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Archive for June, 2010

So, all you nurses out there (ahem, New Nurse Insanity, ahem, ahem) who work nights, help a brother out here …

This week I start working night shift, and will work Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, 7PM-7AM each night.  Choose the correct method for acclimating:

A. Stay up tonight until 5AM and then crash all day and be prepared for 7PM shift.

B. Stay up tonight until 11PM and sleep in until Noon tomorrow.

C. Stay up tonight until 11PM, get up at 4AM, do stuff for a while, go to bed again at 10AM and then get up for 7PM shift.

D. None of the above.

I bow down to your all-encompassing knowledge of all things nocturnal.

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Today was my 6th and last day of orientation on the floor.  Now I can “officially” do stuff on my own and will have a full patient load without another extern or nurse tech training me.  For the rest of the month and all of July I’ll be working one of two kinds of shifts:

  • 3:00PM-11:30PM
  • 7:00PM-7:00AM

I actually offered to work these shifts, just because it works for my schedule a bit better.  Working the evenings and nights means I’ll have more patients, but there’s generally less going on, because the patients are either getting ready for bed or are already in bed and sleeping.

So, yeah.  Today.  Started out pretty good, and then I. Got. The. Patient.

You nurses and nurses-to-be know what I’m talkin’ about.  The Patient Who Demands Every Minute Of Every Hour.

Pulse ox was hovering around 92/93 with 2L of oxygen, so we upped her to 4L, and it stayed there as well.  Upped to 5L and she started to feel a bit better.  Anyway, labs came back and … no brainer … severe anemia as well, so she received orders for 2 units of blood to hang.  Of course I can’t participate in that, but helped her out in other ways.  Anyway, as the first bag was hung and we got vitals every 15 minutes, she decided she wanted to use the commode.  But didn’t wanna call us to help her, and … yeah … totally pulled out her IV while the blood was running.  Yep, you guessed it, blood everywhere.  On the floor.  On her gown.  On her bed.  On her IV pump.  Ugh.

So they stopped the bleeding and I got to clean it up and get everything re-situated.

Meanwhile … exciting developments were under way!  That’s right … the guy training me and I got the call to go take a dead person down to the morgue.  Yesssssss.  So we went down to the ER, got the key to the morgue, went into the morgue (where only 2 bodies were waiting), got the stretcher and some sheets, and headed up to the room where the person had recently died.  So excited to do this and learn about it … and … the deceased isn’t quite ready to be transported to the morgue, according to the nurses.  Ugh again.

So we head back to our floor, where my favorite patient (Blood Lady) decided to need everything done at that very moment.  And, you guessed it again … lost out on helping take the body to the morgue.  Nope, didn’t get to do that … instead, I was measuring urine amounts and making beds and handling germicidal baby wipes to clean blood off the machines.  Oh well, all important stuff as well, right?

And then as I was leaving at 7PM, one of our patients was on the verge of coding.  Time for me to leave and let them work on him.

More later, but for this weekend, I’m off to beautiful Wisconsin to visit with E1 and her family!

Happy Birthday, E1!

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So was that fun for ya yesterday?  Was it?  Big props go out to my buddy and fellow student nurse Will over at Drawing on Experience who provided the blog entry for me yesterday.  Also, thanks to E1 for pointing out tonight that I had still not, technically speaking, posted any blog entries in 3 months, even with yesterday’s post.  Thus, here I am posting!

Seriously?  It’s been 3 months since I last posted something?  Wow.  Just … um … wow?  Not sure I really have any words for that kinda dedication to my blog, right?  Right.  Yeah.

So let’s see, let’s get reacquainted.  Hi there, I’m Nurse Kenny.  I’m a student nurse who has finished his first year of nursing school, believe it or not, and is prepared to start his second year in the Fall.  The last we talked, I was getting ready to start my rotation on the Maternity floor.  Yeah, that was in mid-March.  Since then, a lot has happened.  Let’s recap and make a long story short, shall we?

  1. I completed the 6 weeks on the Maternity floor.  More on that later on in another post.
  2. First year of school done … happy with my grades … blah blah blah.
  3. Finished my first ever Relay For Life with the American Cancer Society.
  4. Started riding my bike quite a lot more.

And lots of other, mostly boring stuff.  So another time I’ll start posting a bit more about my Maternity rotation, because it was indeed quite eventful.  I’ll just say, I enjoyed it a ton.  Really.  Being serious!  Good times.

Ok, so that brings me (in a roundabout sorta kinda way) to the present.  Right now I have a position as a Nurse Extern in the hospital affiliated with my school here in the city.  I’m actually working on the very same floor where I did my cardiac rotation:  it’s a telemetry unit called the ICCU (Intermediate Cardiac Care Unit).  It’s filled with people who are mandated to be on cardiac monitors (maybe they’re in heart failure, maybe they’ve had a heart attack, etc.).  Also on the floor are folks who are either a) waiting for heart transplants or b) have just had heart transplants.

Immediately after getting a new heart, they’re transferred to the CCU (Cardiac Care Unit), which is like an intensive care unit for them.  After they’re more stable, they’re transferred to our unit.  Also, anytime in the future a heart transplant patient has to come to the hospital for any reason, they’re admitted to our unit.

So … this all means that, for the remainder of the summer, I’ll be posting primarily about my externship (which I’ll have until I graduate — I’ll just be committed to every other weekend during the school year).  I’ll sprinkle in lots of stories about my Maternity rotation, too.

I’ve been “orienting” to the unit, and just getting the hang of the logistics of it all.  This week I’m working Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday on a 7AM-7PM each day, and then I’ll be done my orientation and will be on my own!

Today’s highlights included:  collecting drainage from a JP drain to send to lab; changing gowns a million-gazillion times on a middle-aged woman because she had tube feeding going and was a general mess; being able to tell a fella he wouldn’t have to get his insulin before dinner because his sugar was at an acceptable level, and then seeing the smile come across his face; working with 2 other awesome externs and trying to figure out how best to get someone from Bed A (with a broken bed alarm) to Bed B (brand new bed) without clogging up the whole system — how many nurse externs does it take ……………

See you all soon.  Welcome back!

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