16 Things I Remember From Nursing School

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

It’s only been half a decade, but nursing school seems so long ago. Let me rephrase that – me as a student nurse seems almost unbelievable.

I mean in the past 5 years I have grown so much as a nurse and as a professional that when I think about myself as a nurse back then I am just speechless at how much I DID NOT know. Not only that – but I had no idea how much I would learn.

I thought nursing school was THE ‘ticket’ – after nursing school I would be ready. Boy was I wrong. But the ‘me’ now (meaning me as nurse) wants to stay as grounded as possible, so I’m remembering all the ‘highlights’ from nursing that were (clearing my throat) eye-opening and just down-right side-stitching laugh-out-loud entertaining. At least they are now.

I remember from nursing school:

  1. How much I hated looking like a walking Q-tip (students wore all white uniforms)
  2. My very first stethoscope – boy it was horribly heavy
  3. The concept of the stethoscope being put in your ears properly – I didn’t get that at first. LOL
  4. Learning to give my first bed bath (people get baths in bed? Really?)
  5. Learning to give my first subcutaneous injection to an orange (that poor orange)
  6. Starting my very first IV on a patient as she sat up at the bedside and cried in horror (true story)
  7. Learning that the arm above the toilets only worked when you lowered them down (yes – I ducked the first time I used it)
  8. Lowering the patient’s bed is a good thing (I left it sky high once – and forgot)
  9. Hanging my first IV fluids and IV antibiotic (I thought it was the coolest thing in the world)
  10. EKG’s scared the bejesus outta me at first (PQRST? What the heck does the alphabet have to do with those lines?)
  11. Taking a blood pressure in front of my instructors ( I dropped the cuff twice – my palms were sweaty)
  12. My first subcutaneous injection given to a ‘real’ patient (I was shaking)
  13. My obnoxiously large clipboard that carried everything to clinicals (it had pockets, a calculator, ruler, calculations, etc)
  14. Looking up all those darn drugs for clinicals each day (I lost a lot of sleep)
  15. Care plans became the devil (I lost even more sleep)
  16. Time management took on a whole new meaning (I really wanted someone to invent the 30 + hour day – 24 just wasn’t enough)

And I remembered, and am reminded every day, that not everyone could do this job.

How about you? What do you remember from nursing school? Share in the comments section below.


This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

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