Tuesday, December 22, 2009

3rd Semester marks

As expected, I got spanked on most of my exams. Fortunately, I had pretty decent marks before I wrote my finals. My lowest final mark for 3rd semester is a B+. I can't think of myself as a straight A student anymore, now that I have a B+ mark, and I'm OK with that. I'm still waiting for one more mark, which might also be a B.

I think that a few people, who were just passing, might have failed a course or two. If I'm correct, my class will be a bit smaller next semester

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Semester 3 is over

Semester 3 is finally over.  It was a pretty good, until I ran into the final exams.  I wrote 7 finals and only felt good about 2 of them.  I get all my marks on Monday.  I had pretty good marks going into finals, so I'm pretty sure that I didn't come close to failing any courses.

I ordered my 4th semester textbooks from amazon.com.  The Canadian dollar is almost at par with the US dollar and retailers, including booksellers, are gouging Canadian consumers again.  One of the books I need is The Essentials of Respiratory Care.

The school bookstore wants $103.95 for it.

Amazon.ca wants $94.95 for it.

Amazon.com wants $69.96 (US$: 43.71).

Semester 4 starts on January 11th.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Last exam today

I write my last final exam today! This semester should be over and done with in a little over 5 hours. I went to bed at 9PM last night and got up at midnight to do some more studying. I'm surprised that I'm still wide awake and studying. Hopefully I won't crash before my exam at 9AM.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cardiodiagnostics final update

The Cardiodiagnostics final was hard. I was the last one to finish writing, with five minutes to spare. Everyone thinks it was a hard exam. I heard that it even made a couple of people cry. There's also some speculation that the exam tested some things that weren't even taught in the course this year. I just assumed that I didn't study enough.

Someone left the exam an hour early. I think that person didn't do so well. The exam had a lot of questions that required quite a bit of thinking and figuring out.

There's was even a protest letter floating around about that exam. Not a lot of people were willing to sign the letter, so it's probably not going to be delivered to anyone. There was lots of melodrama from all of the It's not Fair Club members.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Half way finished exams

Holy crap, this week sucked for exams. I wrote 4 exams this week and only felt good about one of them. I have a Ventilator Competency and 3 more exams to go and I'm done with this semester.

I think next weeks going to be a lot better than this week.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Less pessimistic about Cardiodiagnostics Final

I'm tempted to delete my previous post. I was a bit overwhelmed while I was writing that one. I'm just flying through the Hemodynamic Monitoring part of my Cardiodiagnostic notes. That stuff just makes sense and I don't have to memorize any lists of things!

I won't have enough time to properly study all of the ECG interpretation material. if I have time, I'll probably just quickly review the electrophysiology of the heart and the characteristics of different arrhythmias. The ECG interpretation part of the course will be tested less than everything else, for the Final.

I'm still keeping the fact that I only need 38% on this final, in the back of my mind. That fact is comforting. I need to be comforted.

Study rush

I'm doing some rushed studying again. I'm a little bit apathetic about final exams. Do I really learn the material better, by studying for exams? Last minute studying helps for exams but does last minute studying really help me reatain what I've supposedly learned? Most likely not.

I spend a great deal of time studying before tests and exams but still feel the need to do cramming before finals. I feel like I'm just studying for marks. I can't really sit and think about any concepts or relationships associated with anything. I'm just absorbing bits of testable information for exam writing purposes. I'm supposedly not supposed to cram, but the volume of material seems to make it mandatory.

I write my next exam (Cardiodiagnostics) in about 6 hours and the volume of material, that I still have to cover, is quite daunting. I didn't get much studying done yesterday because I had a lot of sleeping to do in the afternoon.

I think I might just stop studying for the damn final and start trying to learn some Cardiodiagnostics instead. I'll probably get a crappier mark on the exam but I'll end up learning things better.

This has been a pretty horrible week for exams. I only feel like I did well on one exam. The other two exams didn't go so well. Today's exam probably won't go well. I need a 38%, for today's exam, to pass the course.

I'm having trouble actually giving a crap. I hope next week's exams go a bit better...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Haha I don't care

I had a big ass smile on my face when I was writing my Pharmacology final today. I didn't have a clue about a lot of the questions. In my mind, it really didn't matter because I only needed a 27% on the exam. I've never studied so hard and been so unprepared for something before. I just can't seem to remember drug names. I also can't seem to remember what drugs, whose names I can't remember, are for.

I'm planning on learning that stuff properly, after I'm done my exams. Pharmacology's kind of important.


My exam yesterday seemed to go really well. I sort of felt, like it was written just for me. It tested my strengths and almost none of my weaknesses. I expected to hear everyone talking about how easy the exam was, when we were all finished it. Instead, I heard quite a bit of ranting about how hard and unfair the exam was.

I was quite surprised by one of the ranters. She's one of the best students. I almost never beat her when marks are concerned. She has a freakish recall of A&P and can always explain concepts to others, without any hesitation. Yesterday, she sounded like a card carrying member of the "It's not fair!" club.

Today I write my Pharmacology final. I'm having trouble with all the drug names and dosages. The Cardiac drugs are giving me the most trouble. I need 27% on the final to pass the course.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Maybe, not so good

My exam today, may not have gone so well. Maybe I'll get a better mark than expected, which happens quite a lot with me.

I just started studying for tomorrow's exam, a couple of hours ago. I'm feeling kind of rushed and a little bit panicked. I need a 34% on that exam to pass the course. I think I could probably pull off a 34% without even studying. Why am I stressing so much?

Should I study more and sleep less or study less and sleep more. That's the question I'm going to have to answer in a few hours. Tomorrows exam is at 9AM.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Required to pass

I'm studying for my final Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care exam, that I'll be writing tomorrow.

I just did the math. I need 36% on the final, to pass the course. That's a pretty comforting thought.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A few more things to do

I only have a couple left to do for this semester:
  1. 7 final exams
  2. 1 lab competency

We had our last lecture, of the semester, today. My first exam is on Monday.

I actually got an 83% on my last Pharmacology test! I seem to have an ability to intuit the correct answers to multiple choice questions on Pharmacology tests...

Intubation on the floor

I did my Airway Interventions competency a couple of days ago. My scenario was a cardiac arrest, on the floor. A couple of physicians were doing CPR and I was supposed to do the intubation.

The first laryngoscope I grabbed had a blade that kept on falling off. The first ETT I grabbed had a cuff leak. I had some trouble visualizing the glottis, probably because of my positioning relative to the patient, but didn't have too much trouble with the intubation.

Only one other person got the same scenario that I did. Everyone else had more relaxe scenarios like extubation or intubating someone prior to surgery.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Last Pharmacology test

My last Pharmacology test went about as well as I could have hoped. I'm pretty sure I passed. Fortunately, the test had some really questions. Unfortunately, it also had some specific questions about cardiac drugs and anti infective drugs.

The semester is almost over. Now I just have two competencies and 7 Final exams to do. I think I'll start studying for the Pharmacology exam this weekend.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some good news and some bad news

The bad news:
I probably won't be ready for my cumulative Pharmacology test this week. There's just too much for me to study. The test will cover everything for the course. It's essentially an abbreviated version of the final exam.

The good news:
The test is only worth 10%. I still have 2 more weeks before the final exam. Now I know how much I have to study for the final. Studying for the test will give me a good start on my preparations for the final.

Here I am again

Studying at the last minute because I spent too much time studying something else.

I have a cumulative Pharmacology quiz later this week. It's going to test the same breadth of material that will be on the final exam. I'm going to have to study for that until blood comes out of my ears.

I've got a Sim lab experience scheduled for today. Faculty's seems a bit vague about what's going to be happening in Sim today. I'm wondering if they're going to throw us into a high fidelity Sim too see how much we freak out.

