Day 8 of my Acute Care Placement, and I’m still on the Medical Ward, though not for much longer. Today was one of those days where I should have gone back to bed and rolled out of the other side. I had to try hard to focus, and if I didn’t, I would forget what I was doing and miss a step. Today was also one of those shifts where you walk on the ward to almost chaos, staff are blurs, voices can be heard from everywhere and the paperwork is still sitting in the nurses station. I should have taken that as a hint that it was going to be an interesting shift. I did not.
Off shift, I noticed that I was having a bad memory and focus day when I would start chores and leave them half done, enter a room and forget why I was there, and when I had to check three times when I had to be on shift, when I have had the same start time all week. I tried to Caffeinate Up and push through, but that was only a stop gap measure. I was going to have to focus today. Thankfully, by the time my shift started I was ok, I forgot some minor things, nothing medication or cares related thankfully, but little things like forgetting to come back with that bottle of water, or not finishing a sentence. The end of my shift, however, I did let my mind wander again and I wrote the notes for a patient, in another patients chart… to my defence, they had the same last name, approximate age and file size, however it was a large enough mistake for me to forcibly switch back on and refocus.
Today was my first shift with four patients, and the RN only watching over me, without prompts or assistance. It went well, I felt like I was in control through the shift, I was still able to assist the EN with her load when she asked for it, or attend her patients calls when she was busy. I felt accomplished. The RN seemed to be pleased, and when I asked how I was doing she simply stated You’ll be fine, you are knowledgable, kind and personable. A good little boost for the middle of the shift.
The shift its self seems to dissolve away just as quickly as 2017 is seeming to be doing. We started at 1430 with handover, had a Ward Meeting at 1500, then hit the floor, before I know it, it was 1800. I had completed all the medications, observations, cares and what not that I was required, all the patients were happy, but time just trickled through my fingers. Additionally, every task on the shift seemed to take longer than anticipated. A simple assist to the bathroom becomes a 30 minutes evolution when the requests begin, and additional little tasks the patient has saved up for your next visit. However, the shift went well, everything was attended as appropriate, I handed over the patients I had at the end of my shift, with some additions from the RN on matters of Blood Results and other information handed over to her that I was unaware of.
I look forward to my last shift on the Medical Ward tomorrow, it will be sad to leave the patients I have come to know, and I will miss seeing their progress and eventual discharge. However, I will still receive news from my student friends who are rotating with me from other wards. So that is comforting.
Until tomorrow, Maintain the Rage