Ward Class

An Online Resource Site For Student Nurses

Welcome

Ward Class is an online resource for student nurses. Created with the aim of helping student nurses cope with the demands of nursing school and clinicals, it offers free downloads, notes, sample NCPs, sample drug studies, study aids, news and updates, and practical tips to its users.

Site Announcement

The December 2012 PRC Nursing Board Exam Result is already available here at Ward Class and at Pinoy R.N.




Techie Nurses and Net-Savvy Student Nurses

We have been receiving a lot of queries about the date of release of the November 2008 Nursing Board Exam Results and looking back, I remember how jittery we were more than three years ago when we were waiting for the board exam results then.

Because we needed to distract ourselves from all the tension and also noticed that there weren't any Philippine-based nursing info-blogs back then, we created Pinoy R.N. to provide quality nursing-related articles and resources for nurses and student nurses. And now, more than three years after its creation, Pinoy R.N. also had Ward Class, a "baby" nursing info-blog for student nurses under its wing.

We went through a lot to upgrade our nursing blogs. We spent time researching and reading blogging tutorials, web hosting tutorials, and tried out different third-party applications suitable for nurses and student nurses. In fact, we recently introduced a game called Hangaroo for Nurses, which we customized for our readers. have also added a new widget so you can chat with me even if I am busy updating my blogs.

For those who are anxiously waiting for the nursing board exam results, one way of diverting your nervous energy is to update yourself on various topics. You can update yourselves in the current trends in nursing, medicine, e-commerce, education, and current events using the internet as a powerful learning tool. Furthermore, if you have a mobile device, there are lots of free medical software you can use at work and during clinicals. You can also subscribe to nursing-related podcasts so you can update yourselves while on the go. Truly, there are countless learning opportunities out there.

Currently, we are seriously considering affordable web hosting for our blogs due to an increase in readership. Because we want our nursing blogs to have longevity, there are things like security issues and web hosting to consider. And as we continuously improve the services of Ward Class and Pinoy R.N., we also hope to see more techie nurses and net-savvy student nurses out there.


How are acute diseases different from chronic diseases?



It has been several days since my last entry here at Ward Class and since I wanted to keep this blog update really simple, I decided to come up with an entry differentiating acute diseases from chronic diseases. I know that you have encountered the terms before but let me assure you that when differentiating both terms, you need not limit yourself to knowing the onset and duration of illness. Read on:

  • Acute diseases usually have specific causes while chronic diseases often have multiple origins (often lifestyle related).
  • Acute diseases have an abrupt onset and progress rapidly while chronic diseases have a slow onset and lasts three months or more with a few or no symptoms to indicate its severity.
  • Acute diseases are of short duration while chronic diseases are of indefinite duration.
  • Acute diseases have easily recognizeable observable symptoms while chronic diseases often follow an indefinite course.
  • Acute diseases are characterized by outcomes that are usually favorable and by symptoms that usually resolve when the disease is cured; Chronic diseases are predictable but are with long periods of illness, remissions, and exacerbations.
  • The treatment of acute diseases is directed by the attending physician while chronic diseases involve long-term management (by the physician and patient) and lifestyle changes.
Furthermore, you might have heard of the term subacute. The term subacute is used to describe diseases with a recent onset and rather rapid change. Simply put, a subacute disease is a cross between the acute and chronic forms of the disease.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

What are the most common chronic diseases among older adults? When was the last time you cared for a patient with multiple chronic illneses? What health teachings did you provide to your patient?


Fundamentals of Nursing: Stress

Whether you are anxiously waiting for the November 2008 Nursing Board Exam Results or freaking out because you can't seem to start on your assigned task for that case presention in nursing school due in a few weeks, you are under a lot of stress. When you complain that you are "stressed out", you are actually going through the effects of stress on your body, your feelings, and behavior.

Stress may be defined as a stimulus, as a response, and as a transaction. The effects of stress encompasses the whole person. Stress affects the person emotionally, intellectally, socially, spiritually, and physically.

Stress may be a stimulus or a life-changing event that causes a disrupted response. Examples of life-changing events are divorce, pregnancy, job promotion, or retirement. Stress, in this sense, may be positive or negative. Retirement is considered stressful but so is a job promotion.

When stress is defined as a response, however, it becomes a disruption caused by a noxious stressor. The term noxious can never be positive or neutral so when stress is viewed as a response, it remains to be harmful and injurious to the individual. This definition of stress was developed by Hans Selye. In his General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS), Selye proposes that no matter what the stimulus, an individual goes through a response characterized by a pattern of events: Alarm Reaction, Stage of Resistance, and Stage of Exhaustion.

  • Alarm Reaction-> the sympathetic nervous system is activated (fight-or-flight response); examples are increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, heightened alertness, etc.
  • Stage of of Resistance--> the body begins to adapt to the noxious stimulus and employs a combination of coping mechanisms to deal with stress
  • Stage of Exhaustion--> the body's resources are depleted and if the stress continues to be excessive, death may be the ultimate consequence

The definition of stress as a transaction was developed by Lazarus. In his transactional stress theory, Lazarus says that the person and the environment are inseparable and that the individual responds to stress through adaptive or coping responses that are mental and psychologic in nature. Lazarus' concept of stress is "cognitive" in contrast to Selye's focus on the physiologic responses to stress.

