Staying Organized in Clinical

I still have a lot to learn, but for being in my first semester of nursing school, I’d like to help out the incoming nursing students going into their nursing school this upcoming Spring semester! Here are my top 5 tips to being successful in clinical while in your first semester.

1 – Time Management

Please ALWAYS wear a watch. There is nothing more embarrassing than not knowing the time and needing to ask someone. You need to be prepared, and usually being in complete uniform includes wearing a watch.

Your professor should give you an idea of when you should be completing your charting and when you should be getting your work done with your assigned patient(s). For example: bathing, ambulating, oral care, turning, feeding, emptying foley’s, procedures, etc. If you are on top of those tasks, then you will have more time to chart and do any paperwork you need to finish before your shift is over with. I also like to have extra time to help out my RN or CNA with any help they may need with their other patients.

2 – Clipboard/Binder

I was using a clipboard that would fold in half to keep information confidential, but I have found it to not be as useful for me. One, the clipboard would fold my papers, and two, it was hard to keep track of my papers. I switched over to a 1″ binder to hold my medication references, and to hold other documents I need to fill out to turn in to my professor.

Some of the upperclassmen still use their clipboard, and don’t have a problem with the papers folding, and still feel organized even with more than 1 patient. I will soon be taking on 2 patients, so I feel it would be best if I switched over to a binder

3 – Pen/Pencil/Penlight

Just have these… you need them for recording information, and you will need your penlight to complete your head-to-toe. You can buy disposable pen lights online. I started off using a pencil to complete paperwork that was to be turned into my professor just because I was still learning, and I could erase my mistakes. I also just recently bought erasable pens because writing in pen looks neater.

4 – Eat, Hydrate, and Pee

Not so much an organization tip, but more so time you should be dedicating to your own self care. Nurses are notorious for holding their urine, and notorious for UTI’s. Also, drink something and eat something, because you need to be awake and ready for whatever patients you will have that day and you have to be completely alert.

5 – Always prioritize

Your patient comes first, not your charting. If you are on a tight schedule to get your charting done, it is important that you let your professor know you had to help your patient, and that your charting might be in a little late. They will be understanding. Safety always comes first. Although, it is okay to say “no” to certain tasks because your charting is a priority. You are not the only one on the floor, and there are plenty of other people that can be asked. Don’t be taken advantaged of!

Hopefully these tips help you going into your first semester. It definitely is a nerve-wrecking experience, but with practice, and more experience, you will learn to organize yourself with ease. Also, I can’t stress this enough… get your CNA certification before entering your nursing program… knowing those CNA skills really helped me!

Have a question? E-mail me! futurenursenicole@gmail.com

Ciao!

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I’m on YouTube!

Hello everyone! Quick update… I’m on YouTube!

So I was totally nervous making this “welcome” video, but I’m sure I’ll loosen up over the upcoming videos I intend to upload.

Follow the link here to my first video:

Welcome to Future Nurse Nicole!

If you’re interested in seeing videos that go into more depth of my blogs, or you have a request about nursing, organization, or just school in general, please feel free to send me an email, and I’ll do my best to help out!

Please subscribe if you are interested in seeing more. The support is awesome!

I’ll be posting more blogs shortly. I’ve been preparing for a summer course that is starting tomorrow 🙂

Have a cool day! (It has been super hot where I am… summer is NOT my season)

 

 

Study Tips and Tricks

Hey there! I’m here to show you how to efficiently study, and get ready for that next test/exam/midterm/final! These are some tips and tricks on how I personally study that have done wonders. So with a little technology, and organization, you can get that “A” you’ve always hoped for!

Notability

I have found this app to be very helpful every semester (especially all my prerequisites for nursing programs). Unfortunately you will have to pay for this app on the MacBook and iPad but it is absolutely worth every penny! I have used this app religiously in every class. Here are some screen shots of how I have organized my Notability app on my MacBook, iPad, and iPhone.

MacBook

NotabilityMac

iPad

NotabilityiPad

iPhone

NotabilityiPhone

There are so many great things you can do with this app. One of my favorites is to record lectures (when allowed), and as I’m highlighting/drawing/typing, the recording will sync with your modifications to the lectures. So, as your are listening to the lecture and want to skip around but aren’t sure when the professor mentioned “monosaccharides”, you can click on your text, drawing, or highlighting of where that slide is, and it will bring you to that point in the recording, awesome right?!

  • Side Note: While I’m listening to my lectures at home, I make more notes on the slides in case I forgot something.

You can also add pictures/videos/stickies, as well as change the size of your modifications with a simple pinch on the screen or track pad with the “dashed square icon” to draw around the part you want to make smaller or bigger. The search bar is great when you don’t have a recording but need to find information on one particular thing (ex. monosaccharides).

