Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dive on in there!

You know it's going to be a good day when one of the first things you hear in the morning is "Make sure you really spread the labia open and hold them tight! Sometimes they'll give you a good fight. And remember, that hand is now un-sterile." NO KIDDING! Can't wait to give it a shot on a real person... eesh.

I'll spare anyone reading this details of the stuff we learned today. Catheters, bed baths, changing linens, emptying an ostomy bag, and charting what the results of a Fleet enema were aren't particularly intriguing or appetizing.

Relevant to this blog, however, is the fact that everyone at school is telling us to pray for our teacher and her family. I won't go into details, but one of my lead teacher's young daughter-in-laws is extremely ill. Like on-a-respirator-for-a-week-and-a-half ill. The teacher is the wife of a minister. But we are all being told repeatedly to pray for them? What good are our prayers if a minister's child is getting screwed by life? It's so sad how people fall into these religious voids and can't crawl out. When things get rough, they fall faster and reach even more desperately for answers. I am without a doubt sympathetic and concerned, because the lady is young and with a small child, but I certainly also find it somewhat depressing that I live in a society where you're an outcast if you (silently) refuse to pray for someone.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Week 2

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!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Almost done with my first week of nursing school!

Since this is the first post, I'll give the lowdown on what's up with this blog. The reason for starting? According to Google search, there are very few atheist nurses.. or at least very few who speak about it on the interweb. There are a surprising number, but still not very many. I think there was another atheist nurse blog, an adult nursing student. Not sure if s/he still updates the blog though.

I've been wanting to start a blog for a while, mainly for my own amusement and secondly for the small seed of a dream inside my brain that hopes I'll be on CNN.com one day for something crazy I've done or taken part in. Sitting in school the past few days with my 100 fellow classmates (only 100 get accepted/semester) I began wondering whether I was the only atheist in my class, and, seeing as how I'm in Texas, how long it would take before one of them asked me which church I belong to. Of course, I will proudly but gently let them know that I am an atheist and welcome any questions they may have about how we eat fetal pigs and run around nursing homes punching residents in the face.

So, to summarize the scrambled mess of words and ideas above, I am starting this blog with two objectives:

1. To have a clich├ęd "OMG I'm a nursing student!" place to talk about all my first experiences in various hospital/clinical settings (the first of which is in 3 weeks and will be in the trauma unit)

2. To hopefully show that atheists can be (and are) extremely compassionate people with a great respect for life (this is our only one, after all) and can be damn good nurses, to boot.