Updates and musings from one momma nurse


Monday, July 27, 2009

Weeks 2 and 3

I still have a long way to go. But I feel much better going into Week 4 than I did coming out of Week 1.

Last week I administered medications for the first time. I got a lot of practice on my patient! He had meds in just about every form you can think of- oral, subcutaneous injections (like insulin), IV push, and IV piggyback. It was a good week to test my skills!

The week before that, I got to observe surgeries. One day was in the outpatient surgery center, the other was in major surgery. That was really interesting! I enjoyed it a lot. Will I become an OR nurse right off the bat? Maybe not, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out now.

And just a random side note: This week I found my very first varicose vein! Pregnancy didn't give them to me, nope. Nursing school did!

Alright, back to working on my pharm paper.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day One

Today was our first clinical day, and I wanted to get some thoughts down while they are fresh in my mind. I want to be able to go back to this post in a year and see how far I've come.

We partnered up and picked a patient yesterday when we were touring the floor. We looked through his chart, noted his treatment plan, researched the medications he was on.

This morning, we talked to his nurse to determine the plan for the day, then went to the patient's room.

We did a quick head to toe assessment, took vital signs, and helped him up to the bathroom to get cleaned up for the day.

Not too much later, the nurse went in to do her assessment, and we gladly observed. I watched as she palpated his pedal pulses, got an interesting look on her face, then asked us to go get the doppler (which can help find "hard to find" pulses). She used the doppler and stated that the pulse in the operative leg was clearly stronger than the pulse in the not-yet-operated-on leg.

And here's where I feel like a useless tool.. When I palpated those pedal pulses, I felt the opposite. The pulse in the operative leg was less bounding than the other. Did I assess incorrectly? How did she know to get the doppler? What kind of inconsistency is acceptable given the patient's medical history? Is it possible that a pulse would feel stronger but sound weaker?

I did fine with our tasks for the rest of the day, but I'm thrown off by that assessment.

I know that some of these skills come with time and practice. I've seen that in my job as an aide. I just don't like being at the beginning stage of it.

I want to fast-forward several months, to a place where I will feel more confident in my skills and judgment.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Encountered some potentially challenging things in the last few weeks.
-First transgender person I've ever met
-Youngish patient with new diagnosis of probable metastasized cancer

..Thought there were more, but can't think of them at the moment.

We took a vacation down to see R's family; I will have to post more about that (with pics, promise!) another time.

I start my first clinical this week. I'm on a Med/Surg floor, similar to the one on which I work. I'm excited and nervous, all rolled up into one!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God bless..

During bedtime prayers the other week, Sweet Pea asked God to bless Daddy, Kitty (at Grandma's house), and her 6 year old cousin. Those were the only three she could think of. :)