Saturday, March 7, 2015

First Clinical Day Ever: Pre Nursing

Back in mid January I started training for my new position. The first four weeks consisted of lots of "classes". From infection control to postmortem care. It involved so much information that I felt overwhelmed. When week five came around it was time for the first part of the final exam. Feb 17th was the lucky day. I took the final and I passed with a 96%. The next day was my first day of clinical in the unit across from where my home unit would be. It was a medical surgical unit that allowed us to see a little bit of everything, nothing too specific except that it was also a renal floor therefore a large portion of patients where in need of dialysis. 

The only other time I've ever worked in the clinical aspect of the health field was when I was working for a private office and I was pretty much just doing simple things like blood pressure, temperature, pulse ox, height and weight, EKGs, etcetera. This time around I'll be doing a little bit more. It still includes EKGs and your regular vitals but to the list we are also adding blood draws, specimen collection, bladder scans, blood glucose and so on but that won't be until to the end of training which lasts 12 weeks total. 

This clinical experience was supervised by the class instructors and we were assigned to shadow another technical partner while also helping with taking routine vitals as well as bathing, repositioning, and a little bit of everything we had learned in the previous weeks.  So where am I getting to with all this? Well I want to jot down my first experience ever giving care in an inpatient unit. Being on the road to a nursing degree this is the best possible route I could be on for various reasons and what an eye opener it was. The only regret I have was not applying for this training earlier. 

 I actually missed my first day of clinical, which should have been Wednesday the 18th, due to a car accident I was involved in the night before (more on that later). On Thursday when I arrived 10 minutes before 7am I was a nervous wreck. For starters the group was already a day ahead of me. Second, I'm an introvert by nature so having to interact with strangers in a very personal level had me as anxious as you could ever imagine.  I did not know what to do with myself but thankfully I made it through the day, even better I made it through the week. 

The first day was somewhat overwhelming. Too much information to remember and apply from before as well as learning new techniques. I like to be as organized as possible and I felt like I was thrown to the wolves. I simply did not know what to do first, there was so much going on. Mainly I was terrified of hurting the already fragile patients in my sections. Looking back at three weeks ago I feel so much comfortable. Of course that there's a lot more room for improvements and learning, still I was overreacting to my anxiousness from back then. Which is perfectly normal and human nature. I'm not alone here right? The day came to an end and I was told I did very well for my first day. 

Day two and three were almost deal breakers for me. I had patients that were "respectably" rude. A couple by confusion while another by choice. This specific person made me feel horrible. I'm not sure just how to explain it but I felt like I was degrating myself to meet her needs. She was, simply put, horrible. I seriously doubted myself and my future career goals. Is funny how sometimes a single person/scenario can give you doubts on something you feel so passionate about. I truly hope to never have to feel like that again and if something does happen along those lines, that I am able to not let it get under my skin. After all, it will happen from time to time whether I like it or not. I need to learn how to protect my emotions with a thicker skin. 

Day four came around and my group had to provide postmortem care first thing in the morning. I won't go into details (not that I'm allow to anyways) but you could just imagine how I was feeling. I've never been so closed to a deceased person in my life. Not even my own father. 

By day five I felt much comfortable in my role and was able to provide adequate care to the type of patients in my session. We had everything from droplet/contact precaution, to patients that needed to be fed, while others were pretty capable of doing personal care all on their own. I think by this day I felt more comfortable because I already knew my patients and they knew me. I was able to identify what type of care they needed and what they least liked. Their conditions, etc. I've noticed it has been like that since too. The first day I'm very reserve and try to offer proper care while getting to know them better while the end of day three I'm a lot more comfortable and have created a better relationship with them and their families. 

It was a great learning experience. My group, the instructors, and the preceptors did an amazing job at teaching and making us feel comfortable in our role. They answered every question possible and had a lot of patience with us newbies. 

Since then I've had patients who'd had strokes, were paraplegic, and one that was even famous! Can you believe that! I took care of someone famous :) I love my job, it is so rewarding to be able to give a little of me to help someone who truly needs it. With my experience so far, I know for sure that nursing is meant to be part of my life. Maybe not necessarily in this type of floor but definitely giving some type of care/education to the community. 

So Cheers! to the beginning of a great adventure. One that will forever be a part of my life. 

xoxo
Pamela

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