Posts Tagged ‘slurpee’

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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  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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Seriously, how long’s it been since I’ve been here?  A week?  And here I was doin’ so well.  Oh well, I guess I’ll go through these little lulls every now and then.

So yes.  How’ve ya been?  I’ve been pretty decent …

Finals were over on Tuesday the 15th.  We took all 3 of them at once.  In actuality, it wasn’t all that bad, since these were not cumulative exams, covering all the material from the midterms on.  However, it was still a lot of information, with the added stress of taking all 3 exams at once.

Let’s see, what else has happened recently?

  • Spent about 8 hours celebrating after the final exam(s) with classmates.  That was a ton of fun.  Started off at a local restaurant/pub, then the party moved on to my apartment, and then moved off to another local favorite.  I think I might have slept 14 hours the following day.
  • Most of my grades are posted, and I’m very happy with them.  As I said before, I kind of pushed my online graduate course to the back burner for most of the semester, and it showed in my grade.  While still happy with the grade, it was my lowest one.
  • Class schedule has been posted for next semester, and it looks great!  January through the end of February looks like Monday-Tuesday 9-5 in class, then I have clinical rotation Wednesday/Thursday 2PM-10PM again.
  • For the first 7 weeks of the semester, I’ll be in telemetry rotation.  For the last 7 weeks of the rotation, I’ll be in OB rotation.
  • They’ve split up the 130 or so students into 2 sections this semester, so some of my close friends I won’t be seeing.  I’m not sure whether this means we’ll be in classes with them still, but just not potentially in rotations.  Not really sure yet.
  • My clinical group is great for telemetry!  All good people, and I’m excited to get to know them better.  Looks like 7 of us.

And oh yeah, we just got 23 inches of snow on Saturday!  SO great when you don’t have to shovel any of it.  W, E2, and L2 met up with me at school, where we didn’t even try to make a snowman, because the snow was too fluffy.  Decided to just go eat instead, and ended up at a favorite place of ours, where W’s classmate, A4, met up with us.  From there we just walked around in the blizzard, attempting to see straight, stay warm, and keep away from W’s shenanigans with the snow.

Poor A4 was totally set up and had her face and neck filled with snow, courtesy of W.  Good times.

So what does this extended break hold in store for me?  Lots of things, I suppose — here’s my Winter Break Bucket List:

  1. Lots of sleepy.
  2. Fix up my bicycle all nice and purty.
  3. Experimenting with making my uncle’s delicious bread (he taught me last week!).
  4. Working.
  5. Lots of Slurpees.
  6. Re-learn how to play the piano.
  7. Study for the HESI.
  8. Watch at least 2 seasons of ER on Netflix.
  9. Find new glasses.
  10. Call Comcast to get me new cables and get rid of the humming in my TV.
  11. Get back into the gym.

Ok, I didn’t say it would be an exciting Bucket List.

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Well hello there again.  Today was the (real) first day of clinical rotations, and I did indeed get into the hospital and see a real, live patient.  Ok, so here’s the clinical day, in running diary format:

