Day 7 of my Acute Care Placement sees my Second Late shift on the Medical ward for my Facility. The staff are becoming more familiar as I work with nurses I have previously, the processes are beginning to become more streamlined as I continue to work with them, and even the Patients are beginning to become a little more familiar, as some of them are in for a long stay.
I am feeling more comfortable on the floor. I arrive early, just as I have always done, get myself sorted personally, grab a copy of the patient list, being identifying who is who and what has changed since my last shift, draw up my work table on the back of the sheet, note down the highlights of each patient like observations, medications and anything else that needs attention, then get ready for handover. I listen to the handover to pick up any new details that I don’t know, or isn’t clear in the chart, I listen for patterns in behaviours and observations, and I make more notes. I then get my patient allocation, which continues to be three with the addition of assisting the RN with her medications and cares, and helping any other staff out where possible. I am finally in my groove. I feel like if I could work within my scope as an EN, without the need to be shadowed constantly, I could comfortably look after three patients. Perhaps I will ask for more, though feel I am already unofficially doing it with the RN begin my shadow.
The patients are remembering who I am, and I them. I am identifying and acting upon their habits, behaviours, and trying to anticipate need vice reading to need. The patients feel comfortable with me as a Nurse and don’t see me so much as a student anymore. I have had my first rejection for care tonight however, a female client had a urinary bag attached to collect a sterile specimen, when she buzzed to have it checked and I arrived, she promptly asked for a female nurse. Now, it is completely her right to request any nurse she wishes, and I in no way took offence, but it was however notable. I find as a Six Foot Two male, that I have to be almost overtly kind and compassionate to compensate for my gender, height, and overall size. Most patients though, haven’t had a bother. I have performed two ECGs on females, inserted a catheter into a female patient, and the three patients I have been solely responsible for are all female. So on the whole, I feel that people are seeing me as a nurse, and not anything else, which is pleasing.
I did have a deep swallow moment today however. I have a patient who I cared for during my Aged Care Placement, they came in with lower limb cellulitis. On admission it was limited to the distal end of their left leg. Now it consumes most of their left leg and is beginning to develop on their right. This in its self was not the trigger for my deep swallow. What was the trigger, was the last time I saw something like this, was one week before my Nan passed. She had cellulitis in her lower legs, and was flow to Brisbane, she passed just over a week later. Now it wasn’t the cellulitis on its own that took her, there where a myriad of reasons behind that, but it did touch on a sore point, and I had to stop and compose myself before continuing on. Given the fact that nobody said anything, I am going to guess I got away with hiding it.
So for a reasonably quiet shift, it was a good reflective shift, it allowed me to look at my practice, my time management and my nursing cares. I am falling in love with this profession more and more every day, and am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be a part of it.
Maintain the Rage