My Wonderful Journey


WE FINALLY MADE IT!! Cohort 2016 ?

First and fore most I would like to thank Dr. Jensen, Jaime, and all of our nursing faculty that has taught us all that we know and have created a group of amazing patient advocates.  Because of them we are going into the healthcare field and making a great difference and impact in many patients lives.  Below is a link to a blog post from John Hopkins that perfectly describes the importance of the work we do after graduation.  It sums up all that we hope to be and desire to be, and I am so excited to fulfill that goal.


I have learned so much throughout this amazingly crazy journey.  I have found a passion that I am lucky to call my career.  Looking back at all the struggles we have all went through during the program, I cant help but see them as the stepping stones that have pushed us to become the well prepared nurses we will become after graduation.  Nursing school also solidified my love for caring for children which I am very excited to move forward with.  I plan to work my way up into the neonatal intensive care unit and eventually go back to school to receive my NP with an emphasis in neonatology.


End of Life Care

Palliative_careEnd of life care is an essential part of our roles as health care professionals especially when working in any acute care setting where the patient population is of high acuity.  I have learned a lot about my own beliefs in end of life situations throughout my clinical experience.  The hospital is a very intimidating and scary place to be in for both the patient and the family members.  Personally, I have come to realize I would not want to be in a situation where I spend the end of my life in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes and confined to four walls. My family and I have discussed topics such as end of life before and for the most part agree with wanting to live a happy life rather than the length in which it is lived.  Both my grandparents and my parents have a will and legal documents in case of medical emergencies.  I have yet to fill out any paperwork for myself but I plan to in the near future.  I believe it is never to early to discuss the topic and work on those legal documents regardless of what they may be individually and with family members.

Palliative care is such a powerful aspect of healthcare that I feel gets neglected at times due to the stigma individuals correlate it with.  I love that palliative care takes a holistic approach to patient care that is so vital in being a patient advocate.  Patient advocate is the key word in that last sentence.  whether it is for medication regimens, dressing changes, dietary, or end of life care; it is our job as nurses to advocate for exactly what the patients wishes are even if we disagree. It is also our jobs to educate our patients and our family members about any questions they may have about end of life care and connecting them with proper resources.



Natural Disaster

Oklahoma and Texas Flooding


During the month of May this past year in 2015, large parts of central and southern plain states faced deadly flash flooding and tornadoes.  At least 31 people were killed in storms.  The rolling storms causing disaster throughout the communities it struck, left homes without electricity, gas, or water for days to weeks.  Houston was one area in particular that was struck the hardest.  Many were displaced from homes and a body count of at least six people.

floodHarris County’s emergency management office said that there were 1,200 high water rescues on Monday as a slow-moving storm system dumped more than a foot of rain on many parts of the US’s fourth-largest city.  Because of the severe flooding, the access to roads, highways, and freeways was nearly impossible.  This made emergency healthcare extremely hard for both parties.  Ambulances inability to travel and vice versa community members unable to travel to local hospitals or red cross shelters.  Debris and water borne illness are the most important health related issues with thee flooding that was important for the entire health care system in both states.


Do you know your medications?


So the assignment is to discuss medications with our family and friends, to see exactly how well they know their medications.  My mom is very aware of her medications and supplements that she takes. She takes a number of daily vitamins such as vitamin D, vitamin C, ferrous sulfate and vitamin B12 in addition to cranberry supplements for her urinary tract. She educates herself on how it’s affecting and benefiting her body, when to take it during the day, and the safe amount she should be taking. She is a person who always takes the consult from the pharmacologists every time she has a prescription and will call me to discuss it with me.  She was recently on Nitrofurantoin or macrobid.  She was very on top of the reportable symptoms and really paid attention to the side effects.  She is anemic, so she was aware that she may feel more fatigued than the normal person due to her anemia and a drug that induces fatigue itself as well as worsening anemia.  She asked her physician and I about what SJS was.  My mom is a patient that wants to understand what is happening to her body and the medications she takes which in return causes better outcomes.


Family Member Interview


Interview friends, family members, or coworkers. Ask them to tell you what does “Cardiopulmonary Arrest” mean to them. Ask them if they know what “MI” means? Ask them what they perceive happens during “CPR”. Reflect on your findings and post your thoughts about this to your blog. Feel free to add additional questions if you would like, or educate those you interview if they have any misconceptions.

So I interviewed my mom about what she thought cardiopulmonary arrest meant as well as MI.  Her response was “doesn’t that mean your heart stops and you can’t breath”.  When I used the terminology “heart attack” instead of MI or myocardial infarction, my mom knew what I was talking about.  Furthermore, I asked her what she thought treatment was for cardiopulmonary arrest was.  Her response was CPR and a shock.  My mom has taken a CPR class before so she was knowledgable about that; however, it was interesting when I asked what the defibrillator does for the heart.  She stated, it restarts the heart, kind of like jumper cables.  I feel like that is definitely a major misconception; I educated her on what the defibrillation of the heart really does and how CPR is what brings the heart back into a normal rhythm.



