Day one on the floor ended up being a really great learning experience. We missed morning report due to some computer training that ended up being postponed until next week. After listening to a couple of paper presentations we were taken up to our respective floors to get paired up with an RN. I was placed on the progressive care unit with a relatively new nurse. I can say that being paired with a nurse recently out of school ended up being one of the best days I’ve had in a year and a half of clinical. She was able to really remember what it was like being a student. She explained everything to me and let me do lots of stuff during the day.
I was allowed to do trach care, IM’s, IVPB’s, peg tube meds, condom cath, and last but certainly not least…leech therapy. Yep, you read correctly; L-E-E-C-H Therapy. Until Tuesday, I thought that the last time leeches were in use was back in the 1400’s. Apparently, leeches are still used occasionally today as a therapy for wounds with buildup of venous blood and wounds that are not perfusing properly.
Amazingly, the leeches have anticoagulant and anesthetic properties in their saliva. I had no idea! They are a little squirmy, but once you get them out of the bottle, you just place them on the wound and let them suck 15 - 20 minutes and they fall off on their own once they are full. Funny….the Rx says “Apply three leeches to wound for 15 minutes q2h”. Hee, hee! You won’t see that very often.
All of the RN’s were extremely helpful and even let me get a taste of the charting they had to do. With all of the paperwork (computer and hardcopy) they have to do, it’s a wonder patients get taken care of at all. I was allowed to get the initial information directly from a new patient, enter it into the computer, chart the plan of care and get her checked into our floor. I got to see a patient who was posturing. I’ve only seen that in the text books so far.
In addition to the skills I was able to take part in; I was able to talk one-on-one with my instructor about my head to toe assessment. That is always something I get nervous about. I am always forgetting something. She was very thorough and had lots of tips for how I could improve my efficiency. For the first time, I am actually looking forward to the next time I get to give a head to toe assessment next week.
Hopefully next week will go as well as this week.