Penn Nursing Diaries: A Day in the Life--Nia Akins
Nia Akins, Penn Nursing Student Athlete
5:50 A.M. After already hitting snooze once, that lovely high-pitched relentless beeping emits from my alarm clock and personally attacks my peaceful state of slumber again because, evidently, the first time was just not enough.
5:51 A.M. Officially get out of bed put on my running shoes and a headband. (Side note: I think I’m brilliant because I cleverly sleep in my running clothes. Saves time.)
6:00 A.M. Descend stairwell into kitchen to eat a piece of bread and one bite of a banana. Step outside to start my run.
6:15 A.M. Run down Spruce Street to the track locker room in Franklin Field to stretch in a warm space and remove an extra layer because I’m kinda toasty now. Continue run down South Street and onto the river.
7:15 A.M. Finish up and return home. Put the remainder of the banana along with frozen fruit, kale, protein, almond milk, and 1⁄3 of an EmergenC packet into my blender. Use a towel to muffle the sound of blender so I don’t wake up the roomies :)
7:20 A.M. Shower!
7:30 A.M. Drink smoothie while preparing for the day. It’s the best kind of day because I wear scrubs!!! I also make real breakfast (scrambled eggs with tofu, tomatoes, spinach, and feta cheese), lunch, and dinner.
8:20 A.M. Finally eat that breakfast I prepared earlier. But first I sprinkle Ol’ Bay on top— don’t judge until you try it! It is the seasoning of choice in my house.
8:49 A.M. Leave for class with two fellow nursing roommates and walk into the infamous three-hour Med-Surg lecture in Fagin right on time at 9am.
9:05 A.M. Ooooh…Bowel and Bladder is the topic for today. Really interesting topic, especially when you’re an athlete, drink pints of water, and need to desperately go to the bathroom.
10:20 A.M. Alas! Break time. Rush down to the first floor of Fagin to find (despite my athletic background) I am the fifteenth person in line for a bagel.
10:22 A.M. Still waiting in line for my bagel, taunted by the million other treats in the glass window of the cafe.
10:27 A.M. Spend my trillionth dollar at the wonderful Fagin Cafe on a banana quinoa muffin and return to lecture.
11:50 A.M. The lecture ends. I pack my stuff up and waltz one classroom over, where Intro to Nursing Statistics will begin in one hour.
12:00 P.M. I do my stat homework while eating lunch.
1:00 P.M. Stat begins. It’s just ANOVA day in paradise here ;)
2:21 P.M. Stat ends and I walk over to Rhoads 6 at the Hospital of University of Penn (s/o to advising for first choice for clinical, couldn’t have done it without you!) to pick up my patient assignment for the next clinical day and work on Prep Tool. Rhoads 6 is a liquid oncology unit, and happens to be the discipline of nursing I would like to work in after graduating.
2:50 P.M. Begin to sweat because my patient has more drugs than I have nephrons and I have approximately ten minutes to finish my patient look-up.
2:55 P.M. Stop meticulously studying my patient’s chart and begin ferociously copying and pasting things into my prep tool for the next five minutes until I need to log out and head over to Franklin Field for practice.
3:05 P.M. Breeze into the locker room smiling because I just set a personal record for getting from Rhoads 6 to Franklin Field. It’s the little things! I change into running clothes.
3:10 P.M. This is my second favorite thing about Mondays (keep reading for my first favorite): walking onto the track for practice with my teammates, hearing about their days and enjoying their company. I won’t be able to run with them today because I ran this morning to make it on time to class later, but a shot of their energy is enough to keep me going.
3:15 P.M. Our coaches begin a cross country game plan for today and give us a sneak peek into the week ahead.
3:35 P.M. Do “Athletic Monday” drills (hurdle drills, sprints, 1/2 of a core routine).
4:00 P.M. Head down to the weight room to lift. I LOVE LIFT. We’ve got cleans today, deadlifts, squats—fun stuff.
5:05 P.M. Return to the locker room and I put on scrubs again. (I would like to add that I perform proper hand hygiene after lift and freshen up.)
5:17 P.M. Begin my trek back to the Nursing School for lab and eat dinner en route (a quinoa rice bean bowl that I prepared this morning.)
5:28 P.M. Arrive at Fagin. I’m only going to the first floor but I hit the button for the elevator and just stare at the steps. My legs are forever grateful for this decision.
5:29 P.M. OR MAYBE 5:30. OKAY 5:31 P.M. Sheesh… I arrive at lab.
5:32 P.M. Get the spiel on central lines and learn about dressing changes and then perform central line dressing changes on simulation mannequins.
6:00 P.M. Watch two fellow classmates rock their way through a full simulation scenario on a hypothetical oncology patient needing a platelet transfusion.
6:50 P.M. Lab ends and I scramble over to Rhoads 6 again (the oncology unit I am on for clinical) because I forgot some of my patient’s medications which is vital for a prep tool. I forget their prior to admission medications Every. Single. Time.
7:10 P.M. Begin my walk to work. I call my mom and tell her about my day. Twenty minutes later I arrive at the house of the most kind, amazing family ever to babysit their children.
7:33 P.M. First favorite thing about Mondays: telling their kids a bedtime story. A princess story for the two-year-old girl and a superhero story for the four-year-old boy. After tucking them in, I head into the living room to find that their parents never fail to leave me water and one of their seasonal Jewish treats.
7:47 P.M. Use their living room floor to finish up that core routine from earlier before I sit down and get lazy.
8:00 P.M. Finish dinner and open laptop to work on prep tool.
10:30 P.M. The parents return and I pack up and head home. A little over half-way through the prep tool—woot woot!
10:45 P.M. Arrive home and slap some peanut butter on a piece of bread. I take a seat to enjoy my roommates’ company.
11:00 P.M. Hallelujah, a shower.
11:30 P.M. Attempt a personal record in prep tool completion.
12:10 A.M. Brush my teeth and set alarm for 5:30 to account for inevitable snoozing and printing of prep tool.
12:15 A.M. ZZZZZzzzzzzzz :)