So I it’s time for an update! As of Friday we have our clinical assignments…of course there is always a chance that things will change, but I’m hoping that they won’t seeing as how we have our orientation to our clinical location on Thursday! I get to spend my time at a nursing rehabilitation center called HealthSouth. We’re told that we’ll see a lot of patients with TBIs (traumatic brain injuries), SCIs (spinal cord injuries), and ortho cases (e.g. total hip replacement). I’m hoping to have the chance to practice some skills…I hear that there’s a lot of PIC lines there so hopefully I’ll get to change some dressings! One must keep in mind during clinical that you have to make your presence known (in a good and not so annoying way) so that the nurse will remember to save something for you! So…if you see me walking around with a brown spot on my nose, well, you’ll know why! ;)
The downside to clinicals this semester is that we’ll have to spend parts of it on campus for a simulation again. We’re broken into larger groups of about 12 (because of the lack of clinical instructors) therefore 4 of us will have to stay behind for campus clinical…We’ll get rotated through both campus and actual clinical locations, but I’m a little bummed that not all of our time will be spent with “real” patients! Oh well…I told you that I wasn’t holding my breath when it came to clinicals…I’m trying to be optimistic and remind myself that last semester even though it wasn’t as much fun, it was a great learning experience!
Well then, it’s time now for story time! This past Thursday and Friday (the week we were supposed to start our clinicals) we spent our time on campus for our final “check-off”. This was comprised of our instructors making sure that everyone knew how to wear their uniforms so we weren’t a disgrace to the CNM name! So we all got lined up in a massive line as we got examined from head to toe. Literally, they started with an inspection of our hairdo and went all the way down to the style of our shoe! The only thing they didn’t make us do is stick out our tongues…and that’s only because they forgot…and I wish I was kidding! J
So after our lovely day of being inspected for the umpteenth time we spent the next day watching a movie (apparently our instructors couldn’t think of anything more exciting). Honestly though, it was a really good movie that got us thinking about the way we interact and treat each person. The movie we watched is called Wit. It’s about a woman who is diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer and spends the rest of her time in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy. It’s a drama filmed like a documentary about the time she spent with her healthcare providers from the time she was diagnosed to the time she died. The moral of the story is to treat each patient as a person and not as a disease. We’re reminded that regardless of how grumpy someone may be, how fascinating their case is, or how few questions they ask…they’re still a person and they deserve to be treated as that…an individual; a mother, brother, nephew or niece, grandma or grandpa or a neighbor that lives down the street.
I think the main thing that I wanted to share with you is how my fellow nursing students reacted to the end of the movie. I took a moment to glance around through my watery eyes and everywhere eyes were teary, noses were running, tissue was being whipped out like Kleenex was running out of business ;) and it was there that I realized how awesome it is that I get to share a career with people that honestly have a passion to help each person to the best of their ability! While yes, there will always be that one grumpy nurse whose life would be so much better if everyone just went away; however, for the most part all that we nurses want are to cherish and nurture each individual to the best of our abilities. Shamelessly wiping away at our tears realizing that we have the potential to affect the way someone heals and perceives the entire healthcare system…it’s overwhelming and extremely exciting all at the same time. Hey, I may not be perfect at giving you a quick and easy IM injection and it may take me a while to change your dressing, but when you just need to cry I can offer my presence to you and just sit there with you and give you a tissue to blow your nose. I can listen to what you have to say and be an advocate for you. I can go out of my way to get you an extra pillow to make you more comfortable so you can rest. I can listen when you say you’re in pain and do my best to ease it and not judge the kind of pain you’re in. I can be there. I can listen. I can intervene on your behalf. I can brush your teeth after you vomit. I can wipe your butt when you can’t reach. The list goes on and on. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that the movie has me pondering the different things that I can do to make each person feel like a person and not feel like they’re being treated like “the disease in room 123”.
Even though we student like to give the instructors flak about lame days where we sit around and watch a movie…it doesn’t hurt to be reminded every once and a while that each person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect (hmm…reminds me of elementary school…who knew those words would come back to haunt me)!