So, I've actually been in class for two weeks now. I'm just getting back to my blog. I've studied more in the last two weeks than ever. It's going to be a crazy ride, but I LIKE IT! Here is my journal entry from today's clinical. Today was the first day to actually take care of patients for this semester. I think you'll find it interesting...
Day one – check. I had most of my pre-clinical work complete, but I was still a little insecure about the quality of the work I had done. Yesterday, I had to use another student’s log on information in order to access my patients chart. I felt rushed because I didn’t want her to have to wait for me too long. I was able to get the basics and went home hoping for the best. I could have been a little more thorough, but I suppose it was enough to get me started. I was very glad that when I got to clinical this morning, my instructor had my log on information for me. Monday will be a lot better now that I’ll be able to spend as much time with my patients chart as I need.
As always, I was a little nervous about going up to the floor today. However, I do think I am getting a little more comfortable “going to work” in the hospital setting. I’m not a total newbie. Because the students are pretty much assigned to different wings on the floor, I am pretty much on my own. That’s a good thing. It forces me to take the initiative in finding help and getting things done. I was able to get report from the staff nurse and I even gave her some information on labs and an endoscopic procedure that had been done the day before. I’m really surprised that she didn’t seem to know about the endoscopy. I was about to check out my patients chart and look for new meds and orders when a code was announced at the other end of the hall; thus started the exciting part of my day. Along with the other students, I went over to check out what was going on. I was really surprised at the organization and cooperation that was going on in a room filled with about 10 people. The nurses were giving chest compressions, calling physicians, calling family members, charting, giving meds. All of this seemed like a carefully timed act. I was standing out of the way watching when one of the nurses asked if there were any student nurses around. My immediate thought was, “Hey, I’m a student nurse….” I walked up to the door and was asked if I wanted to do compressions. “…..SURE!” I gloved up and made my way to the other side of the bed and started. The adrenaline was really pumping. All I could think was to give the compressions at the right speed and force. After a while some of the other students came in and we rotated for another 15 or 20 minutes. Then, it was all over. The physician called the time of death. Afterword there was a huge let down. The other students were visibly upset after the family arrived. I didn’t really feel sad or upset when I went back to work with my patient. It was just something that happens sometimes even when you do everything that you can to help. Tonight when I was able to sit and go over my experience with my wife is when I really felt something. I could feel the emotions begin to well up. The loss of a life, even if it is a complete stranger, is a very difficult thing to observe. I suppose my reaction can be a good sign that I can hold it together when I’m on the job when I need to be professional and giving support to patients and their families. However, I can see how this sort of thing could really be a heavy weight to deal with if you see it on a regular basis.
The rest of the day was pretty slow. :) I am going to review some assessment material this weekend so that I’ll feel more prepared next week. I do NOT feel prepared right now. It’s going to be a long weekend….