Learning vs. getting good marks

I've come to the realization that getting good marks doesn't always mean that you're learning well. By learning well I mean that you're actually accumulating knowledge that you will retain, and can use, after you write an associated test and or exam.

I try to learn but I do some cramming because I am convinced that cramming before a test can improve my mark by about 5-10 percent.

I know someone who almost exclusively crams. She starts to study a few hours before a test and ends up getting really good marks. She doesn't seem to know anything, unless she's about to write a test. It's kind of odd and kind of annoying. What's even more annoying is the fact that she's aware of her problem and talks about it frequently.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

4 weeks left

This is the busiest semester so far and, from what I've heard, the hardest semester in the program. Oddly enough, I don't find it that hard. I think I've just gotten used to the work load. I mostly just study and don't spend much time bitching about it.

I actually have to bite my tongue sometimes, so that I don't tell people how much I'm enjoying myself. That would just piss a bunch of people off. Most of my class seems to be doing fairly well with only a handful of people who are on the verge of failing. Guess which students do the most bitching and complaining.

Next week I will be writing 3 tests and doing a group presentation. After that I only have to worry about preparing for competencies and writing final exams. This semester will be all over on December 17th, when I write my last exam.

This semester has just flown by. Now there's only 4 weeks left.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Last midterm today

I write my last midterm exam today. It's on Ventilators.

I could have gotten an H1N1 vaccine yesterday, but didn't feel like waiting in line. There's still a shortage of vaccine here, so only "high risk groups" can get vaccinated now. As a Student RT, I'm considered to be in a high risk group. I'll get my shot on Friday morning, when the vaccine clinic, at school, opens again.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Maybe not

OK, maybe I won't be getting my H1N1 vaccine, at school, next week: http://health.lifestyle.yahoo.ca/channel_health_news_details.asp?news_id=19717&news_channel_id=2097&channel_id=2097&relation_id=70487 There's a shortage of vaccine in Canada.

Midterm exams

I'm almost finished writing my midterm exams for this semester. I still have a couple of midterms and a test to write next week. The workload for this semester is a bit heavier than last semester. I'm now able to keep on top of things because I figured out how to study effectively and efficiently last semester.

All of the courses I'm taking now, seem relevant and important.

Not drinking vast quantities of coffee has given me a lot more energy. I'm now just drinking tea and diet Pepsi. I sleep like a baby and can study for hours and hours. I've also noticed that I'm not nearly as stressed as I was when I was drinking lots of coffee.

I should be getting my H1N1 shot next week. There have been lots of sick people in school lately, including myself. I wonder how many of them were sick with H1N1. Lots of people in my class are talking about not getting the H1N1 vaccine, for one kooky reason or another. Anti science/medicine kooks are annoying.

Friday, October 02, 2009

September was hard

The work load this semester has been pretty brutal. I've pretty much given up having any delusions about doing anything, other than studying this semester. I don't even pretend anymore. What am I doing this weekend? Studying. If you have a problem with that, you can talk to me about it in January 2011.

My Cardiodiagnostics course has been pretty tough. We thought we had to learn Basic Arrhythmias (also known as lead II EKG interpretation) this semester. We were wrong. We had to learn Basic Arrhythmias in 3 weeks. I wrote my my first Cardiodiagnostics quiz this week and passed by 2%.

Someone in my class was talking about dropping out and joining the Army. I think he might have been serious.

I was in pretty rough shape last week, with a cold that was kicking my ass.

I have 5 tests next week.

Despite the heavy workload, I'm enjoying school quite a bit. I must be a glutton for punishment.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I win!

I never did have a meeting with Campus Administration. Apparently the person I was talking with, who mentioned a meeting, meant that there was a possibility of having a meeting with some people to discuss the issue. There wasn't an actual meeting planned.

As things stand now: I have my locker back and am keeping it. The locker allocation system has been taken down for maintenance, so that they can fix it or replace it with something better.

I sent an email to the Chair of my Academic School and the Program Coordinator for my program, that details what has transpired so far. I don't trust Campus Administration and wanted to make sure that they didn't hassle me about any of this stuff.

I can't believe that something as simple as getting a locker could escalate into such a big deal. I just want to study Respiratory Therapy and not be hassled by anyone while I'm doing it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Taking back a stolen locker

Someone stole my locker and I took it back!

On August 31st I went onto a locker selection website and selected a locker. A was sent a confirmation email confirming that the locker was successfully assigned to me. It's a nice locker because it's close to the Library.

On September 15th I found out that my locker was assigned to someone else. On August 16th I went to Campus Administration, to get the problem resolved. I was told they would investigate.

Today I went to Campus Administration and was told that the locker was now assigned to someone else and that nothing could be done. I was furious. I pretty much gave up and grudgingly decided to pick another locker. Lockers are in short supply, so the lockers still available are in horribly inconvenient locations. I went back into the locker selection website and selected a crappy locker. At that point I came up with a theory about how someone could use the locker selection website to steal someone else's locker. I tested that theory by taking my locker back!

I went back to Campus Administration and presented them with the email that confirmed that the locker was again successfully assigned to me. The woman I was talking with logged into the locker selection system and confirmed that the locker was indeed assigned to me now. She was pretty shocked by what I had been able to do. At that point I told her that it's my locker and I'm keeping it. She then asked me if I could attend a meeting tomorrow with herself, her boss and someone from the IT department. I'm going to the meeting. I think I want to bring an impartial third party with me, so that they feel a bit of pressure to address this issue with some common sense and fairness.

The locker selection web site has been unavailable since shortly after my last conversation with Campus Administration.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It has begin

I am once again surprised by how much studying I have to do. Glad to be done the first week of school.

No job for me

I was thinking that I might get a tutoring job. I'm not getting that job. I put off pursuing it for so long that all the positions have been filled. As far as I'm concerned, not having a job is a good thing.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I need a coffee

and a cigarette. I know that if I have both at the same time, I'll stop feeling like crap. But they're both not good for me, so I'll just feel like crap until I stop feeling like crap.

What are the benefits of not drinking coffee anymore? You can't get a decent night's sleep and everyone in the world tries to piss me off.

I'm just one week into the school year and I'm already swamped. I also miss coffee.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Second day of 3rd semester

I have a quiz today, in my first Ventilators class of the semester. Quiz questions will come from the final exam that we wrote in last semester's ventilator course. Fortunately, todays quiz doesn't count for real marks. I believe the purpose of the quiz is to show us how little we know, of what we have supposedly learned.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

For the safety of others

I spent most of the morning being pissed off, sweaty and craving a coffee. I had to do a little bit of group work this morning and was getting pretty angry about something that should have just been a minor annoyance to me.

I finally broke down and took a 100mg caffeine pill, to ensure the safety of others. :-)

First day of school and I have a test tomorrow!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Caffeine withdrawal

Caffeine withdrawal sucks. I think I'm going to be stocking up on some Diet Pepsi soon. There should be enough caffeine in the Pepsi, to take some of the edge off of the withdrawal symptoms. I'll go without caffeine for a few more hours before I go get some Pepsi. Part of me wants this process to be unpleasant, so that I don't forget it.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

So far so good

I'm on my third cup of decaf and plan on having a fourth in a few minutes. I'm pretty sure that decaf coffee has some caffeine in it, so I haven't actually quit the caffeine completely yet.

I haven't even had a caffeine withdrawal headache yet. I did spend half the day in bed sleeping though, which might have something to do with the drastic reduction in caffeine today. All things considered, my first day without real coffee is going surpisingly well.

H1N1 Rap by Dr. Clarke

1st day without real coffee

Last night I got fed up with how tired a was feeling and the amount of coffee I routinely drink. Coffee just doesn't seem to do much for me anymore. I've been drinking at least six cups a day.

I drank a couple cups of home brewed decaf this morning and am hoping for the best.

