Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Big Bad Bitch of the West

Today was a giant waste of time at psych clinical. We had a debriefing (read: recruiting session) at the state hospital. It was interesting. They must be really hard up for nurses if they're talking about health care benefits and paid leave to a bunch of nursing students. Anyway, they wanted to know what we thought about their fine hospital, the good and the bad. We went around the table first to say good things about the hospital, and everyone had something to say. I mentioned a few nurses that helped me out personally.

Then, however, they wanted to know about things that were "not so helpful or pleasant about the hospital." The room was dead silent. Crickets were chirping. I spoke up. "I thought a particular nurse, Jane, wasn't very helpful. She snapped at me and the other nursing student and didn't seem to want us there." Another girl said that the staff went through report way too fast, but other than that, I was the only one who said anything.

I couldn't believe it. People complained and complained until their mouths were dry and their faces turned blue when the administrators of the hospital weren't there, but as soon as they get the opportunity to voice their concerns, they act like it was the best experience of their lives to do clinical at this facility. This just pisses me off. Not only do I end up looking like a huge bitch for saying anything at all about my displeasure, but it's compounded by the fact that it seemed like no one else had a problem with anything. What was I supposed to do? She treated me crappy and I had no power to confront her about it, and they asked.

I don't know why I feel so bad. I just hate feeling like I'm the bad guy because I said my opinion.

Anyway, we then went on a tour of a private psychiatric hospital that also tried to recruit us. I guess psych nurses are in short supply. I haven't decided what type of nursing I want to do, so their recruiting was pretty much lost on me.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day Number 29 of My Captivity

Today was a pretty eventful clinical day. There was so much doom and gloom, I can't believe none of my patients coded. Flash! Tornado watch! Swine flu! Mexican earthquakes! While I wouldn't go as far as to say it was exciting, I was on my feet pretty much all day.

Dentures Lady started to have some strange hypotension and dizziness, so I got to do an assessment and bolus her It was pretty cool that I pretty much figured out on my own what needed to be done. I need to be better about data collection, though, because I was asked all of these questions about labs about which I had no idea. I was just concerned about the 70s systolic blood pressure.

LIHB was having a very emotional day and her primary nurse wasn't doing much at all to help. She was having a lot of pain and a ton of anxiety about her discharge planning. The nurse just sort of blew her off and didn't talk to her at all even when she got tearful. Remind me to switch careers if I ever get to that point. I got to do blood cultures, though. That was an interesting process, but I don't know if I'll do it right next time I'm asked because the nurse had her "own way" of doing things. I wish she would have at least taught me the right way seeing as how I'm a student.

I get somewhat annoyed when some of these nurses take shortcuts and I'm unaware that they are, in fact, shortcuts. I do procedures and skills the way the nurse taught me at the hospital and my instructor gets upset when she sees what I'm doing. All I can say is that that's how the primary nurse does it, and that's how I thought it was done. Confusing.

Anyway, I got a compliment from one of the nurses on the floor about my confidence and how I'm going to be great at my job some day. Then, my patient complimented me on the way I drew blood because he was a hard stick. Then, my other patient complimented me on my blood drawing skills because she was a hard stick as well (history of IV drug abuse). People were giving me so many compliments it was a wonder my head could fit out the door.

Overall, a success. No one died (on my floor, anyway. That's quite a story for later on), no tornadoes decided to strike our little (big) hospital, no one had swine flu, and, best of all, we don't live in a 100 mile radius of Mexico city.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Tomorrow I'm taking three patients on the Med/Surg floor at clinical. Can I handle it? I think so. Here's the lineup:

1. Lady I've Had Before. LIHB is pretty easy. She's got scheduled 'round the clock pain meds and IV antibiotics and a PICC line. Shouldn't be too hard just as long as she doesn't have another anxiety attack. Bring it on, LIHB.
2. Conversion Disorder Dude. The docs aren't quite sure what's going on with him. He came in for chest pain, but the EKG was negative. Now he's on a suicide watch. I love the built in babysitters! Easy meds and I will get to practice my Spanish. Oh, and don't forget, no silverware.
3. Dentures Lady. I walked in to introduce myself to DL and she said "There's something rather important that I forgot as we were heading out to go the hospital." I had no idea I would end up running over to HEB with her five dollars to buy denture glue. She should be pretty all right, she's just a little pathetic with her knee replacement and CHF. If denture glue will make DL happy, then gosh darn it, I will oblige her.

How does that sound? It can't get any worse than last week when I had Homeless Apple Cider Vinegar Dude. But that's a different story for a different time.