  • Side Note: Sometimes the search option doesn’t work depending on what kind of file your professor is using.

I personally use my iPad the most because of the option to use a stylus to draw or write notes. It is also very convenient to put in a bag/backpack instead of bringing a whole computer.

I use my iPhone is case of emergencies when I forget to bring the iPad or MacBook, and I can still record the lecture, as well as take notes on paper (it would look ridiculous trying to type of draw on a tiny screen).

  • Side Note: Lectures are downloaded onto the Notability App. I am able to download from my school’s site where the Professor has uploaded the lectures.

If your professor offers their lectures online, USE THEM!!! Either through the Notability App or print them out and write on them. Any information that is not mentioned in the slides, you should be writing down.

Outlines

I am a visual and kinesthetic learner, which means I have to either look at pictures, watch videos, and write/type notes over again.

Especially if the professor does not explain things very well; it is best if I rewrote their lectures with information I think/know will be important for the next text/exam/midterm/quiz… you get the idea! Microsoft Word has a fantastic template for outlines.

I like to start off my outlines with all the definitions at the top that I need to know that pertain to that lecture and every important subject after that with their sub-category/texts/lists/etc. Here is an example of my outlines:

OutlineLayout

When in Doubt… Write

When technology is not an option during a lecture, write what you can…

Different highlighters, pens, and whiteout are a must have. Using different colors have to do with the visual learner in me, as well as the kinesthetic learner with writing it down.

Unfortunately, I am not a reader because it bores me. I usually use the textbook in desperate measures (and I’m sure that will be changing once I start my nursing program). But if using the textbook is your thing, then I would suggest post-it notes, and rewriting anything you find informational (obviously). I don’t however condone writing and highlighting in the textbook (especially if it’s a rental or a book you plan on reselling).

 

As for right now, this is what I suggest using to stay successful! I will update by writing  another blog for when I’m in my nursing program. To see how I organize my school materials, see this post 🙂

Have a great day! 😀

Binder Organization

I’m going to explain how I organize my binders for maximum use. If you are struggling on keeping your papers in order, keep reading!

“Applications for Nursing Programs” Binder

I don’t know what else to call this binder, other than my “Holy Grail” when I was applying to nursing programs. I felt so organized and had everything in one place.

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Here is a basic view of what my binder looks like (2 1/2″ Binder).

  • Pocket folders were dedicated individually to the nursing programs I applied to.
    • In the folders, I included information like:
      • transcripts needed for that program (one from each college I attended and my high school if needed)
      • the application
      • checklists that needed to be included with the application (provided usually online from the program website)
      • a checklist that I wrote of what I needed to do next
      • Post-its of important things I had to do or questions I needed to ask
      • Letters of recommendation/hours worked (paid and volunteer) (one from each place I worked)
      • Basically anything and everything that needed to be included with the application before handing it in
      • Any extra information I wanted to know for that specific nursing program (i.e. cost of the program, classes, etc)
  • Clear pockets were dedicated to:
    • Transcripts (opened and unopened) (EXTRA)
    • Class Descriptions (some programs required this in order to see if the class is equivalent to their prerequisites that they offer) (EXTRA)
    • Letters of Recommendations/Hours worked (EXTRA)
  • In the back of my folders:
    • I included any handouts/folders that were given to me from Nursing Workshops I attended or other BSN programs that interested me.
  • In the binders pockets (front):
    • Receipts for transcripts ordered
    • Various checklists of transcript orders
    • *I also had a document on my computer that I sometimes printed out that I used to keep myself up to date with the transcripts I ordered from the college or my high school/received from the colleges or my high school/sent electronically to the nursing programs/delivered in person to the nursing programs. This document also had questions I had and I answered them as I found out the corresponding information.
  • On the front of my folder:
    • I included an Excel spreadsheet of deadlines for each school. I used Disney character names to represent an example of each college’s information. It was a very easy a quick view for me to see what is up next. Here is an example:

ApplicationDeadlines

“Nursing Program” Binder

This binder is the one I am using to keep myself in order for the Nursing Program I got accepted into. It is a 1″ binder. Here is how it is organized:

