Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Test Season Continues

My most recent post mentioned that midterms had just finished. Today, about a week later, I'm halfway done with finals.

The speed here is set a few notches above "ludicrous."

This week contains six tests, most of them disproportionately crazy-making. Foremost among those was yesterday's drug calculation exam. This is one which you can take up to three times, because you absolutely must pass it to continue in the program, and the only passing grade is 100%. Seriously! Any misplaced decimal or fat-fingered calculator button, and you've got strike one. Some of the math phobics in the class have been freaking out over it since orientation.

Not helping those folks was the fact that our medical math textbook, in my professional opinion, sucks ass. This book is junk. It's crap. It's beyond useless. Despite attempting to teach math at the junior high school level, it somehow manages to be incomprehensible to college graduates. I don't think anybody in the program learned a single thing from its illogical explanations. I have a degree in mathematics and I don't even understand what it's trying to say half the time. I feel stupider every time I crack the cover. In the presence of this book, Math Itself shakes its head and looks disappointed.

(I have rather strong feelings on this topic.)

For my classmates who were nervous about math to begin with, inability to follow the textbook threatened to push them into full-on panic. I did a lot of informal tutoring in med calc this week, and I'm not unhappy to have spent the time, because even the most math-hating person in the room aced the test on the second try.

Anyway, that was one of two exams on the first day of finals. The other one that day was the Communications practicum. It involved a lot of longhand writing in unnecessarily cramped little spaces. That sucker took almost two hours, had no such thing as a right or wrong answer, and I don't want to talk any more about it.

Today we had an exam plus a practicum, covering procedural details. Want to know what gauge and length of needle to use for adult ventrogluteal intramuscular injection? Or how many drops per minute you should set on microdrip tubing to run 125 ml in an hour? Or the proper sterile technique for suctioning a tracheostomy? Apparently those facts and others have seeped into my skull over the past few weeks, because they bubbled back up when summoned.

The real killer exam will be Pharmacology, but that's not until Friday. Tomorrow will be devoted to studying for that. Tonight I shall take a few hours off to rest my overfilled brain.

No grades are posted yet. Every secretary in the building was away at mandatory software training, leaving nobody to run the Scantron machine or log grades into the computer. I profess surprise that the school itself did not audibly grind to a halt.

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