Ah, April. How I haven’t missed you. In fact, now that you’re here, my stress level has gone up about twelve notches.
Actually, I love April. With April comes rain, walks, warmer weather, green grass, etcetera. However, this April not only brings all of those, but many other things:
- Big papers due
- Clinicals wrap-up (I still need to have an OB in order to complete my Mom and Baby case study.)
- A possible second river crest . . .
- Good Friday and Easter prepping (Great joys, both, but still something to add to the list of things going on.)
- HESI on Good Friday
- Getting ready for finals on May 9
- Figuring out shifts to work with the nurse at my approved Preceptorship site
I’m not here to complain. Really. Everything’s going pretty well; grades are getting better (not that I was failing). I feel like I’m actually learning things. It’s good to be reminded.
Last week at clinicals, my first patient was discharged before my second shift. As happy as I was for the patient being able to leave, I wasn’t quite looking forward to filling everything out for another patient. I know that sounds horrible, and I know that as a nurse, I’ll have much more than one patient, but you have to understand. With each patient (especially geriatrics and/or those patients who have a serious condition) comes lots of medications and labs. And with medications comes hour(s) of filling up pages of reasons the meds may be prescribed, side effects (especially emphasizing those that could be fatal), nursing implications, and IV rates for IV meds. Labs are a slightly different story. Our instructor wants us to tell her what the normals are, why the patient’s levels may be abnormal, not to mention why they might be normal. Thing is, the hardest thing about them is the setting up tables and all that
business. I’m severely limited in what I can and cannot do well on the computer side of things. I’d much rather write things out longhand, but our instructor requires that we type assignments up for her.
This last week brought on the very last of the five assigned med/surg case studies. I’m over half-way done with it, and I can’t wait till it’s out of the way. All of those pages on one person was rather amazing, and nursing diagnoses became easier until the new instructor gave us a different way to do them.
On Thursday, because my first patient had been discharged, I was assigned a new patient that was admitted for some observation. I didn’t mind it at all, and watched as the aide walked him into his room for the first time. She told him that besides his primary nurse, he would have a student nurse. Was he alright with that?
Long pause . . .
“You don’t have to say yes. She’ll completely understand if you’re uncomfortable with that.”
Longer pause with torn facial expression . . . “Is that her right there at the door?”
“Yes, that’s her. She’s very nice.”
“She looks mighty young. Do you think she’ll kill me by accident?”
The aide coughed on a laugh. “I think that in some ways, I’m more likely to. She knows more than her age indicates.”
I was getting mildly uncomfortable. As I was right there – within good hearing, it wasn’t just the fact that I was being talked about in the third person that made me feel a bit squirrely. Would I kill him?! Oh my. Maybe I would. I began to doubt myself wholly. I glanced at his orders, meds, treatments, etcetera. Maybe I wouldn’t . . . Well, good heavens, I sure hoped not. He was mostly independent, and didn’t require too much help. That fact made reassured me. And did I really look that young? Maybe I needed to draw some wrinkles on my face somehow . . .
“Alright, Red. Come on in. You look decent.”
As we talked, I assured him that I wasn’t licensed yet, and completely understood his hesitation. After finding out my age, he exclaimed loudly and declared various words not appropriate for this blog. I can’t say I blamed him. I’d probably freak out if one of my classmates walked in to take care of me.
“So. You’re not a nurse yet. None of you blue folks are.”
“Well. That’s pretty scary. Probably more so for you than for me.”
“Oh, I’m not so sure about that, but I can tell you that it gets pretty overwhelming sometimes.”
” . . . None of you are nurses yet.”
My teacher swept into the room and walked over to him. “No, but soon they shall be. They’re marvelous.”
I’d forgotten how much encouragement helps.
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And to celebrate April, here are some pictures of the flooding in town.