injection practice

from jaxia

As I put on my lab coat this morning, I realized how much I had missed wearing it. Nursing school started up again on Monday, and today was our orientation to our pediatrics hospital. After my pediatric rotation, I’ll go through obstetrics and finish up with a bit of medical/surgical.

Rotations will take me to two different hospitals this semester. While it will be nice to see how different hospitals handle things, it will be a little nerve-wracking to move to a new hospital about the time I figure out where everything is at the first one! One thing’s for sure — being a nursing student teaches you to go with the flow :)

During skills lab this week, we started on injections. My goal is to learn to do my intradermal injections better than the guy who gave me my PPD test — I have a nasty bruise on my forearm. I think I’m going to buy a couple of chicken breasts and practice over the holiday weekend. Someone also said that hotdogs are good for practicing injections. How do you practice your injections?

to care, not to scare

from aboutnurse

it’s not that it wasn’t funny. and believe me, it’s not that i don’t have a sense of humor. i found the whole thing realistically funny. it is one thing to be witty, it is another thing to be down right humorous. i’m pretty sure you will agree with me that michelle is the whole package.

with an opening like that, i hope i made it crystal clear that this post is not against michelle. i do not have any intention to offend her or any of her avid readers, (because i am one of them) and i totally respect her and what she does, both as a doctor and a mother, as she relates in her blog.

the last picture of one of her latest scutmonkey cartoons was laugh out loud funny. it didn’t only make me roll over the floor laughing, but it amazed me how michelle accurately integrated humor into the reality that is so universal among the heirarchy of doctors. the whole picture was undeniably funny, except for one thing.

one very disturbing thing…
the generalized image of a headnurse. a person who “eats medical students for breakfast”.

the fact that nobody among the 40 commenters (as of this time) expressed concern about this image of a headnurse is an implication that this must be happening everywhere where there are medical students and headnurses. it is implied that this is not just a cheap shot to use hyperbolic humor, but it is the sad reality out there. even i, can attest to that reality. it is true that there are nurses like them, and they are vicious. in fact, they not only eat medical students for breakfast, but they also snack on new nurses as if they are entitled to.

my whole point is not to disagree with the issue implied by michelle, but to understand and eventually put an end to this whole “you-are-just-a-medical-student/intern/newbie-i-am-the-mighty-headnurse-you-must-kiss-my-ass” scenario in the teaching hospitals. i know that is a difficult task, but you can’t blame me if i want to try.

so, charge/headnurses, why THE attitude?

why is this so prevalent? is this some kind of a revenge? were you humiliated, insulted, offended, or abused by doctors in the past? do you get a certain exhilirating sense of power and satisfaction if you embarass someone? were you battered children? are you lonely? do you need attention? don’t you have enough self esteem to keep your mouth shut instead of criticise? where are you coming from? what are you trying to accomplish by being mean? what are you trying to teach those who are closely watching you?

WHAT are you thinking? where did you get the idea that you can smugly stand there, and ruin other nurses indirectly?

by modeling out an attitude that forces medical students to stick to a negative impression that will last a lifetime, you have built a wall between nurses and doctors that is difficult to tear. by showing other nurses that such cruel behavior can be done without flinching, you make it easier for them to fall into the same annoying cycle.

i wish i have that magic wand. the kind that i can wave over the heads of those self absorbed nurses. a magic spell that will make them realize how important it is to break the degrading cycle of “eating” people for breakfast. a wand that will make hostility and animosty disappear, and replace it with a basic sense of community.

that’s what we’re supposed to be. a commnunity. a group of caring people with a common goal. the goal to help the sick and to encourage each other. we’re supposed to be a team of professionals who provides and advocates for patients’ needs while inspiring each other to be better persons.

that’s what we should aim for, to be better persons.
we should never find it impressive that medical students are terrified to call us their ally.

that is not impressive. to me, that is saddening.

the liver cirrhosis patient

submitted by: benzzz

she was difficult to please and was not pleasant. she complained about almost everything, and she had this look that made her frustrations about life and what she did to live it very palpable.

used to patients like her, i didn’t really mind the coldness and the ungrateful attitude. it was not that i was immuned to it, it was just that i have learned not to take situations like these personally because it will make me an obvious loser. i reasoned she had every reason to behave like that.

she was extremely jaundiced and her large abdomen said it all. i was told from report that her liver cirrhosis was secondary to alcohol abuse. i looked at her chart and noticed that this year alone, she has been in the hospital or clinic 48 times.

i didn’t think i had enough time to connect with her, so i didn’t even try. i know that sounds mean, but i will not lie about it. i expected the night to drag along very slowly, and i sort of felt bad about that, but i knew that if i just get out of her way, we will both spend the whole night in peace. i will take care of her needs, and she will sleep the night away.

i thought to myself: “when the night is over, i will hand her care over to the next nurse, and i will forget all about her. she will be one of those patients who pass by me and whose name and face i will never remember”.

i was wrong.

she threw up twice. she wanted to be cleaned. she had an accident. she wanted to be cleaned. she demanded three blankets. she wanted her back rubbed. she wanted the light off. she wanted her hair stroked. she wanted the curtains pulled. she wanted the temperature up. she wanted her pillow flipped. she wanted water. she wanted to change her gown. she wanted booties. she wanted the door closed. she wanted somebody to sit next to her. she wanted peace. she was scared.

just when i thought i was going crazy with all the requests, i realized that she was not talking to me. she was demanding all sorts of things alright, but not from me. she was asking her husband. not nicely, but with urgency.

her husband, he was one of a kind. not even once did i see in his face that he was getting weary. the demanding attitude that usually irk even very loving family members did not even rattle him. he was consistently kind and empathetic. he treated her with such gentleness and care, that the sight of him cleaning her vomit took my breath away. the way he ran his fingers through her hair made my heart flutter. he talked to her in the softest voice possible, his presence calmed her down. it also warmed my soul.

it is amazing how things just get to you sometimes. all of a sudden, it dawned on me that i have been too cynical lately. that other than my own definition and experience of love, i have questioned its reality in other people’s lives.

i thought about it, and i thought about it hard. was there something in her that only he can see? what if it has nothing to do with her? what if it was just him, the way he was built? a man born to truly love. one who truly knows how treat a woman kindly, unconditionally, without questions.

maybe that explains everything. maybe he was just one of the very few.

but still. there are questions…

if love is undefinable, how come some people can make it so tangible?
if love can be this beautiful, how come only a handful can actually say so?