October 1, 2006

Nursing Student Mess Ups and Other Funny Stuff

How does one get organized at clinical? I always strive for it, but it never seems to work out the way I planned. The night before clinical we are emailed our assignments. I look up all my drugs and do a little research on my pt like a good little nursing student. I get my clinical bag together, make sure my uniform is nice and neat, I even go so far as to write down all the things I need to do for my pt in the morning. I also have a whole page to write down the report from the nurse, but by the end of the day I have little notes chicken scratched all throughout my note pad. I feel like I'm on a scavenger hunt skimming through my note pad searching for whatever I wrote in haste. Sigh! I really need a system, a plan. I feel like I'm running in and out of the room, doing this and that all day while the regular, real nurses sit at the nurses station chatting about their kids and having coffee. They're all really great nurses, and they probably are able to have coffee because they, unlike me, have a system. They do all of the same things I do, but they just have it all together. I guess that comes with experience.

Me and my nursing student cohorts have done some of the stupidest things ever during clinical. Really hilarious sh*t. Really stupid stuff actually, but all you can do is laugh....and write it all down so we can all laugh at it later. Yes, that's right...I'm writing all the little stupid things we've said and done down so we can all look back at graduation and laugh at ourselves and our inexperienced ways. Here are some examples: 1st day of clinical (2nd semester) I was told to empty a pt's catheter bag & record her output. Fine, no problem. I go into the room, look at the bag and realized I've never emptied one before and have no idea how to do it. Of course I'm not going to get my instructor...are you kidding? She would have looked at me like I was an alien...a really stupid alien. I actually know how to insert a catheter, I passed that skill, but couldn't empty the bag...boy did I feel like an idiot. I did figure it out, but it was still one of tose "Der" moments.
Stupid moment # 2 a friend/classmate was told to hang a piggyback bag and she was with the instructor and said..."Oh, I forgot the hanger thing." Instructor said "Why? You don't need it." Student "Why not?" Instructor: "Because it's on a pump." I about died laughing, but kept my reserve until I could write it down. They all know I'm doing this by the way and think it's a great idea. The reason this was so funny was because we never practiced IV piggybacks with a pump at school, we always calulated our own drips and hung it because it was running on gravity. Obviously you don't need to hang it higher than the primary bag when it's on a pump. We all got a good laugh out of that. Nursing student # 3...was about to prepare med ( injection ) in front of instructor. She got out her syringe, had her vial of medicine, took off the needle and threw it in the sharps container....before she drew the med. LOL Instructor was like...where'd that needle go? She was just so focused on throwing that needle in the sharps container...bless her. I have to admit, nurse intimidator has become nurse patience. She has to have some to deal with the likes of us. Ha ha.

Well, that's enough clinical horror stories for now ...I'm sure there will be plenty to come later.
Until next time....