Archive | June, 2014

Four months in… time to change it up!

11 Jun

Well, I’m not sure what happened to the last four months… I think many of them disappeared in the blink of an eye. I’m four months into my first year as a graduate nurse – I’ve not actually been counting… the only reason I know is it is now time to rotate… The program I’m on has me undertake 3 separate rotations each are four months in duration. So it is here, I find myself at the end of rotation one, I start on my new ward on Monday.

First let it be said I’m not keen to move on. There are plenty of reasons for this, one of course being I don’t like change, but it is also more than that. I’m now at the point where I have some confidence, where others have some confidence in me, and where I feel like I know a bit about the various operations patients we receive have undertaken, the main complications to look out for, how they are managed post-operatively (I’m on a surgical ward if you haven’t gathered). I’ve made some good friends. Now I need to start again. I need to meet new staff, and earn their confidence and learn more about the different procedures and operations that they manage post-operatively. And I will – I was in the same position four months ago, and I can do it again, but I’ll miss the team I work with, and the patients.

The guys and girls I have worked with, and my patients, have taught me so much in these months! Let me try and highlight a few of the lessons I have learned:

  • Nurses genuinely care. They do. I’ve seen it in action day in, day out. They want what is best for their patients. They will do everything they can to ensure their patient’s needs are met. They do it with patients of every shape and size – happy, sad, really sick, grumpy, long-term, short-term… etc…
  • Every patient is important. Every patient it someone’s daughter/son/father/mother/sister/brother etc … it pays to remember that
  • Patients do not deteriorate at “convenient” times… it’s always when you are at your busiest, or ready to finish your shift
  • I actually know more than I realise – one only needs to work with a first year, first semester student to appreciate how much we actually did learn at uni and since starting work…
  • If there is an orifice in your body something can come out of it… and I will clean it all up with a smile… that is all that needs to be said about that…
  • One of the most important things I can give my patients is my time. It is so easy to rush in and rush out, and there is a very good reason for this – there is always SO MUCH to do. But when in a patient’s room, they deserve my undivided attention. I want to be present and I want them to feel like I have time to care for them – physically and emotionally – and one of the most important ways I can do this is offer them my time
  • A patient who is anxious can have their blood pressure lowered by some 30mmHg systolic if you listen to them talk about their grandchildren and listen to them sing one of the songs they sing to them… Thumbelina is a pretty cool song for the record! They aren’t stupid, and they will comment that they know you’re distracting them from their concerns to lower their BP from the 180/90 that it was… I’d rather consider it refocusing one’s attention…
  • On your worst day, when that patient’s buzzer goes for what seems to be the 100th time that shift, you may groan inwardly but head for the buzzer anyway. You will then feel guilty when as you go to leave, the patient thanks you for your care and wants to know when you are on next as you’ve provided the best care they have had!
  • Everyday I thank God that I am alive for another day and I pray that I can care for my patients in a manner that would please Him.

So, to the guys and girls who have made my transition from student to graduate nurse as smooth as possible I can only offer you my heartfelt thanks. That’s everyone… nurses, ward clerks, stewards, physios, pharmacists, dieticians, Doctors, students… seriously, you name it! You’ve supported me, cheered me up, calmed me down, and made me laugh when I really needed to. You gave me the confidence that I would be okay, gave me time and space to learn and helped out whenever I asked without complaint or crankiness – you were always so willing to help. I can’t list you all here or this post would go for longer than it already has – but I hope you know that I think of all of you when I write this. You are a wonderful bunch and if I have the pleasure of working with you again someday it would be an absolute honour.