However, no matter how you view stress, what I would like to emphasize is that stress affects the totality of a person. Emotionally, stress may cause you to become irritable and anxious. Physically, you may experience headaches and muscle pains. Socially, you may lose meaningful relationships with people which may lead to social withdrawal. And mentally, stress may result in poor concentration. Thus, there is a need to manage stress positively. Below are ways to manage stress.

  1. Eat a well-balanced diet--> watch your intake of sweets, caffeine, and foods high salt and fat
  2. Have enough rest and sleep--> promotes relaxation
  3. Identify your stressors--> will let you have more control of stress-producing circumstances
  4. Employ a combination of coping strategies--> regular exercise, meditation, yoga, guided imagery, counseling
  5. Maintain meaningful relationships--> a social support system (family, friends, mentors) will help you cope with stress
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

What are your biggest stressors? How do you react to stress? What coping strategies do you use when you are under a lot of stress?



Related Links:
Effective Stress Management Techniques Part 1
Effective Stress Management Techniques Part 2

A Helpful Reminder on the November 2008 Nursing Board Exam Results

It has been more than a month since the November 2008 Nursing Board Exam as of this writing and I know everybody's itching to get their hands on the November 2008 Nursing Board Exam Results. I'd like to remind those who took the November 2008 Nursing Board Exam that the official results will be posted at Ward Class and Pinoy R.N. as soon as it is made available.

Nursing Board Exam Results are usually in PDF format. You need to have Adobe Reader installed to be able to view the November 2008 Nursing Board Exam Results. To download Adobe Reader, click here.

Ward Class and Pinoy R.N. will be sending email updates on the November 28 Nursing Board Exam Results. If you want to receive a copy of the November 2008 Nursing Board Exam Results via email, enter your email address in the space provided below.

November 2008 Nursing Board Exam Results

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Developing Self-Awareness in Nursing School

The moment I realized that 2008 is the year that was, I immediately thought of my nursing blog, Ward Class. Since my last post last December 25, I was wondering what blog post will mark the start of another year of coming up with articles aimed at helping nursing students cope with the many challenges of nursing school.

As I blankly stared at my numerous nursing resources, an experience I had in nursing school came into mind. I remembered how I was during my very first day of psychiatric nursing clinicals.

CyNurse (to herself): I'm scared sh@tless! I might as well go home. What if one of these patients attack me? They all look violent to me.

Male Patient 1 (looking at CyNurse's nametag): Hi, Ma'am CyNurse. Can you be my student nurse?

CyNurse: Huh? I...I guess so (obviously scared). Slowly backing away from the patient.

Clinical Instructor: CyNurse, you will care for Male Patient 2 . Remember to stay close to your patient.

CyNurse (to herself): Oh snap! It's unfortunate to be assigned to care for a male patient. Most of them are violent. I sure hope this guy's not violent!



Remembering that very stressful day of psychiatric nursing clinicals made me decide to blog about SELF-AWARENESS. Because looking back, I must admit that I reported to my first day of psychiatric nursing clinicals ill-prepared. I was judgmental, prejudiced, and guilty of stereotyping my patient. I was not a tad therapeutic. Simply put, I lacked self-awareness.

Self-awareness is defined as a person's ability to recognize the nature of his own attitudes, thoughts, biases, beliefs, emotions, behavior, strengths, and limitations. Understanding oneself will enable a person to deal with challenging situations and respond to people and the environment in a more positive, confident manner.

Self-awareness helps a student nurse develop a therapeutic relationship with her clients. By understanding her own limitations and analyzing her feelings, emotions, and behaviors, she is able to respond to her client more effectively and in effect, render improved quality of care.

In my case for instance, if only I had time for self-reflection (assuming I knew what questions to ask myself to enhance self-awareness) before my exposure at the psychiatric ward, then I wouldn't be so stressed out. I would've realized that a half-day orientation, a brief discussion about the Johari Window, and an overview of mental health nursing didn't prepare me well for my psychiatric nursing clinicals. I would've expressed my concerns on my safety to my clinical instructor. I would've been therapeutic.

How, then, is self-awareness developed? Self-awareness is developed in many ways. You may think of a certain situation and reflect on your feelings and behaviors and think about how your responses to that particular situation affected you and other people. You may maintain a journal and express your thoughts and feelings freely. You may ask significant others as to how they see you and reflect on their responses in relation to how you see yourself.

A helpful way of developing self-awareness, especially for student nurses on clinical rotations, is to be honest and be able to ask oneself stimulating questions such as:

Who am I?
What are my strengths and weaknesses?
Am I anxious? Why?
Am I prepared for this task?
Do I have concerns I need to bring up with my clinical instructor?
What are my learning goals in this specific activity?


SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

As a nursing student, when was the last time you were anxious during clinical rotations? What did you do about it? Did you consider asking your clinical instructor for guidance? Why or why not?