Surviving the First Day of the Semester

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Well I did it; I survived the first day of my second year of grad school. Was it as bad as I thought it was going to be…yes. I’m pretty sure after the first couple hours, I could’ve gone to my car and cried. I felt like an idiot. As stated before, grad school humbles you and has a way of making you feel like crap. It makes you wonder how you ever functioned as a bedside nurse and kept your patients alive. And a first day like this, was no exception to that. On the bright side, I wasn’t the only one. From the discussions we had afterwards about the case studies, some of my other classmates felt like they blanked and had “oh shit” moments as well. What makes this last year so difficult is that you’ve got to retrain your brain to think and speak like a provider, all of a sudden know all the labs and diagnostic tests known to mankind, and know everything about every disease so you can diagnose the patient properly. Umm, that’s a lot to learn in two years! The only reason why I haven’t given up yet is because becoming an acute care nurse practitioner is my ultimate goal, and I keep being reminded that grad school is a time for learning and building upon the skills you already have. So you’re not going to know everything.

So what’s my take away from all this? First days suck, they’re always going to suck. They’re going to worry you, overwhelm you, and make you question your nursing abilities, intelligence and judgment. BUT, first days are usually the worse days of the semester. From there you know what to study, how to study, and how to prepare for class so “first day” moments don’t happen again. Now I just have to get through my first day of clinical…

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