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Studying nursing, harder than ever?

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Author Studying nursing, harder than ever?

minigmgoit

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  • Joined: Apr 2010
  • Location: Darwin
  • Posts: 50

Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:03 pm

With the latest update of the nursing course up here in Darwin, I'm just interested to see what people think.

Are they making the goal of becoming a RN harder and harder, and if so why?

I appreciate that the nursing lobby is very powerful and am under the impression that a degree educated workforce results in more power when arguing the case for higher rates of pay.

However I'm sitting here now ploughing through this weeks study material wonder why I am being asked to learn much of it? From what I have seen within my placements very little of it will be of any use. What are their plans for us and what are they actually preparing us to do?

Do you know what I mean?

Schizo

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Mar 10, 2011, 06:05 am Last edited Mar 10, 2011, 06:05 am update #3

There's some truth to your comment.....indeed some subjects are pretty lame but then again most aren't. I remember some subjects I did that I sincerely claim was utter rubbish at that time. However nowadays I am glad that it was there for a purpose.

Nursing is a dynamic profession with specialities in supporting various specialties within medicine itself...however the common bond or pre-requisite is continuous pursuit of knowledge, critical thinking and experience. There are so many things that we still need to learn POST graduation and acknowledging this need, Universities are pushing the theme of self directed learning. I recalled studying a degree in Pharmacology itself....the course material covered indepth understanding of how medicine works...agonistic and antagonistic properties on different receptors for example was one area where almost .ALL students felt was going too far into the principles that we might as well have done Pharmacology itself. However today, armed with that knowledge I can research medications and understand their properties better. I believe that it has congealed my knowledge of other areas better.

For example, we first learned that it was easy to identify medications by the few last letters in their generic names...Bisoprolol, Metoprolol, Sotalol, propanalol and all the "lol" are beta blockers. However armed also with the extended knowledge of how medication bind with receptor sites, you can further research to learn that even though these medications are primarily a beta blocker class, they are NOT all used as for its beta blocking properties. Example - sotalol is used primarily as an anti-arrhythmic - correcting atrial fib or flutters. However because they are NON selective for Beta sites, they are contraindicated for use in asthmatics because salbultamol (aka ventolin) needs to bind and agonise beta receptor sites in the lungs to cause broncho-dilation. This cannot be done if sotalol are bound to the same beta receptor sites to AND Acting in opposite fashion - as an antagonist instead!!...BTW sotalol is a class I beta blocker - non selective in binding sites.

However metoprolol is a class II beta blocker...selective for Beta 1 and as such would not have such adverse effects to contraindicate against Salbultamol. which binds to Beta 2 sites..so you will find that doctors will tend to use class II beta blockers for it negative chronotropic and positive inotropic effects in asthmatics on salbultamol or atrovent. Without this knowledge someone would be scratching their heads as to why doctors do not apply the "general" knowledge of beta blockers contraindicated for asthmatics. As a patient advocate, nurse can query certain medications and withhold them if they believe it may do more harm then good and seek to gain clarification from doctors before proceeding.

I recalled my student days where I picked up long QT twice in different placements. The first was a patient who was tachycardic around 140 bpm.. Though tachy, his ECG trace showed very clear ST segments sufficient to calculate QTc. The second case was in my last placement - patient on new meds. and developed chest pains..ECG done and I interpreted it for the ward...picked up the long QTc (Significant prolongation of 0.52 seconds) and alerted the med. reg. It was NOT an infarct but because the patient had no previous history of long QTs, I reviewed his medications (he wasn't under my care then but I was asked to help with the ECG because in that ward I was the only one who had done a course in ECG interpretation)....and guess what...it was the sotalol..beta blocker used for atrial fribillation....med reg agreed and we withhold that beta blocker and gave a stat dose of glucagon - generally used in beta blocker overdosing...I guess it was cautionary that the med reg ordered the dose as he did not want the patient to develop Ventricular fribillation on his shift...lol. I attribute the knowledge to my University for having given me the fundamentals. Guess what, when I graduated not long after and though I did not get a GNP offer, I got a call from the NUM of that ward with a job offer which I have been in ever since...lol

As you progress through your placements, you will start to appreciate the knowledge Universities are arming you with and they are basically hoping that you will fervently apply your knowledge and skills towards self directed learning ands reflections to become the quality in whatever areas you choose to go into.

