Yesterday was my second "lab" day in preparation for clinical, which begins in two weeks. Evidently we will be spending our entire semester in various parts of the trauma unit, including the ICU. I'm still nervous that I'll get sick or make a mistake, but during our lab yesterday we practiced working with "real" patients to help us feel more confident.
In addition to other incredible learning equipment and a Smart Hospital on campus, we also have a setup inside the nursing building with 5 authentic hospital rooms with 2 beds each. In each room were two actors/volunteers playing the same patient (to help everyone get through each room in a timely manner). The subject we were focusing on yesterday was Activity and Ambulation, so each patient needed to be aided in moving or turning. Each patient then filled out an assessment sheet after we left to check off what we did right and what we could do to improve. We haven't received them back yet, and frankly, I'm not sure if I want to know.
In Room 110, we had a grumpy, "pleasantly confused" woman wearing a Posey vest restraint. She needed to be turned over in the Sims position for a Tylenol suppository and then rolled over again on her back. She was a good actor, let me tell you. Yelling things like "Call the police!" and "Can I have some birthday cake? I think it's my birthday. It's Christmas!" and "You two are so nice, why are you hurting me?" was probably pretty realistic.
Room 130 housed a patient who had recently had a CVA and was partially paralyzed on his right side, so he needed assistance with range of motion exercises. Once we were done, we were preparing to raise the head of his bead again, and he handed us a card that said "My blood pressure is 74/52, what are you going to do?" (This was necessary because the patients weren't actually hooked up to any monitors, but some did have IVs taped to them and Foley catheter bags.) Because we were thrown off, I suggested "Why don't we raise the head of your bed?" but then he moaned and said "Nooo I feel worse!" so I ran and got one of the instructors and realized we should've been keeping his head lowered and raising his feet. Then we were supposed to pretend the monitor showed a healthier blood pressure, but apparently I'm no good at pretending anymore. There seemed to be a group member running out of that room frantically looking for an instructor every few minutes, so presumably we weren't the only ones who screwed up.
This isn't a very interesting blog so far, but I can almost promise I'll have many more interesting stories once I'm actually working with real patients. Next week we will be working in the Smart Hospital (which I will talk more about afterwards) and learn how to insert Foley catheters, maintain and clean ostomy pouches, give enemas, change bedclothes with and without a patient in the bed, give bed baths, and more. How exciting!