First Week — Start

The semester started in earnest today and I spent this weekend doing all my assignments.  The school estimates that 10 hours per class per week is required to keep up with the work — about 40 hours a week.  With a full-time job and a teen daughter to care for I’m pretty sure I can devote about 10 hours a week.  So…we’ll just have to see.  This weekend, I managed to get all my assignments done in A&P and Establishment of Nursing — I still have some work to do in Nursing Comms and  Foundations of Nursing.


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My First Quiz

I took my first quiz in NURS11146 – Establishment of Professional Nursing after reading the first chapter of the text so — I guess I’m officially back in school now.

Also, I remember why it’s so good to be out of school in the first place — quizzes suck!.  After working as a professional for over 30 years where we meet as equals and discuss options — I’m in the oligarchy of the classroom.  The teacher’s interpretation of events is the only valid one.  Remember — “The MOST correct answer, is the correct answer” — even if we never told you what that was.

Yes — I realize that no where in the text did it once mention that 19th Century Nurses were often prison inmates, but it’s still the case so answer false gets you a point off, young man.

I almost sort of get why, as 21st Century Nursing Students, it’s important for us to know the finer details of 19th Century Nursing — I really do.  Personally, I think it’s attempt to teach us “we’ve come a long way, baby” or some such similar lesson.  But and entire semester dedicated to it?  Wouldn’t our time better be served by learning how to stick tubes in people’s junk or establishing plausible deniability when killing patients?




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My Stethoscope

I got my new Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope from a dealer in Singapore.  It’s awesome — a real piece of gear.  I have been practicing with a Spirit Medical (UK Made) Stethoscope and I can REALLY hear the difference when I auscultate my family.

I’ve been reading books about cardiac and pulmonary auscultation and I’m frankly amazed at all the diagnostics a trained person can do with such a simple device.  I can see why everyone carries them.


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Flex Studies

The Flex Studies Program at CQU allows me to take all of my courses through Distance-Learning.  This is essential for me because I continue to work in my rather well-paying job in Telecommunications while I study.  All of my course materials, quizzes, and most of the exercises and tests can be taken online.

However, everything about Nursing isn’t theoretical and even a new student must learn the many practical aspects of the profession.  So, every term, like a Salmon swimming upstream to spawn, I must make a journey to the CQU Campus at Noosa for one week to learn the practical aspects of my profession AND — what everyone looks forward to — every year I must work 160 to 180 hours under the supervision of a Registered Nurse in an approved care facility.

My first Residence School (as they are called) will happen the last week of March.  That will be the first time that I physically meet my Instructors and fellow students.

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My School

When looking for a University to attend, I had to choose one that offered my degree program and the option to study by Distance-Education.  I’m going to work full-time in my real job while I’m in school — I need the money.

Unfortunately, there were no such schools in my home state of Victoria.  In fact, there were only three  Charles Darwin University in Northern Territories, Central Queensland University in Queensland and University of South Australia in South Australia.  UoSA was my first choice, but I applied to all three schools simultaneously.

In Australia — school leavers submit their High School Transcripts but “Mature Place” applicants need to submit any previous High School and University Transcripts.  I attended both High School and University originally in the US — in the 1970s — but I was able to get my transcripts posted from the US in time to make my application.  However, the South Australia Tertiary Admissions Council (SATAC) wouldn’t accept my University Transcripts at face value because they were over 30 years old.

I was offered places in both Charles Darwin and Central Queensland University and I chose the latter because they were the first one to respond to me — and they had the most comprehensive brochure.

So — I am now a registered Nursing Student at CQU taking four classes this term starting in 2011

  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
  • Essentials of Nursing Profession
  • Foundations of Nursing Practice
  • Professional Communications for Nurses

I have my books and CD’s and I’m quite eager to get started

Classes begin on 28 February, 2011

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Why a Blog?

Why am I blogging this experience?  I am 53 Years Old and since 1976, I have worked in Telecommunications.  I am currently an Executive with a LARGE American Phone Company and I’m responsible for managing technical support centres all over Asia. For several years now, I have become complacent with the politics and bureaucracy of working for a large company.  I truly feel that I am not really doing anything worthwhile.

For reasons I will explore I have decided to go back to school and get my Bachelor of Nursing Degree with an eye towards becoming a Registered Nurse after graduation.  Medicine has always interested me and for some time now I had thought of training to be a Paramedic.

For several reasons, that turned out to be impractical for me.  First, in order to be a full-fledged Paramedic in Victoria, Australia, you need to have a Bachelor Degree in Paramedicine.  It takes exactly the same amount of time to become a Nurse, and a newly-graduated Nurse makes considerably more in salary.  In addition, while there hundreds (if not thousands) of nursing positions, there are less than a hundred Paramedic positions in the State of Victoria and few of those are rural (more on that later).  So, my goal is to graduate Nursing School, do my Graduate Year in a regular hospital with an eye towards Emergency or Peri-Operative Nursing.

Let me dispel a myth here right away — I am not becoming a Nurse because I couldn’t become a Doctor.  I have absolutely no interest in being a Doctor.  Doctors in modern medicine don’t treat patients, they manage case loads.  The average Doctor spends less than 10 minutes a patient.  Becoming a Doctor means spending another 7 to 8 Years in school before ever getting close to a patient.  So, I will begin practicing no earlier than age 60.  Assuming I lead a VERY healthy life, I will practice for another 10 years.  Add to that, the enormous cost of medical school and the fact that, in Australia, a Doctor doesn’t make significantly more than Nurse, it is not an investment worth making.

So, now that I’m accepted to school and registered for classes for the first time in over 30-years, I’m a student again. And this is my journal.

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