Nursing students in scrubs attending lecture

Penn Admissions Blog

Why I wear scrubs four days a week
Kelsey | November 3, 2017

Hi everyone,

This post is about my nursing clinicals this semester! As a first semester junior, I am taking N245 (first half of the semester) and N255 (second half). N245 is an introductory course to major nursing information. The lecture component details different ailments patients may have and the pathology and nursing treatment for each, and N255 continues this pattern with a focus on gerontological care.

This class takes up my whole life. It’s just a crazy time commitment! I have two 3 hour lectures, one 2 hour lab, and 2 6-hour clinicals each week, each with their own content and exams.

On top of this, my clinicals are extra time-consuming. Although I am only in the hospital for clinical on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-9pm, I have to go to the hospital the night before to fill out a prep tool, a detailed worksheet our instructors have us complete with information about our patient. I also introduce myself to my patient and inform them that I will be assisting with their care. This usually takes about an hour. On Mondays I usually go around 5pm, but on Wednesdays I have a class from 5-8pm so I am usually in the hospital until about 10pm at night.

Where and how do I have the energy to do this? I sometimes wonder this myself. I think my energy comes from the fact that although this has been a very challenging semester in many ways, I’ve been able to really feel like I am making a difference in my patients’ lives. In a collegiate world filled with people trying to get ahead with classes, internships, and even socially with parties, helping out with patient care has been a way for me to stop worrying about myself and focus on giving back to others, and that makes me feel great. I am also learning so much about nursing and about what I want for the future, too.

Generally, I also rely on my friends, family, and housemates a lot as a support system for when I am tired or frustrated. My roommate this year went through these classes last year, and I vent to hear a lot of the time about my feelings. I also use her advice – and her textbooks.

This course is probably the hardest course I will take in my life, but I have a great support system and I am so thankful for all that I am learning.

About the author

I'm a bona fide chai tea latte lover hailing from Rockville, Maryland, a D.C. suburb. I am in the Nursing and Healthcare Management dual degree between the School of Nursing and the Wharton School of Business. When I'm not at clinical, in class, or preparing for clinical, I'm taking care of business as the President of Student Nurses at Penn. On the side, I'm a member of Wharton Women, the Wharton Undergraduate Healthcare Club, and Zeta Tau Alpha. I'm a gallery assistant at Lindsay Rapp Gallery in Old City on the weekends, and this is my happy place to escape to when I'm stressed. For fun, I like running, dancing (I still take a ballet class!), exploring Philly, baking study cookies with my roommates, and looking at pictures of cats (or if I'm lucky, actually being with one).

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