Thursday, June 20, 2013

Semester Break Time!

Okay, so I've been extremely delinquent when it comes to blogging about nursing school.  I basically skipped a whole clinical rotation.  Oops.
Public Health Nursing

For CPE IV I worked at two public health units.
The nurses there do a number of different tasks including giving immunizations (shots), helping new parents with breastfeeding and adjusting to new parenthood, teaching breastfeeding skills, and teaching the public about different health topics related to preventing disease and improving health.
Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to actually give any immunizations and do most of the other public health tasks.  I almost went crazy with boredom and inactivity.  I really, really wanted to do something.
In the end, I spent a lot of time talking with families and helping to distract the children while they got their immunizations.
I learned a few tricks from nurses like cheering and praising the babies right after the shot- they think something good is happening; or telling the children that you know they can handle this and that they are brave before getting their shot.  They handle the shot better and curiously live up to your expectations.  Then you praise them for being so brave and continue to heap on the positivity.

We also taught health lessons at elementary schools, helped organize activities for a community health fair, visited various community organizations, and helped out at community healthy baby outreach programs.
I liked all the outside activities, but I didn't particularly love the office activities.  I got tired of observing the same things over and over again and not being able to actually do what I was observing.  So, public health nursing doesn't rate highly in my list of potential areas to go into right now.  I love that they work fairly regular office hours, but I miss the fast-paced hospital environment where things are constantly changing and there is no shortage of things I can help out with.  One day, I might bite my tongue and sing a different tune, but for now I think I like acute care more.
Starting Work

I started working as an employed student nurse!  It was an exciting few days for me.  The first day I mostly shadowed my buddy-shift nurse and helped her with her work.  The second day I got to have my own patient to care for.  It was fantastic!

There were medicines to administer, baths to give, patients to talk to, charts to read, notes to write... yes, I had missed acute care.  Which I think is crazy because the environment is so busy and some other nurses avoid it like the plague.  Fortunately for me, it is just perfect  :)

I worked two 12-hour day shifts and then one 12-hour night shift.
Night Shift

My first night shift was great!  I thought I would be so tired and that it would be terrible, but it wasn't bad at all.  I was paired up with a fantastic nurse and she was so good at explaining things to me and making sure I knew what to expect.

I also got to take a long nap during my break.  It was perfect timing because I was starting to feel tired then.  After the nap, I was fresh and ready to go again.
No Horror Movie

Night shift is different than I expected.  I thought it would be like those horror movies with dark hallways and flickering lights, but it was brightly lit most of the time with only bedside lights turned off.  There are less medicines to give, no baths... a lot of the usual tasks were bunched at the beginning of my shift and then everyone went to sleep.

I spent my time checking on patients, taking the occasion patient to the bathroom, writing in the chart, checking doctor orders against the medication schedules for the next day, preparing things for the day shift, and caring for any patients that couldn't fall asleep.
I was surprised at how easy it was to stay up all night in this way.  An unfortunate side effect is that I find myself awake late at night.  It is lucky that I am on a semester break right now since I can sleep in.
Hm... this is a very odd bear.

Anyhow, I am going to book some work for next week, but I'm going to enjoy a few days off.  Time to relax, do some art work, and just goof off.
Have a wonderful week!
  My Nursing School Diary


Mrs. Lydon said...

I just applied to nursing school to get my RN and continue on to become a nurse midwife. I was looking for blogs on nursing school and came across yours. I am all read up to date and cant wait for an update :) said...

Thanks, Mrs. Lydon. I appreciate that you stopped by and told me that. I sometimes wonder if anyone is actually reading these posts so it's nice to hear that someone is able to benefit from them :)