Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Twelve Weeks Later

When the five of us shuffled into the hospital for the first time, we were worse than useless.  We were useless but dressed in scrubs and with ID badges, giving us the profoundly misleading appearance of being way better than useless.

Our first day on the floor, only twelve short weeks ago, the following things happened in my clinical group:
A. started sweating so badly in her contact precautions gown that our preceptor had to lead her out of the room, sit her down, and take her vitals.
K. delayed going into her patient's room for so long that by the time she did, her patient just wanted to go to bed.
T. lost her stethoscope and spent an hour looking for it on every mobile computer station on the floor.
W. listened to her patient's heart with the wrong side of her stethoscope and flew into a panic when she couldn't hear any heart sounds.

And I...well, you all have heard tell of my many clinical inadequacies.

But now?  Times have changed, y'all.  And today, on our second to last day on the floor this year, I looked around at all of us and my heart swelled with pride.  My group, these girls, they inspire me so much.  Every shift, we grow and adapt in ways that seemed impossible twelve weeks ago.  I held a stack of papers for A. today while she gathered her patient's meds, donned some gloves, and headed into his room.  I stood outside and listened while she calmly and confidently asked to see his wristband, confirmed his name and birthdate, and doled out three cups of pills with grace, charm, and precision.  She knew every med, she made sure he knew what he was taking and why, and she did the whole thing without a second thought.  That might not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is.  Or two weeks ago, T. and I gave her patient a bath and the tenderness with which she washed and combed her patient's hair while talking to her and telling her a story nearly took my breath away.  It was beautiful to see, and the patient's heart rate fell below 90 beats per minute for the first time all morning.

I know we are not nurses yet.  We have a lot of learning yet to do.  But when we're bustling around the floor, confidently heading into patients' rooms, handing out meds, emptying bedpans and changing sheets without a second thought, advocating for our patients to their doctors, looking up their labs and explaining procedures to them, ordering them meals, and flushing their IVs, I think back to the first day when we all were such disasters and my spirits lift.  These friends of mine inspire me to work harder every day.  I'm so sad that next week is our last week.

30 Days Hath November
Day 01: A place I'd like to travel.
Day 02: A favourite movie.
Day 03: Something I never leave the house without.
Day 04: A friend I adore.
Day 05: My hometown.
Day 06: A book I'm reading.
Day 07: A song for the day.
Day 08: Three inspirational quotes.
Day 09: A close-up of my day.
Day 10: A favourite recipe.
Day 11: Three years ago today.
Day 12: The last item I purchased.
Day 13: Something I'm proud of.
Day 14: Style inspiration for the season.
Day 15: Three blogs I always read.
Day 16: Someone who inspires me.

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