Heart Healthy Food Log


Thursday: February 4, 2016

  • (1) apple and peanut butter (w/chia seeds and flax seeds)
  • (1) banana
  • (1) Brown rice cake
  • 16oz. soy chai with a shot of espresso
  • Brown rice, broccoli, and grilled chicken – lightly salted
  • (1) cup of olive oil popcorn – lightly salted
  • Salami, triscitts, and Havarti cheese
  • Protein shake with PB2 powder
  • Arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette, parmesan, grilled chicken – lightly salted with a 1/2 cup of red quinoa mixed into the salad
  • Chocolate fudge Greek yogurt bar
  • ALOT of H2O! :)

I find that I eat fairly healthy on a regular basis, I do add salt to most meals but in very little portions.  The hardest part for me is to stay away from the sweets and the complex carbohydrates.  However, when I have the time to make a meal I make it as healthy as I can and prep for a couple days so I stay consistent.



Today’s the day of our pinning and I feel a mix of emotions: happy, excited, proud, scared, sad…

I am so proud of all of my classmates and happy that we have made it to the end. All of our blood, sweat, and tears have brought us to this point and I couldn’t be more excited for our futures. I have made lifelong friends in this program and will be sad when we all go off on our separate ways, but I know we will all look back on these years with good memories.

Looking back on the last 3 years, I realize how much I have changed and how much I have learned. Every lecture, sim, project, test, discussion board, and clinical day has built up my knowledge, critical thinking, abilities/skills, and emotional/psychological strength. I still can’t say I’m 100% confident in myself, but I’ve come a long way since the beginning when I was unsure if I was even capable of being a nurse. I know I’m capable now, and I know that I can make a difference in the nursing profession and in people’s lives with what I have to offer.

What do I have to offer?

I have my knowledge and critical thinking skills – which I’ve gained from amazing instructors and preceptors who knew how to encourage, push, shape, and mold us. I will use this to recognize potential problems, initiate proper interventions, and educate when needed.

I have my compassion – which has grown even more in the last 3 years. I will use this to care for every patient as if they were my own family member or friend.

I have my determination and perseverance – something I have come to learn about myself. I do not give up and I do not let failure bring me down. I will use this to make sure every patient under my care has the best care.

I have my humor – which will help keep things light when situations are dark.

and I have another one that I thought I could never use in this field… my creative side. When I joined nursing school, I was prepared to say goodbye to my artsy crafts and drawings. But I’ve learned that I can use my drawings to help patients. I have already used my pictures numerous times to help with patient education when language or hearing barriers got in the way.

I don’t know what type of nursing I will end up in, but I have been well prepared and I am ready for it!



As I look back on my journey I can not believe how fast it went. Even at rehearsal for pinning, I couldn’t believe that all these chairs and stage were for us. I remember how I felt the first day of nursing school as I felt overwhelmed with the workload and trying to find my way in the nursing world.


Before I started critical care I believe that it was just another rotation that I have to complete to graduation because my true passion was public health. During clinical, I was surprised that critical care held my interest and I looked forward to clinical. I remember feeling so nervous for my medical surgical clinical that I would be worried the whole day before. I felt my comfortable with my skills and taking the more of a leadership role. I believe that critical care gave me the confidence that I needed to start my care in a hospital setting. With every patient I had this semester I felt that I made a difference in the patient’s care by actively asking questions and wanting to understand the care of a critical ill patient.

I am currently excited, but terrified of the future. CSUCI nursing was my home for three years. I felt that I was supported by staff and created long lasting relationships that will continue to impact the kind of nurse I will be.


The Classic Question: What Kind of Nurse Do YOU Want to be?

This week has been really bittersweet for me, as I have been reflecting on the fact that we are finishing our education and entering a new chapter of our lives. I will miss the close friends and support system that we created for each other, the long nights of studying and becoming hysterically delirious as the hours go by and sleep deprivation increases, the stressing over care plans and exams…yes, I will actually miss these to some extent because their disappearance also represents the end of something good. But now we are each starting our own nursing journey independently, and there is also something incredibly special and exciting about that. As I am writing this final blog post, I’m thinking of what has impacted me the most this semester in regards to critical care, and I think that I have realized that now we each create our own nursing practice. Before, we were guided by academia and our faculty…but now we are new graduate nurses. I have seen some nurses treat patients and approach patients in a very rude and unprofessional manner in every semester of nursing school, and there will always be a few nurses like this. Critical care is a unique specialty that blends a high level of critical thinking and pathophysiology knowledge with a need for knowledge of public health and case management, and that is why I love the specialty. Patients in critical care and their family members are vulnerable, and need a higher level of emotional support in this time of crisis. So, there is an even greater need for nurses to be sensitive, communicative, and excellent healthcare providers for these families. So as new graduate nurses, each of us needs to make the choice. When someone asks me what kind of nurse I want to be, rather than replying what specialty I am interested in, in reality I want to say, “I am the kind of nurse who will give my patients excellent care regardless of what others may be saying or thinking…I am the kind of nurse who will not criticize patients behind their back…I am the kind of nurse who will hold your hand even if you don’t “deserve” it…I will work hard to gain more knowledge and skills to know how to care for you safely, and I am committed to your care, because I am that kind of nurse.” As student nurses, we are limited to some extent when we see nurses we work with treat patients with disrespect or provide suboptimal care. But now, we have the power to really make a difference and even change the culture of a unit that we work in. Critical care is what I want to do, but the above statements represent the kind of nurse I want to be. There is a difference. And that is what I look forward to as I begin my own nursing journey.