I have not been particularly busy but I doseem to be at work an awful lot, and lately when I am at work, I have my super student Nurse Megan with me.
Megan is in her senior year in school. She is about to finish in August, and become a Registered Nurse. She's doing her practicum with me. A practicum is just what it sounds like. Megan practices being a Nurse, I trail along and make sure she has no option to kill or maim anyone with her caring ways. Megan thank heavens is very easy, as she is actually going to be a good nurse. She gets on well with the staff and generally with the patients. She calls everyone Sweetheart, which is very annoying, but,I myself have been known to call someone random things as well, so I have to let that slide. But it is still like a constant thing.
Nursing is an odd profession. unlike Steve Betz whose job involves thinking about things, my job is 90% what we call "Cook Book" Medicine. In the Emergency room we only see patients for a limited amount of time,and there are certian protocols that should be done for certain problems. For example,for patients with Pneumonia, we try very hard to initiate antibiotic therapy of some sort within 4 hours.
So, as I've been doing this for a while now, I can pretty much get through my day on Auto-pilot with some exceptions. Exceptions are very ill patients, or patients with unusual symptoms, or behavioral problems. but for the most part, I don't have to think very long about inserting an IV, or giving one of our common medications. That sounds sort of insensitive, but believe me, you want a Nurse who has seen what your complaint is that many times because the correct thing to do is then automatic, so lots less time is lost getting it done. On a typical day just being familiar with my workplace, and the standards we have makes for a very nice day. I can get everyone taken care of, obtian coffee for myself, and have a little time to catch up on whats new with my neighbour nurse.
With Super Student Megan, I can not do any of that. Every time she starts an IV its a production, and she is very good at them. giving medications involves getting her to either look it up, or having her pass the little verbal quiz I give her….plus her motor skills are developing, I never realizedthat drawing up meds from vials was a motor skill, but now I see that it is, and it takes time to get it right….and then she,like a good student has questions. and more questions…and more questions. Plus I have to reassess the patient to make sure she didnt miss anything and then coach Megan through things that are not very interesting but stuff she needs to know. (How to get an order form an admitting doctor, how to nicely get the MD's attention…) IN addition, since I have experience, I am qualified to do all positions in this Emergency Department, but because I am with a student I keep doing the same assignment again and again, it's a heavier assignment of sicker people so Megan gets experience, good for Megan, for me, well everyone gets sick of that assignment! So Not so easy to get a Coffee, get a few minutes to chat with someone. She is just sooooo SLOOOOW. As we all were. Luckily she is smart, and fun to be with. I have toremind myselfa lot that she is our future…..
Given that my work has been like this constantly, and I have been getting trained to do disasters and extreme emergencies during my off time, I am finding myself sort of so defensive of my off time that its turning me into a bit of a hermit. I think I have 2 more weeks of this.
And so much stuff to take care of!!!!!!!!! Instead of doing it, I am turning into an avoidance queen.
so many things so little time!