It’s the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I am really looking forward to my day off. I came in this morning and got report on several patients and was able to pick out two that seemed like they would be good candidates for a student nurse. Patient number one – elderly woman admitted last evening for TIA’s. Patient number two – middle aged Hispanic man admitted last week for abdominal pain and is one day post-op for cholecystectomy. Patient number one had a ton of meds and I forgot my blank med sheets today. Great! Patient number two only had one IVP so I was saved. I was able to administer a couple of early meds to my first patients before she was wheeled off for testing, never to be seen or heard from again (until right before I finished my shift.) While she was away I was able to catch up on her meds for when she returned. That was a blessing; unfortunately, I was never able to administer them to her. I was ready though. My other patient was pretty easy to take care of. I was able to help him walk around the unit once and assisted him to pee three times. That was the extent of my day. While I am sure that helping patients pee is noble in and of itself, it does make for a rather long day when there isn’t much else going on.
I did try to help the guy that was blind and deaf. That’s a sitcom waiting to happen. During report the staff nurse and I were told that he could write on your hand to communicate and that if needed an interpreter could be called. I heard his IV alarm going off and went in to check on it. It looked like he was trying to ask for some help so I let him know I was there by touching his arm. He took my hand and proceeded to write “PRXHG===HATYlQ” (at least that’s what I was able to make out). It is quite possible that I could use some training in tactile spelling. I called the tech in and she was able to make out that he wanted a bath even though he had had one the evening before (so she said).
Later that morning, one of the other staff nurses on my wing said that she had some IV changes later and that I was welcome to do them with her if I wanted. I of course said yes, but ultimately they were done after I had to leave. Also, the “flu shot lady” came around giving vaccines to staff that needed them. The nurse I was with today needed one. I promptly asked if I could give it to her and she promptly declined. She said it wasn’t anything personal, but I’m pretty sure it was.