I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already…almost Thursday, really, since it’s 11:35pm. But I wanted to share a short post to give an overview of my courses this term. While I don’t want to be overly optimistic about the time and energy I’ll have to do this weekly, I like the idea of a regular short post to update you on the things I’m reading and learning throughout this process. So, without further ado!
Fall Term 2014
Advanced Pathophysiology (first of two)
We didn’t have lecture this week due to Orientation activities, but we’ve been assigned reading for our first lecture next Monday, on neural regulation. Guess that means time to review gated protein channels and membrane channel proteins! I’ll be pulling out my Copstead and Banasik text from last year, in addition to the new text this year, Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. I can’t say that neural regulation is a particularly sexy topic for me…but the instructor for this class is so phenomenal I know I’ll have a good time anyway.
Reproductive Health Care Management (didactic and lab)
Our first lecture for this class was today, covering basics of doing a sexual health history and doing a female pelvic exam. Pretty basic so far, nothing too shocking or difficult to digest…but that’s the theory side. In a few weeks, we’ll be in lab doing our first pelvic exams on patient actors, which will be a whole different experience. For next week, we’re reading up on breast health, which I’m super excited about, because there’s been tons of talk lately about the evidence or lack thereof for breast cancer screening guidelines.
Health Assessment and Physical Diagnosis for Advanced Practice Nursing (didactic and lab)
This class is basically how to do a physical exam, interpret labs, and come up with a diagnosis. It’s broken down by system…the first week covers basic vitals and a general survey. Each week in lab we’ll practice the physical assessment of a different system and turn in SOAP notes. We’re using the Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination, which I haven’t actually started reading yet, but looks like a well-organized text. There are videos that go along with the book, and they’re pretty thorough…and a little more up-to-date than those awful Mosby’s videos we had to watch last year!
Concepts for Advanced Practice Nursing (all online)
This course is for those of us enrolled in the DNP track and includes folks in nurse-midwifery, psych mental health, adult/geriatric/acute care, pediatric, and family nurse-practitioner programs. It’s all online and involves weekly forum posts on things like the role of DNP’s, credentialing, and ethics. Our main texts are The Doctor of Nursing Practice Essentials and Advanced Practice Nursing: Emphasizing Common Roles…but we’re also reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which is a fantastic read. This week we did virtual introductions–basically using a program called Camtasia to record ourselves giving a short introduction using Powerpoint, which is a skill we’ll use later to do electronic poster presentations in a few weeks.
When I sum it up like this, it makes it so much more manageable…but seriously, my master calendar list is a mile long. The only difference now is that I’m actually excited to read everything, and in fact have to make myself go to bed because otherwise I’d stay up wanting to read all the articles. Pacing is going to be key to survival in this program, I can tell already.
And on that note, to bed I go! I’d love to hear what others starting school are reading these days…