Posts Tagged ‘orientation’

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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Today was the magic day — first clinical.  This is how it was supposed to go down:

  • 12:45PM:  Meet as a group in lobby and head to computer/charting training.
  • 1:00PM-5:30PM:  Go through training on how to chart/document in the hospital.
  • 5:30PM-9:00PM:  Perhaps go to floor of hospital and orient ourselves and maybe see patients.

And this is how it actually went down:

  • 12:45PM:  Meet as a group in lobby and head to computer/charting training.  (OK, so far so good.)
  • 1:00PM:  Arrive at training room and see a room full of other students taking up every available computer.  (Uh-oh.)
  • 1:03PM:  Stand around awkwardly as instructors gather to figure out what’s going on.
  • 1:06PM:  Sit around the periphery as instructors decide that there’s some sort of scheduling snafu.  (Duh.)
  • 1:10PM:  Leave computer room and head back to building where we met.  (Nice sunshine today.)
  • 1:20PM-1:45PM:  Sit at a table and receive brief orientation to instructor’s expectations.
  • 1:45PM-1:50PM:  Walk to hospital.
  • 1:50PM-2:30PM:  Receive very brief tour of the unit we’ll be on.
  • 2:30PM:  Go home.

So yeah, so much for a big 8 hours of clinical my first day.  All in all a fairly disappointing day … but stuff happens, right?  So gotta roll with the punches.  Tomorrow will be a busy day:  4 hours of computer training and then a few hours of seeing our first patients.

The patient-seeing will entail a few things:

  1. Doing a “head-to-toe” assessment:  Basically a very thorough overall assessment of all body systems.  This is where I’ll take my vital signs and ask the patient a million questions and use my senses to assess the patient.
  2. Completing a Nursing Admission Form:  This is where I’ll ask the patient another million questions on a super-thorough form.
  3. Starting to learn how to document document document document document document document.  After that, we’ll document some more.  And then after that’s all said and done, it’ll be time to start documenting.

For the first month or so, I will get one patient to assess and follow.  After I get the hang of assessing my patient and charting everything, they’ll add in more tasks.  The instructor hopes to have us giving meds by the 4th week or so (we’re not allowed to give IV meds, I don’t think — only oral, intramuscular, and subcutaneously).  Also, each of us will have one week where we play the role of “charge nurse” in our little group, in that we’ll help schedule the tasks for our fellow students and basically oversee everything for that week.

I’m pretty nervous about tomorrow, because this will be the first time I’m actually talking to a live patient and performing nursing duties!  I’m ridiculously excited, however.  I know I’m not expected to do everything right at this point, but I’m still hoping I don’t mess up.

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I could absolutely make this the longest post in the history of the world …

Anyway, today was Orientation, or “Welcome Day,” and it definitely lived up to its reputation.  Three hours chockablock with information, schedules, syllabi, nurses, professors, administrators, students … all 130 or so of us crammed into an auditorium where the seats were built for the folks of centuries ago.  Seriously, I felt sorry for S and K sitting on either side of me.  And I’m not a large person, per se.  I do run 6’3″ and might or might not have freakishly long arms, but mostly I think I’m in proportion.  However, I believe K’s quote as we sat down was, “Oh my gosh, look at your legs, you’re a giant!”  Well, yes.  Yes I am.  When compared with those seats I certainly am.

So they basically filled our nervous little minds with loads of info, most of which we’ll probably get wrong in the coming days.  But that’s ok, because they said they’ll cut us some slack.

Some observations from today:

  1. If you give a large crowd of people the tiniest bit of wiggle room to start talking … the crowd will pounce on that opportunity like me at a Slurpee machine.
  2. Our clinical instructor, Mrs. S., is going to be one super-cool woman.
  3. I do not appreciate when instructors simply read their PowerPoint slides to us.
  4. For my clinical rotations, I will have to remove my necklace, which I have worn for about 4 years without ever taking it off.  This makes me sad for some reason, even though I have no real sentimental attachment to it.
  5. Everyone at school seems extremely proud — the place is dripping with school spirit.

In other news … in preparation for our clinical rotations, which are set to begin in about a month, we have September to get ready — learning all the necessary skills that we’ll use in the clinical setting.  I think I mentioned some of these before in a previous post.  During this month, we’ll have Lab Sessions on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (in addition to one online course, several Monday classes, and 1 or 2 Tuesday classes).  Some days we’ll have lecture in the morning, then a break for lunch, then lab in the afternoon.  And vice versa.  Sprinkled in there are a few orientations to select programs, such as the Mentoring Program, which I’ll explain in a later post; or an introduction to learning how to use our PDDs (Personal Digital Devices) for maximum benefit.

Tonight I spent a few hours preparing for tomorrow’s Lab by reviewing the videos I alluded to earlier.  This entailed reading about different aspects (eg, Shaving a Male Patient, Making Beds, Bathing Patients, etc), watching a short video on the correct method, and then taking a quiz to ensure we had remembered the basic parts.  This is something new to me, as this is all done online.  When I was in school last, most of this would have been unheard of, so it’s eye-opening (and somewhat refreshing, in a strange, technological way) to be doing a lot of our work this way.  Luckily for me, being the somewhat tactile learner that I am, practicing on mannequins and the other nursing students will lay for me a more solid foundation for when they push us out the door into the hospitals.

More information to come after my first Lab tomorrow!

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So we’re scheduled to start on Tuesday, September 1, with an Orientation from 2PM-5PM.  Classes then start on Wednesday, September 2.

However, K (another student) texted me last night and said, “Open your e-mail, we have homework already!”  I believe my reply was, “Whaaaaaa?”  Anyway, sure enough, we do have homework.  Most of it involves our lab skills, where we’re set to learn the basic skills a nurse needs to know.  Part of the assignment is to review some videos on DVD, and then take quizzes to test ourselves on these videos.  This is all due on September 2, ie, the day after Orientation.

Some of the video lessons include:

  • Shaving a Male Patient
  • Cleaning Dentures
  • Performing Nail and Foot Care
  • Making an Occupied Bed
  • Performing a Complete or Partial Bed Bath
  • Performing Oral Hygiene for an Unconscious Patient

And so on …

No rest for the weary, but I’m ridiculously excited to start.

I’m pretty much all set to begin school.  The only things I still need to do are 1) complete the dental insurance form; 2) ensure my sparkling white shoes come in the mail in time; and 3) get Mom to sew on the patch to the upper-right sleeve of my lab coat (I know, I need to learn how to do this).  Other than that, everything else is all squared away.

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