Day 15, the end of the third week of my Acute Care Placement, and my first afternoon shift on the Surgical ward. I didn’t know quite what to expect from an afternoon shift on Surgical, however with an emptying ward, no new admissions, only two theatre cases and most of the patients being day three, I wasn’t anticipating a busy shift.
The shift began just as any other, with handover, it was nice to be on the receiving end of a bedside handover for once. We then proceeded to the oddest part of the afternoon shift, after signing on 30 minutes prior, we go to afternoon tea, then return to allow the morning staff to leave. We completed our medications rounds, completed observations, changed wound dressings and planned out the afternoon and early evening. But even with all of the pressing, and not so pressing, cares completed we all still felt this unnerving and uneasy calm across the ward. We all checked out patients again o ensure they were all comfortable and didn’t require anything. We were going to be in a, I can say it now because the shift is over, quiet night. It almost seemed that we would have 10 minutes of work then 50 minutes of wandering around fussing over empty rooms, tidying up the ward, preparing the next shift and the next day, organising charts for the two surgical cases the following day, and generally cleaning up the ward. It was not time wasted as the staff took the opportunity to discuss some of the decisions that had been made with various patients, medications, procedures and honing of the critical thinking we all get hammered with in nursing school.
An interesting development with the patient mentioned in yesterdays post. The original diagnosis for the patient was a Pulmonary Embolism as the CTPA returned the possibility. However, following early blood cultures, and other blood results, it was later determined that he suffered from septic shock. The Doctor even went as far to say that if it wasn’t for the quick and thorough actions of the nursing staff yesterday that the patient may not be alive today. Chalk one up to the good guys. The current theory is, the patient travelled overseas and consumed some of the local water, had episodic diarrhoea which the patient took an exceptionally large dose of immodium for. The bacteria that caused the initial diarrhoea was then left in the body and eventually infected his bloodstream. The patient is now doing much better, though is still being closely monitored by both the Doctor and the Nurses.
I still have another two afternoon shifts in Surgical before shifting over to the Mental Health ward. But for now I am going to spend some much needed time with the family.
Maintain the Rage