Semesters over... NPS Exam Studying Has Just Begun
Another semester is over. Finally, I am only two semesters away from being awarded the Bachelors in Respiratory Therapy
. I find myself in the wonderful position of not having to take a single class over the summer months. I was looking forward to spending days on the beach here at home in sunny Key West, but my mind quickly turned to being a little bored. So, what do I end up doing to pass the time? I have started studying. Yes, that is correct. After three years of respiratory education, I find myself now studying for the Neonatal and Pediatric Specialty exam. Not only am I studying for it, but I have to try to cram for it as I paid to take the exam two months ago
and was unaware that the NBRC has a 90 day window to take the exam. So, here I sit during the first weeks of no classes still chugging along and studying each and every day. My saving grace is that it will all be over by the end of May. Pass or fail, it has to be completed by the end of May.
Looking ahead, I am giving much consideration to the Acute Care Specialty that will be available starting July 17. I think this one would be a little easier for me to study for than the NPS exam. In today's work environment, you have to stay competitive. One never knows when one is going to be a job candidate. At that point, the more national credentials you have, the better your chances of landing the job. Not only do I want these credentials for future use, but I also want them for the educational value.
The fact is, as a new therapist, I still do not feel competent yet. I mean, yes, I do when it comes to the basics. But when it comes to advanced level decision making (especially with therapist-driven mechanical ventilation decisions), I still second guess myself on a lot of decisions. Until I feel competent, I will continue to seek as much education in the field as I can get my hands on.
I am assured by senior therapists that it will take a few years. However, they are confident that I will be walking down the hallway one day to give a neb treatment and then out of the blue, all of a sudden, something will click about pressure, and flow, and volume and I will instantly "get it." As of now, that has not happened. So, I continue to take my classes, and take every CEU I can get my hands on. Since July of last year, I have earned 467 continuing education hours. (Granted I get a fair number from college credit in the BSRT program.) However, one would think that being a senior in the BSRT program, and having 467 CEUs, the time where it all "clicks" cannot be too far away. Either that, or I am just over-thinking it and actually do get it but lack confidence in my decisions. Either way, I hope I can relax this summer and sit on the beach at least a couple days a week.