  • Clear Pockets (Primary):
    • Included the Admission Packet that I took apart and put each page in a clear pocket. I then separated the pockets (with small post-its) and put them in sections that made sense to me. For example: Deadlines/Important Dates/General Information, payments on things I needed to have done like Background Check/Drug Test/CPR card (which I had)/TB tests/etc.
  • Clear Pockets (Secondary):
    • I have clear pockets behind the separated admission packet that included all the papers (individually) that I needed to turn into the Nursing Department in order to start the program. I kept extras for myself and extras that I will need to keep in my clinical folder.
  • Loose leaf paper:
    • Located in front of all the clear pockets, used to write down quick notes or checklists
  • 1 pocket folder:
    • Located behind all the clear pockets that includes any extra papers that aren’t necessarily important but good to have.
  • In the binders pocket (front):
    • Checklists of things I have already done and turned in
    • A list of what I have already purchased and the prices
    • Any paperwork I still need to take care of
    • Post-it notes of course, for questions I have/want to ask
  • On the front:
    • Just a paper that I have describing what the binder is for, for example: “Mickey Mouse Nursing Program – Handouts and Information”, and a cheesy faded motivational quote used as the background hahaha!

Any School Binder

I don’t use a big binder for school. I like to do my notes on my Notability app when possible. Other wise, I’ll take notes either in a notebook, or on loose leaf paper (that I will transfer into the notebook later on). This binder is 1/2″. Here is how it is organized:

  • Dividers:
    • Used to separate each classes syllabus and any important handouts given to me
      • I like the dividers with the pockets, so that you can put the handouts in the pockets or whatever is due the next class in those pockets.
  • Loose leaf paper:
    • For taking notes if I don’t have my notebook
    • To-Do checklists (which I will transfer into my school planner)
  • In the binders pocket (front):
    • Any old tests with its corresponding Scantron
  • Clear Pockets:
    • Used for quick access on things I want to keep protected and not lose. For example: in my medication calculations class, we were given a conversions chart for different conversions that we needed to remember.
  • *I also use one or two pocket folders for graded assignments/loose leaf notes/study guides/outlines I wrote/etc. These folders usually get huge over the semester, and I like to keep it separate from my binder because it is just clutter.

So now that you know my organization secrets, you can get started on creating the organized life you always wanted! You can do it!

Have a fantastic day! Ciao!

 

 

Lifestyle Organization

So, you found yourself here because you want to become more organized. While I am not an expert, I do like to think that I am a little OCD when it comes to having my life organized. So here are something tips and tricks that I do to keep myself organized and on top of things!

Post-Its

I put Post-It notes EVERYWHERE! Whether it is reminders, short lists for shopping, important information, these little guys are awesome! It is also very invigorating when you can throw them away because you got something done!

IMG_2800

Planner

No… I’m not talking about your calendar on your phone… I’m talking about a physical planner that you can WRITE down important dates, deadlines, homework, etc. I personally like to separate my personal life (work, events, etc.) from school. In that case, I have two different planners. One for “life” and one for “school”, because we all know that school doesn’t involve a life 😀

I also keep a desk calendar so I can see everything right in front of me when I’m studying at home. The planners I take with me everywhere, you never know when you’re going to have to make plans/appointments!

IMG_2802

Filing Cabinet

I have a two drawer filing cabinet (one drawer for me, and one for my fiancé). This is great to have if you: 1. Like to hoard papers 2. Like to file away and have a safe place for all important documents. A few of my folders I have in my filing cabinet are: “Doctor”, “Pets”, “Car/DMV”, “School”, you get the idea. Some come with locks too!

Binders, Folders, and Clear Pockets

I personally hoard binders… BUT… there is a but… It is great when you have a bookcase and need quick access to different things. For example: I kept a big binder for when I was applying to nursing programs. If you’d like to see how I put that binder together, please see this post. I also keep a separate binder for the nursing program I got into with all the handouts and important information I am given and need to turn in before I start the program, how I put that binder together is also located on this post. A couple other binders I keep are a fitness binder (has healthy meals, workouts, etc), a home binder (has quick medical info for emergencies), and a certificates binder (has all my certificates in clear pockets that I don’t feel need to be hung up, useful in case I need to make copies).

I use folders in the binders for loose papers that aren’t as important but need for reference. I also use clear pockets to display important documents so that I can flip through them faster and they are protected!

Email

I’m the type of person who really does not like an existing inbox. In that case, I made folders kind of similar to how my filing cabinet is set up. If the email is important enough, I’ll “move” the email to the corresponding folder. If set up right, you can get to important emails much faster without having to scroll your inbox for hours.

GmailOrganization

Phone Apps I Like for Organization

As much as I like to do things physically and write things down, these apps are hands down, amazing!

Cam Scanner – Useful for scanning with your phone.

CamScanner

AnyList – For your grocery shopping.

Anylistapp

Notability – For note taking (See my post here for how I take notes).

notability

 

If I find more ways I keep myself organized, I will update this post, but as for now, this is my go-to!

If you would like in-depth descriptions for any of these, please email me to request it!

Have an organized day! 😉