Archive for February, 2010

A glorious time.

Time to head home, visit with friends and family, and just relax a bit.

Headed out to Lancaster to visit with the g-parents tomorrow — gonna help them pick out a new TV.

But first it’s back to the ole’ homestead tonight on the train to hang with my best friends and eat some dinner.  Then off to sleep over at Mom’s.  Just like old times.

And definitely a Slurpee or two in there somewhere.  Definitely.

Y’all be good for the time being, and talk to you early this coming week.

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Nursing School Quotes #9

A double-dose for today’s double-disappointing, lame 5 inches of snow:

“When someone says to you, ‘Oh, my patient doesn’t need a bedtime snack,’ you can say, ‘Au contraire! What about Somogyi?’  It gets them every time.”

“I was teaching a diabetes class once, and the people in it were like, ‘Let’s eat cake and see how high our sugar will go!’  I was like, ‘Umm, that’s kinda not why we’re doing this.'”

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It happens to all nursing students eventually.

I’d like to think that it happens with no horrible circumstances, and that it happens peacefully, and that it happens with a great family support system, and that it happens in a not-too-stressful way.

She was old-old, and had no quality of life left, really.  Needed 100% oxygen just to breathe somewhat normally; without it she would die in a few minutes.  I helped take care of her for a Wednesday and Thursday.  Then I came back the following Wednesday and was assigned another patient.  Fortunately for me, in a way, that patient was at dialysis for 4 hours, so I got assigned again to my old-old patient.

I took report from the nurse, and he told me they had just received orders to begin palliative care.  Sigh.  So sad, and yet so good.

The rest of the night was a lesson in how to be gracious.  And a lesson in how to be respectful.  And a lesson in how to listen.  And a lesson in how to care.

Grandchildren brought in to say goodbye.

Patient respirations:  22 per minute.

Children say goodbye to their mother.

Dilaudid bolus administered.

Ativan IV push.

Patient respirations:  8 per minute.

Dilaudid drip started.  2.5 mL/hour.

Patient falls asleep, comfortably.

Children sit by bedside, talking about their mother’s life.  All the places she lived.  All the places she worked.  All the people she knew.  All her favorite ice cream flavors.

Patient respirations:  6 per minute.

I go to dinner with my classmates.  We talk about parties and food and our professors and which celebrities are cute.  Ryan Reynolds gets high marks.

The RN explains to me that the family wants to keep the non-rebreather mask on their mother, to ensure she won’t have any discomfort as she passes away.  We leave the non-rebreather on and keep the oxygen at its highest setting.

Patient respirations:  5 per minute.

The family asks me, as I check every 15 minutes, how many times per minute their mother is taking a breath.  It feels wrong to tell them the ever-decreasing number.  Like I’m starting the countdown to death.  And I can’t get the number to start going back up again.

Patient respirations:  4 per minute.

It’s time for me to leave, and I say goodbye to the staff on my floor.  I walk into my patient’s room, count her respirations one last time, and say to the family, “They’re still at 4.  It’s been nice meeting you.”

We all walk outside the hospital into the cold February air.  I sleep that night, return the next day, and hear of the time of my patient’s death.

We go to dinner, and we talk about celebrities.

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Nursing School Quotes #8

“You might as well let your patient go outside and get shot up with something if you don’t wanna take care of his central line.”

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With migraine headaches, people usually need to lie down to feel better.

With cluster headaches, people usually need to move around to feel better.

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  • 3 exams (Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Nursing Management) on the endocrine system — 9:00-10:15
  • Class from 10:30-12:00
  • Class from 2:30-4:30
  • Colleges Against Cancer meeting 6:00-7:30


  • Class from 9:00-12:00
  • Midterm (Health Assessment) from 1:00-2:15


  • Discussion board posting due for Informatics for Advanced Practice Nurses
  • 250 NCLEX questions due


  • Reproductive module due for pathophysiology


  • Reproductive module due for pharmacology


  • Spring Break!

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  1. I am done with my telemetry rotation in the CCU.  I feel pretty good about this, and feel like I learned a lot about how to be a good nurse.
  2. After a few hundred hours in the hospital, I finally removed my first foley catheter in a patient tonight.  How did it take that long?
  3. Nurses who show me how to do things are awesome.  Nurses who instruct me how to do things are awesomer.
  4. I think a good name for a band is “Vasolex to the Max.”
  5. I am now an expert in making a bed with a human being in it.
  6. You may think Pepsi Slurpees are indistinguishable from Coke Slurpees … but you’d be wrong.
  7. The best way to tell you’re finally comfortable with a hospital floor is when you know just how to hold the styrofoam cup under the ice machine so the ice doesn’t spray all over the floor.
  8. Over the last 6 weeks, people have told me I look like Fred Savage, Tom Hanks, and the dude who plays Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.
  9. There’s no real good way to ask a patient when his last bowel movement was … so ya just have to ask it.
  10. It feels ridiculously great, as a student nurse, when you can help teach a patient’s family something about their loved one’s disease.

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