Saturday, February 7, 2009

Magnet-Ball Vitals

Crass Pollination recently posted on a volunteer that was in her ER, and how terrified the volunteer was to go in and speak to an actual patient. That got me thinking about my very first day of nursing clinical. I'd like to say that I went in and conquered, knew what to do with those patients, and won the everlasting praise of my instructor. Alas, that's not how it really went.

If you've ever watched a little league soccer game, you know what I'm talking about. It's jokingly called "magnet ball" because all the little kids just chase after the soccer ball and whoever happens to be closest kicks it in no general direction, and everyone takes off again behind it. That's kind of how we were, except the ball was our instructor and instead of kicking her we bathed patients.

Instead of being in the hospital right away, our clinicals started out at a local nursing home. Our instructor has us keep journals of our whole semester, and I'd like to share with you the spoils of my first day. Enjoy!

I started with vitals on Mr. W. When I was standing in the hallway, a nurse walked by and asked me to get his vitals so I really had no chance to put it off any longer. I went in and explained what I was about to do, but had some trouble. Thanks for helping me out with his BP. I think I just sort of got overwhelmed and couldn't think straight.

After the vitals were done, I got to give him a partial bath. Again, thanks for helping with getting Mr. W undressed. I didn't want to hurt him and didn't quite know how to do it otherwise.

I then went to the other hall and found the rest of our clinical group. I helped J bathe her patient. It was so different from the previous two patients. The nurse wasn't there, there were three other patients in the room too, and there was that feel of first-time student nurse panic. One patient kept yelling, one was completely silent, and one kept talking about nipples. It was very overwhelming.

Blah blah blah, moral of the story is: Be nice to nursing students! We don't know how to do anything, and talking to patients is scary. It didn't stop being scary until about 8 weeks into the semester.

Whew. I'm glad those days are in the past. I now don't hesitate to strip a patient naked, it only takes me 90 seconds to get vitals, and I've heard far worse than innocent nipple talk. And oh yeah, I've got a brand new RN after my name. Yes sir, I've come a long way. Huzzah!


Jen said...

You realize your last two post titles involve balls, right?

shrtstormtrooper said...

What can I say, I like to let it all hang out in my titles.

Or maybe I just like to keep my posts well rounded?

Or maybe I just wanted to pair up when talking about such things?

undergrad RN said...

LOL I am reading this in silent study hall and I just about choked trying to hold it in. You hit it exactly! Talking to pts is like the scariest thing ever and I don't know anything!! One day they will strip on my command... One day.