  • 12:45PM:  Arrive at the computer training center.  Prepare to undergo 4 hours of training.
  • 1:04PM:  Fight off first bouts of sleepiness due to instructor’s ridiculously exciting tone of voice.
  • 1:09PM:  Two PowerPoint slides down, 183 to go.
  • 2:15PM:  Woo-hoo, a break!
  • 2:45PM:  Start the online portion of the training — several modules on how to enter data in the hospital’s charting system.
  • 3:30PM:  Totally ready for bed.
  • 5:00PM:  Finally done with the torturous afternoon.  Our instructor gives us until 5:45PM to eat dinner and meet as a group on our unit.
  • 5:41PM:  Arrive on the floor.  I can smell poop somewhere.  Seriously.
  • 5:45PM:  The real nurses seem annoyed that we’re there.  We’re totally in the way.
  • 5:46PM:  Our instructor shows us the assignment sheet.  Each of us is assigned one patient to assess tonight.
  • 5:47PM:  Check the assignment sheet — I am assigned an elderly woman who recently underwent major abdominal surgery, and has multiple concomitant medical problems.
  • 6:00PM:  After checking the patient’s chart for past medical history, past surgical history, admission notes, nursing reports, etc, and asking our instructor a million questions about what to do next, we are all ready to see our first patients.
  • 6:01PM:  Patient’s family member is asking the nurse to transfer the patient back into bed, because patient is exhausted.
  • 6:02PM:  I offer to help transfer patient back into bed, and nurse readily agrees that I would be a big help.  (See?  Being a tall man is proving useful, 17 minutes into my first rotation.  Yeah!)  Nurse asks me to wait at nurse’s station until she gathers several people to help with the transfer.  I’m supposed to assess my patient, so I guess I’ll just wait until the patient is back in bed.
  • 6:14PM:  Waiting …
  • 6:38PM:  Hmm … I do believe there are 43 vertical lines on that one ceiling tile up there.
  • 6:55PM:  I wonder if I should get a Slurpee on the way home later on … mmmmmmmm, Slurpee.
  • 7:03PM:  Ah, we’re finally ready!  I put the alcohol rub on my hands, get them clean, enter the room, and see 4 other nurses preparing to transfer the patient from chair to bed.  She was totally going to transfer the patient without me.  I already feel left out.  Anyway, I put on gloves and kneel on the bed, grab the draw sheet (the sheet that sits under the patient to help move them around if the need arises), and the lead nurse says, “Ok, on my count … one, two, THREE!”  And lift we do, hefting her over the side and into the bed.  We spend several moments moving her around getting her into a comfortable position, and changing some of the sheets underneath her.  I notice this is done MUCH quicker (and admittedly a little rougher) than when we did it with the mannequins in Lab.
  • 7:06PM:  I take off my gloves, throw them away, and leave the room to head back to the nurse’s station to grab my assessment sheets.  Unfortunately, the family member just left, so I can’t have her help with the history.
  • 7:10PM:  I go back into the room to perform my assessment … and the patient is absolutely, 100% … asleep.  I can’t really rouse her, and when I have to, she is pretty confused and nonresponsive to my questions, so I decide to skip most of the hands-on and history questions.
  • 7:13PM:  I start the portion of my assessment that I can still do with the patient nonresponsive:  I check her pulse and respirations; I check her ankles and feet for any swelling; I check to see whether she has a catheter and the quality and quantity of her urine output; I check the capillary return of her fingernails, seeing how long it takes for blood to return; I listen to her anterior lung sounds (is that some wheezing or crackles in there?), since I can’t turn her over or ask her to sit up to listen to lung sounds on her back; I check her ID bracelet and ensure she’s the correct patient; I check her IV medications and see what’s hanging on the pole.
  • 7:25PM:  I’m done with the assessment (what I can finish) and am about to head back to the nurse’s station to complete my documentation, when the patient suddenly awakens and seems very agitated — she tells me she’s in a lot of pain.  When I ask her what level her pain is at, she responds that it’s a “10 out of 10” on a 0-10 pain scale (with 10 being the worst).  Also, she says she just had a bowel movement.
  • 7:26PM:  I tell the nurse in charge about this recent development; she thanks me and says she’ll go and take care of the pain request.  And, presumably, the poopage.
  • 7:30PM:  Sit down at nurse’s station and complete my documentation — Nursing Admission Form and Interdisciplinary Plan of Action (IPOC), which is a very involved form detailing the care this particular patient should expect to get, including any teachings the nurse can perform for the patient and/or her family.  I fill out what I can, and hand it to our instructor.
  • 7:35PM:  Our group meets in the nurses’ lounge and has “Post-Conference,” where we sit around and talk about the day — today we didn’t really do this, but talked about the upcoming weeks.
  • 8:00PM:  We are set loose to go home and recuperate.
  • 8:03PM:  Get that Slurpee and walk home.

In thinking back about what I could have done differently, I really wish I had gone in immediately after receiving my patient, because I should have realized that, despite the nurse saying she was ready to move the patient (and needing my help), there still would have been a likely lag time in that getting done.  I could have gone in, started my assessment (especially because the family member was there and could have answered much of the medical history questioning), and had much of it done while the patient was still awake.  Even if they came in ready to transfer the patient, I could have just stopped my assessment and helped move her.  However, in my naivete, and wanting to just help the main nurse with the transfer, I stayed back and assumed I would be needed immediately.

But this is what nursing school is for … to come to understand these types of things.  All in all, a pretty good day, despite not getting my assessment done in the way I would have liked.

Some acronyms and shortcuts I’ve been running across on documents pretty frequently:

  • POX:  pulse ox (oxygen saturation in the blood)
  • AAO x 3:  awake, alert, and oriented times 3 (to person, place, and time)
  • ROM:  range of motion
  • JVD:  jugular vein distension
  • PERRLA:  pupils equally round and reactive to light and accommodation
  • HOH:  hard of hearing
  • ADL:  activities of daily living
  • Hx:  history

And now it’s time for bed.  Sweet, sweet glorious sleepy, here I come.  Full day planned tomorrow — lots of errands and lots of schoolwork.

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Today was the last day of Labs!  We had a fun scavenger hunt-type activity, where we visited 5 different rooms and tried to point out everything that was wrong about those rooms.  Some things were obvious (patient found lying on floor with his ankle broken and his gown off) and others were not so obvious (patient’s name incorrect on chart), but all mistakes were visible if we took the time to find them.  It was a fun day.

Then we were off to different rooms to be tested on our vital signs.  An instructor sat with us as we took vitals from another student:  radial pulse, apical pulse, blood pressure, and respirations.  I passed this test, and then K and I went to the Terminal Market for lunchie munchies.  Mmm …

Next week most of our other classes start, and then Wednesday/Thursday are my first 2 days in the hospital!  Exciting!  I think the first day is computer training (to learn how to chart and document everything you do), and then it’s off to the floor to meet my patients.  Cannot wait.

STAT OF THE DAY:  At this point in my education I have completed approximately 58 clinical hours!

Now I’m off to go pick up my bike and get a much-needed Slurpee.  Have a great weekend, everyone.

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