Updates and musings from one momma nurse


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Week Two

Still getting in the groove of my job. Going pretty well. Getting lots of positive feedback from patients and families. The sister of one patient today asked me why I want to be a nurse. Two reasons came to mind immediately.

1) I love interacting with people up close and personal. I like getting to know them, having conversations, sharing stories, making them laugh, offering them a listening ear.

2) It's amazing to be able to help people in such a tangible way. Example: One of my patients this week was having bladder issues. He was not able to urinate at all, despite being well hydrated, and he was very uncomfortable. I scanned his bladder, saw that it was indeed very full, and then drained it using a straight catheter. He felt so much better, and it improved his mood.

Some of the new things I've done this week:
-put in catheters (on both males and females)
-empty colostemy bags
... Ok those are the only new things I can think of. But I have found that I'm getting more confident with my basic skills, like taking blood pressure and whatnot.

I've had several days where I worked a full shift at the hospital, then drove straight to the assisted living place and worked another three hours. Those are long days, but the jobs are different enough that they require different parts of my brain. The hardest part is being away from R and Sweet Pea for such long periods of time. I leave the house at 6:30am and get back about 13 hours later. Just enough time to feed Sweet Pea, snuggle with her for a few minutes, then put her in bed.

BUT in another week, I'll be on evening shift at the hospital and won't ever be working both jobs on the same day.

School starts up again in just under two weeks. All I have left to take is A&P2, and I'll be turning in my application for the nursing program in the next month.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The End of Week One

Work at the hospital is getting better. I'm becoming more and more comfortable in my role there. I have a better idea of what needs to be done, and what I can and can't do. I was on the same section of the floor for three days in a row, so I got to know some of the patients pretty well.

One ornery old man had been pressing his call light constantly, complaining about everything, cussing up a storm, and just being a pain in everyone's rear. By day three, I think he had gotten more used to me (and vice versa), and I made sure to attend to the things I knew were important to him. Before I left his room, I checked to see that his trash can was close by, his pillows were arranged to his liking, everything on his bedside table was set up the way he wanted it, etc. That little extra effort cut waaaay down on the number of times he hit his call light, and he was more likely to agree to do the crazy things I wanted him to do, like wash up.

I had several patients and family members tell me I was doing a good job. A little positive feedback is always nice.

This week I've:
-discontinued IVs
-discharged patients
-had post-op patients (we are more vigilant with them when they are just out of surgery)
-discontinued catheters (but haven't put any in yet)

I just feel like I'm getting more of the hang of things, getting a bit of that intuition that you need in a profession like this.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas 2007 vs. Christmas 2008

Ahh, how much has changed in a year! Just thought I'd put up comparison pictures from Christmas 2007 (3 months old) and Christmas 2008 (15 months old).

These were both taken by BFF.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

First Day

Today was my first day on the floor. Well, I've been to the floor before, but this was my first day with patients.

-young (my age) head injury patient.. alcohol + driving at high speeds => confusion, unsteadiness, not knowing where you are, trouble with basic tasks of daily living. Don't do it. Not worth it.
-emptying catheters
-stripping/making beds
-taking vitals
-lots of bed baths and dressing changes (I just observed those- will do them on my own next time)

I learned a lot, and enjoyed my day. Yes, it's 8 hours on my feet, but I liked interacting with patients and families, and being able to DO something for people. I am able to fulfill needs, right there. What a cool profession!
On a completely different note, one of the best parts of my day is opening up the door and hearing little footsteps pounding in my direction. Sweet Pea has begun running to greet me as soon as she hears the door, and it warms my heart! Love it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thanksgiving, Job Training

Whoops, it has been a few weeks since we've posted. Sorry!

We drove to see R's family for Thanksgiving, and had a fabulous time. It is always good to see them, and Sweet Pea had a blast interacting with her cousins. It was also her first time being around a dog, and she did well. She quickly learned to scrunch up her face and close her eyes when the dog's tail came near to avoid getting a mouthful of hair, and eventually she initiated contact and sought out the dog to pet her.

While we were all together, we celebrated Christmas. Sweet Pea loved unwrapping presents! She would rip into each one, tear off bits of wrapping paper to hand to me, then lunge for a new present once she'd finished getting all the paper off. I suppose by next year, she'll be more interested in what's inside the paper, right?

I finished up my semester, and ended up with a B in Anatomy & Physiology 1. I really enjoyed the class, and learned tons. I can't wait for A&P2 next semester!

I've started training for my new job at the hospital. It's a lot of information (policies and procedures and whatnot), but we've also gotten to do fun stuff like take blood pressure and insert catheters. I start training on my floor this week. Hurray!