Monday, February 21, 2011

Study Craziness

As I talked about in my last post I've got a test tomorrow on Tissues/Integument, Since that post I've made over 100 flash cards and studied the hell out of them. I even went so far as to hack up my lab manual and previous edition A&P book in order to get color pictures of the tissues to study for the lab practical.

I went through the cards with my wife about 4 or 5 times and by the end of the 5th time I had all but 5 of the cards memorized.

I found this chapter to be my most difficult so far. I really liked the chapters where the material involved some kind of process. Hopefully I will do just as well on this section and I won't have to use this as my drop grade.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Testing on Tissues/Integumentary this tuesday. I have spent about 5 hrs studying for this test so far, usually I pick up the material really quickly, make my flash cards, and after a dozen or so times through them I know the material.

This section though, I've made over 90 flash cards and Im not certain I captured all the needed material.

Heres to hoping I have this stuff down by Tuesday!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No, this is homework!

I Promise. This really is homework.

It amazes me how many different products are available to help you remember A&P, Flash cards, coloring books, videos, and iTunes university lectures, even with all of those options there is one key item you can not buy at your universities book store. Motivation. Anatomy is a class, that you need a lot of motivation to learn, it's not something you can pick up and pass just by attending lecture.

Nearly everyone in my class is going into some sort of healthcare profession, yet over half the class can not seem to pull it together and score above a 60 on the exams. I don't think I want these people near me in a healthcare capacity.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

3 of 13

Got scores back on my third A&P exam today, scored a 92. Not as high as my previous two exams, but class average so far is a 102. I will be very happy if I maintain an A throughout the semester, this particular teacher only had 4 A's in 4 sections of a&p last semester, so I feel that would be a huge achievement.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Shape of things to come

I had an interesting and fun realization in A&P thursday, during a lecture break the teacher and the first three lab tables broke into a conversation about breast feeding. Stuff like this does not bother me, I've always been a very frank individual in what I will talk about, but I found myself sitting there thinking how surreal the situation was that I was surrounded by women I didn't know, having a conversation about breast feeding.

I don't often find myself in situations where my opinion is not needed or wanted, but I realized this is going to be the first of many such situations given that I am entering a female dominated profession. :)

The only input I really have into a conversation on this topic is with my wife, in as much as I will support her whatever decision she decides to make in regards to the feeind of our children.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blast from the past

I blogged briefly for about 2 years or so back in 2004, 2005, the blog still exists but I've not posted on it in ages. After reading someones comments on the "Day 1: Discuss your relationship" 30 day blogger challenge, it made me recall a post I made back in 2005.

While not nursing related, it's still people related. I'd just like to point out to the naysayers in the world that internet relationships can and do turn into face to face relationships. My pregnant wife and son are living breathing proof!

I got to thinking about what a relationship really is today. The dictionary defines it as “a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings.” Or “a romantic or passionate attachment” I define it as having an emotional and spiritual connection to an individual. In the case of a romantic relationship it goes further then that and adds physical and dependency aspects.

So what happens in today’s age of computers and global communication? What type of relationship, as I define it, can you really have with someone you only know online? Is it possible to form feelings for a persons mind, and intellect without ever even seeing the physical person? Jeremy Stangroom at had this to say on the matter.

“The significant point about internet relationships is that the characteristics we rely on to make judgements about people in the non-virtual world are largely invisible in the virtual world. The irony here is that it is precisely that facet of internet communication that makes gross deception possible – the absence of a face to face relationship - which undermines our tendency to stereotype. It would be possible to overstate the significance of this fact. Even in relationships conducted entirely via the medium of the written word, we still make judgements about people which go beyond the evidence. However, it is likely that we do so largely on the basis of the actual content of our communication with a person, which, arguably at least, is more likely to be indicative of those aspects of a person’s character which they themselves consider to be salient.

The corollary of this point is that in our internet relationships we have greater control over which aspects of our character we present to other people than we do in our everyday relationships. Of course, this is why people worry about deception on the internet. And it is a real concern - the individual who adopts a false persona in order to procure a sexual encounter with a vulnerable person behaves badly. But it is only part of the story. If by controlling which aspects our characters we present to people online we are able to avoid the more pernicious effects of our tendency to make judgements on the basis of unwarranted stereotypes, then it is possible we will develop online relationships which are, at least in some ways, less distorted and more real than most of our everyday, embodied relationships.”

You can view the entire article here.

