Thursday, December 2, 2010


I wasn’t too sure about going to the PACU today. I’ve heard reports from other students that the PACU is pretty boring mostly because of the delay in getting any patients. However, I actually had a very positive experience today. Admittedly, the first hour and a half was slow. The charge nurse told me that I was welcome to study until patients started coming in from surgery. Fortunately, I came prepared with my books and notes from class. After a while I was finally assigned to a nurse for when patients started coming in. I lucked out and got a really good staff nurse who immediately started showing me around and asking me if I had any questions. She was able to explain to me the processes for assigning patients to nurses in the PACU. She also made sure that I was able to have something to do when patients came through like getting them hooked up to the monitors. She was careful to explain all of her charting as well. Our first patient was a port placement, so that wasn’t very tough. He was pretty much fully conscious when he got to us. The story he told us about his brain tumor was very touching. Basically it all happened in the last year and he had to quit work as a highly educated professional. It must be very difficult going through an illness like this. After about thirty minutes we accompanied him to his room and came back to the PACU. A while later our next patient came. This is where things started to become very interesting. He was an open heart surgery patient who had a history of drug abuse. Basically, he came in yelling and continued to yell the entire time I was there. He was calling for his “momma” and yelling that “it hurts, I’m gonna die!” Mind you he was 39 years old and the morphine we were giving him I’m sure wasn’t nearly as effective as what he took out on the streets. Still, he was kind of being a big baby about it. I suppose “Be quiet and suck it up” would not be a very good example of therapeutic communication. I have to admit, I like patients like this. It makes for an interesting day. Maybe I’ll change my mind once I become a real nurse.


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