About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Saturday, March 14, 2009


This week was mind numbing, to say the least... to the point that I can't believe it's already been a whole week since last weekend.

Monday we worked the PM shift on the unit from 1400 - 2200. It was probably the best one so far. We each had our own patient assignment and were responsible to handle all of their hygiene and repositioning. My clinical instructor winked at me when I was reading the assignment sheet, saying I'd 'have fun' with my new patient. I didn't know what to think!

So I sat down and read his chart, and he's basically an elderly Scottish guy who's got a case of old-age-itis and had a variety of problems catch up with him to land him on my unit. His chart was scary to me. Pressure ulcer on sacrum, fully dependent, NG tube, lived alone, no family. I had a picture in my mind of an angry, aging Groundskeeper Willie, who yelled at everyone who came to help with peri-care.

[Photo Credit]

Picture my surprise when I peek around the door and I see the tiniest little man lost in a huge air bed, peeking out from beneath 3 blankets.

"Hi, my name is UgRN, and I'll be you're student nurse today, Mr. M!"

He said something very quietly.

"Sorry, Mr. M, what was that?" I leaned in.

He chuckled a little and said "I sez, 'why, halloooo, lass'! They keep sendin' me the pretty young nurses. I haven't had so much attention from the ladies since I was in uniform! Or the men, either, for that matter."

So set the tone for the entire shift.

You may remember that I spent a memorable 6 months gallivanting around Scotland with my backpack, a few pounds in change, and a job working for a coastal horse trekking outfit. So my patient and I had plenty to reminisce about. He's an Edinburgh man and I didn't spend nearly enough time there but I did remember the long ardurous hike from High Street, down to Holyrood, and then over to Princes Street. I also remember how crazy packed the streets were (I kept hitting people with my overstuffed backpack) and how I couldn't afford anything :) But I did buy a tartan Christmas ball.

It was kind of funny, really, how we all seemed to congregate at Mr. M's bed when there was nothing else to do. He kept us in stitches all night. He was a total saint, too, when we were experimenting with proper peri-care for a fully dependent man with an indwelling catheter. It turned out that out of all of us, the one person who did not have a chance to practice peri-care was the only male in our clinical group. So we voted him to be the one to do it. There were 6 of us with nothing to do so we made ourselves "useful" by fetching pillows and offering, uh, "helpful" instructions to our poor classmate who didn't know if he was coming or going. We rolled Mr. M back and forth all over creation and he swiped good naturedly at us, saying "Hey! Don't pull on my FAMILY CREST! There's not much there as it is, you know! You lady nurses are always so rough with it but this man here is ever so gentle." OMG, I was in tears, I was laughing so hard.

A little later I was reflecting that I had a completely wrong impression of him from his chart. He wasn't a scary recluse at all! And how different it must be for him to come from living indepedently with hardly any social interaction at all, to coming into the unit totally bedfast and charming everyone to where his bed was the local muster point.

Anyway. It was a great shift. We also got to watch the nurses swab for MRSA/VRE and then put the swabs in the vacuum tube and shoot it over the the lab. Fricken SWEET!

Yesterday we learned (finally) how to do blood pressures. Man, I can't find a brachial pulse to save my life. I was poking my partner's arms all over the place until our lab instructor whizzed over, touched her lightly on the inner elbow, and said "Here".

We had the coolest stethoscope ever. It's a teaching stethoscope with one chest piece and two earpieces! So she found the brachial pulse and set it all up, and I could finally hear what I was listening for. So we did about 800 BPs on each other until our fingers were tingly from lack of perfusion. My BP was, like, really low. 90/60 or somesuch when the instructor was doing it. She asked me if I was fit - not really! But I guess that explains why I see stars all the time when I stand up.

Anyway, my bus is coming soon so I will complete this when I get home from work. Tsk, blogging at work!


Drofen said...

Sounds like a really fun clinical day! :)

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Thanks for your thoughts :)