Why am I doing this a couple of days before school starts?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Optometry Intern

I went to see an Optometrist today and was examined by an Optometry Intern. I think I might have made her day. I have some odd things associated with my vision and got the "Optometry Intern who doesn't want too miss anything, eye exam". I wanted to ask her about her clinical experiences, and some other things about her training to be an Optometrist, but she seemed way too busy while she was assessing my vision/eyes. When she wasn't shining some ridiculously bright light into my eye, I think I saw a "damn that's pretty cool" expression on her face more than once.

My eye exam took an hour and 15 minutes.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

New student orientation

Second year starts on Tuesday next week.

I went to the new student orientation, for the RT Program, this week. Myself and some other second year students were there, to offer some encouraging words and answer questions. No one asked any questions. There wasn't enough time.

I dragged my sorry ass out of bed at 6AM today, in an effort to get used to getting up early again.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Two weeks

School starts in two weeks (September 8th). I'm spending this week hanging out with family in the US.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I'm now able to see my timetable, for 3rd semester. I have classes Monday through Thursday, starting at 8AM. My school day will be over at 3 or 4PM, depending on the day.

My two days of Practicum will be done on Fridays. Friday will be a day off, when I'm not doing a Practicum.

I'm scheduled for 21 hours of lecture and 4 hours of lab, for a total of 25 hours a week.

Last semester I had 18 hours of lecture and 4 hours of lab, for a total of 22 hours a week. 3 of last semesters lecture hours were for a really easy History course.


My timetable, for next semester, is supposed to be available today.

It's been August 17th for over 40 minutes now. How come I can't see my timetable yet? I stayed up late so that I could take a look at my timetable. It's not fair.



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Cricothyroidotomy from Cruz Rincon on Vimeo.

Can you save the bunny?

Save the bunny!

Golden handcuffs

Most people who make career changes don't do it to make less money. I am.

When I was working in IT, I would often times think about my job as my golden handcuffs. I felt kind of trapped in IT and a big part of it had to do with money. I was making really good money and, if I changed careers, I would be making less while making the change and when starting a new career. The problem with golden handcuffs is that you don't want to take them off because they're really shiny and made out of gold.

When I try to explain the golden handcuffs to people, they don't really seem to understand what I'm talking about or why they were such a big deal. I think that's because I have always been reluctant to talk about how much money was involved. The money that I used to make is in the past, so I think I can now talk about it, without coming across like a pretentious Ahole.

My last year of full time employment, in IT, was 2005.

Year: 2005
Employmet Income: $101,292.64
It's going to be a long time before I see money like that again. I was wearing the golden handcuffs and was looking for the key to unlock them.

Year: 2006
Employment Income: $53,253.18
I was a full time student studying Biotechnology/Science. I was working part time. That was the year of being really, really tired. People at school thought that I was always "so happy". I was more relieved than anything else. I'm actually kind of a grumpy person, so I was surprised by how people thought of me that year. I was wearing the golden handcuffs and had the key, to unlock them, in my back pocket.

Year: 2007
Employment Income: $60,276.39
I was a full time student up until the end of April and part time until July. I was still working part time but trying to work more hours. Making more money was more important than going to school, at that point, because I was saving for RT School. I unlocked the golden handcuffs but was still carrying them around with me because they were so pretty and shiny.

Year: 2008
Employment Income: $48,656.35
At this point I was living 10 minutes away from school and a couple of hours from work. I was working 3 days a week until September. I quit my job in August and started RT school in September. If I was working during school, I probably wouldn't have done very well in school. School was quite a grind. I put the golden handcuffs in a shoe box in the back of my closet.

Year: 2009
Employment Income (so far): $0.00
I will probably start a peer tutoring job when school starts back up in September. I thought I put the golden handcuffs in a shoe box in the back of my closet. I can't find them anymore. Where they really made out of gold? Did I really have a pair? Why didn't I sell them to somebody? I sure could use the money.

Fortunately, I had a bit of money saved for retirement. Unfortunately, most of that money is tied up in the stock market. The stock market really kicked my ass. I'm now living off of borrowed money, while I'm waiting for the stock market to recover a bit. Fortunately the stock market is recovering. I think I'll dip into my retirement savings in Novemeber or December.

If things go well, I'm hoping to make about $50, 000.00 in 2011 when I'm working as an RT. That's about what I was making in 2006 when I was a full time student and working part time.

Monday, August 10, 2009

RN Medics?

Quite some time ago, when I was wandering around in Toronto, I saw an ambulance that had 'RNMedics' written on it instead of the usual 'Paramedics'. Did some ambulances in Toronto have RNs on board? I tried to figure out what was going on by poking around on the Internet and didn't have any luck.

I was in Toronto a few weeks ago and saw another one of those ambulances and discovered that they had 'CBRNMedics' written on them and not 'RNMedics', as I had incorrectly remembered. CBRNMedics makes a bit more sense. CBRN stands for Chemical, Biological, Radioactive & Nuclear.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


A few months ago I had to go to a Doctor's office to get a photocopy of some blood test results. The results of the blood test prove that my Hepatitis B vaccinations have given me immunity to Hepatitis B.

In order to get a copy of the results I had to sign a release form, authorizing release of the blood test results to myself.

Huh? Uh. OK.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Lame apology

In an earlier post I mentioned my neighbour who's doing renovations. Last night he knocked on my door and sort of apologized. He essentially apologized for breaking the noise bylaw. He then asked if I could let him know whenever I go out in the evening, so that he could do some more renovations when I'm gone! I told him that I'm usually home after 7PM and probably won't ever be doing that.

What about being civil to your neighbours? I talked to him twice about all of the noise and that didn't work. The threat of a $5000 fine, and a Bylaw Enforcement Officer knocking on his door, made him stop acting like an idiot. He's essentially behaving himself, like a reasonable human being, because he does not want to be punished. The concept of having some respect or consideration for his new neighbours still hasn't seemed to cross his mind. He's definitely still in the Ahole category in my books. If you don't act like an Ahole because you don't want to be punished, you're still an Ahole.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

It's OK to say you're sorry

It's OK to say you're sorry, there's a new law that says so.

When I first heard about the law, I was glad to hear about it. Then I started thinking about why we needed a law to make apologizing OK, in the first place...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ready to go

I've paid my tuition. I've purchased the required textbooks. I've gotten my student card updated. I'm ready to go, back to school in six weeks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Useless health tip of the day

Health Tip: Avoiding Shin Splints: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_87264.html

Who the hell wrote that? Maybe the article should have mentioned something about "Avoiding Shin Splints". I'm just sayin.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Enrolled for 3rd semester

I'm now officially enrolled for 3rd Semester, which starts in September. Three of the courses have a lab component. If I don't count Hospital Practicum/Simulation I, it looks like I'll have 25 hours of classes and labs in 3rd semester.

These are the courses I'll be taking:

Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care
Ventilators 2
Blood Analysis and Diagnostics
Airway Interventions
Hospital Practicum/Simulation I
Advanced Practice

Friday, July 17, 2009

My neighbour baffles me

Today my neighbour, in the condo apartment right beside me, was back to his old ways. I wasted 45 minutes hoping that he would knock off the hammering and sawing, until I couldn't take it anymore. At 7:45PM I called and made a noise complaint. The city only had one By-law Enforcement Officer on duty, so it took him about an hour to show up and knock on my neighbour's door. Unfortunately, when he got there, my neighbour wasn't making any noise.

The Officer explained the By-law to my neighbour and made him aware of the fines associated with breaking the noise By-law. The next time my neighbour breaks the By-law I now know that I should call right away, so that the Officer who arrives will actually be able to hear the noise. If my neighbour doesn't smarten up, I'll just follow the By-law Officer's advice and keep on making noise complaints.

What's going through my neighbour's mind? Did he think that after two days of not breaking the noise By-law, I would forget about the fact that all that noise pisses me off?

