November 19, 2008

One problem I'm going to have with being a nurse is that my other half can't stomach when I talk about clinicals.  He's always had a weak stomach and he's never been good with medical issues.  Unfortunately for him, my constitution has become strong enough that I sit down to eat and can talk about my day in graphic detail.  I never remember he can't deal with it until I see his face turn and he puts his fork down.  Oh well, I guess it's a habit I'll have to unlearn.

I think I'm almost over that bug that has had me sleeping for the last two weeks...and just in time too, seeing as my next test is Monday.  I better get a move on studying.

November 15, 2008

What we the students wish the nurses at clinical knew...

There's a great threat at about what nurses wish students at clinical knew, so I felt it was only fair that the nurses learn what we the students wished that they knew :)  After all, one does tend to forget what it's like when one was a student...anyhow, here it is: 

  • If this is our first clinical, we're terrified

  • If this is our last clinical...we're still terrified, but not as much

  • It's our instructor/school that decides what we can and can't do. Trust us: if we had our way, we'd jump at starting IVs and giving IMs and doing for you most of the other things our CI told us we can't do.

  • Our instructor has to be there when we do certain things, especially when we give meds. The problem is there's only one of her and 6/8/10 of us, and if she's with one of us, the rest are jockeying to see who gets her attention next. So we can't always do things as quickly as we--and you and the patient--would like. And we are as frustrated about it as you.

  • They teach us how to do things in school a certain way. You may not do things this way. Please don't get mad at us: until we're RNs, we've got to do things the school's way (though we'll probably file your technique away for later use)

  • We're nervous, so we're going to double (and triple) check things we're not certain about. This doesn't mean we don't believe/trust/know better than you. We don't believe/trust/know ourself.

  • If you can, let us watch you do things even if we can't do them. We want to learn! If you don't want us to pester you with questions while you're doing it, tell us before so we know not to.

  • When we're standing around, we're not always slacking off. OK, sometimes we are. And sometimes we've done all we can for our patients at the moment, and we are stuck waiting for something to come up. Though I will admit that, yes, we should remember to ask if you need help with things while we're doing that.

  • Tell us right away when we're doing something wrong, be it something with a patient or using someone's personal coffee creamer by accident. Otherwise we don't know and may keep making the same mistake.

  • We sometimes miss the call light if we're in another patient's room, and we don't answer the call bell phone at the desk because the floor secretary will kill us for touching it. But if she/you/anyone tells us to go to a room, we're on our way.

  • TELL US what you want/expect from us. I know that some things are obvious...but a lot are not, and we can't read minds.

  • Some of us are just as bad as you've complained. We can't deny that. But we do want to say that most of us aren't like that

  • For those of you who couldn't be bothered with us, we're sorry our presence bothers you. We're there because our school assigned us to this site. Don't worry, we'll be gone in a few weeks.

  • And to those who, though we may annoy you at times, do their best to be patient with us, and teach us whatever you can however you can...thank you. We may forget to say it, but you are doing more for us than you realize, and we're grateful for it.

Wow, long time no type

Last post here:  nearly a year ago.
What's changed since then:  lots.

For starters, in clinical I feel like it's all coming together.  I go in feeling like I'm a soon-to-be nurse, not just a glorified CNA.  The nurses are more receptive to us, instead of being annoyed at our presence.  I feel more comfortable talking to the patients, doing assessments and providing care.  I know more about performing assessments than I did when I started, though assessments are still my weak spot.    I read the chart or hear report, I assess the patient, and I've begun putting 2 and 2 together:  so that's why the blood pressure is low.... So that's what I'm expecting to see....  It's really an exhilarating feeling.  I've been looking forward to clinical now, whereas at the beginning of nursing school, clinicals were just something that had to be gotten over with.

Lecture has become easier.  Or I've learned to study better.  Probably a bit of both.  I still do fairly well, though it's been hard to get motivated:  a combination of burn-out, an illness of unknown etiology that had me sleeping for most of the last two weeks, and the most dangerous of all:  over-confidence (and that I should know better about!).

The class has gained and lost some members.  The three we gained early last fall are all gone; of the five gained over the summer, four remain.  Six original class members have also left (one for personal reasons).  The last class took three out in one blow.

It's hard to be graduation is only a few months away.  A year ago, graduation was a day so far in the distance I couldn't even begin to think about it since it felt like I'd never get there.  Last week as I was registering for classes, it hit me that I was registering for my final semester of nursing school.  In May 2009, it'll all be over.  All of the hard work, all of the torment, all of the stress:  it will all be over and done.

And I think I'm going to miss it.