Day 9 of my Acute Care Placement, my last night on the Medical Ward, and what a night. The night started much the same as any other, we had enough staff, we were in control, everything was running OK. Then an overflow surgical admission hit our floor, and a new medical admission, then the Theatre was ready for their new patient, and a patient was hypertensive with no action helping, Doctors came and went with their new orders, and the night somehow… vanished.
I arrived to the facility early, as I always do, looked over the patient list, had an informal chat with one of the other Nurses, caught up with the AM Student on the Medical Ward and awaited handover. Handover went well, nothing spectacularly out of the ordinary, most of the patients were the same and stable. Medication rounds, observations and the start of the evening ran smoothly. We went to dinner. Then everything changed. With what seemed like a small increase in workload, the ward slipped into a madhouse. Instead of the cool, calm and collected Nurses I had been working with, we were all now flat out and juggling patients, medications, admissions and transport. Which wouldn’t normally be a problem, but when so many tasks have to be completed by an RN and you only have one, things get busy. So the EN and myself set out to be as useful as physically possible. There were no longer assigned patients, just cares that needed to be attended.
The most frustrating thing about the whole ordeal, was my limited scope of practice. I could see what needed to be done, I relayed them to my RN and EN counterparts, and I could do none of it without the RN. So I did what I could. I took the observations, I moved, rolled, assisted, changed, wiped, and emptied everything I could to take the burden off the other two. We worked well.
Overall the night may have been chaotic, and busy and non stop, but I loved it. It was exhilarating to see this well oiled machine of a hospital get into gear and just do. It is uplifting to know that I can do this Nursing thing, when I have the scope to do it. It is great to hear praises and thanks and well wishes from the other nurses on my effort, ability and future.
I am happy to be called a Nurse, and even happier to serve as one
Maintain the Rage