Friday, June 06, 2008
Last Clinical EVER
My last clinical was in CCU on Wednesday. My patient had a thousand problems and a million lines and a trillion meds and the nurse I was working with, pretty much, let me do all of the care which mostly meant grinding up meds w/ a pestle the nurse brought from home, mixing the powder w/ water and giving the slurry through the NG (nasogastric: through the nose and to the stomach for my non-nursy friends) tube and charting the vital signs every hour. The rest of the time I was trying to understand the patient. The patient would mouth "help me" (she had a trach and was on a ventilator for half the shift) and I would have to figure out what the problem was. Starting at the feet, because that's where my patient's problems started, I'd work my way up: Is something bothering you in the toes, foot, lower leg, upper leg, etc)? It was tedious and only worked half of the time and half of the time I just held the patient's hand until her eyes closed. (The next day I saw The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and realized we -my patient and I - had it pretty easy in the communication dept) Then my patient was moved to another wing of the CCU. It took about 10 people, one of 'em bagging her the whole time, several moving machines and me throwing her belongings into bags and adding labels. Once her med drawers and the med fridge were emptied she had five crammed-full paper sacks of meds. The night was over and I said goodbye, but her eyes were closed. The nurse I was working with - I never even caught her name. Is that weird? She was just all business and no chat - didn't even check up on my charting.
It was a good night to end on. I felt like: I am the nurse. And that's what I got this rotation. When I made mistakes that I should have known better than to make I said to my instructor, "well, the nurse said blah blah blah" and my instructor said, "*You* are the nurse." And with that I have only finals coming up. And you know what finals mean? Yes. Baking!