I don't have to put up with the noise, so why should I? Why does my neighbour think that I would? He really does baffle me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Why does that bother me?

My next door neighbour has been renovating his condo. The renovations have been going on for several weeks. The renovations start at about 9AM and continue on until about 10PM, almost every day.

There's no way to do any serious renovating without making a lot of noise. I understand that, I accept that and can tolerate that, within reason. Doing renovations, next door to me, until 10PM is not reasonable. I went over to talk to my neighbour about it last night. He didn't really seem to understand what my problem was but I thought he had agreed to stop all the noise by 7PM from now on. The city I live in has a noise By-law that prohibits construction noise between the hours of 7PM and 7AM. I mentioned the by-law to him when we spoke yesterday but didn't make too much of a point about it. Yesterday I was still trying to "be neighbourly".

I guess he didn't agree to stop making noise at 7PM because I had to go over to talk to him today at 8:30PM, when I got tired of listening to his table saw.

Me: It's after 7PM you have to stop making the noise.

Him: Come on it's not even 9 O'clock.

Me: There's a noise By-law that says you need to stop at 7PM.

Him: Why does that bother you?

Me: I live next door. I have work to do. I have the right to some peace and quiet. That's a reasonable request. Do you want me to call By-law enforcement?

Him: No I don't want that. (He said that rather quietly and was quite obviously upset by how the conversation was progressing).

Me: That's up to a $5000 fine.

Him: OK.

I've got a pretty good approach when I get into those kinds of conversations. I don't argue. I don't try to justify what I'm saying. I don't raise my voice. I just state the facts and answer questions VERY DISPASSIONATELY. It really throws people. They don't know how to react and it makes them very uncomfortable. Sometimes it makes them squirm and I enjoy watching them squirm.

Why can't people have consideration for others? Why do they have to be assholes? Why do I even have to ask them to knock off their objectionable behaviour? Why do they think that there's nothing wrong with their behaviour? Why do they get all prissy when I say something to them about it? I have a theory. Assholes are assholes and they act like assholes because they are assholes. You just have to make them stop. Being diplomatic and neighbourly to assholes doesn't seem to work.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Proof that the moon landing was faked

A recently discoverd photograph proves, without a doubt, that the moon landing was faked.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Haha #3

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Haha #2

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net


The road to becoming an RT

The beginning of the road to becoming an RT, is the road to RT school.

This is what the road looks like in the Winter (when I'm waiting for the bus):

This is what the road looks like now (when I'm walking to school):

I hates Winter.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


I was going to make a snide remark about using Propofol, to get to sleep, in my last post. I couldn't figure out how to do that in a relatively tasteful way.

This is a good post about Propofol: http://breathinstephen.com/propofol/


Lately, I've gotten in the habit of staying up really late and sleeping in. Last night I decided that I should start getting up early, like a responsible grown up. There's something not right about sleeping in until 10:30AM and then lounging around for a few hours before you take a shower and get dressed.

Last night I set my alarm clock for 6:45AM. That's the latest that I can get up, when I'm in school and have an 8AM class. I was wide awake at 3AM and still am, 5.5 hour later. I got 3 hours of sleep last night! WTF? What part of me decided to be bright eyed and bushy tailed at 3AM and how can it be punished?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's not my fault

It's the professors fault.

At some point in my studies I thought that Thebesian Veins were called Thesbian Veins. When I started looking over my notes recently, I discovered that the veins in question were called Thebesian Veins and not Thesbian Veins. That explains why I could never find a mention of Thesbian Veins in the indices of my A&P textbooks!

Today I figured out where my misunderstanding came from. It's what I was taught in one of my lectures and I have a print out of the PowerPoint slide to prove it! It's funny how my brain absorbed that little typo and was unable to correct it.

It's not my fault. It's the professors fault because she taught me something that was wrong. It's also not fair. Glad I cleared that up :-)

Every once in a while I find fairly serious error error in a textbook and wonder why no one else seems to notice. I recently found a horribly mislabeled diagram in my favourite A&P textbook and actually started laughing because it was so bad. What really bothers me about textbook errors is the fact that the publishers don't make Errata available that list the errors. WTF?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You know you're a science geek when

you start reading this for fun.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

When smart people do stupid things

They're not as smart as they think they are.

Miracle drug

Finally something can be done about the problem.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The mean things that I can say

The meanest thing I said last semester: "It's not you're fault you're stupid. You were probably born that way".

That was funny. Fortunately, I was talking to a smart girl who has a good sense of humour. She's also the one who told me, that I'm a nice person who says mean things...

I'm now a second year!

I just paid my part of the fees for the next school year so, in my mind, I'm officially a second year Student Respiratory Therapist.

Total fees for next year are $4,672.31. My part of the fees is$3,672.31. The college will take care of the difference, by giving me a $1,000 bursary, as per our agreement.

Studying at my leisure

I'm actually spending some time studying these days. It's kind of nice. No deadlines. No tests. No exams. Just spending time reviewing and learning things better.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A good RT book

I've recently been reading a good RT book. I actually got a good mark (82%) in my Pathophysiology course last semester. Unfortunately, even with the good mark, I still felt that I didn't really know much about pathophysiology. A friend at school recommended a book by Terry DesJardins, called Clinical Manifestations and Assessment of Respiratory Disease. As I read throught that book, I'm finding that the pathophysiology, that I should know, is starting to be known.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Not hokey anymore

I just stumbled across the AARCs newer "Life and Breath" video. It's actually pretty good. It's definitely not hokey like the old one. I can actually show it to people, without feeling embarrassed.

This is the newer one, that isn't hokey.

This is the older one that's pretty hokey.

Where are the jobs?

Dr. Scott McLeod over at Dangerously Irrelevant has an interesting post about the relative changes in employment, by sector, over time. Check out his Manufacturing jobs just ain't what they used to be post. His analysis sure makes "Education and Health Services" look like good sectors for employment. The charts below are from his post.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Immunization requirements

Yesterday I handed in the results of my Hepatitis B blood titre, which was done back in February. That was the last thing I had to get done in order to comply with the RT program's immunization requirements. I was given a copy of my school immunization record. At the bottom of the record it says "Status: Complete"

I started completing all of the immunization requirements in July 2008 and had everything finished 7 months later. From now on, I just need a yearly flu shot and TB test.

Math presentation feedback

My Math presentation seemed to be a big hit. I think I was able to make it pretty interesting and entertaining. The professor gave us our mark after the presentation. I was given a 100%. I might just get a final mark in the 90s for that course. I really wish I knew what my mark was, for the test that I wrote last week.

Math Presentation

I'll be doing the presentation for my Math class in about half an hour. I'll be talking about Math associated with skydiving. It should be fun. I'm bringing all my skydiving gear, to use as a visual aid, and I'm showing a few skydiving videos.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Math course almost finished

My Math course finishes this week. I have to do presentation in Math class tomorrow. I'll be spending most of today preparing for that. I'm eager to finish the course, so I made sure that I was the first person scheduled to present.

After doing my presentation, and watching other people's presentation, the course is finished. We've already written all of our tests.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ventil8or Boi

This is the winner of the CSRT video contest. Very Funny.

Change to what an RT can do

In a previous post called "What can a Respiratory Therapist do?" I listed the 4 authorized acts that a Respiratory Therapist, in Ontario, can perform. If proposed legislation is passed, that list will be increased to 5. The 5th authorized act will be: administering a prescribed substance by inhalation.

That addition will allow RTs to administer oxygen without a medical order. It may also allow for the administration of some pharmaceuticals in the near future.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

One of my better ideas

I sure am glad that I'm taking an elective course now, instead of in fourth semester. I'm half way finished the course. I write my last test next week and then do a presentation the following week and then I'm finished!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Summer school

I started my last elective on Tuesday. It's called "Excursions in Modern Mathematics". I should be finished the course on the 28th. It doesn't have a mid term or final exam! We have to write 3 tests and do a presentation. The first test is tomorrow. If I wasn't an elective this summer, I would have to take it in fourth semester next year. Fourth semester has a reputation for being very tough.

