A Day in the Life of a Sophomore Nursing Student

It's 6:30 a.m.…why am I awake?

I slowly make my way out of bed and attempt to get my life together. Almost passing out at clinical taught me that I really do have to eat breakfast as a nursing student, so I grab my granola bar and coffee mug and I'm out the door.

I take the 7:30 a.m. shuttle over for my 8 a.m. Health and Illness I Concepts lecture. I relatively like this class…until the professor references something that was on the last exam, so of course I completely forgot all the information and then I realize maybe I should look over that one section again. Three slides later…wait a second, we learned that? Looks like I'm spending my weekend re-listening to every lecture and reading the textbook.

Then I struggle through my 10 a.m. Pharmacology I lecture. I am completely lost before I even enter the room. How can I possibly remember all these drugs? ACE inhibitors, ARBs, Aldactone, beta blockers, digoxin, nitroglycerin…and these are only the drugs for heart failure. LOL at the quiz we have tomorrow. If there is one thing I can say that I learned from this course is DO NOT ADMINISTER POTASSIUM IV PUSH. It's on our list of top 10 ways to kill patients, which is surprisingly easy to remember.

I know that one day I will look back on these memories as good ones.

After classes I go to the library to study…a.k.a. cram an infinite amount of material into my head. But as my instructors like to remind me oh so often, there's no point in knowing all the facts if we can't apply it. So why does my patient with Cushing's syndrome have hypokalemia? (In case you really wanna know the answer: Cushing's syndrome occurs when the adrenal cortex become hyperactive, causing a release of too much aldosterone. Aldosterone aids in the retention of sodium and water, and also causes potassium to be secreted, causing hypokalemia.)

In the evening, I begin to mentally prepare myself for clinical tomorrow…like, seriously mentally prepare myself. Wake up at 5 a.m., be on the unit by 6:45 a.m., get report, complete your assessment, take vitals, a.m. care, do rounds, pass other nursing students in the hallway with a clueless expression on our faces, etc. and hopefully leave by 2:30 p.m. By the end of clinical, you're tired, hungry, and want nothing but a shower and your bed. But you also learned sooo much in that one day. And by the end of the day you do have some awesome bathroom mirror pics in your scrubs and stethoscope. I know that one day I will look back on these memories as good ones.