How exciting!!! Every nursing school student dreams of stepping foot in the hospital and getting to learn and see things from the nurse’s point of view. You feel a sense of pride when are able to wear the uniform representing your school and have the stethoscope hanging around the neck.
So, I had quite an eventful first day. I did not know what to expect, but I did go prepared. I had my clipboard, stethoscope, pen and paper, ID badges, and phone. I met up with my friends in the front lobby, and we followed our instructor.
Our instructor introduced us to all the nurses and the health care personnel working on the assigned floor. We did a mini scavenger hunt to become familiar with everything around us. It was a great way to start our day.
I thought since it’s the first day, we were going to be shadowing a nurse. But boy, was I wrong. My instructor goes to me, “Maha, you are going to be checking the vital signs of patients in rooms 120 and 121.” I looked behind me as if there was a different Maha, but nope, it was me. I pointed to myself and was like, “Are you sure that’s a good idea?” one of the nurses was cracking up and reassured me that I would be fine and either she or my instructor would guide me.
I was really nervous. I did not expect to get hands-on with a patient after practicing on the mannequins in school. But I got myself together and went into the room. After taking the vital signs and writing them down, and notifying the nurse in charge of the patient, I felt accomplished. I started to feel confident and so I did the next patient on my own and went back an hour later for reassessment as per my instructions.
Later in the day, our instructor gathered my friends and me into an elderly patient’s room who was immobile and incontinent. We were asked to change the bedsheets and his diaper. We were doing everything as guided, but then we realized that the patient had gone number two and at this point we did not know how to continue. But our instructor gave us wipes and asked us to clean him up. Once again, we all had to get it together and did our job. After cleaning the gentleman and changing his bedsheet, we took turns and fed him his lunch. He thanked us and told us we did a great job. That made all of us happy. I realized this is what I am here for. To make those who are vulnerable feel good.
On a side note, yes we were performing hand hygiene before and after seeing patients. We also wore clean gloves before and after assessing patients.
The rest of the day, we administered oral medications, insulin, inhalers, and checked blood glucose of levels of patients. This was all done under supervision. It was a very humbling experience. I learned a lot more stuff, and it was definitely one of the motivational factors to continue moving forward.
I know I have been MIA the past month, but nursing school has been really rough. I am almost towards the end of the semester, and it is a whole lot of material bombarded at the end that I am barely just finishing up right before the deadline.
I will definitely be writing more about my experiences, so if you haven’t already, go ahead and follow me, so you don’t miss out on any exciting posts.