It's kind of a strange Math course. Our Professor described it as being about Math, without all the Arithmetic. I must admit, it's one of the most entertaining courses that I've ever taken. Next week we start using the textbook, hopefully that doesn't spoil things.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Origin of Swine Flu

Just in case you didn't know where Swine Flu came from.

Any questions?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Turds and marks and other things

I now have all my marks for second semester, including the mark for the turd of a History essay that I handed in a week late. I was given a 90% on that essay, which was quite a pleasant surprise. The History final, that only took me 15 minutes to write, was given a mark of 92%.

I did better than I thought on my Pathophysiology final. My mark for that exam was a 79.41%. My course mark for Pathophysiology, was my worst one at 81.75%.

My marks are a bit lower than last semester but still respectable. My highest mark was a 95.17% and my lowest mark was an 81.75%. Keep in mind that for everything but the History course, a pass is 65%. My mark for the dreaded composite exam was 74%. They made the pass for that one a 60%. I suspect that a lot of people would have failed the composite, if a pass was 65%. A lot of people found that one hard. It was mostly about applying fundamental concepts and a lot of people in my class don't like doing that.

Most of the students in the year ahead of me, start their clinicals next week. I wish them luck, even thought they don't need any.

I'm actually doing some studying now. There are a few things that I only have a vague understanding of and I would like to rectify that. I was a bit surprised yesterday when I found it completely unnecessary to read a certain part of my favourite anatomy textbook because I knew all of the material.

I"ll be taking an elective, that starts on May 5th and ends on May 28th. The course is called "Excursions in Modern Mathematics". The course is described as a "liberal arts math" course, which seems to mean that it's a math course that doesn't have much math. It sounds like a good course for boosting my CGPA.

One of the local universities has a correspondence math course that I'm almost planning on taking. I'm planning on getting a degree after I finish RT school, so I need to strengthen my Math skills a bit.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Waiting for marks

My History couse mark should have been posted last night. It still has't been posted.

I was told that the results for the Composite Exam might be posted today. That hasn't happened yet.

The final marks for this semester's RT courses should be posted on Monday afternoon.

I hate waiting for marks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Done (7 down 0 to go)

I'm finished first year!

I think the Composite Exam, that I wrote this morning, actually went well. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting. If you understood fundamental concepts, and could apply them, you were in pretty good shape for that exam. I walked out of that exam feeling pretty good about myself. Lots of people didn't think that the exam was fair. I call those people the "it's not fair" people. They never do well when they have to answer "applied knowledge" type question and "it's not fair".

I'm pretty sure I passed. I might find out my mark for that course tomorrow. The final marks for everything else ,will be released on Monday.

A new outlook

I just got a coffee from Tim Hortons. I'm listening to some music and I'm studying for the supplemental that I probably have to write next week. As far as I'm concerned, today's composite exam is just a part of the process for studying for the supplemental.

I only have one chance to pass the Composite. If it's really easy, or they artificially inflate the marks, I should be OK. If none of that pans out, I'm going to be writing a supplemental exam next week.

Survival strategy

If I fail the Composite Exam today, I should be allowed to write a supplemental exam next week. I'll find out how bad I did on Monday. After I write, and probably fail, the exam today I'll have at least 4 or 5 days to study for the supplemental.

That's called looking on the bright side. At this point, that's all I've got.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I think I'm screwed

I give up. I'm too tired. I can't study anymore. Studying for an exam that covers everything that I was taught this year, is ridiculous. I didn't even come close to studying what I thought I should. I think I'm screwed.

I write the Composite Exam at 9AM tomorrow.

Studying for the Composite Exam

I don't have time to actually learn anything new, while studying for the composite! I'm just reading through everything, to refresh my memory about things that I already know. If I don't already know it, that's too bad. No time to learn stuff, just time to do a refresh...

The composite exam is at 9AM tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

6 down 1 to go

The Pathophysiology exam today wasn't a pleasant experience. I think a lot of people got spanked on that one.

Now I have to study for the composite exam, which is at 9AM on Thursday. That exam covers pretty much everything that I'm supposed to know. I think it's 3 hours long.

5 down 2 to go

I just finished my History exam. It took me 15 minutes and I think I did quite well.

Pathophysiology exam at Noon today and Composite exam on Thursday...

Early bird

They say that "The early bird gets the worm". I guess that's why I like to sleep in. I don't really like eating worms. They taste like dirt.

It's 5:30AM. I should be able to study for my 8AM History exam and still be able to study another 4 hours for my Pathophysiology exam, that's at Noon.

Monday, April 20, 2009

4 down 3 to go

I wrote my Patient Care exam today, at noon. I'm not sure how it went. I was planning on staying at school, and studying, until about 11PM. At about 3PM I gave up and went home. I was so tired that I couldn't study any more. I think I'll head back to school in about 20 minutes.

I have to write an exam for History and one for Pathophyiology tomorrow. I only need a 32% on my Pathophysiology exam to pass the course, so I'm constantly reminding myself of that fact whenever I stress about how much studying I still have to do for that exam.

I can start studying for the composite exam tomorrow afternoon and spend all day on Wednesday studying for it, as well.

I want this semester to be over. I'm not really caring about marks, at this point I just want it done.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Finally finished my History homework

I finally finished all of my History homework. History homework goes a lot faster when you use Google and Wikipedia, instead of hunting through a lame History textbook.

Reading a chapter of a textbook so that you can answer a homework question = Waste of time

Doing a Google search so that you can answer a homework question = Not a waste of time

Now I can focus on studying for exams that matter.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Study frenzy

The pace of studying is a bit frenzied now. I have one exam on Monday, two exams on Tuesday and the dreaded composite exam on Thursday. I'm actually kind of enjoying the pace. The frenzy seems to be progressing well. Some things that are making things go well include:

  • Getting security to unlock a classroom, so that a bunch of us SRTs can study in isolation and away from all the rowdy hooligans in the Library.
  • Studying with fellow classmates, who are serious about studying.
  • Going to school early and staying at school until well after dark, even though I don't have classes anymore.
  • Going home to take a nap, in the afternoon.
  • Studying outside in the sun and laughing at the antics of the geese, that live and play on campus.
  • Walking around in the school's hallways while I'm studying my notes. For some reason I'm more alert, don't get tired and can study faster.
  • Yep, I'm walking around and talking to myself and I think it's a good thing.
  • Those two beers and good laughs that I had last night.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

3 down 4 to go

I just finished my take home exam. The last question asked about the ethical and professional conduct of RTs. The last sentence in my answer to that question was:

"RTs shall support their local Tim Horton’s, by purchasing and drinking copious quantities of caffeinated beverages." If you don't know about Tim Horton's, read this post.

2 down 5 to go

2 down 5 to go. I'm working on exam #3, which is a take home exam. I hope to be finished with that in a few minutes. After I finish the take home exam, I get to do half a semester's worth of History homework...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Final Exams start tomorrow

Studyfest has begun.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Studying for Ventilators I (and the composite exam)

I completely forgot about all the stuff that we learned in the first part of Ventilators I. That's the part that has all of the so called "critical numbers" that I'm supposed to know like the back of my hand. The studying for that final is taking a really long time.

I'm starting to get concerned about having enough time to study for the composite exam. The composite exam will cover material covered in the program to date. In addition to studying for final exams, I also have to study first semester material. All I can do is keep studying and hope for the best.

Friday, April 10, 2009

So that's what failure feels like

I almost failed my last Patient Care Procedures test (67.5%). I failed my last Ventilators test (64%). Sleep deprivation make me stupid, stupid like dirt. I'm so glad that I can sleep well again. Too bad that I seem to need about 10 hrs of sleep a night, at the moment. I guess I have some sleep debt to take care of...

