Day 13, Hump Day for my Acute Care Placement and a return to the Surgical Ward, for what was promised to be a busy day. And it didn’t disappoint. The ward was full, there where four patients on the waitlist for a bed and 90% of the patients on the ward were only One Day Post Op. I was assigned two patients at the end of the ward, and assisting the RN and EN with the other six, where possible.
I arrived this morning early to check over the days list and see what was happening, given we had been worded up by the admin staff that today was going to be a doozy. I was running over the list and almost immediately saw what they meant. It wasn’t the number of surgeries booked from the ward, which was only five, but the sheer number of IV antibiotics, drains, VTE prophylaxis, post operation medications, catheters, fluid balance charts, physiotherapist reviews and subsequently paperwork associated. Then onto handover, not much that was overly surprising but good to know we were due to discharge five patients before lunch, so we can fill the beds up again.
My two patients were great, one abdominoplasty and one total knee replacement, both first day post op, both busy in their own right, the other six were no easier. I set up my plan, I got organised and the first snag of the day, intravenous (IV) therapy, IV antibiotics and Schedule 8 (S8) medications. I needed two staff, at least one RN before I could even start my day, and even then I couldn’t really do any of it, even if I wanted to. I set out to help as best I could, I delivered the S8 medications with the RN, gave out my other oral medications with the facilitator, made beds, showered patients and helped the physio staff. I got done what I needed to get done, but I was busy trying to do it, and I was only made busier by having to find the staff I needed to be able to do the task I set out to do.
I felt today that I was doing nothing but disappointing my facilitator, not because of any massive error, or laziness, or misdemeanour, but just a feeling. When we were handing out medications they handed me the two cards I needed, I saw them pull them out of the cupboard, out of the box and hand them to me, I then dispensed the medication, checked the ID and 7 rights of the patient and moved on. After the fact I was asked if I checked the expiry date on the card I was handed, I did not. They pointed out I should have, which I totally agree with, and that even though someone else may have checked the expiry, in this case the facilitator, I shouldn’t rely on or trust that it is done correctly. Later in the afternoon when it came time for writing progress notes I went to the nurses station to write my patients noted only to find that the fastidious nurses that I was working with had already written them. The facilitator comes round to ask if I have written the notes, I explain what has transpired and they simply say Oh well, do them tomorrow then. I know that it was probably nothing, and I know that the facilitator wasn’t being mean, malicious or callous. I just think that the placement, my final placement, the study, the light at the end of the tunnel is all getting to me a bit and I am starting to see little things in people, mannerisms, and reading too much into them. Tomorrow I think I will try and relax and just care for the patients worry about the rest later.
Tomorrow is my last morning shift with Surgical before a swing onto the afternoon shift for Friday and Monday, then onto the Mental Health ward.
Maintain the Rage