Thursday, November 14, 2013

The End?

Tomorrow is my last hospital clinical of my undergraduate nursing career.  Really?  The last time I will take care of a patient as a student nurse.  That is...

This week has been so busy that I haven't even had a chance to decide how I feel about this.  It definitely goes back to my myriad of emotions from the last post.  So many feelings.

I can't help but be nostalgic and think back to my first clinical.  I was afraid to reposition a patient in their bed.  I was afraid that if I touched them I would do it wrong and break them.

I'll never forget my first patient on a med/surg floor who had a JP drain after surgery.  He got out of bed and it came disconnected so bloody fluid was going everywhere.  I completely freaked out and ran out of the room to get his RN.  I thought I was going to kill him!  I was freaking out that he would bleed to death!!!!  I thought my career as a nurse was over right then and there.  Then the nurse just sauntered into his room and reconnected the drain to the tubing and went on her merry way like it was nothing.  I needed a Xanax but everyone else was just fine.

Then there was the day I watched a Cambodian patient sob in her bed because she could not communicate with me about what she needed related to a language barrier.  She had had a stroke and sometimes when people have a stroke they revert back to language that they used to speak -- for her it was an ancient dialect of Cambodian that no one else could understand.  I left the hospital that day and wept for that poor woman.

Or the time when I watched two fellow nursing student retrieve a foley cathether from the biowaste bin that was still attached to the foley bag and the continuous bladder irrigation system. It had been carelessly left there by an MD.  One student grabbed the cathether, which is made of floppy silicone, and it flopped like a wild beast flinging urine onto the other students scrubs.  The two of them stared, in horror, at each other realizing what had just happened and i just stood in the hallway and watched because they were in an isolation room and I was not gowned to go in.  I don't think I have ever laughed so hard in my life.

The clinical experiences that I have had during my time in nursing school will stay with me forever.  There are some patients that I will never forget.  I have a completely different life perspective than I did 2 years ago.  I have never been so pleased with the direction I am heading.

When I walk out of that hospital tomorrow I find it impossible to predict what I will be feeling, but I know that this journey has been so amazing that no matter what tomorrow brings, I am headed full speed into my happily ever after.

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