Friday, February 03, 2006

My new preceptor...

Rocks! I love my new preceptor. I know, it is too soon to be so optimistic, but what the hell. She is really great. I went to the unit to meet her and have a tour of the facility. When I arrived on the floor she was attending to a patient. So I put my things in a conference room and stepped inside the door to check out her style.

She had a patient that was a bit heavy. (Please, don't take this the wrong way, because I too am a little bit heavy but this is a different thing.) Her patient weighed at least 500lbs. I was trying to figure out which nurse was her because there were only three people in the room. The patient was crying because she was being transferred from one bed to the other, and on her way to the hospital she had been dropped by EMS twice, and there were ten people assisting with the lift. I probably would have been scared too, because we were a team of only four! Finally someone said my preceptor's name and she looked up. She is normal. She is not a tiny, little cute nurse with the frosted pony-tail and the two carat diamond ring. She has lived, she doesn't wear a whole lot of make-up, and she is over thirty. And she has a wonderful sense of humor. She is real, and she is not afraid to get dirty. She has a husband that has a blue collar job and a cat that she adores. She really loves nursing and is devoted to patient care. I like that. This is the type of nurse I have been waiting to see for quite some time now.

I decided to slip on a pair of gloves and jump in. I listened to the conversation and watched what was going on in the room. As I heard a need expressed I gathered the necessary items... a extra sheet, a towel, a sliding board. The patient became hysterical. My preceptor gave her a directive to calm down and cut it out. In my amazement, the patient calmed down and she wasn't offended by her stern tone. Since this patient was larger, we had to turn her very large midsection first, and then try to move the upper and lower body with the assist of a draw sheet. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is, but it is pretty simple. I grabbed the Foley and placed it out of harm's way. As they counted for the lift, I grabbed the patient's feet and made sure that her lower half followed her upper half. to be honest, my preceptor moved that patient by herself. I couldn't believe how strong she was, but she was so worried about me hurting my back that she wouldn't let me help her more.

Once we finished, we went on a tour of the unit and she told me about some of the policies, what I am allowed to do and so on. Then I told her about my class and what we would be working on etc. She helped me with the ECG strips and ACLS drugs. Then the phone rang. We were to receive a patient from the emergency department with a femoral pseudo-aneurysm. They made it sound like we were just going to be babysitting the bulging groin until the surgical service stepped in. Why did his aneurysm rupture while we were completing his assessment? My preceptor sat there holding pressure to the site until the doctors arrived. In the meantime, I tried to comfort the wife. I offered her coffee, we talked about her grandchildren and every now and then she asked me a question about what was going on. I told her that they were just applying pressure to the site and that her husband was talking and making jokes. She didn't dare come into the room because she just couldn't bear the sight of seeing her husband like that. I took the q15 minute vitals. I did the 12 lead ECG. I felt so helpful. I had only planned on staying for a two hours and I ended up staying all night long. And that was my first clinical day.

The hospitality of the facility is just awesome. I could really see myself working in this hospital. Everyone is helpful and mostly friendly. The preceptor tried to forewarn me in advance about what it is like to be new and the different types of personalities. She also talked about her personality and what to expect. She sincerely is trying to socialize me into the profession. This hospital is a county hospital, so the whole climate is different. Regular everyday people as patients and employees. Not a whole lot of arrogance. The only hang-up is that this facility is very far from my home. It is almost and hour drive. But I anticipate that I will learn alot. I am just really tired. So I am going to call it a night.



studentnurse said...

I can't wait to read more, and do you mind if I allow my classmates to read also? I can so appreciate what you are going through.

Keep smiling.


Nurse Diva Extraordinaire said...

I am so glad you like my blog. For a minute there, I didn't think anyone was reading it. (smile!) Feel free to share with whomever you think will benefit. Thank you for your support.