drink water. Lots and lots of water. It’s more beneficial than caffeinated drinks.
  3. Engage in conversation with others when possible (patients, coworkers).
  4. Write things down. Write things down. Write things down.
  5. Dress warm. It gets cold and your body gets cold on nights.
  6. Bring snacking foods. No big meals!

Prepare for your night shift and your drive to work:

  1. Nap before hand. This doesn’t benefit everyone. It makes some people more tired.
  2. Eat a good dinner. Eat a big one!
  3. Load up your phone or iPod with podcasts. I suggest “Serial,” “RadioLab,” and “The Vinyl Cafe”
  4. Load up your phone or iPod with upbeat music.
  5. When driving: Have your windows down and your music up on the way home.
  6. Also when driving, don’t be afraid to dance ridiculously in your seat to the music. Stay awake.
  7. Prepare to pull over and have a nap if you are too tired to drive.

Sleeping during the day

  1. Black-out shades, a blanket over the window, or a sleep mask. Block out the light.
  2. Ensure your room or sleeping area is cool. It’s easy to overheat when sleeping in the daytime.
  3. Turn off all alarms and phone notifications.
  4. Use a SleepTracker or use multiple alarms if you need to wake up for something, such as picking your kids up from school, making appointments, etc.
  5. Know that your body will likely not want to sleep for a long period of time. I often only get two periods of three hours of sleep on good days.
  6. Get up. Grab a coffee. Get dressed. Pretend you are refreshed and go about your business.

 

It is hard to adjust to, but it is work, and we need caregivers at all hours of the day, so kudos to you for stepping up to the plate!

I know some of you may have recoiled in awe when I mentioned that water is better than caffeinated beverages on night shifts, but this seems to be the general consensus. Water hydrates you and keeps your stomach content while you have your small snacks. It also ensures that you don’t have caffeine in your system when you get home and are trying to sleep.

Small snacks help you avoid the over-filled tummy effects that include being overtired! Small snacks give you the energy to complete your shift and hopefully helps you curb the inevitable cravings for carbs that comes with night shift working.

Being cold comes with the territory as well. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, you will likely find yourself being very cold while your body is trying to tell you to cozy up (for a hopeful nap). I avoid sleeping on night shifts although it is permitted at some jobs, because it makes me more tired and less available for my patients.

Write things down. It’s very easy to get distracted and it’s even easier to forget that the patient in 503 asked for some Tylenol before you were whisked away to room 507 for a patient fall.

Take care of yourself on your days off. Be kind to your loved ones, even if the underslept monster wants to scream out of sleep deprivation. Your night shifts won’t last forever. A day off is coming soon!

Baby, It’s Cold… Inside

Well. The day has come that our oil runs out and our furnace retires itself. Unfortunately, that was almost four days ago and I had a little miscommunication with Columbia Fuels, which lead to an incomplete delivery of sweet, sweet heat today. I was waiting for a confirmation call while I was out of town and their driver (bless his heart) showed up to try and find a cheque in the mailbox that was not there. The mailbox, I mean. We don’t have one. Woops! So no heat until tomorrow. Brr!

Unfortunately, I’m on a night shift tonight at one of my old facilities so I won’t be here to help warm up the bed.

Onto other things! Lately, I’ve been binge watching Tati on youtube and enjoying the BirchBox I received for November, which coincidentally, features Tati’s picks! And a new eyeshadow stick that Tati helped develop. I actually really like it. I’m not one for liking glamorous, shiny makeup, but it works as an awesome base. I’m more in love with the dry shampoo sample I received. Great for quick touch-me-ups for quick outings before having time to wash your hair. The shampoo is called “Living Proof Perfect Hair Day.” It’s $28.00 for a full-size, which is pretty decent. Dry shampoos aren’t the cheapest product out there.

I’ve also been watching Harris Family Journey, about a local mom and her two premie twins. Give her some love 😀

Mascara Review from my BzzKit and School

For the past few weeks, I’ve been using a mascara I got for free from BzzAgent.com. Provided by COVERGIRL and I’ve been reviewing my pathophysiology textbooks in preparation of school starting in January.

I hate to do two review back-to-back on my blog here, but I gave this one a valiant effort and replaced my usual mascara with the COVERGIRL Supersizer mascara and I kind of like it:

hero_covergirl_supersizer

This is the Super Sizer by lashblast, which boasts the ability to give you up to 400% more lashes! Quite the ability if I do say so myself. My first impression was that the wand looks incredibly daunting. It’s not made with soft bristles as they are more of a soft plastic/rubbery substance. The first time I applied it was close to a disaster as I clumped my eyelashes together… So I guess you could say I made one eyelash look 400% larger by making all of my lashes one giant clump.

I digress. They do say that practice makes perfect and they couldn’t be more correct about that. I got used to the brush, applying the mascara at the base of my lashes and then twirling the wand as I extended the mascara through to the tips of my lashes. Eventually, I did manage to get an almost false-lash look. And it looked pretty natural -not at all fake like false lashes sometimes look.

The mascara held on well for the first few hours and sometimes it would last all day, but more often than not, I would end my day with flecks of black settling under my eyes as the mascara would dry and flake off. Mind you, this happens to most mascaras for me and perhaps is a result of applying too much product.

This wand is growing on me. It hurts like heck when you accidentally stab your eyeball, but that isn’t recommended anyway 😛 I like the uneven bristles on the wand, which helps with more even distribution without clumping.

There is a good chance that I will buy this particular mascara again once it runs out. I don’t often change mascaras, but when you find a good one, you tend to become loyal to it!

The cost of this right now at Walmart is $5.97 (originally $6.97), which is an amazing deal for this quality of mascara. My previous favourite was by Benefit and costs close to $30 per tube. So to have as good a quality as a botique mascara at less than a third of the price is outstanding.

Price is great, quality is good, application takes practice, smells just dandy (I hate stinky mascaras, which this is not), plus a little added bonus: the tube is larger, so the handle of the wand is also larger, making it easier to apply.

I’d recommend this to others.