So our first week is over (yay), and even though it was only two days I feel like I’ve really learned a lot. On the first day we got to introduce ourselves as students to the unit, find where all the medical supplies, medicine and charts etc were kept, and got to see dialysis machines in use. Our unit is the Medicine/Nephrology unit at Surrey Memorial. It is in the brand new critical care tower on the 7th floor. Everything is so nice and new and high tech, all the students love it. Patients have their own room with glass windows that dim and doors that shut. Every room has its own bathroom, Verni-care, and vital signs machine. The med room is locked up and you need your hospital ID to open it. My first impression of the unit was of how nice it was compared to other facilities I’ve been in and how friendly the staff was and how excited they were that they have students. They told us that we were their first group of students!
Our second shift was our buddy shift. We followed around nurses and helped where we could but mostly watched. I got to follow a Registered Nurse, as there wasn’t enough LPN’s on the floor for us all to follow. Following a Registered Nurse made me realize how important it is for us to know our scope. She was pushing IV meds, hanging anti-biotics, which are all out of our scope. When working as a new grad, it is easy to get caught up in tasks that are delegated to you, therefore knowing your scope and responsibilities is huge. Our teacher works at Surrey Memorial, and told us that our unit is one of the #1 Code Blue calling units in the hospital. Making sure at the beginning of your shift that you know what code status your patients are is extremely important, especially if they do end up crashing. Because most patients on this unit are getting dialysis it is really easy for their blood pressure to drop and for them to crash, so being aware if your going to do CPR or not is very much needed. Shadowing the nurse made me realize how much I love nursing, and how excited I am to get out of school and start working on my own. I am going to definitely be taking the 2 year RN upgrade program when I am done and get enough hours as an LPN.
On Monday we get to have our first patient where we will be doing all the care, meds and assessments on for the day. I am excited to finally get to be hands on and to see how much I will get to learn next week. I have to make sure I get lots of coffee in me as we start at 645am and don’t get off the floor till 5!