I started the day yesterday completely STRESSED OUT because the night before I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30pm and had failed to study for my Lab Practicum.


The Lab Practicum consists of three stations where we choose scenarios at random to prove that we are competent in the skills we had been tested out on previously during this semester, as well as last semester. 

It is a shit load of skills…IV insertion, IV prep, IV piggyback, IV push, Phelbotomy, DC IV, IV conversion to saline lock, Hanging an IV bag, Mixing meds in an IV, Blood transfusions, Sterile dressing change for wound, Tube feeding, Foley insertion, CVP dressing change, cap change, ID SQ and IM injections, insulin and heparin injections, mixing meds for injections..and the list goes on, and on, and on…

And so…I had no idea what scenarios I would be assigned.  And I was nervous.  I left work early to get in a few more hours of study time, and then it was time to begin.  I just wanted to get it over with, and because last week I knew I would feel this way, I purposely signed up as the first to go.  And so I went.

If after the three stations, we were not able to satisfactorily complete a skill, we would be given another shot after an hour practice time (for each skill failed) in the lab before testing out again at a later date.  If we failed a third time, we would be let go from the program.  I was confident that I wouldn’t fail three times, however, I REALLY wanted to pass the first time around and just be done already!!

The theme of the evening was a party, so at the first station, our scenario choices were taped to noise makers with colored tassles.  I picked the black and gold one (for the STEELERS, obviously), and I had to start an IV, Saline lock it, and then draw a CBC, PT and PTT and send it to the lab.  CHECK!

At the next station, our scenarios were taped to the insides of party hats.  I picked the purple one (my dad’s fave color) and I had to change a neutropenic patient’s hickman catheter dressing. CHECK CHECK!

At the final station, Mardi Gras beads, with scenarios taped to them, were laid out on a table, so I picked a green one for my sister-in-law-to-be Christy O’Malley.  I had to administer X amount (I can’t remember) of Morphine IM (intra-muscularly) to a patient using a pre-filled cartridge syringe.  When I checked the dosage in the syringe with the dosage ordered by the MD, something didn’t add up.  I looked up Morphine in my drug book to see what the normal dosage range for an adult is, and the ordered dose was WAY TOO MUCH!  They were trying to trick me!!!  But I was on to their evil plan, so I told the instructor that I would not administer the X amount ordered from the cartridge, and that I would instead phone the MD to edit the order prescribed.  CHECK!  Then, the instructor gave me a new order, I drew it up into the syringe, identified the landmarks on the body for an IM injection at the vastus lateralis site and stabbed that sucker in! CHECK CHECK CHECK!




Monday will be our lecture final…80 multiple choice questions worth 30% of our final grade.  I am nervous, but with all of this other stuff out of the way, I am able to focus…and HOPEFULLY…I will be fine.

You probably won’t hear from me until Tuesday.