Day 16


Day 16 of my Acute Care Placement, and my second last day on the Surgical Ward. Not knowing what to expect from a Monday evening, I didn’t go in with any level of expectation, when I arrived I went through the list of names and beds, checked against the surgery list and endeavoured to plan out the evening as best I could. That was almost useless. Theatre by the end of my shift, was operating nearly four hours behind. Patients were only being seen at times we thought they would be returning. This made for a slow and disrupted afternoon.

I was allocated eight beds with one of the RNs and we set out to check charts, make notes about medications, check care plans, have a chat with the patients to identify habits and needs, and generally get our things organised. All in all the afternoon was going to be constant but nothing crazy. We set to our work. Having a very experienced RN with me for the afternoon made things very efficient, we worked well as a team and achieved what we needed to achieve in little time. This left us with ample time to assist those who had returned from theatre with getting comfortable, rearranging linen and lines, and generally tidying them up post-op.

My heartwarming moment of the day was seeing the patient previously written about in Days 14 and 15 up and walking about. They are so happy to be moving around, and eternally grateful with things like I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you lot being said to almost every nurse on the ward. It was good to see such  positive result out of a potentially life threatening condition.

I did have, what I consider, to be the best compliment an EN student could be paid by another staff member, paid to me this shift. As we were packing up the files, handing over and generally debriefing the shift one of the RNs asked what I would be doing post graduation. I explained I was going to be studying my Bachelor and working as an EN. They then said Wow, I thought you were an RN student, you seem to know so much already. This sentiment was echoed by several of the other staff I was working with that night at the same time. I was chuffed, I’m not going to lie I think I even sat up a little straighter. It is so good to be told that you are on the right track, that you have the requisite knowledge or skills. I still feel that I don’t know enough, and in a way I pray I never do.

Tomorrow afternoon is my last afternoon on Surgical before moving over to Mental Health. A new ward and a new set of challenges.

Maintain The Rage

Luke Sondergeld

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