Day 10 of my Acute Care Placement and my first day on the Surgical Ward. After a wonderful, if not busy 8 days in Medical (Days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9), I and the rest of the Students, have been rotated to different Wards. It was also my first experience of a Late-to-Early swing, finishing at 2300 the night before and starting again at 0700. I am not going to lie, I was a little rough around the edges this morning and could have very easily gone back to bed. But, I persevered, arrived early and eager to do my best.
Handover was much the same as it is in Medical, except there are nearly twice as many patients, and thankfully twice as many staff. The turn around times are significantly shorter and the focus is less on diagnostics and treatment, and more on preparation and recovery, which was to be expected. There where all sorts of post operative patients, abdominoplasties, laparoscopic cholecystectomies, joint replacements, wound debridement and management. So many varied procedures, and subsequently varied post operative cares. The medication rounds tended to be easier, with most people being on analgesia and maybe a couple of medications from home, as apposed to medical which wasn’t unusual to see 15-20 medications for a single patient.
The wound care, however, more than makes up for it. Every single patient has some varying form of wound, from a couple of small openings from a laparoscopic procedure, to a long incision and wound from an abdominoplasty. Wound care is fascinating. Time consuming, but fascinating. I have aways loved wounds, their treatment, what can go wrong, the ways to remedy a deteriorating wound, it is all interesting and different. Most of the wound are fairly simple, a clean and new dressing every couple of days, and they are fine. Then there are the chronic wounds, skin grafts, and dehisced wounds. They are not so simple. I enjoy learning more and more about wounds and post operative care. Today was a really great insight into a ward that can at time be chaotic and task orientated.
Nursing is never dull. Ask any nurse and they will tell you there is always something that pops up that you just can’t help but laugh and smile. Today I had a patient come out of their room, and quietly say she had a problem, several nurses who were standing close by all turned around as I asked what was wrong, their analytical minds already turning over in anticipation. They then, very bashfully, say I have lost my knickers out the window, can somebody help me. Professionally we all share in the chuckle and I go out the front of the facility to retrieve the patients undergarments. Thankfully their window was open so I could return them to the patient without having to carry them through the ward, for everyone to see. Never a dull moment.
I am thankful for a quieter day today, both because I am on a new ward, and because I was exceptionally tired. I am looking forward to the next seven days I have in surgical and the lessons I will learn.
Maintain the Rage