Half a Nurse

In her guileful disguise of cheer and distinction does she entice every callow student during orientation with her promises of a noble career path filled with jovial recoveries and good-deed. While not a liar, she is furtive in her ways of dissolving the truth behind the road we must take to revel in this career–Nursing school is quite the bitch.

I like to think of nursing school as a mom — a big ol’ bellicose momma that makes your life  just bearable enough to breathe and cry.

Lucky for me, I am halfway there. In 11 days, I will be starting semester 3 of MDC’s Nursing program. This marks what the college refers to as “the transition to level 2 nursing”. This means that upon starting your third semmester clinical rotations, you are on your own–your patient(s) are your responsibility and the charge nurse expects you to relieve her nurses from having to baby you. The assigned care plan is still due at the end of your shift and your patient is expected to be alive.

Nursing school may not be a party, but I can certainly grant her a “thank you”, because while her supportive approach is nothing like Dr. Thomas’s nurturing bosom in which we cry on during finals week, she gave me a backbone.


Semester Two in T Minus 8 Hours

Dr. Thomas likes to keep us (the students[“her babies]) afloat, even if she has to lie. She holds your hand all-through semester one; she wears bunny ears on Easter to shed the intimidating decades of experience she carries, she makes “code-brown” jokes so we cackle inanely , and she daubs the most toothsome chocolates in our faces before a test so we have a sense of security– if you failed the test, at least you had chocolate. Everything rules until you get to number 30 on the exam. The number itself begins to shape-shift, growing teeth and tentacles that reach out and grab you by the neck. The zero turns into a mouth that yells “OPEN WOUNDS OR CHEST PAINS!?!” in a hardcore voice.

You wouldn’t understand unless you’ve studied for 40 hours a week for just one exam, answered a hundred critical-thinking-style questions, each with two REALLY good answers, and gotten a “B” on the exam. It’s like…

But i’ve become an addict to the stress and I can’t wait for tomorrow. Semester 2 is supposed to be the most challenging because of Med-Surg. While my Brunner and Siddarth’s text weighs 10 lbs (because I didn’t know there was a two-book set), it will be my summer novel and lifetime bible (or one of them, anyway).

Crap, maybe I should go to sleep.

The Will-Be Expensive Essentials

There have been five new editions to the monolith-like stack of books I shared with you in my first post. I am still missing one pesky book, that I was lucky enough to find on eBay, but the seller accidentally sent me the wrong book. For the time being, these are the books I had to purchase at the bookstore. I could not, for the life of me find any of these books online so the campus bookstore profited from my book advance (that is, I didn’t pay for them out of pocket — my grades did).

The links lead you directly to each book from the MDC Bookstore.

Laboratory Manual and Textbook

Left: Jarvis: Student Laboratory Manual for Physical Examination & Health Assessment

The lab manual goes for a cool $36.95 with no renting option, as it is a workbook. Write in it or not, you can’t sell the thing back to the college.

Right:Jarvis: Physical Examination and Health Assessment

The textbook was $105.00 but you can rent it for the semester and save $51.00.

Upper Left: Doenges: Applications of Nursing Process and Nursing Diagnosis

This one goes for another easy, less pain-staking $34.95. You can sell this one back to the bookstore, but you’ll need it for the remainder of the year. By time you graduate, Doenges will have released another edition or three.

Lower Left: Perry: Nursing Interventions & Clinical Skills

$76.95 with an option to rent, but again, you’ll need this one all year.

Right: The Miami Dade College Nursing Curriculum : Level I & II

You’ll need to visit the Medical Center Campus to get this baby in the bookstore. You’ll also need a 3″ binder to bind the pages. You’ll be spending $51.25. Mine, if you can’t tell, is still shrink-wrapped, as I still need the binder.

I suggest you "strengthen your core" and what not

Without further ado, I give you the only relevant cause to any future back pain you may acquire (unless you get a book bag as awesome as mine), El Monstro…

That’s right — 39.8lb. Let’s not forget the Pocket Diagnosis that I am still awaiting in the mail. We can safely round this off to a comfy 40.5lb. Good news lies ahead..

You won’t have to take all of these with you everyday. You really only need to carry about half of these. I never have more than two classes a day and the rest of these are required for clinical reference, a helpful supplement.

Finally (but not really), you’ll need to wear a white lab coat complete with the MDC emblem. This is required for every lab, lecture, and clinical setting. When February rolls around,you will only be allowed to wear this over your scrubs if you are cold. Two things you are to never be without are your pen light and your ID badge, which I am clearly without until tomorrow.

Hope this helps…

or stimulates you…

or excites you, in some way.

Some Would-Be Expensive Basics

Upon being accepted into the program, you’re going to want to save as much as possible on the essentials. These are some of the supplies I’ve purchased, thus far and how much you can save on each. Take a deep breath.


6 of the 11 required textbooks

From top to bottom…

1) Davis’s Drug Guide for Nurses – MDC Bookstore $42.95 (you can save about $10.00 on Amazon)

2) Davis’s Comprehensive Handbook of Lab Diagnostics  – eBay $26.95 and save $11.00

3) Taber’s Medical Dictionary – eBay $31.99 and save $9.00

4) Medical Dosage Calculations – MDC Bookstore $68.50 (you can save $12.00 on Chegg)

5) Brunner and Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing – eBay $98.48 and save $17.00 ( this one will make you budge for a bookbag with wheels, it weighs 10.5 lbs)

6) Fundamentals of Nursing by Potter and Perry – eBay $34.30 and save $75.00

You can save about $130.00 on just these 6 books if you really look around. That could buy you another two books or a “unique” hipster haircut.

Total? I won’t do the math — still too painful.


Got a Jansport TX50 on eBay for $69.50 and save about $40.00 if you look hard enough.

This thing rules. When I got it in the mail today, I was actually stoked that I paid 70 bucks on this. One of my personal favorites is the built-in laptop sleeve located in the very front of the large pocket. I can fit my books behind my laptop and not worry too much about it getting crushed by my any of those monoliths I have to lug around. I’m also looking forward to using this thing as travel luggage once I can afford to…well…travel.


A Littman Classic II S.E. Stethoscope with a tunable diaphragm

This was a gift from my sister for Christmas, but you can find one on Amazon for $68.96 and save $25.00. You definitely don’t NEED to get a Littman.

Hope this helps!