Word of the Day

Nursing School Edition #3


Aortic Regurgitation

This is a condition where the hearts aortic valve doesn’t close tightly enough. Due to this, some of the blood pumped out of the heart leaks backward.

This can have many complications, the most extreme is heart failure.

Q: What can cause this?

A: Congenital heart valve disease, other genetic heart diseases.

Q: What are some of the symptoms?

  • heart palpitations
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • fainting
  • swollen ankles and feet

Q: Can this be treated?

A: Yes! This will typically require a surgery to fix the valve. Sometimes it can be treated with medications.


Off with April and onto May

I feel like April came and went in such a hurry. What did you do for the month? Here is how I spent my April.


First semester down and onto my second for nursing school.

Halfway through April, I finished my first semester and I started my second semester of nursing school. I had a week’s break and then it was back to studying. This time around I has an even fuller schedule since I’m in five classes! Having five classes means I have to stay organized and on top of my game. I wanted to try out a different digital planner than the one I already use. I shopped around Etsy and decided to try out a new one that had room for multiple classes. So far it is working out great and really keeping things in check.

Working out even more!

In March I was starting to work out again, and I’m happy to say I stayed on top of that in April as well. I decided on not setting any hardcore goals and instead stayed with easier ones. Some goals were: workout a few times in April, go on a walk every day that you can, and try to go hiking. I managed to achieve every one of those goals and I can’t wait to do even more in May.

Hiking in Muir Woods

I was really excited when one of my friends and I found time to go hiking. We originally planned on a Mt. Tamalpais trail that traveled in a 5.2 mile loop into Muir Woods here in California. While we did make it down to Muir Woods we accidentally got turned around and instead hikes a 10 mile loop!! We were exhausted, a little nervous but overall we managed to do it! That’s a story for later 😅


I can’t wait to see what May has in store for me. What were some of the things you did in April? Any plans for May? Let me know in the comments below, can’t wait to hear them! Stay safe 💚 Kat

“After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value.”

G.M. Trevelyan

School Update:

Semester 1 Complete!



Semester one of nursing school was completed. It was a nice and tough semester, especially with my math class. I managed to struggle through and pass with all A’s and a B in math. I surprised myself, to say the least and I’m glad I pushed myself. Thinking back to how my learning styles have changed, I definitely see a pattern on some things. I definitely am a crash course student. What that means to me is that if I cram semi last minute I tend to retain information more and score higher on tests. I think that is a TERRIBLE habit to have, but for some reason it works for me. These last couple months I have tried to curb that habit and I actually did a little better with it. These classes were asynchronous which worked out great with my work schedules. My next semester (which starts in a week) is also asynchronous, so that kind of eases some stress. Are you wondering what asynchronous means, just like I was before taking these? Asynchronous basically means that students are given a time frame, usually a one-week window. During that time frame  they need to connect to their class at least once or twice a day. Doing it on your own with a timeline guidance is great for non hands-on classes. 

I wanted to keep tabs on how my classes are going and what grades I earn because this is a big journey for me. This also keeps me motivated in a sense to share how nursing school is and what happens throughout it. I’m excited to start my next set of classes and a little nervous as well. I’m taking a full semester with not four, but five classes! So this should be interesting. 

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”

—Mother Teresa

It’s Friday!

New Things in Store for Me…

Nursing School

I have some big and exciting news to start off 2022. I was accepted into Nursing School and am starting my first semester. This has been a long time coming and it has definitely been a journey along the way. I first started looking into Nursing programs when I graduated high school in 2011. Due to the budget crisis in California way back in the day, the program I was looking at was cut and almost all nursing programs were turned into lottery based systems. So now fast forward about 10 years and I am officially in Nursing school. I am beyond excited, nervous and definitely stressed. Sometimes I think that it isn’t real, but it is. There is so much to learn and I am excited to learn and soak in all this knowledge.

Goals:

Some goals that I will be continuing to work on are my studying techniques and organizational skills. This semester I am doing a big personal change with how I organize. When I was going to school for my Associates in Fire Technology I wrote EVERY single down in a notebook or a planner. I also had assignments and due dates randomly tacked up to my board or laying on a counter top. I decided this time I can’t do that because that was so hectic, even though it worked. I bought a few new items for studying and organizing, one of them being the new Ipad Pro. This thing is amazing so far, I’m still learning as I go because it is a steep learning curve for me. One of the things that I love about it is the Digital Planner aspect. Instead of carrying around a paper planner (which I kind of miss because I love them), the digital planner is much more efficient and accessible. When I go to work I only have to carry around a small notebook, my Ipad and my Apple Pencil. It’s convenient, not bulky and works great off of wifi.

Another goal that I gave myself is: not to set myself up with too many goals. Everybody is different and I know how I work. If I give myself too many goals I will stress myself out and over worry. That is something I don’t want. Lastly my end goal is I want to pass school. Easier said than done.

“You treat a disease: you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you win—no matter the outcome.”

—Robin Williams in Patch Adams

April 15th 2020

“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.”

Orison Swett Marden

I finally have done it! I have completed Hospital Corpsman school! I passed all my tests and labs and have finally done it! Graduation Monday. ❤️

April 5th 2020

“Endurance is patience concentrated.”

