I can't handle another crisis! My schedule is already full this week!" This is how many LVN students may feel sometimes. Well, no wander! Being in a fast-paced LVN program, like the one at Gurnick, can be tough. Our students have to juggle school, work, family, often with kids, and "dropping the ball" is not an option!
Nursing students are often overworked and overwhelmed with all their responsibilities: finishing homework for the Basic Pharmacology and Medsurg, as well as the second grade Science Project… Making sure, the kids are fed, and the dishes are done… Oh, forget the dishes!.. Squeezing in the parent-teacher conference between the clinicals, keeping up with the bills (or not!), yelling at the husband for not taking out the garbage, while dealing with the 5 loads of laundry accumulated over the finals week.
All that caffeine has the same effects on the body as adrenaline, naturally produced in response to acute stress. So, in addition to the adrenaline an LVN students' body would release around the exam times and during clinical assignments, the regular excess caffeine intakes put her in a chronic state somewhat similar to shock. No wander, she is jumpy and nervous. Anyone would be.
So, all that adrenaline, natural and artificial, plus all that sleep deprivation of studying until 3 AM, then getting up at 6 AM to study some more, rides the cortisol levels up. Now, that cortisol is a real beast! It has so many undesirable (to say the least) effects on the body! First, it brings down the immune defenses, making our student more prone to flu, colds, infections, acne, you name it. Like, you didn't have enough stress, now you are stressing over the zit on the morning of your cousin's wedding! Great! The same cortisol stimulates your insulin production, which packs all that sugar from your 24 oz Venti Americano into your fat cells, making you gain weight like there is no tomorrow. So you are getting pimples and you are getting fat. An average nursing student gains around 15 lb (or more) over the course of one year on the accelerated LVN Program.