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Posts Tagged ‘externship’

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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So, it wasn’t my patient, but another student had a patient tonight who was quite … ornery.  Understandable, given her condition (lung cancer spread to the brain).  But this patient had quite a time with the many folks who came into her room to help her:

  • Trying to bite the instructor.
  • Kicking the student when she came near.

And my personal favorite:

  • Using her oxygen nasal cannula as a whip on the people coming near her bed.

In other news, my patient the last 2 days was a real sweetheart.  Older woman with quite a history, and who was in the hospital because of a stubborn little wound that wouldn’t heal.  She was in the hyperbaric chamber to promote wound healing, but had to have tubes put in her ears (bilateral myringotomy) because of the pressure of the hyperbaric chamber.  She didn’t have a whole lot going on, but was mostly blind, so I got to assist her with a lot of daily activities, such as helping her figure out where things were on her dinner tray, or helping her to the commode, or just generally sitting with her and getting her what she needed.

I really enjoyed these 2 days of helping her, because I felt like I was really aiding someone who needed it.  She was mostly self-sufficient, but it was nice to help her out whenever I could.  I also got to give her meds twice today, and didn’t even mess up once (unlike last time, where I forgot to ask the patient his name and birthday before I gave him his meds).  I’m becoming awfully familiar with doing the Accu-Chek as well (checking the patient’s blood sugar).

It’s also time to start thinking about a summer externship for 2010.  I’m asking my instructor for a letter of recommendation.  Not sure what I want to do yet — whether it’s just a general med/surg floor position or something more specific.  We shall see.

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