Lectures finished

I am now studying for final exams. Other than a History class that I have to go to on Tuesday, I only have to study for and write exams. The semester is almost over...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Lab competency exams

I did my lab competency exams on Friday. I still get stressed by those things. They're each only 10 minutes long and only worth 5% of a course. If you fail a competency, you get a second chance to do it again. If you fail on your second attempt, you fail the course. What's odd about the competencies is the fact that my stress level makes them much more difficult than they should be.

With the lab competencies out of the way, I can now focus on studying for my final exams, the dreaded composite exam, and getting my Ventilator assignment finished.

Brownian Noise

I still haven't been able to get that annoying, and intrusive, noise taken care of yet. The apartment in my building that seemed to be the likely culprit, isn't so likely any more. The person who owns that unit has been in Florida since November! The annoying noise started in March. The new building Superintendent is on the case and actually seems to have some fairly decent troubleshooting skills. I suspect that we will never be able to figure out where that damn noise is coming from. Most people can't even hear the noise that I'm talking about.

I can actually get some sleep now because I have figured out how to mask the noise. I tried using white noise, which didn't really help that much. I'm now using an application on my IPOD, which generates something called Brownian Noise, that's able to mask annoying low frequency sounds very well. I hook the IPOD up to my speaker dock and all is better. The IPOD app only costs $0.99. There's also a lite version that's free. If you're interested in the application just go to the Itunes store and do a search for White Noise (it's a lot more than just a white noise generator).

Being able to get a good nights sleep again, sure is nice.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

You also know you're an RT student when...

TCT doesn't stand for Total Christian Television anymore. It stands for Total Cycle Time.

You start thinking about really stupid things related to RT, instead of studying for your Ventilator test that you're going to be writing in a bit over two hours.

You think that drinking 4 cups of coffee before 6AM is a good idea.

You blog about completely random things, instead of studying for a Ventilator test that you're going to be writing in a bit over two hours.

You start giggling to yourself, for no good reason and think that's ok...

You know you're an RT Student when...

you sneeze all over a ventilator math problem, you've been working on, and immediately evaluate the colour and consistency of the snot that's now all over your paper.

Sleepy ventilator math

I'm learning a lot of the concepts and formulas that I need to know for the last Ventilator test of the semester. This is probably going to be the hardest test and the one I'm going to be least prepared for. The test is at 8am (it's about 4am here now).

The math isn't all that hard. I'm now literally learning how to do it while half asleep. It's a lot of variations on simple concepts, with simple math, that you can screw up pretty easily. I'm a bit concerned that being half asleep during the test might not work out so well on the test though, if there are some "thinkin questions".

Fortunately I'm not to stressed because I've done well on all of the previous tests, the midterm exam and still have the final exam to write.

I am feeling sleepy, very, very sleeeeepy.....

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

What I know about babies

I have a test in a couple hours on pediatric and neonatal airway disorders. At this point all I really know about babies is that they are like little adults with big heads and floppy necks. They also have pretty odd normal values for blood gases and vital signs.

I hope that the test has stuff about big heads and floppy necks. LOL...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bullet to the head delayed

I just spoke with the Superintendent. Her records show that the apartment has not been vacated. She did notice all of the notices posted on the door and also thinks that the unit may no longer be occupied. She didn't feel comfortable entering the unit, without giving the legally required 24 hours notice. She wants to talk to the property manager tomorrow and get some advice on how to proceed.

I'm still working on that stupid History paper. I'm having a lot of trouble actually caring about getting the damn thing done. Maybe I can hand it in on Tuesday. That's only 4 school days late.

I think I'll do some more studying for tomorrow's Patient Care Procedures test, instead of working on that damn History Paper.

Bullet to the head

I haven't had a decent nights sleep in weeks. Someone in my building has left on a fan, for several weeks, and it is driving me INSANE. It's taken a while, but I think that I have figured out where the fan is. There's a vacant unit a couple of floors above me that has a bunch of notices posted to the door. All of the notices are a few weeks old. I just called the Superintendant and asked her to go into the unit and see if someone has indeed left a fan on in that unit.

If she calls me back and tells me that there isn't a fan on in the unit, I'm going to start thinking about putting a bullet in my head.

If you never hear from me again, you know what happened.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Useless assignment

I'll be wasting a big part of today writing a History paper and I'm not happy about it. The History paper was due last Wednesday. What am I learning by writing a History paper?

I'm learning how to quickly bang out a crappy paper, that I don't care about, so that I can pass a course that I shouldn't have had to take in the first place.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Last midterm exam tomorrow

I write my last midterm exam tomorrow. It's for Pathophysiology. As usual, I won't get as much studying done as I would like. I just can't get very worked up about exams anymore. I always seem to do OK, even when I don't think I've studied enough.

SVN go boom

I was playing with a Small Volume Nebulizer in lab last week. I got distracted by something and turned the flow meter up to flush (wide open), instead of off. What do you think happens when you do that? It makes a really loud BOOM, and the SVN goes flying, that's what. I thought that was pretty damn funny.

Monday, March 09, 2009

A real Library

The Library at my school sucks. It's only open for 4 hours on Saturday and Sunday. It's really loud. People can get kind of rowdy and don't understand why a Library should be QUIET.

I found a Library that's about an hour away, by bus. It's open until 2AM on weekdays and midnight on weekends. It's quiet.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Another midterm exam

I wasted a lot of time studying for a History midterm exam, which I wrote on Tuesday. Now I'm feeling rushed, while studying for a Ventilators midterm exam that I have to write at 8AM.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tests and exam

I wrote a Patient Evaluation midterm exam yesterday and a Patient Care Procedures test on Monday. Yesterday, while writing my exam, I felt like I was writing a test that I didn't care about. Now I'm studying for a Pathophysiology test that I'll be writing at 8AM.

I'm still sick. I have things to do, so too bad.

Someone told me yesterday to go see a doctor. What's he going to do for my cold? Wave his magic stethoscope?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Crappy afternoon

I spent most of this afternoon in bed, sleeping and waiting for a sinus headache to go away. I'm sick again and not happy about it. It would have been nice if I could have studied for tomorrow's exam, this afternoon.

Panic not required

Today I realized that I have a History midterm exam, next week. The exam will cover class lectures and chapters 1, 2, 7, 9, 10 & 12 of the textbook. Holy crap I have to study 6 chapters of History! I was a bit freaked out, until I looked at the History textbook.

The textbook has a bookmark in it, a bookmark from when I was reading it during the Holidays. Oh yeah. I was reading that text during the Christmas break. I read chapters 1 through 12 over the holidays! I didn't realize that I read half of that damn book.

Panic not required. I have to do some studying, but nothing crazy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

2 tests and a midterm exam

I have 2 tests and a midterm exam next week. I'll be spending most of today studying.

Being sick during Reading Week, was a big waste of time. I was only able to do a bit of studying. I didn't work on any of my projects or assignments. I was mostly healthy by Wednesday of last week, then I went drinking on Friday. Now I'm sick again.

This semester's almost half over and I feel like it's just getting started.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Last needle stick

Today I get my last needle stick. I received the last dose of the Hepatitis B Vaccine, about 5 weeks ago. Today I'm going for blood work, that I can use to prove immunity to Hepatitis B. After I get the blood work back, I'm finished with my school immunization requirements.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Maybe I'm onto something here

My new way of studying might be working better than I thought. I got perfect on my last Ventilators test.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Family Day!

If you're not from around here. I'm not kidding. In my part of the land of ice and snow, it's a statutory holiday and everything. I think a weasel politician came up with the holiday in 2007 and that's OK. A holiday is a holiday and an extra holiday every year is a good thing.