– Thomas Carlyle

I have 15 more days of school left. After that i will be a full fledged Navy Corpsman. The days can not go by any faster!

How to Combat Stress

Stress comes in many ways, shapes and forms. No one is the same, and that includes how we deal and how we handle stress. You may question if stress is a daily part of your life. Stress can appear in a multitude of ways. A handful of things to look out for are:

  • Rapid weight gain/ weight loss
  • Exhaustion/lethargy
  • Excessive eating/ not eating at all
  • Working out but with no satisfaction after
  • Anxiousness/ irritability
  • Find more signs here.

Sometimes you may ask yourself how can I start dealing with this? How do I figure out how to combat this? Our beautiful souls are all different. This is why we are unique as people, and different things help each one of us. Always though, if life feels like its getting too much for you to handle on your own. You should seek professional help and advice. Having someone you don’t personally know to talk to can sometimes help more than you think.

For myself stress is constantly in my life. However, I can usually thrive off of “chaotic stress.” Working in the EMS field can be hectic everyday but having a passion for it can help fuel your efforts for it. I use this fuel to the best of my ability and push myself more so I can get the best outcome in a situation. I am also currently in school to become a Navy Hospital Corpsman which is another level of a chaotic environment. From working on ships, to hospitals and being in combat zones, the stress will never stop. For some reason though I thrive working in chaos. Doing something to push myself every day. I know it sounds crazy, but I love it and honestly wouldn’t change it.

Update: My Stress in School

Navy Corpsman school like all schools is …wait for it…stressful! I knew, who knew? Sometimes I think it has been more stressful than a deployment or working in the EMS field. Being thrown into this new boot (newbie) environment was a shock to my system, all the way down to my core. Being a fleet returnee (someone who has prior service in the military), I had to follow the same rules as everyone fresh from boot camp. Thank goodness I wasn’t alone in this process though. There are other fleet returnees here too. We became each others sounding boards to help us make it through school. Being 26 years old and treated like an 18 year old is so hard to wrap your head, but we had to do it to a point. We also were put in charge of our class and have to make sure they don’t get in trouble and show up to everywhere they are supposed to be. Talk about being stressed. There have definitely been moments when I wanted to have a meltdown and just leave and go back home, but I didn’t. I didn’t allow this type of stress to get to me and here were some of the things I did to cope:

  • Worked out at the gym with my roomie. Did yoga and meditated.
  • Wrote in my journal about my emotions and what made me upset. Happy or sad, I basically recorded my day.
  • I read some books that I brought from home while sipping Yogi Stress Relief Tea.
  • Listened to music that would calm me down and allowed me to find my zen again.
  • Talked and talked AND talked to my family and friends that understood what was going on.
  • Shopping therapy! I have no shame, sometimes it helps when you can wear something you feel good in. Like comfy pajamas.
  • Friday movie nights, with popcorn and snacks included.

I know this seems like a random list of things, but for me it isn’t. Its what helped me when I started bottling up the stress. I’m still learning and trying out different things to help de-stress and get back to feeling light and airy. It may take trying different techniques, and different things to see what really helps and speaks to you. Don’t allow stress to win and take hold of your life. You can get through anything if you try. We are all stronger than we think.

“Appreciate yourself, and honor your soul.”

-Yogi Tea

Shout out to my family and friends who deal with me when I am a crazy stress ball. Love you ❤

How Do You Study?

Everyone studies differently and that is totally ok. No two people are completely alike when it comes to learning, comprehending and retaining knowledge. Take myself for example, it turns out I am a kinesthetic and aural learner. Basically I learn best hands on and when listening and reading the material. If you are curious on what type you are, just click HERE. How do I usually study you might ask? Well here are two things that I do.

Music Can Actually Help

Certain types of people love to learn with music. Music enables them to focus their energy onto whatever they are studying and link music and study material together. In the article “The Benefits of Studying with Music,” it talks about how it can reduce anxiety and make you feel more relaxed while studying. I would have to agree because, I love to study with music. I listen to classical music, or anything instrumental, just with no words. If there were words I would much rather just sing along! One of my favorite playlists I listen to while studying is on Spotify. Click HERE to listen! It’s piano music and there is over an hour worth of different songs. Some other playlists I love to listen to are:

Above are my go to playlists when I am studying for something. I also listen to them when I’m blogging, like right now. I’m listening to my Disney Piano Collection (: Music also isn’t the only way to study other than just reading your notes or doing flash cards over and over again.

The Gym Helps You Study Too?

I know, sounds crazy huh? I thought so too, until I tried it and it actually stuck. While working out you can bring those flash-cards and quiz yourself. For instance, while doing your cardio on the stationary bike, instead of biking and looking at your phone, look at your flashcards instead. Since you’re releasing dopamine and adrenaline, you’re engraining all that study material into you head and you’re happy doing it. There are many different ways you can study, it just depends on what you gravitate towards most. Try out a few different ways and see which ones you like and which ones you don’t necessarily like doing. It is all about finding what works best for you, what makes you WANT to study and what helps you comprehend the study material. Everybody’s brain is different, which is why there is a multitude of different types of studying. Go learn, soak up all the knowledge and apply it where you need too!

“The process may seem strange and yet it is very true. I did not so much gain the knowledge of things by the words, as words by the experience I had of things.”
― Plutarch