The journey to the board exam started as soon as I got back from my holiday trip. I dedicated myself to doing 150 questions a day- 75 in the morning and another 75 in the afternoons- then spare two hours to study the rationales for each question I had tackled. It didn’t matter whether I had got the question right or wrong. It wasn’t easy though, with lots of distractions and hard finding a conducive place outdoors for the study sessions. At times, it was overwhelming.
I took a trip down to Bermuda – yet another time. To celebrate the rewards of my hard work and wind down before the next phase begins.

Warwick Long Bay Beach 

The hard work. Countless hours of study. Endless exams. The 7-hour board review on the last 3 days. We finally made it. I am now a graduate. I am so happy.

I am 30 days away from the big day. Graduation day. I am looking forward to it. Though fear and anxiety keep creeping into me each passing day. “I guess it is normal to have such a feeling,” I keep trying to convince myself.
From afar, it looks like I have been breezing through most of the semester. I can however see the wear and tear when I look at myself. Evidence of a tight and bruising schedule. Two days for clinical, two for theory and another two days at work make up my week. There hasn’t been any room for slacking off. In-depth topics such as Sepsis, EKGs and Shock have kept me on the edge with lots of reading and research.

I can say this has been the busiest semester of them all. It started off hard but I kept going. My schedule was packed and I had a load of work to do- from work, assignments to doing summaries of theories, you name it.

Because of the tight schedule, I didn't get to practice any questions. I still managed to pass my finals with great grades in spite of it all, and I pat myself in the back for that. I relied on Uworld questions for my practice in the past semesters, but not this one - even though I think they are the best plus it gives great rationales for each question. They however didn't come in handy this semester (I had a lot on my plate to do from school) and I therefore had to double my efforts and study harder. I spent 3-4 hours a day with the books. Planning my studies was crucial in helping me be organized and able to settle well into my books.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, would have prepared me for the past one month in school. Before joining nursing school, I had talked to established professionals in the nursing field on what to expect and how to handle myself in order to achieve my dreams. But still, that didn’t prepare me enough for what I have been going through lately. Saying it has been hectic would be an understatement.

I am just a nursing student. Why do I have to go through all this? I know the best is expected of me. I expect people to expect the best from me, but any sighting of my instructor now gets me anxious.
I have always been an optimistic person, and as such I don’t subscribe to the ‘Mondays were invented to punish us for our degeneracies over the weekend’ school of thought. Yet recent Mondays have got me questioning my optimism. A smiling face hides how much I am overwhelmed deep inside throughout the day.
First, my morning commune that always lasts 40 minutes dragged through. So I just sat there drawing pictures on my mind on how the day would go through.
From Me to You.

Dear Med Surg Student,
It’s great you got to this level. Here’s some advice to help you get through Med SurgCreate time for your books. Spare 3-4 hours each day for study, with at least a 15-minute break for each hourYou won’t regret the time you put in your studies. Read all exemplars given in class. You will find them quite helpful. They make it easier to understand the concepts.