Homework hadn't quite gone to the killer level yet, and I got my first patient to care for independently in clinical. He turned out to be a really nice guy, and since I wasn't giving any medications yet, the workload was light. I ended up helping my nurse out a lot, and the nurse spent time teaching me about different things on the ward, and showing me different procedures.
Some of my favourite moments this week:
Taming the Sheet Monster
There was a patient loudly crying in a room. The LPN said, "Wow, it's been a long time since I've heard that around here." Unfortunately, he was on his way to do something so he had to hurry off. I didn't see anyone else around to intervene and there were no contact precautions on the room door, so I walked in to see what was wrong.
The patient was tossing and turning and crying about how she was uncomfortable. She seemed to be all tangled up in her sheets. I know how much that bothers ME, so I talked soothingly to her and set about fixing her sheets up. I think she was feeling tired, stressed out, and uncomfortable, and the tangled sheets just tipped her scale. Anyhow, after I fixed her up, she seemed to settle down. I put her call bell in her hand and told her to call if she needed someone.
You're Not Alone
After I said good bye to my patient, I heard another patient moaning/sobbing in her bed. I walked over to check what was going on, and found her very distressed. She told me that she was all alone, and that she was frightened. I explained to her that she was not all alone - there were three other patients in the room with her. I pointed them out to her, and reminded her that there were also many nurses bustling about just outside her room. "I can't see them though!" she said.
I realized that her eyesight must be poor even with her glasses, and that the dimmed room made it impossible for her to see the other patients. I told her about how it was quiet time in the hospital, and how the lights had been dimmed so that patients could take a nap, watch some TV, and relax quietly. They were all still there around her, they were just sleeping. "Just because you can't see them," I said, "doesn't mean that they're not there. There are people all around you. You're not alone."
All the soothing talk seemed to make her feel better. She thanked me and I tucked her into bed. I suggested that she take a nap too, and she agreed that it was a good idea. I adjusted her call bell so that she could hold it in her hand. "Push the button if you feel scared, " I told her, "and someone will come here to check on you. The nurses are just outside your door." She smiled, and I felt good inside. It hadn't been a very hard task, but I think it was important.
Why I Do This
That sort of sums up the gist of what the past week has been like. It was a very good start to the semester, and I am looking forward to the rest of it. I was worried that I would fail and that the learning curve would kill me, but these experiences have reminded me about why I am going through all this trouble. I know that I have the ability to help people even if I don't feel confident about my skills yet.
Also, I am starting to really like my teacher. She is so darn polite! I could really learn a thing or two from her in the manners department. I think she could tip-toe around most uncomfortable topics without offending anyone and still get her point clearly across. She's also very knowledgeable.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!