On Maternity: The nurses in the maternity ward think they have the best job in the whole hospital! And there’s something to their opinion: the overwhelming majority of their patients are fundamentally well. No other part of the hospital can claim that.
On Level of Consciousness: It is not normal to sleep through a blood sugar check.
We All Need the Duhpartment of Research: Yes, sometimes we do need scientific proof of what seems to be perfectly obvious. That’s because sometimes the perfectly obvious gets proven right, and sometimes it gets proven wrong.
On the Passage of Time: It’s just as well I didn’t study back in the 80s or 90s. I might be one of those nurses who say things like “We’ve always done it this way!”
Sometimes Questions are Opportunities: When you can’t easily find that somebody has answered your question, there is room for you to run a study and find the answers for others.
On the NICU: When I arrived in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, I was prepared for a depressing day. Instead, I found the tiniest humans showing fierce fighting spirit and overcoming the odds every day, with help from extremely caring nurses… and of course a lot of equipment. It turned out to be a highly satisfying experience where I felt like I made a difference.
Preemies Need Coffee!: Well, not really. But a bit of caffeine does help them breathe better.
Magnetic: There is such a thing as a Magnet Hospital. Such hospitals are supposed to “promote excellence in nursing and healthcare.” Sounds very buzzword compliant, doesn’t it? However, it turns out that such hospitals do have lower mortality rates and brings in more revenue than it costs to attain. That last bit is why you’re likely to see more of them in the future.
And that just about wraps it up for my third semester of nursing school. Stay tuned for the final edition at the end of June!
Another semester has ended, and that means it’s time for another set of interesting things I learned.
On Google Maps: When you notice Google suggesting a “short” route to an off-campus event that cuts through an historically bad neighborhood, it’s a good idea to assume that some of your classmates aren’t aware of that.
On Psych: I learned something important about myself: I am not cut out to work on a psych ward. However, mental health nursing does teach important skills that are needed in any nursing practice. There will always be patients and/or family members experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, or using ineffective coping mechanisms such as denial.
On Suicide Watch: Someone will tell the nurse almost anything if they think it will get them out of the legal hold. Oh, and these guys do important work.
On Assigned Groups: This semester I had the opportunity to work with people I would not have chosen. It was a good experience. You don’t get to pick your co-workers either.
On Florence Nightingale: Your brain is the most important tool you can bring onto your shift. Don’t forget to not only do your job, but leave the next nurse with the information she needs to do hers (please forgive my pronouns; most Med-Surg* nurses are still women).
On Alert: It is mentally exhausting to be paying close attention for long periods of time, even if you are mostly observing.
On Social Media: we say so much we shouldn’t online, that the Department of Health and Human Services can use Twitter to track potential emerging outbreaks.
On Nursing Specialties: Most people know there are jobs for nurses on hospital floors (Med-Surg = Medical-Surgical) and doctors offices. There are also nurses who provide home health, nurses who try to figure out how to reduce infections and other complications, nurses who work with the IT guys to make more effective hospital computing systems, and of course nurses who work in specialized areas of the hospital such as the emergency department, the operating room, or the catheterization lab.
More another day!