Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So long Kindred!

9 weeks at Kindred felt like an eternity while in the midst of them. Looking back now, it feels like they flew by! Our last day at Kindred was the best and worst clinical experience I have had so far. Here are the highlights:
  • We arrived at 6am.....we left after 7pm. This qualifies as the worst because on our last clinical day of the year we were kept 13 hours. Other groups finished up half days and were sent home to study. The following morning, those of us who had to retake the HESI that we missed would be rising early to do so. Tired from a 13 hour clinical is not the best way to do that.
  • I was chosen to give medications. This was a good and bad thing. Great for practice and becoming more familiar with meds. But I have given them more than anyone in the class so of course I took it as I'm not doing well and need to work on my med administration. I was scheduled to start my morning off with a 7am accucheck and from there on out I gave all the meds to both of my patients.
  • I loved my final patients. One was this older Hispanic lady who didn't speak English and I sure don't speak Spanish. I wish I could spit out a few words but having Trav around with his "fake" Spanish I have now completely confused the real words with his Spanish lingo. She was really sweet. Although we did not speak a common language we made do with hand signals, facial expressions, and attempting to say words in English or Spanish. My second patient was this pleasant man, mid forties, who was a chatty one which I love. I really enjoy interacting with patients and being a student means I am able to find time to talk away! We had great conversations about his faith which is really neat because  I love finding ways to use nursing as a way to show Christ to others.
  • I started an IV on my lil Spanish lady. I tried to avoid it. I know....so awful. But with my instructor leaning over my shoulder and the way she intimidates me I really didn't want to on our last day. But it bit me in the butt because we went in to hang her IVPB and I couldn't flush her line due to the fact it needed changing. Since I was there with my instructor there was no way she was letting the RN do it instead. But it was a great experience and I buckled up and did it!!! She told my teacher in Spanish that I had 1 try and than she wanted her nurse to do it. I made a #1 sign and than a thumbs up to let her know I only needed one try. The way she was sitting meant I needed to be on the knees on the ground to get her IV in. Awkward? Yes. Needless to say I got it in on the first try! My hand was slightly shaky and it wasn't perfect from start to finish but I got it and it felt good!!!
  • I hung a flawless IV piggyback medication. Remember back to that awful day where I held my first one and shook non stop while she criticized me? This time i walked in with confidence and she said," You should be a pro now." In my head I responded with," You bet I am!". It felt wonderful to have mastered that task over those weeks. Fear faced!
  • I was able to do patient teaching to my male patient. It's hard to do that when your patient is comatose, like most of mine had been. But while I gave him each medication I explained it and what he needed to notify me for if he experienced something. He threw some questions towards me that I was not expecting but I was able to answer them and show my teacher that I do indeed know my meds!
  • I served. One of the greatest things about being a nurse is the "customer service" part of it. We are there to provide care and to serve these patients. They are the ones bedridden, deprived of their abilities and regular activities. So, I was happy to serve my male patient. He needed cranberry juice, his oatmeal heated, more ice, his protein shake, and more. He kept me busy and on my toes. I know he was thankful to have a student nurse who was tending to just too patients because when you are a RN and have 5/6 patients, it's hard to be constantly running "errands". We had great conversations throughout the day and I loved hearing him and his roomie chat between the curtain about football, their families, and more.
  • I got an A!!!!! Yup! An A!!!! The only one in this clinical group. I've never been more proud of something before. I worked my butt off. Each week I challenged myself and overcame new fears. My professor challenged me and pushed me to give more than my best. It all paid off. Waiting to receive my evaluation I was nervous, thinking I would get ripped apart. But I walked in and she said," You were my only A. " and I just about fainted. She let me know that the nervousness would go away. It's always harder having someone stare over your shoulder intimidating you. She also told me that she used to be like that too. She said my skills had improved greatly and she had really seen me grow over the 9 weeks. My careplans had kicked butt all term which was awesome as well. I was not expecting that. I could not wipe the smile off my face on the way home.....no matter how tired I was!
Those 9 weeks were long and Kindred was not my first choice for a facility, but it ended up being a surprising blessing. Here's to another term down!

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