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Hypothermia... it does the body good.

Published January 4, 2013 4:30 PM by Lorenzo Ortega

I AM OFFICIALLY A GRADUATE! What a strange sentence to say. On December 14th my graduating class at Sacramento State’s School of Nursing had our pinning ceremony and the next day we walked in our cap and gowns.

There has been so much excitement in the last few weeks that I have barely had a chance to catch my breath. Only a few days after graduation I completed an ACLS course, celebrated Christmas, applied for several jobs, and went to Tahoe for New Year’s Eve. Now I am preparing to take my NCLEX on the 8th of this month and continuing the job application process with the hopes of finding something soon.

ACLS was a good refresher for me, reviewing skills I had not used in a while. Although I was in ICU for my preceptorship, I did not have to use much rhythm recognition during that time. In my advanced med/surg course (which now seems like ages ago) I loved the EKG material. At that time I had shifted my sights to a future in cardiac nursing, but hadn’t revisited the idea much until recently. The ACLS course simplified the material into fairly simple concepts that I will not soon forget: Symptomatic or not, fast or slow, pulse or pulseless, regular or irregular, narrow or wide. Not much time had to be wasted deciding between atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Patient safety was the bottom line and only a few principles were needed to intervene effectively. Over the New Year celebration, my Tahoe trip made me think back to ROSC or return of spontaneous circulation. If a patient is comatose or non-responsive after return of a pulse, hypothermia protocols can be initiated to decrease metabolic demands as the patient’s body returns to proper perfusion. It was so cold in Tahoe (as low as 0 degrees F), that I felt as though my metabolism had nearly stopped. I can see why hypothermia could be useful, but for me, I’ll stay with the comforts of sunny California that I am familiar with.   

Now in my preparation for the NCLEX I am finding that a lot of information seemed to stick during my last two years of school. I used to put the textbooks on top of my head and hope that by diffusion the material would be transported into my cerebral cortex. I guess it worked. This is definitely a tip I will have to pass on to my colleagues still in nursing school. A book as a pillow is the way to go!

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be called for an interview at a hospital in my hometown of Stockton, CA. The interview won’t be for another week and a half, but as each day inches closer I am more and more excited. This is my first nursing interview, so I am going to do everything I can to be mentally prepared. I think my NCLEX preparation during this same time will be an extra advantage in the case of any clinical questions. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, stay focused, and keep you updated on what happens!

posted by Lorenzo Ortega


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January 24, 2013 9:05 AM

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