Yesterday, I completed an Integrated Nursing Practices (INP) midterm. Today, I completed my IV Therapy lab testing. With one exam right after the other, on top of regular assignments, and daily homework, you can bet I am exhausted.
It’s especially difficult to balance the written exams and lab exams, when they happen consecutively, one after the other. I always feel very drained after the days where we have two (or sometimes three!) exams in a row. I ride the wave of adrenaline for the few days of testing and when it’s all over, I feel like I’m in a haze. I pretty much always crash out the next day by oversleeping, ordering food instead of cooking for myself, and napping a lot. I also try take a night off from homework and studying and occasionally have a glass of wine to celebrate success! Talking to classmates, I know that they mostly feel this way too, and we all need a little self-care and pampering after these tiring weeks. It’s a stressful and trying time, but getting through it all and passing exams feels satisfying and inspiring.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we are all getting to be really excellent exam writers. It’s easier for me to spot the trick questions and quickly decide on the “best” answer in multiple choice questions. I also find that written answers are less scary to tackle. I’m sure that all this is due to hard work, and feeling more confident as a nurse… But no matter what, it always seems that lab exams are still the most distressing exam to go through due to the nature of being tested in-person. For me, IV testing was the epitome of scary lab testing because it involved math… On the spot! Without calculators!
I used to have a lot of exam anxiety during my previous education experience in post-secondary and high school. But after getting through this exam, I feel more confident in this skill than ever before!
For IV Therapy testing, other than the in-person math equation we are expected to do, we also have to prepare an IV line and prime the tubing at the correct drip rate. Currently, LPNs are not able to start or insert an IV line. However, it is part of our scope to assess, educate and prepare the IV. Also, it is possible that our scope as LPN’s may change in the coming years so that we have more responsibility in this area. As well, right now, many facilities have switched to using an infusion pump that does the priming automatically. But in the case where I may find myself in a rural community or without electricity, I am now confident that I will be able to perform this skill confidently without any issue. So with all this in mind, I am very thankful that we learnt how to do this skill the traditional way.
I am so happy to say that all my classmates and I passed our written INP and IV Therapy Lab exam this week. This is a huge change from earlier on in the program where we would frequently find out that friends and classmates didn’t make it through testings. It is really exciting to know that we are getting close to the end of the program all together and actually seeing a light at the end of the tunnel!