college student emergency room

An Important 10 Point List Of Everything You Need To Bring To The ER As A College Student

Because we've been able to rely on our parents to do this for us until now.

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Of course, when it is the week before Thanksgiving and we're all barely making it through classes because we can't wait to go home, I get sick again. And, of course, the health center is packed on Friday so the next appointment they have for me is Monday morning. But, of course, my body can't wait that long, and so Sunday afternoon I start coughing up blood (I was a little freaked out, as you could probably imagine).

The earliest I would be seen at the urgent care was 9:25, and this all happened at 3 in the afternoon. I had a bunch of time to figure out my ride, and pack a bag because I know from experience trips that turn into going to the ER can turn into quite a long adventure. We only spent a little over four hours there, but it was more than enough to be draining. So, with the threat of Thanksgiving and general holiday-related injuries upon us, and for any students like me where this is your first medical crisis when you're far away from home, here's my list of stuff I recommend bringing to the emergency room with you.

1. Your insurance card and driver's license

I feel like this should be a little obvious, but if you want medical treatment they need to know you are who you say you are, and that someone can pay for all the stuff they might do.

2. Water bottle

For you or your ride. Unless they tell you to not eat or drink in case they have to do surgery or something.

3. Glasses (if you wear contacts)

You're going to be there for a while. Your eyes will get tired.

4. Go in comfy clothes if you can

As I said, you'll be spending a decent amount of time there, you might as well get comfortable.

5. Know your general medical history

Have you ever had any surgeries? If so you should probably know what they were and a general idea of when they happened.

6. Phone Charger

Someone's phone WILL die. It's better to be prepared.

7. Snacks

For your ride in gratitude of them taking the time out of their day to drive you. They probably won't let you as a patient eat, sorry.

8. Homework?

Depending on how much pain you're in, how much work you have to do, and how forgiving your professors are, sometimes it's not a bad idea to at least take some work to do. Because you will be waiting. A lot.

9. A sweatshirt

Exam rooms are a little chilly.

10. Bring a friend

Sometimes the only ride you can get has to just drop you off but if you can find a friend or even just a person you know more than just from seeing them in class two or three times a week, it might not be a bad idea to have someone go with you. Dealing with all the medical stuff on your own can be scary, especially as a new college student and having to go to these things without your parents for what is probably the first time.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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12 Things Only People Under 30 Fully Understand

Only young millennials and Gen Z will know

Jenn
Jenn
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Being a young adult in 2019 is full of a lot of random stuff that our parents and grandparents didn't have. We have more opportunities, different lifestyles, and just really weird stuff we didn't normal.

1. Our obsession with avocados

A super food with a huge place in our hearts.

2. College debt

An actual representation of me giving colleges my money, with no questions asked.

3. Buying jeans with wholes in them.

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4. Memes

The hero we needed, but don't deserve

5. Gifs

A sort of sibling to the meme, but powerful in its own right.

6. Spending five dollars on coffee

Not a want, but a need

7. YouTube/Instagram influencers

They make the world go round.

8. Mason jars as cups, decorations basically anything that isn’t for their intended purpose.

So versatile

9. Our love of succulents

Why have kids when you could have ten cute succulents that don't talk back.

10. Renting instead of buying

Besides have like no actual financial stability, we prefer to live less conventional lives than our predecessors.

11. Our imminent downfall as a society

We never grew up in a time of prosperity, and also know the earth may be dying unless we make a significant change to how we treat it. I guess that’s what happens after we treat it like shit.

12. Being non-binary or gender fluid

A new concept where people don't have to conform to gender norms or even acknowledge them.

Jenn
Jenn

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