8:00 – My alarm jolts me awake and my day begins. I shower quickly, get dressed and throw some bread in the toaster. Most days I will be on campus for about six-eight hours a day, but because this is the long day of the week it’s actually more like 11, nine of which will be spent in a classroom. In order to avoid spending $20 on food today, I put together some lunch and other snacks; pb&j, mixed nuts, a banana, some pretzels, a yogurt. This is college student budget dining at its best!
8:40 – Ack! I should be out of the house already but I still haven’t made coffee. Oh well. Better get to class. I’m lucky enough to live just a 20 minute walk away. Some of my classmates commute all the way from Brooklyn (a trip that can take over an hour, especially if there are train issues), others are driving in from the suburbs (traffic!). On the opposite end of the spectrum, those who live on campus in Bard Hall can roll out of bed and walk across the street to class!
9:00-12:00 – Science of Nursing Practice: This is our weekly three hour lecture on topics ranging from catheter insertion to dressing changes to oxygen delivery systems. The topics covered today are the same ones that will be covered in skills lab later in the week. All 170 of us are taking the same classes this semester, filling large lecture halls. We are in smaller groups for our clinical day (groups of about eight), and for skills lab and physical assessment lab (groups of about five-six and 20, respectively).
10:15 – Fifteen minute break! Hallelujah! Coffee time!!! I forgot to bring K-cups for the public Keurig machines in the basement, but we are lucky enough to have a café on the first floor. $1.50 for a cup of joe is a small price to pay for me to be able to pay attention.
10:30 – And we are back…
12:00PM – Class is over. I need to print out the PowerPoint lecture slides for the rest of my classes today. While many of my classmates bring their laptops to class I’m very old fashioned and still use paper and pen. J Computers on campus can be difficult to grab at peak times but I manage to find one and check my email and print my slides. I still have 45 minutes to enjoy some sunshine and eat my lunch.
1:00—3:00 Topics in Nursing Practice: aka Town Meeting. This class covers many different topics from mandatory hospital trainings to nursing concept maps to lectures on global health.
3:00 – Another hour long break. I just ate a couple of hours ago but I still have a four hour lecture to make it through. Luckily I brought my snacks. I have to print out some more slides for tomorrow and am also going to use this opportunity to complete a computer module for one of my other classes. Other weeks I use this time to run to student health to complete immunizations, run personal errands or to do some studying/reading. The Summer of ETP is relentless and you have to organize yourself and utilize your time wisely or things can very quickly pile up. In addition you just never know what can happen in your personal life to throw everything off.
3:40 – Ok I HAVE to go outside. By the time I get out of class the sun will be setting or set. Must get vitamin D!
3:50 – Remember that 4 hour lecture? It is time for more coffee…
4:00-6:00 Advanced Physiology: This is a graduate level physiology course. In fact, the ETP students are in the class, together with the lateral entry masters students (that is, those masters students who did not go through the ETP year). We learn the ins and outs of the body systems and how truly amazing the human body is. This is a fantastic class with a wonderful professor, but it can be difficult to make it through at the end of the day.
6:00 – ZZZzzzzzzzz…zzzzzz…zzZZzzz. Huh?! Oh. (wipes drool from mouth) Cool…ten minute break.
6:10 – A little less than two hours left! You can do it!!!!!!!
8:00 – And we are released!
8:30 – I get home after stopping at the grocery store. I prepare and eat dinner in a somewhat dreamlike state.
9:30 – Time to hit the books. I have reading to do for skills lab, physical assessment to review, laundry to do before clinicals, and tables of drugs to create in order to study for Friday’s Pharmacology exam.
11:00 – Ok. I need a little time to unwind. I can fold laundry and watch a little television.
1:00AM– Time. For. Bed. I am mentally and physically exhausted. It is important that I get some good rest because tomorrow I will go to class for four hours, continue to study for the pharmacology exam, watch a one hour pre-recorded physiology lecture online, take a quiz on that lecture material, meet with my physical assessment partner for two hours to practice the physical exam, work on my patient profile database for clinicals and maybe find time to go to the gym. The ETP year is physically, emotionally and mentally demanding but it is also incredibly rewarding, exciting and inspiring. What an unbelievable year!
–Kent Haina Jr. ETP ’14