February sucks, because it's cold. February sucks a bit less because of Family Day. I kind of wish I had a job, so that I could appreciate the holiday a bit more.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Last day before reading week

I have a cold that's sucking the life out of me. All I have to do is make it through 4 hours of lab today. After lab, I can go home and sleep for days if I want to. Next week is reading week, which means no classes, no labs and some time to get some assignments and homework out of the way.

Midterm exams happen in the two weeks after reading week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sick and tired

I'm sick and tired, literally. I've got a fairly respectable cold and it's making me tired and cranky. I'm treating my self with Actifed and way too much coffee.

You know you're a Student RT when: You cough up some nasty looking stuff, in the shower, and think, "Cool. It's red. It must have some blood in it. I wonder if that's actually sputum or just mucous."

Distracted studying

Last semester, I spent very little time studying in the Library at school. I found it too noisy and distracting in the Library common area. I would mostly study at home, where it was mostly quiet. If I did study in the Library, I would go to one of the "quiet rooms".

I recently started spending a lot of time studying in the school's Library, in the common area. I am shocked by how much studying I get done. If I study in the library, I usually end up sitting with people in my class or some "second years". All of the distractions, and periodic conversations, seem to be good for my studying. When I study at home, I usually study until my brain rebels and then I watch TV or something. If I study in the Library, for several hours, my brain doesn't really feel the need to rebel because it's being periodically entertained by conversation and other distractions that are going on in the Library.

I have another Ventilators test tomorrow. I stopped studying for that test at about 3PM, when I left the Library and went home. I might get up a bit early tomorrow, to do a quick review, but I'm pretty much ready for the test. I decided to go home because I had to get some laundry done. I had to resort to getting clothes out of the laundry hamper this morning because I've been spending too much time in the Library.

Mark for Vital Signs Competency

I have the mark for my vital signs competency. I was given a mark of 100%.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A better answer for "What is a Respiratory Therapist?"

In a previous post, I mentioned how I was planning to respond to the "What is a Respiratory Therapist?" question in the future. I've tried my "A Respiratory Therapist assesses and treats cardio-respiratory and associated disorders to maintain or restore breathing." explanation out a few times and things didn't go very well. It doesn't exactly roll off of the tongue and it sounds a bit too legalistic.

I was at the CRTO web site and ran across the following statement, that I'll try using from now on when I get the, "What is a Respiratory Therapist?" question.

"RTs are health care professionals who monitor, evaluate and treat individuals with respiratory and cardio-respiratory disorders." I could even dumb that one down to "RTs treat people with respiratory and cardio-respiratory disorders"

Friday, February 06, 2009

Vital signs competency (update)

The Vital Signs Competency seemed to go well. I was actually able to conduct a patient interview, and take vital signs, without looking like a fool.

I also had to pretend to be a patient for someone else, who was doing their competency. Pretending to be a patient, was actually harder than interviewing a patient and taking vital signs.

This competency was actually kind of fun. It wasn't super stressful, like the last one.

Vital Signs Competency

I have to do a competency today. I have to do a patient interview and then take vital signs. I have 10 minutes to complete the exercise. I find it difficult to see people breathing, when they're breathing normally, so I might have fun assessing my patients Respiratory Rate during the Competency.

If I fail the competency I get a second chance. If I fail during the second attempt, I put all of my textbooks in a pile and light a match.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Misuse may result in sickness or death

I really didn't feel like shaving yesterday. Then I remembered that I was supposed to be "mask fit tested" and had to be clean shaven. I've been fit tested for a 3M N95 8210 mask.

I find a lot of warning labels amusing. The 3M N95 8210 mask has a warning label which states, "Misuse may result in sickness or death". Maybe it's not that amusing. They think that some Health Care Professionals in Canada got SARS because they weren't using N95 masks properly. One of the students in my class had a relative who worked in a Toronto hospital. He was in the wrong waiting room, at the wrong time, and was infected with SARS.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Oops. Sorry.

Apparently, I talk too much in my Professional Responsibilities class. The class ends up taking longer because I ask too many questions and get a bit carried away with some discussions. "...Seriously, I felt like slitting my wrists today." was how it was explained to me.

Oops. Sorry. I'll try to be a bit more passive.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

If I was really smart

If I was really smart I would:
  1. Post a long list of really smart things to do.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I don't quite understand

I was pretty sure that I got a crap mark on my first Ventilators test. Somehow I pulled off an 83% on that one. I don't quite understand how that happened.

Shined my shoes

I had to shine my dress shoes this morning. It kind of pissed me off. It reminded me of getting ready to go to my old IT job.

I'm going to an RT conference today, so I have a really good excuse for not studying. Unfortunately, I had to shine my shoes. We're expected to dress business casual...

Friday, January 30, 2009

1.5 hours

I was helping a faculty member move some equipment from a lab to a class and we chatted about a few things. He mentioned that when he was in RT School, he only studied for about 1.5 hours a night. That comment actually pissed me off. I decided that he was either lying or freakishly smart. I do recall that he once mentioned something about having a photographic memory. Today he mentioned something about almost going back to school and getting a Doctorate. Everyone keeps on mentioning how smart he is. Maybe he is freakishly smart.

It's not fair! I wish I only had to study for 1.5hrs a day.

Skipping class

I had to miss a Pathophysiology class last week. Trying to actually learn the material from a missed class takes way to much effort. Going to a class is so much easier. I don't understand why some people miss so many classes. If you go to class, you learn more and have to study less. Why do people skip classes when they don't have to. I don't get it.

Someone gave me an audio recording of the missed lecture, which is a big help but not as good as actually being there. Going to class and listening to the lecture would have been so much easier.

It's the Professor's fault

Most people, including myself, think that they did poorly on the first Ventilators test. I didn't do very well because I didn't study smart and started studying too late. According too a bunch of fellow students, they did poorly on the test and it's the Professors fault.

I guess I'm lucky. I can improve how I study and do better. If I did poorly because it was the Professor's fault, I don't know what I would do. Maybe I would try incessant whining. Maybe that would help.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

No more disruptions

I had a Ventilators class today. Another class without any disruptions. I could get used to that. I think everyone actually showed up today. There was a test at the beginning of class. The people who are usually disruptive didn't say a word while the professor was lecturing. The guy who told me to fuck off on Monday was sitting in the back, all by himself, with nobody to talk to. I took a look at him, before the class started, and he looked a bit more stressed than he usually does before he writes a test.

The test didn't really have any surprises on it. Unfortunately, I was expected to regurgitate a bunch of "critical numbers" and that didn't go so well. That test wasn't worth much, so it's really no big deal as far as marks are concerned. I also now know what to expect from the Professor, who's teaching the Ventilators course. I really should have focused my study efforts on the review materials he provided us with, before the test. The review materials he provided are really good. Unfortunately, I only really focused on the review materials after I studied all of my other notes. Next time, I'm going to start by studying his review materials first.

Why did I get up at 3:30AM?

  1. I hate myself.
  2. Sleeping less makes me happy.
  3. Is there a better time to study for a Ventilator test?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I was in my Pathophysiology class today and noticed something odd. When the professor was talking, she was the only one talking. The guy who told me to fuck off on Monday didn't show up for class today and as a result wasn't disrupting the class. I was most pleased.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Disruptive students (update)

The disruptive students, that I mentioned in a previous post, had to go to a meeting today. A member of faculty, and the Program Coordinator for my program, will be talking to them about the situation.

I will wait and see. If those idiots don't cut the crap, I'm going to start lobbying for their removal from the program.

