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.
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