Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's Not About the "Procedures"

It's easy to fall into procedure seeking mode in clinical. We all want to hone our technical skills. "Oohh, wow, you got to put in a Foley?" I definitely felt a thrill when I did an SQ, IM and intradermal injection, all in the same day. A dressing change? PEG tube, IV? Cool!

But then there is the little stuff. Today I had to leave early so I just got to assist another student with a bed bath and medication administration on her patient. Nothing fancy but he was a big guy who could not really move on his own and so it was good - I was glad I could help. I have worked with this student a couple of times and I really admire her. She has worked as a Tech, I think, so she has the basic care skills and is very organized and competent. I learn so much working with her. Anyway, this guy was kind of a mess when we started. All kinds of guck in his mouth and REALLY needing a bed change. But when all was said and done and he was cleaned up, mouth cleaned and suctioned and we somehow managed to get his medications into him, I really felt a sense of satisfaction. Part of it was definitely about seeing the patient well cared for. The other was from working as a team with another caring person towards that goal. I did not realize how cool that would be, but it is. Bonus!


Blogger Third Degree Nurse said...

I am so with you. I'm content to know I can a patient's teeth brushed as well as the bigger things. I had one guy that was the perpetual Brown Fountain and it took all of clinical group every 5 minutes to keep his wound clean b/c he kept soiling it. Fighting infection and winning is a good thing. And it was nice to know that as unpleasant as it was, my teammates helped me without being asked.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Unimum209 said...

Hey I agree with you on this one. I can recall the satisfaction I got from my stint in the Crit Care Unit recently. Making sure my patients were well looked after and comfortable and remembering the little things that make a big difference like lip gloss and brushing their hair can make such a big difference. It is very satisfying to know that not only can you do the "exciting" and "new" stuff, and pick that up quickly, you can do the simple stuff WELL.

1:56 AM  
Blogger Birdy said...

You're completely right. Especially now that I'm 8 measly months from graduation and I feel pretty comfortable with skills, I'm trying to put all the pieces together. There's no assessment tool like a good bath!

11:29 PM  
Blogger Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

I agree with everyone here! Doing the "little things" makes a patient feel good as well as feel important enough to care about. Patients always say "I feel so much better after I'm cleaned up!".. Glad to hear about the teamwork. Don't lose that!!

4:30 PM  
Blogger Student Nurse Jack said...

Sometimes when I'm sick, a shower can make all the difference in whether or not I think I'm gonna live. Your small efforts to make someone feel clean, cared for, and cared about, no doubt played a part in this guy's overall physical feeling that day.

Wonderful that you had someone equally compassionate doing the job along with you. It must have made for a satisfying end-of-the-day review of "how my day went", no?

8:55 AM  
Blogger missbhavens said...

Here, here! What can I say that hasn't already been said?

3:00 AM  

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