Hi everyone! I know that I haven’t posted over the past couple of days for blogmas, so I’ll be trying to catch up on those soon. Since the fall semester is winding down (or already over for some of y’all), I thought it would be a good time to talk about how taking online classes has affected my life since August. I had kind of been hinting about how rough this semester has been in some of my posts over the past couple of months, but never out right talked about it because I was scared that talking about it could jinx my outcome and wasn’t sure if it was the right time and on some levels wasn’t ready to admit my inability to get through these challenges.
It’s been about a year since I finished my first semester of nursing school, and back then, I felt like I had a good grip on my life with school and were I was in life. But since February/March of 2020, everything had gone virtual, so no more face-to-face classes or clinical until further notice. There was so much up in the air at the beginning part of the year because of the unknown of the COVID virus and with all of the health care facilities having shut their doors to students, it put a lot of us at a disadvantage because being able to care for these people helps with connecting the material learned in theory to real life situations.
Everyone at the school had to learn how to do everything virtually since this particular program is designed with the ability to go to class and clinical in person, so there was a lot of things that was being worked out as we were continuing with class. There was little to no time for anyone (teachers and students) to adjust to this way of learning. It felt like I had extra assignments coming out of the wazoo to try to supplement the theory part of class and a but load of stuff to make up for the lack of clinical time. Luckily, with the spring semester, we were able to do online simulations to count for our clinical time and was able to advance to the next semester in the program.
Come summer, we were still doing online learning. At this point in the year, we were able to come in very small groups of three students to do simulations at school, so we could at least go through scenarios pertaining to the information that we were learning. In June and early July, we still had no idea as to whether or not we could go to clinical (and advance to the next semester). We had front loaded all of the theory portion of the class, so if by some chance we could go to the hospital for clinical, we would have that part of the class done. In the middle of July, we got news that we would be going to clinical at the end of July/early August. So for two weeks, I went to the hospital three days a week for about twelve hours. I had about a week off from the end of my clinical rotation to the start of the fall semester that I’m wrapping up.
Normally in between the summer and fall semester, we have two weeks of down time, but the majority of the people in my class only had the week, so at this point, I’m just tired.
There had been talk during the summer that this fall semester because of the uncertainty of being able to find clinical sites for OB and that would have been delayed until the spring of 2021 which would have put us out a semester. There were concerns from numerous student about this delaying our graduation date in terms of finances and already trying to plan out past our May 2021 graduation. I’ll be honest, I would have been perfectly fine sitting out this semester and just taking some non-nursing related classed because I could just see myself getting closer and closer to being burned out. But, they were able to get the go ahead with the sites, and we were still on track with the May 2021 time frame of finishing this program.
Well, come time to start this semester, I felt a little bit better mentally and was excited to be able to still work on this journey to becoming a nurse. I was taking OB/Peds along with mental health nursing which was intimidating to take two specialty classes at once that equated to 11 credit hours. We were able to go to clinical for OB but not psych and peds leading to alternative clinical work.
We had online lecture Monday through Thursday from about 8 in the morning to about 4 in the evening along with the other things that was already set up in the class and the additional work that was added since we weren’t able to do some things. From the beginning, I felt overwhelmed with the feeling of not having enough time to do anything. Come time for both of the first tests for OB and psych and I had failed both of them, at this point in the semester, there was plenty of time to pull of the grades, so I had started to change my study methods and prepare for the upcoming tests better.
At this point, my life had become eat, sleep, go to class, study, feed the chickens, and repeat. Any time that I did take for myself like reading, blogging, or posting on Instagram made me feel anxious and guilty for not spending it on studying.
I continued with both classes, and I saw an improvement in my psych grades, but OB was a rollercoaster going down then back up. I went to the OB clinical and that was an experience all of its own since I hadn’t had any previous encounters with a pregnant woman. After test 3 in the OB/Peds class I was about a point and a half away from passing and the next two test was all about Peds, so I was hoping that the Peds information would make more sense then OB and I’d be able to do better and pass. Well, after test for on the Peds information, I had failed that test so bad. I would have had to make an 84 on both test 5 and the final. That day that I took the forth test, I had felt so defeated that I couldn’t even imagine myself making an 84 on the next two tests. I had ugly cried all day and felt like the weight of the world was pressing down on me.
I know that my self-confidence isn’t the best, but I give everything my all. I’ve surprised myself in my abilities over the past semesters with my clinical performance, but never in my life had I felt so incompetent than I had back in September/October. All semester, I had been questioning if this career was for me because it felt like it was a down hill fight, and I couldn’t see any chance of me passing.
I decided that it would be best if I withdrew from the OB/Peds class and focus solely on psych because I even though I had been struggling in both classes, I had more hope of passing psych than the OB/Peds class.
So, for about the last month, my life had consisted of psych. I just took the final for that class and waiting for the results. I feel confident in this test, but it always seems that whenever I feel good about a test the grade isn’t good, so we’ll see. But, after I submitted the test, I had felt a weight lift from my shoulders. The hour leading up to the test, I had felt nauseous, dizzy, and anxious because if I did poorly on this test then in the upcoming semester, I’d have to retake both of these classes.
I’m hoping for the best with this final exam grade, so I can focus solely on OB/Peds in the new year and have a better outcome with that class. This semester had put me through so many things, and I’m praying that through the ups and downs of it all, it’ll somehow make me a better nurse in the end once I get through this because I didn’t come this far to give up!
Happy reading until next time,