According to this one persons view it is indeed possible to have a “real”, possibly more so, relationship online. On the flipside however you have someone like Hubert Dreyfus of Berkeley that states, without the risk of physical harm that you get from embodied relationships, you can never have a “real” relationship online. His [Dreyfus’] paper on Kierkegaard shows his philosophy on the subject in an abstract manner.

In my mind, a person grounded in reality can indeed have a meaningful relationship with someone online as long as a constant reminder is made to stay grounded in reality. This really is a fascinating topic if you think about it. Our generation is witnessing the adolescence of a new medium for human expression, thought and emotion. We have people meeting online through dating services and living “happily ever after”, people who otherwise would never have known either existed. We are forming lasting, and meaningful friendships with people we have never met in person. In some cases these online friends are so close, that they know more then anyone else in your life.

I’m no great writer; I’m no philosopher to have books published, or papers printed. But here I sit, putting my thoughts, my views down, where millions of potential viewers could hear what I have to say. How cool is that? If you ask me, that’s pretty significant.

Grade curves

My A&P class grades on a somewhat odd curve. If the average of the class is failing, ie a 55 the teacher adds enough points to the curve to make the class average passing (a 70).

So in my example, a 55 class average gets 15 points added to ever grade in the class bringing the class average to a 70.

Now, this a wonderful thing for those of us that actually study and do well. The last test we took was curved TWENTY FOUR points, thats how badly the class did. Which, for me is great, considering I made an 84 before the curve. So yay me getting a 108.

So uh, is it bad that I hope that my classmates continue to suck? :)

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Aerobic Respiration

You gotta love helpful wives. Not only does she drill me with flash cards without complaint, she also had a wonderful suggestion to write a brief summary of what happens during aerobic respiration in order to cement it in my mind. So thats what I did! Wrote completely from memory and as far as I understand the process it's correct. I'm totally going to kick this tests ass.

Aerobic respiration is composed of three stages, Glycolysis, the Citric Acid Cycle, and the Electron Transport Chain.

Glycolysis begins with a six carbon sugar that has two phosphates attached with the expenditure of two ATP (Adenine Triphosphate) leaving you with a six carbon sugar diphosphate and two ADP (Adenine Diphosphate). The six sugar diphosphate is then cleaved into two three-carbon molecules. Those two three-carbon molecules then go through a series of changes. A coenzyme called NAD+ bonds with electrons in the three-carbon molecule creating NADH while creating four ATP and two pyruvic acid molecules. Since we have to "pay back" the ATP that was used at the beginning of this process we are left with a net of two ATP.

The two Pyruvic Acid molecules now expend their ATP to enter into the matrix of the mitochondria expending CO2 and creating more NADH turning into Acedic acid. A CoA is added to the Acedic Acid creating Acetyl CoA which then enters into the actual Citric Acid Cycle, during which four carbon molecules are added to the Acetyl CoA creating Citric Acid. During the cycle the citric acid experiences a series of changes giving off yet more NADH and CO2, as well as one ATP for each Pyruvic acid leaving us with two ATP, NADH, and some CO2 at the end of the Citric Acid Cycle. The CO2 is exhaled and the NADH move on to the third and final stage of Aerobic Respiration; the Electron Transport Chain

The NADH transfers its Hydrogen+ protons and the electrons gathered in the first two processes to a transmembrane protein. The electrons travel through the electron transport chain and the hydrogen protons use the energy from the electrons to move up it's gradient and out into the intramembrane space. The electrons eventually bond with free floating Hydrogen and O2 molecules within the matrix of the mitochondria and form H2O (water), while the Hydrogen protons in the intramembrane space move through the ATP Synthase. The energy created by this process allows molecules of ADP+P to be bound together creating ATP.

Transfer Irritation: Part 2

I went to school early yesterday morning to get some more information on why my sciences don't "count" for the science category. Apparently only General Education sciences count in that category and Micro, A&P I and II do not count as General Ed sciences. Regardless of my opinion on the matter it's a hoop to jump through in order to graduate with an AA so I can transfer to my private university nursing program with no issue on individual credits being accepted or not.

Schedule looks like this.

Summer 2011
Fall 2011
General Chemistry
Developmental Psych
General Biology

Yikes, 3 sciences, going to be a busy semester! However, if I can pull it off that means I transfer to Private University with a Spring and Summer to work on odds and ends before starting the program the next fall.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Transfer Irritation

So I'm sitting here plotting out the rest of my time at community college. I have Summer 2011, and Fall 2011 and I will be done with CC. Why is it they make these forms so hard to figure out on your own? According to this chart, I can not claim A&P I, A&P II, or Microbiology in the natural science category, and must use them as electives. So that puts me having to take another science in addition to Chemistry to get the 8 hours required for that category. Since when is Anatomy and Physiology and Microbiology not a science? Wtf.

