Monday, October 17, 2005

How I know I'm not in Hell.

Another nursing student story

So Friday was the first day for some new nursing students--these are not fourth-semester, they're brand-new, first-semester clinical students. From the same program that spawned Weepy, Frizzy, Dopey, and Sleepy, but much, much higher caliber.

The student I was paired with came prepared, knew how to take vitals, and did a complex dressing change by herself (well, with me watching) with minimal coaching.

I asked her if she'd had any experience with wound care before, and she said "No, I just watched while you took down the old dressing, then I went and got what I needed and put it back in reverse order." Considering that most first-semester students (myself included) are so nervous they just want to sink through the floor, this was encouraging.

About twenty minutes before they were due to leave, I gave my student and another student a time-check, to let them know to start wrapping things up in ten minutes or so.

They did two baths in that twenty minutes and finished with time to spare.

We all have a renewed faith in humanity now.

And, by God, with four patients with cerebral perfusion issues on the floor at once, we certainly need it.

Perfusion problems are characterized by wacky behavior. If the person can scream, they'll scream. If they can cuss, they'll cuss. I'd never once given Haldol in three years; on Saturday, I gave three injections of the stuff. The floor sounded like Broadmoor on a Sunday afternoon.

That alone is a good argument for watching your blood sugar and cholesterol, not drinking Beam every single damn night of your life, and having your medical problems treated early and comprehensively. I've come to the conclusion that if you're really dedicated to being a hard-liquor drunk, you should probably just apply the alcohol directly to your brain, thus saving the rest of us a lot of time and trouble.

I worked with a good crew this weekend. Only one of seven people on the floor was the sort of person you really have to watch; other nurses will tell you that that's a good ratio. And it was that good-crew-ness that kept all of us from back injuries and major depressive disorder. Thirty-six hours of four screamers will undo the most sanguine soul.

Now I have two days off. I suppose I should go do an hour or so of exercise, but I think instead that I'm going to putter around the apartment and make a grocery list. Stuffing earplugs into my ears and crawling back into bed sounds good too.


may said...

crawl back into bed and stay in your pjs till lunch feels really good :)

Anonymous said...

nope, i vote for make the grocery list while drinking hot chocolate, take a shower, and then crawl back into bed. You wake up clean ( one chore done) and ready to go shop (second chore) then a nap, and then make some dinner. Don't skip the crawling back into bed, though. Glad to hear the dwarves were replace by Perky and Happy

Jo said...

Oh Thank God! I was hoping we'd get some decent representation and a good student story. We're not all bad ya know.