Halfway Through the Practical Nursing Program

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So I am half way through the PN program and it feels unreal. I really can’t believe I have made it this far. Looking back at my journal I feel as I have accomplished three big hurdles and have almost reached the finish line, the feeling is unexplainable. The most challenging part of the program was term 1 for me. I was still getting used to the habit and idea of coming to school on a regular basis and trying to balance school with family life. After first term was done and I had realized I had accomplished it with the best of my ability It was all uphill by then.  I had figured out the flow the program and began to see what the teachers expected of the students. Once I had accomplished term two and had gone through the grueling days of studying for pharmacology and finally passing the medication testing, a whole weight had been lifted off my shoulder. The most rewarding part of the program so far has to be my last practicum. I was placed at the Living Room Drop In in the Downtown Eastside. I have never been exposed to this type of area and had the pleasure of working with mental health and addictions workers and clients who are mentally ill with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder etc. It was so rewarding because this experience taught me to take away my judgement towards individuals who live on the streets. Within this program, we talk a lot about what being a good nurse is about. How a professional nurse should not have judgments towards the clients taking care of. It is easy to say but hard to do unless it is experienced. Being placed in the Living Room Drop In changed my perspective of individuals with mental health and addiction problems. I learned that they are people just like every other individual, but are unique in their own way where they need help to cope with society to live normally. It touched me not only mentally but also emotionally as well.

The parts of nursing that surprised me while studying in this program is how much patient teaching we have to do. I realized that this professional is not only respectable in society but how much one can gain from it and grow for it. This profession allows you to interact with so many people on many different levels; each person has a story and each story should be dealt individually. It surprised me of how much care, communication and work actually goes into nursing. My most memorable moment would definitely be passing term two pharmacology medications. I remember I had cried after passing it every time I talked to someone about it. As I mentioned before I have changed greatly from the beginning of the program up until now. I not only have changed my judgement about people who I see around me but this program has also helped my communication with my family and friends. I am more patient now and know when to pick my battles. This program has made my relationship with my parents better and also my relationship with my spouse better. My goals for the second half of my program are to keep continuing as I am. Even though I am almost near the end I cannot slack. There is no wiggle room for me to take a break because I am so near. The advice I give to future nursing students is to use these 4 terms to learn and to grow and to better yourself. This program is a very fast passed program and in order to do well you have to be on top of your homework and readings. Another advice I can give is to use the practicum placements wisely. If there is a task that needs to be done and you are comfortable, DO IT. The practicum placements are where you will get the most learning and hands on experience you need in order to survive in the career. When starting the program, I wish I knew exactly how fast past this program is. This is because I was struggling a lot not knowing the unknown and had great difficulty balancing out life at home with school and work. I wish there were nursing blogs when I first started so I can hear the students perspective of the program.

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