As of right now I have 47 semester hour credits. I would have had 55 had I not had to take 8 hrs of remedial math when I started back to college. So instead of being 10 credits short of graduating with my AA, I have 18 credits left. Which is not too bad when I have a summer and fall left to complete them in.

Sadly, due to some bad planning on my part, in those 18 credits I have the following classes.
  • Chemistry
  • A&P II
  • Microbiology
Yeah, that comprises 12 of the 18 credits needed to graduate. So looks like I will be doubling up Micro and A&P II. I see lots of studying in my future.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why Nursing?

I know that at some point in the not too distant future I am going to have to write a letter to the BSN program that I want attend that answers the simple, yet complex question of "Why Nursing?"

The question itself is not dissimilar from questions that numerous people in my family have asked me before.

"You really want to go back to school at thirty into a female dominated profession?"

"Uh, really? Nursing? Thats an odd choice for a dude."

"Are you sure you really want to do Nursing?"

All of these questions, among others, came up at one point or another from various people in my life. I can thankfully say that my wife has been 100% behind me the entire time, as have my parents.

Trying to be a typical macho sounding guy, I would simply respond that I think the money is good and there will always be a job somewhere. Yet, when I distill my real reason for wanting to go into nursing it ends up returning to a few experiences I had when my son was born.

You see, we knew from 28 weeks gestation that our son would be born with Spina Biffida. The news for my wife and I was crushing. We went through every stage of grief when we got the news. It was several weeks before I could even tell people about it without starting to cry. Knowing that my son would, according to everything I had read, need to be cathed his entire life, on top of not being able to walk without assistance.

We went to Big Teaching Hospital and had a natural birth in a birthing room with something like a dozen or more people waiting for my son to make his appearance once he crowned. Once baby was born, cord cut, he was immediately given to the drs doing the assessment of his lesion (which was located around s1,s2).

Fast-forward to the next day, my Son is recovering from surgery in the NICU. He is so quiet from the anesthesia that it just tears me up. He is hooked to all these leads that I know nothing about and it's about all I can do to keep it together.

It was the kind words and gentle understanding of the NICU nurses that got me through the days in the NICU. Again, it was the NURSES that helped me deal with my son, helped us understand what care he was going to need, and they were the ones that answered most of our questions.

It wasn't until much later that I realized how much what those nurses do, or at least my perception of what they do resonated with me on a fundamental level. It was upon that realization that a seed was planted that maybe, just maybe, I'd be brave enough to be that person for someone else.

(As an aside, my son has defied every single odd that was put against him. From the prognosis given by the neurosurgeon, urologist, physical therapist etc. He is a completely healthy 3 year old now with no health issues whatsoever to this day (aside from me having to cath him as an infant for a week after we left the NICU). We hit the genetic lottery so to speak by having a baby with SB, and we hit the lottery again when God decided to give us a perfect little boy. He walks, runs, is being potty trained even now.)

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I know I have a while before I will officially need it, but I had fun picking out a stethoscope today. I ended up purchasing a Littmann Classic II S.E. with Brass Plated Chestpiece, I've read from several different sources that this will last me a long time.

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Friday, February 4, 2011


Wordnet defines Genesis as "a coming into being". This is how I felt in my first couple A&P lectures, like I had finally found something that truly engaged me. I've never been so completely fascinated by any other subject before. I'm not sure if this is simply because I've been waiting so long to start something, anything, to do with my chosen major of Nursing, or if I am actually this fascinated with the material.

So far we've only gotten into Cellular Biochemistry, Cell structure and now Tissues. My first test resulted in a score of 105. These scores have done nothing but fuel my desire to learn more as quickly as I can.

I've been devouring all of the information on Nursing school that I can over the last several months, so I know this is not going to be a trip without it's roadblocks. I honestly believe however, knowing this has just made me that much more determined to succeed.

Goal 1: Finishing Nursing Prereqs
  • A&P I, A&P II
  • MicroBiology
  • Developmental Psych
Goal 2: Get accepted into BSN program
Goal 3: Graduate
Goal 4: Eventual home on a PICU somewhere.

Thats all for now.

My intent with this blog is to update semi-regularly as I go through pre-nursing, and nursing school so I will have a log of my journey that I can look back on some day