not fishing….

Before the post I just want to say CONGRATULATIONS to my friend Thu who is engaged!!! She and her fiance (along with their dog Coco–after Chanel) are the ideal couple.

On to post–

W and I were discussing travel plans for next year. By discussing I mean he was telling me I need to get my schedule and passport together and I was whining about school. W- I will get the passport taken care of spring break- I promise!!! Weird to think its expiring- thank god, the picture is AWFUL! Anyhoo- this discussing brought up something about this ACE nursing that is always on my mind–especially when approaching finals.


When I mention the fear of failure to people most go ‘Lea- why are you worried, you will pass, it will be fine, you are awesome!’ It is very nice to get that reassurance and to know that the people I love have confidence in me. But I want those to know that when I voice my concern it is a true fear and I am not fishing for compliments or reassurance. For everyone in this program it weighs on our minds, all the time, 24 hours a day, and becomes a scream in our heads when finals role around.

You see no matter how much I study (in fact over studying will often hurt you), no matter how well I pay attention–failing is there right beside me because of two reasons: 1) It doesn’t take much and 2)The tests aren’t about smarts.

It doesn’t take much: to fail this program you only have to get a 76% in a class–a C is failing. Also- for exit exams we have to get an 86.5% or else retake the quarter (luckily you get 2 tries). Drexel maintains its 98% pass rate for NCLEX (Nursing boards) by having a takenoprisoners attitude during the program. We lost 40 classmates between the first two quarters out of the 187 orginals. During this quarter I think we have already lost 20 and there are a couple people who are still in some classes but have failed others so they have to wait 3 months to retake the class they failed and continue on with the cohort behind us.  We will lose less people as the quarters proceed but will probably graduate with around 120 (people who failed a class ahead of us will be added back in to our cohort).

Second–its not about smarts. You can memorize and memorize and some questions are about recall but most are about priority: Do you put the head of the bed up first or do you give O2 or do you lie them on their left side?? Usually its Head up first, then O2 and Left side is used to increase cardiac output/function or for labor and delivery issues. Is cancer defined as uncontrolled cell growth or explosive cell growth??–both are right but the tests really like the word explosive with regard to cancer. When do you refer to another person–almost never unless its a delegation question or if the patient came in for something else. Do you use a Beta Blocker or a diuretic first for hypertension? It all depends on the patient and where they are in the disease process. It fucking sucks.

The last quiz I had too much caffeine and I started second guessing all my answers–NEVER do that. I passed  (Thankfully I have never gotten a below passing grade) but my score still put a fire under my ass- its never good to be close to the line. Fear fear fear.

Also- just one more brief thing- how awful would that phone call be to call all of you and tell you I failed. That would be the worst- so disappointing.

Anyway- I just wanted to explain why I am so afraid of failing all the time. Now on to final studying- might be my last post until its over–see you on the flip side!!!


3 thoughts on “not fishing….

  1. Susan says:

    Guess it is like life guarding on the front line. But you are human and once a nurse, you are working with a team so there are checks and balances. People die and that is not, not, not failure on anybody’s part if they are doing the best they can with the tools they’ve got. I might not be getting it but I do understand the pressure of your tests and your fears–if only a bit–but we love you and are only there to support your triumphs and your mishaps, i.e. significant learning opportunties. Remember, there are no failures, only SLOs. So study, but be gentle on yourself too, you are good.

  2. Thuha says:

    I feel like a celebrity being mentioned on your blog, so honored! Thank you Lea, and I know I have said this before, but I continue to be so proud of you and so grateful to have such an amazing friend.

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