A semester that was

It has been weeks, err months, since I have updated this blog. I was very busy. Indeed, nursing is not an easy-go-lucky course after all.

The first semester of my sophomore year started with a cup of excitement. Yes. Overflowing excitement. Everyone of us was eager to put on those white uniforms (blue for the girls) and experience doing nursing duties both in the hospital and the community. We love learning the nursing essentials and enjoyed our laboratory sessions: Physical Exam/Assessment and Vital signs taking.

A cup of excitement

N10 went well, for me. Though, I have failed several components of each exam, I still think that I did well in that class. Duty days were fun and at the same time stressful. There were lots of quotable quotes from our dearest professors. One of them said, (non-verbatim) “So what if you failed? Will you stop there?” Another one said, “Treat mistakes as a learning experience.” The most epic would be the following:

Imulat mo ang iyong mga mata.

I-explore mo pa.

I like that.

We pretty much love these statements and often use them jokingly; sometimes in purpose. 😀

I cannot describe the experience of doing our duty papers. It is perhaps exhausting to an extent. But doing such papers encourages you to think out of the box. I’ve come to realize that nurses do not just follow the doctor’s instructions. Though, simple as they are, such actions contribute to the restoration of health or else the total well-being of the patient.

As a newbie, I literally spent about 9 hours doing NCPs, visual aids, and teaching plans. What made them hard is the thought that you’ll have to pass them the next day at 6/7AM and proceed with your clinical duties. “No papers, no duty”, this is their policy.

The community part of N10 – Fundamentals of Nursing, was our group’s first assignment. We were assigned to go and cater the needs of some of the constituents of Icasiano Health Center in Manila. The community duty is supposedly 4 days. But due to a holiday, ours was 3 days. I’d consider that a blessing. It is because, the amount of time given to us was sufficient enough to finish our duties except when your client is not available and that you need to look for a new one.

The hospital/clinical duty made us feel that were indeed student nurses. The patients and their “bantays” were cooperative. I was not able to give a bed bath because my patients were ambulatory. However, I was given the chance to assist my fellow student-nurses. The first ward was Ward10. The second day shocked me. My patient has been discharged. I panicked because I thought I’ll do a make-up duty. But then, my professor told me to assist instead. The funny part is that it took me several minutes before I was given a patient. The first patients that were given to me refused because they were confident that they’ll be discharged that day, if not tomorrow. 😀

Ward14-A or Trauma Ward was the 2nd assignment. In here, I experienced the best contact with my client. We were able to interact well and he is very cooperative. He follows the instructions given to him. The Ward is a little bit smaller than Ward 10. But it has an air-conditioned conference room! Cool, isn’t it? HAHA. What I like about PGH is that it surprised me a lot. All I thought, PGH was just an old hospital not keeping up with the standards. I was wrong. Wards were in tiles. They have janitors. They have protocols (of course). But the fact that it still lacks facilities, made me a bit sad. Though, the PGH is internationally recognized as a hospital who keeps up with the standards, it is but important for a hospital to have complete supplies. The scarcity of supplies in PGH makes its employees creative and resourceful which is a good thing. However, I still believe that correct and sufficient medical supplies is a must for hospitals.

At the brink of failure

N4 – Pathophysiology is but one of the hardest subjects so far. I cannot totally say that I passed this course. I have yet to confirm it on Monday. I flank at the first exam and I’m at the boundary of failing in the following exams, including the final exam. I understood the topics well while I was reviewing for the final exam. Peer teaching played a role somehow as well as the workshop and the concept map assignment. What made this subject interesting is that you get to understand well how a disease develop. One can simply correlate the signs and symptoms to the disease itself as long as you’ve mastered the pathophysiology. I’m looking forward to learn more in the following semesters. I’d be forever grateful if indeed I passed this course. 🙂

Macro and Micro

Parasitology10N and Microbiology20 are two of the most fun-to-study subjects. I enjoy searching for eggs and viruses/bacteria. Though there is a lot to memorize or understand, everyone of us pretty loved these subjects. I did not expect to get exempted in Para10N. I found the exams difficult. Microbiology’s exams appeared to me as easy-to-pass exams. I initially thought that I’ll get exempted in the subject. But fate turned the coin upside down. I’d like to mention our course coordinators who really helped us a lot in understanding the concepts their team taught us. Thank you Dr. Salamat and Dr. Bungay. To the CPH Dept. of Parasitology and Microbiology, thank you! I hope you’d purchase better microscopes. :))

Almost there

Biochemistry is far easier than Organic Chemistry. First, because I passed 4/5 of the DepExams. Second, because you can relate the concepts to other subjects. It’s just weird because we had two professors. I can’t recall why our real professor did not teach the first 2 parts of the course. Both of them are good, among the best perhaps. I failed the final exam which made me qualify to take the removal exam. Luckily, I passed it (according to my classmates). Thank God.

Lax mode

We’ve got this subject where we have the chance to get some rest. It’s a subject were we could sleep, chitchat, eat and even play games in our gadgets. Our professor is reasonably strict yet soft. We abused his “kabaitan” to the extent that we barely listened to what he was saying. He had a different reading list. It’s not the one prescribed by their department. However, he was considerate enough. I thank him for opening my mind. I’ve realized that there is so much to history that we can take them as lessons and relate them to what we are experiencing and what we’ll about to experience. I’ve got 1.5 from him. I don’t know if I deserve that grade or what. Yet, I thank him not for the grade but for what he has taught us. Indeed, he has this unique way of teaching. It’s on the students whether they’ll abide or not.

A new beginning

I think we made the right decision in choosing Prof. Arnold Peralta as our adviser. Not just because he’s fun and jolly, but because we know he cares. :)) There’s a lot to write about my first semester. Maybe some other time. What I’ve learned in this semester is this: In UP, you cannot survive when you are alone. You need others to pull you up together with them (Thanks to Class of 2015). Furthermore, they’ll never spoon feed you. They even do not present you with a spoon. This is what makes UP students unique. I think the training we have here is what makes us great and globally competitive. They don’t want ‘pwede na‘. They want “pwedeng pwede“. Though we have a few when it comes to facilities, we are able to maintain honor and excellence in every possible way. They do not mold us to be board exam topnotchers. They mold us to be leaders in our own different fields; persons who’ll stand out and make them proud some day.

Thank you God for the semester that was. As always, Your will be done.

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