Putting it into Practice Pt. 1

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We want to congratulate Katrina on completing the Nursing Unit Clerk program! It’s been a hard few months, but she has done well and we wish her the best of luck on the next chapter of her career and life. She leaves us with a few of her journal entries from her practicum placements – where she got to experience first-hand what life is like as a NUC:

Practicum #1

Day 1

My first day was great! Though I did come down with a little bit of a cold this morning and it was hard to focus at first but I collected myself together. So, this was my agenda throughout the day!

For the first couple of hours I was just observing, then before I knew it I was answering phone calls and processing orders! I was surprised at the fact that all day it wasn’t super busy. I was disassembling a couple if charts as well as assembling charts for patients coming into the unit. I processed a couple of Post-Op orders, and it’s kind of funny because they looked almost exactly the same as Wendy’s! Being in this unit really makes me feel at home (Stenberg) because I truly miss being in class with everyone and seeing Wendy every day. But it being my first day here I really feel like I’m “growing up” in a sense, because Wendy was like Mama Bear to us, and now we’re done all the exams and homework and it’s officially the REAL DEAL. It was definitely a very day but all worth it in the end. I am exhausted from a long day, but I most certainly learned a lot.

Day 2:

Day 3!!! All I can really say is it was crazy busy, and I LOVED it! Both Leah (preceptor) and I were busy doing our own thing, so most of the day I was on my own thing – answering phones, processing orders, etc – so it was great. There were a lot of discharges and especially transfers into the unit, so that meant disassembling charts, calling bed control, assembling new charts for transfer in or admitted patients, making sure beds are clean, making sure the assigned beds are the same on their chart…. And it goes on and on! Basically there was a lot of creating charts, chart packs, labeling and organizing the chart packs into the patient charts. Leah ended up leaving me early without notifying me so I stayed till 1900 like I am supposed to then head home. Although I barely saw Leah throughout my whole shift, Andrea (preceptor) was a really great help!

Day 5:

Day 5……………………………………………………………………
Yes, I need the long pause because it was the WORST start to my morning. I always come onto the unit with an open mind with no expectations, and when I met Sherri (preceptor) it was literally a punch in the face and suffering from a broken nose! I shook her hand and introduced myself and the first thing she asks me is what I do for the morning routine. I told her the my previous preceptors Jessica and Leah have told me to just do the Daily Blood Work till I can handle doing the whole morning routine on the unit. She seemed really disappointed with me by the looks of her face and replied with “You should already know the morning routine by now” She didn’t know I was only on my fifth day of my FIRST practicum placement. Though at that point I didn’t think she cared if it was. I knew my monitor Marilyn would be coming in a couple of hours and I literally stared at the clock every 5 minutes because I couldn’t wait till she got here. Between the time that I started my shift and Marilyn due to come in, Sherri still kept critiquing me bluntly and I really didn’t appreciate it. When I saw it was 0900 I was waiting for Marilyn ready to cry my eyes out and finally around 0915 she was there! She made eye contact with me and I held my hands in a praying motion and said “I AM SO GLAD TO SEE YOU!” She knew exactly what I was thinking from the look on my face. And once she took me out of the unit the tears were flowing. And really, all I needed was to vent and talk to Marilyn and it really made me feel better. Once I got back onto the unit I wrote down everything that needs to be done for the morning routine and I told myself “suck up your pride Katrina”. I went to Sherri, apologized for not knowing fully the morning routine and told her I would do the morning routine the next day so she can see that I know how to do it. From that point on she slowly let go of her abruptness and by the nearly the end of our shift she was asking me “Hey girl, you want to do this order and I’ll check it once you’re done?” TA-DA, today made me realize that there are going to be plenty of grumpy people in health care, but just like my mom says, “You just gotta win em’ over”.

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