Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crossing the Bridge

As of 30 minutes ago I have completely finished all of my requirements for the 1st year. In the next hour I will participate in the Crossing the Bridge ceremony. I cannot explain the relief I feel.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


In truth, I'm not even sure what HESI means. I know that it's an acronym for something, but I don't know what. I do know however, that is has been a thorn in my side and a fear of great magnitude.

So what is the HESI? The Evolve book company (which is the publisher for all of our textbooks) generates a test based on the concepts and ideals we have learned over the past semester. So at the end of the past 3 semesters we have had to schedule a time to take the HESI in the computer lab. A score of 850 is passing for the HESI, but luckily these semester tests have not counted. This is good because in the fall I scored a 790, in the spring I scored an 846, and in the summer I scored an 846. So all three semesters I haven't passed with a score of 850.

This hasn't been a big deal until the past few weeks. The test at the end of each semester - doesn't count, but then we take one big HESI test at the end of the year - that does count. In fact, it counts as 40% of my boot camp grade. A HESI score of 850-949 (which is passing) is only worth an 85/B; you must score over 950 to get a 95/A (did I mention that I hadn't even gotten an 850 yet?) To make matters even worse, you have to keep taking the test until you pass with a score of 850. But you can't take the test a 2nd time until you have completed extensive remediation (just to make the whole thing even more embarrassing and stressful).

So I studied and just worried to death about the dumb thing. I just knew I wasn't going to pass and wondered how in the world I was going to have time to do my "remediation" during boot camp. It's truly amazing how much anxiety an individual can generate over inconsequential things. So I went up to school (on my day off) to take the HESI. I parked my car in the garage and walked the 4 blocks to school. The whole walk I talked to myself and I built myself up. If what I said had been out loud, people would have surely laughed, but I was so pumped up by the time I got there I could have run the marathon I have always promised myself I would (one day).

So I took that 160 question test over a 2 hour period and when I finished out popped my score. I couldn't believe my eyes and yet there it was - 989. I not only passed, but I got my A. Let me just tell you that if people would have laughed at my mental verbal broadcast on the way to school, they would have surely fallen out of hysterical exhaustion by that broadcast that blared on my walk back.

Boot Camp

Heading out at 5:50 a.m.

The past few weeks have been a bit of a blur. They have been filled with tests, lectures, and long 12 hour days of "boot camp".

I'm enjoying boot camp. It's giving me the opportunity to practice what I've learned. I've preformed some great sticks (started IV's, drawn blood, and given some SQ shots). I've DC'd some catheters (both urinary and IV). I've administered meds (multivitamins, hypertensive agents, antibiotics, narcotics, etc.). I shaved a man's face. I've given some bed baths. I learned what it means to have non-reactive, non-consensual pupil reactions.

All the time though, I learn how much I don't know. At times I wonder if I will ever know enough to be effective. I've learned so much everyday these past couple of weeks and wonder with anticipation what more I will learn in the next week or so. There are so many things I wish to share, mostly visions and experiences of the last few weeks. I look forward to sharing.

Almost home at 8:05 p.m.