Day 12


Day 12 of my Acute Care Placement and my return to Surgical Ward. After a wonderful, if not busy 8 days in Medical (Days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9). Today saw me be assigned a patient to be responsible for, a new admit, and a  support role for the RN on the ward. It was listed to be a busy day, with the return of an Orthopaedic Surgeon and a two patient wait list on top of the other admissions planned for the day.

Firstly, the patient I was assigned. I was looking forward to it. I paid attention to the intricacies in handover, I checked the chart to ensure there wasn’t anything I missed, planned out medications, the works. As I was sussing out my admit who was due in a little later in the day, the Doctors completed their rounds. I returned to my patient to see if they needed anything, take some observations and generally care for the patient. To find she was being unexpectedly discharged. Which threw my entire plan out the window. Instead, I organised an outpatients appointment, sorted her paperwork and that was it. Done and dusted by a little after 1000. Reminds me of an old Navy saying, remain flexible.

My admit, my first solo for surgical, arrived at around 1200, for a 1400 operation. I bought them in, went through the paperwork, weighed, observed, measured and prepped the patient. I thought I was doing really well. I had my paperwork checked by the RN who pointed out some minor things I missed and felt really chuffed. Till I saw how long it took. Just under an hour. In school I thought I was doing pretty well, my practice admits where down to under 20 minutes. I put it down to several things;

  1. Real patients don’t anticipate answers like nursing students
  2. I am still trying to work my way around the facilities paperwork, as it is significantly different from what we have learnt
  3. This patient was complex, not just because of their history, but because every time a question was asked it seemed to either contradict a piece of information, or reveal something new.

However, this is the real world, and I need to be able to shorted that time to under 30 minutes. Something to strive for.

The rest of the day seemed to disappear. I think I looked at the clock to actually check the time three times, not including for documentation, and it seemed to go something like; 0830 to 1145 to 1430 in two blinks.  I am thoroughly enjoying my placement and my time in Surgical.

I also had my mid-placement review with my facilitator. I was a little nervous. I didn’t quite know what to expect for my first acute placement. I sat down with the facilitator, we discussed the time I have had, what I have learned, and how everything is going. They then told me that I am doing really well, that’s a relief.  They told me that I have the knowledge, I have it squirrelled away in my brain, and I just need the experience to polish what I know, with some clinical time, to produce a great result. It was a nice little boost for the afternoon, and is a great encouragement to continue on this placement, and into the future.

A return to Surgical tomorrow, to deal with the 24 hours post op cares, should be an interesting day.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

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