Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lots of Fluid

I started the day today on a different floor. It was pretty easy to find my way around. I was surprised to find out that there was only one nurse on my wing. When I was on the other floor, there were two nurses on each wing. It does look, however, that there may be fewer rooms per wing on this floor. The nurse I was with today had five patients and was very busy. She did not seem all that interested in showing me the ropes or teaching me about the things she was working on so I was pretty much on my own. At this point in the semester I am not too worried about that, but it is always nice to have someone who knows and cares that you are here to learn. Having been a teacher in a past life, I am sure that I will naturally be able to grab a nursing student and have them learn from me in the future. (At least I hope so.)

My patient today went to radiology to have a paracentesis performed to remove fluid from his abdomen. He had had the procedure performed a few days earlier and the physician removed 4L. I was thinking that there was no way they would remove that much today, but sure enough, they drained another 4L. I cannot imagine carrying around that much extra fluid. That is two 2-liters of soda. I am pretty sure there was more to get as well, but the doctor only ordered 3-4 L of drainage. I was very fortunate that my patient is very nice and easy to talk to. Someday, I am sure that this will not be the case. He has pretty much let himself go during the last 20 or so years. He has not seen a doctor and has ignored major medical problems such as the skin ulcers on his calves. Either he has been very healthy up to this point in his life or he is just waiting for his problems to go away. I have seen many people who ignore health problems. Now that I am entering a healthcare profession I can really see what kinds of problems this causes in the future. Fortunately, my family is coming around to asking me about their health problems. I do not always have answers, but I can tell them that thy need to seek out professional advice. I can usually convince them that following up on health issues will prevent complications later on by telling them about some of the issues I have learned about in my training.

On the lighter side of things, our clinical paperwork has been reduced and I can rejoice. A little extra time studying theory class would certainly be helpful. I still have to prepare for patient care, but the extra work later in the week makes life not quit so daunting. This makes the fact that the end of the semester is not quit in sight yet not as bad.


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