A good morning

I have a test at 12PM, for my Patient Evaluation course. I still need to do a lot of studying for that test. It's now 6AM. I have a History class at 8AM. I just logged in to the College's computer system and found out that my History class for today has been cancelled! I didn't think that a class cancellation could make me so happy. It's a good morning. More time to study!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Too angry to study

Boy, am I ever pissed off. I just sent this to one of my professors:

The disruptive behavior in today's Patient Care Procedures class, was fairly intolerable. People in the back row, just wouldn't stop talking while your lecture was in progress. As your lecture proceeded the volume of the disruptive conversation(s) grew louder and louder. I’m sure you noticed.

When the people in the back of the room started talking louder than you, while you were lecturing, I decided to turn around and ask people to stop talking. When I turned around, before I could even open my mouth, I was promptly told by Ahole to "Fuck off". The last time I said something about talking in class, to the very same people talking during today's lecture, Ahole told me that I should move to the other side of the classroom. Today’s unsuccessful attempt at reasoning with people, left me rather perturbed and contemplating a possible course of action that would most likely be frowned upon by the College. As a student, I don't really have any acceptable ways of stopping people from behaving in a disruptive, disrespectful and belligerent manner while in class. All I can do is encourage, and support, others in their attempts at doing something about the aforementioned unacceptable behavior.

I know that in the past, you have tried to tactfully and diplomatically address disruptive behavior in your classes. I do understand, and appreciate, the value of dealing with these types of situations tactfully and diplomatically. Often times a friendly reminder, of what constitutes acceptable classroom behavior, is all that is required. Unfortunately, at this point I think that a "friendly reminder" may not be enough. Reminding people of acceptable classroom behavior seems to be of limited value, when addressed to certain individuals.

I gave up a fairly successful career, so that I could go back to school and become a Respiratory Therapist. I am not at all inclined to tolerate anything, which makes it more difficult for me to pursue my academic and career aspirations.

RT Scribe

The secret of my success?

Last semester worked out quite well for me. I was mostly driven by fear and anxiety. Those two things are strangely lacking this semester. I'm writing a test today and I'm feeling pretty ho hum about it. Last semester I would have worked myself into a studying frenzy.

I sure hope that the fear and anxiety, that kept me going last semester, wasn't the secret of my success.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Talking to patients

When I did my job shadow last semester. I watched a Student RT suction the airway of a vent patient. The patient was a drug overdose and was completely out. He didn't react at all, when his airway was suctioned. Before, during and after the suctioning, she talked to the patient and explained everything that was going on. Watching her do that, left me wondering about when I should and shouldn't talk to patients.

Recently we've been learning some actual patient care procedures and the topic of talking, and explaining things to patients, has come up. We're being taught that you should always talk to your patients and explain things to them. You never know when they might be listening. Sometimes they're listening, even when you're sure they can't be.

Smoker discomfort

My class is divided into two groups for labs. My lab group has 12 people in it. A couple people in my lab group are smokers. They always seem kind of uncomfortable when smoking is a topic of discussion.

The RT who teaches us, in Patient Evaluation lab, is currently working in home care. She was telling us how sad it is to see people who quit smoking, quite a while ago, and are now suffering the health consequences of their smoking. They quit, like they were supposed to, but still had to pay the price several years later.


The attrition rate is 41% for my program. Only 59% of the students who started the program, in September 2006, actually graduated from the program.

All of the graduates wrote their registry exams at the beginning of this month. I hope that they all did well, on their exams, and will get to put RRT after their names in the next little while.

First 3 tests of semester 2

I have to write 3 tests next week. I have to write for Patient Evaluation, Patient Care Procedures and Ventilators I. I'll have to write a Pathophysiology test, the following week. I've taken courses with the Professors, that teach Patient Evaluation and Patient Care procedures, so I sort of know what to expect from them as far as their tests are concerned. The Ventilators test is going to be a bit of a mystery, until I actually sit down and write it.

Next week is the 4th week of the second semester and everything seems to be going well.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


The lab instructor told us, that if we finished early, he would show us how to do an Endotracheal Intubation and let us try. I think we're supposed to learn how to do Intubations next year. I learned how to do it yesterday and did one on a manequin. Three other people did it too. Everybody else left early!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A kid in bed

I was lying in bed with my head underneath the covers. I was as comfortable as a kid could be, in his bed. Then I started to hiccup. It was loud and it was scary and I couldn't stop it. My whole body was convulsing and the hiccups were loud. I was sure that everyone could hear me. Then I stopped breathing.

I could feel a liquid oozing out of my mouth and was wondering if some of that wasn't drool but something much worse, like blood. I still couldn't breath. I was just a kid. I knew that I was making a lot of noise and someone was going to come and help me. I wanted to knock some things off of my night stand, to make some more noise, but couldn't move.

To my great relief, I heard people running towards my room. Then they were in my room. I could sense people standing around my bed. Soon the covers would be lifted and they would help me. They didn't help me. They just stood there, waiting. Then I really started to panic. I tried to scream. I couldn't breath. I couldn't move. Then I woke up.

You know you're a Student RT when: You have nightmares about not being able to breath.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What can a Respiratory Therapist do?

I'm going to school, so that I can learn how to do 4 things. Can't I watch a video, or something, instead of going to school for 3 years?

According to the Respiratory Therapy Act of Ontario, a Respiratory Therapist can:
  1. Perform a prescribed procedure below the dermis.
  2. Intubate beyond the point in the nasal passages where they normally narrow or beyond the larynx.
  3. Suction beyond the point in the nasal passages where they normally narrow or beyond the larynx.
  4. Administer a substance by injection or inhalation.

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

What is a Respiratory Therapist? That's a question I've always had trouble answering. I've always tried to provide a simple and accurate answer to that question. I've always found that my attempts to answer that question, were quite lacking. Thanks to my Professional Responsibilities course, I now have a one sentence answer to that question.

"A Respiratory Therapist assesses and treats cardio-respiratory and associated disorders to maintain or restore breathing."

The above is just my rewording of the scope of practice definition found in Ontario's Respiratory Therapy Act, which states the following:

"The practice of respiratory therapy is the providing of oxygen therapy, cardio-respiratory equipment monitoring and the assessment and treatment of cardio-respiratory and associated disorders to maintain or restore ventilation."

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I now have painful bruising, on both arms, where I'm supposed to be able to palpate my brachial pulse. The more I practiced trying to find my brachial pulse, the harder it seemed to get and the harder I tried. Maybe all that trying, caused some swelling that made finding my brachial pulse harder. Maybe it really was getting harder and harder to find my brachial pulse. My lab instructor couldn't palpate my brachial pulse either.

I now wish that I would have picked up a blood pressure cuff, from the school Book Store, yesterday. The Book Store is closed today. People in lab were saying that if you used a cuff, and pumped it up a bit, it was easier to palpate the brachial pulse. I'll probably end up in a Pharmacy today, buying a cheap watch, and buy a cuff when I'm there.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Breath Damn it!

Today we had our first labs of the semester. In the Patient Care Procedures lab, we learned some more about suctioning and acquired some experience assembling and using the suctioning equipment. We had a contest to see who could put together, and set up, suctioning equipment the fastest. I won. I was able to do it in 32 seconds. I guess that taking apart all the equipment, and putting it back together, several times during the lab was worth doing.

In the Patient Evaluation lab, we learned how to take vital signs. Finding brachial pulses, in the upper arm, is freaking hard! I also had trouble measuring respiration rate, which is supposed to be easy. I actually started yelling at my partner to "Breath Damn it" because I couldn't even see her breathing. I almost tried to take a blood pressure. We played around with pulse oximeters and did things to make them give erroneous pulse and SpO2 values.

Last semester we all took to heart the fact that we shouldn't wear watches for infection control reasons. It's kind of hard to take a pulse, or determine someone's respiration rate, without a watch. Our Patient Evaluation lab instructor was kind of perturbed by the fact that only two people showed up wearing a watch. I mentioned the infection control thing to her and she was kind of amused by our collective stupidity. I guess the whole "you shouldn't wear a watch" thing is a bunch of bull....