Day 2 of my Acute Care placement saw me finally hit floor, after a brief 2 hour induction into ward routines, paperwork and documentation. The induction was good as it gave us all an understanding of the different paperwork and documentation requirements of this facility. The Medical ward, in which I am completing my first 8 shifts, was in a little bit of chaos as it was combined with the Surgical ward until early this morning, at which point all of the patients where returned to the Medical ward, with little to no handover and several new admits.
The induction was detailed and informative, it alleviated some of the tension and answered some unknowns. It was good to cover the different paperwork and have a chance to talk to the Registered Nurse (RN) about what it all actually meant, and to be able to see what the expectation was before hitting the floor. We covered off on Ward layouts, handovers, abbreviations, medications, conducted a simulated spirometry and discussed the expectation of managing our tool books and work hours. It was a informative and well structured morning, finished off with a spot of morning tea and a coffee, I felt good when I was introduced to the staff I would be working with for the day.
The ward staff where great, professional, well read, and hard working. The Wardsman had just completed his Assistant In Nursing (AIN) training and was filling that role for the day, which was a great help. The RN on duty for the Medical Ward was actually the Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) and her only offsider was one EN. This was going to make life interesting. I managed to sneak in an early Subcutaneous Injection while I still had the preceptor, and an insulin injection when the RN was available. Without the RN readily available doing any Medication Rounds was going to be difficult.
I assisted with cares, made beds, organised files, wrote notes, saw to patients needs, and generally completed the caring side of the nursing job. I had the opportunity to witness a Fleet Enema, preparation for surgery, completed a series of observations and shared a laugh with several of the patients as I went about my business.
I initially felt anxious as I arrived in the morning, by morning tea I was beginning to calm down as I had more information to go off, but lunchtime I was firing on all cylinders, but felt like I was driving around with the handbrake on as I didn’t have the supervision I needed to complete the tasks that I have been trained to do, and by the time I finished my shift I was ready to leave, debrief, reflect on practices and get ready for another day tomorrow.
I know days like today will happen, I know that staffing in Nursing isn’t always perfect, I know that sometimes I will be the only one available to do the job. But today didn’t need to be that day. I am not registered, I am not qualified and I don’t have the Scope to be able to do the things I know needed to be done. Hopefully tomorrow we will have the staff to be able to take the handbrake off and kick some goals.
Looking forward to another day tomorrow, Maintain the Rage,