Don't loose heart...I think you will do very well....because already you have demonstrated that questioning mind...its a Great start and wishing you all the best.

modified: Thursday 10 March 2011 6:37:15 am - Schizo

minigmgoit

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  • Location: Darwin
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Apr 24, 2011, 06:49 pm

Quite a large percentage of our teachers are not interested in helping students at all. We are but an inconvenience to them. I'm sure the CDU crew on here will back me up :)

Schizo

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Apr 25, 2011, 05:33 am

Very sorry to hear that minimgoit. Strangely, my friends who did CDU externally here in Brisbane found it quite good. Maybe they already have that expectation of being on their own and to make do with whatever they can download.

Minimgoit - If its any consolation, your knowledge is the reason why you are the second line of defense against mistakes made by doctors. Not that I am accusing doctors but like all humans, they do make mistakes. Ask any nurse here and I am certain many will tell you how many times they have corrected a doctor for orders that are incorrect big or small. Your knowledge also makes you a good patient advocate...you can make the decision to withhold meds because the patient's obs contraindicates.

Universities are arming you with the basic knowledge to apply with critical thinking and I am sure you would want to as knowledgeable as possible. Also you might want to pursue more post graduate studies and become a Clinical Nurse Consultant, where your authority on that particular subject is close to being unquestionable. Continue on Minimgoit...you certainly are very intelligent....we need people like you!!!

enigma

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Apr 08, 2013, 11:08 am

I have to agree. I'm doing my degree externally through CDU and have only come across one really great teacher, a couple of ok ones and the rest seem to be out to make it as hard as possible. There is little consistency in marking and the number of people failing a unit should be some indication to the uni that they are perhaps not delivering the course as effectively and helpfully as they should. I think nursing should be more about caring for patients and less about writing perfect essays that are marked by teachers who can't write one themselves. One of my tutors, a professor, is practically illiterate. How did he ever write essays to pass his degrees? Obviously, they have raised the standards and it's very hard to please them. Each tutor seems to interpret the referencing rules in their own way and it's very stressful.

summerly

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Apr 14, 2013, 11:32 am

I like CDU.  Out of the three uni's I've tried it's one of the best for external study.  That said, there are alot of lecturers who aren't all that helpful and then there are some who are great.  Unfortunately you don't have to like teaching to be a lecturer, which is a shame because when you have a good one they are worth their weight in gold.  As for the course content, there does seem to be some units which are (to me) needlessly tedious, but I thought that course content was decided by the nurses board and so all uni's in Australia would be in the same boat? 

medicalpotato

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Apr 14, 2013, 03:08 pm

I think they just want to weed out the students who are not really passionate about the course. But that's just my opinion. I personally believe that as long as you're passionate and enjoying what you do then there is no difficulty you can't overcome. :)

Tracey59

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  • Joined: Jan 2013
  • Location: Goonellabah NSW
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Apr 19, 2013, 09:08 pm

I think (and I am only in my FIrst Year, but I am mature age).  Nurses have a greater burden placed on them now.  Doctors are no longer seen as gods and nurses are expected to help to reduce the number of 'mistakes' through their increased knowledge.

It is, however, about Patient Care - and we are the advocates for our patients.  YES, essay writing is HARD and I really think that the marking criteria for a course that may require report writing, but will probably not ask the general nurse to write anything like an essay and certainly note in academic speak.  SO the essays should be marked on content and whether the essay shows the student has undertaken the required readings which gain knowledge.

I ... H A T E ...writing Essays.   I have written two so far, no marks back so NO IDEA if I am on the right track.  

On the other hand, there are other students, who tell me they LOVE writing essays and hate - group assignments or practical tests.  Horses for courses.  

As to teachers.  NO matter what field you choose, you will get good, bad and brilliant teachers.  We have two extraordinary teachers at SCU and the others so far have been between good and ordinary.  However, time will tell HOW good or ordinary they are when the knowledge is required to be used.  

Good police, bad police.  Good doctors, bad doctors.  And....might I say  Good nurses, bad nurses.  It is in every profession.

I HOPE I am a GOOD nurse.

Tracey

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