Thursday, March 26, 2009

poo and puke

One week down and five to go! I'd planned on blogging yesterday about my firstday in clinicals in LTC, but by the time I got home I was too exhausted to do so. I'd been awake during the wee hours of the morning yesterday and then went back to bed, only to wake up to the alarm at 5:15. Needless to say I slept like a baby last night, and that would be through the night!

It almost seemed as if the experience at the nursing home was going to be dreadful. Once we were set free by our instructors we set out to go to our residents and start morning care. First great thing about clinicals this semester: come to find out most of us are paired up so that we have a classmate who is taking care of the resident in the same room as us. JL and I soon learned that we didn't have much to do concerning morning routines because both of our residents don't get going until after breakfast. Mine is NPO due to tube feeding by PEG tube and her's remains in bed until after breakfast. So for about an hour we were left to our devices, and were able to look at the charts, or find something else to do or someone to help. I made the fatal error of going up to the nurse whom I figured was in charge of my hall and started talking to her. Not a good idea when she is trying to pass meds. Lesson learned. Duh! Can we say eager beaver gets told off?

Second great thing about clinicals this semester: Nurse K turned out to be an awesome nurse and a great teacher! She apologized and explained why she was abrupt with me. I knew my mistake as soon as I'd made it so all was well with the world. Everyone is great to work with! It's almost too good to be true.

Our LTC facility is an older facility and they still do everything by hand, as in paperwork. Oh well, we'll chalk it up to learning things the old-fashioned way!

Third great thing about clinicals this semester: It's nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be. I get myself all worked up, thinking that I'm being thrown to the wolves and am totally responsible for total patient care, when that's not the case. I'm there to learn, not take over. Sure I'm responsible for my tasks and skills I need to learn, but I am not SuperNurse....yet. (chuckles)

It's not going to be extermely easy either. Ever get so relaxed when you're in the shower that you feel like letting loose there? Well, if you're incontinent it happens.

As is said, "Shit happens". Does it ever!

Much of the time the past two days was spent collecting information from our residents' charts for our care plans. My classmates and I have a diverse array of residents, and will surely learn some skills through and through. From PEG tubes to schizophrenia, from Hoyer lifts to accuchecks, from dementia to passing meds, we're going to learn a thing or two!

If that's not all enough, I arrived home to find two huge piles of dog barf on my living room floor. I had to let the dogs out, so in our approach to the back door I see an area where Sandi, and it can only be Sandi, because Minnie is crated when we're gone(she's the "puppy"), had barfed up food no longer, but stomach fluids. Worse yet, I look over to the other side of the room to see a big pile of dog poo! (Nope, no savvy medical terminology reserved for the canine excrement of the house.)

Shit happens? Yes! It certainly does!

The door to our "coat closet", where the dog food is kept, doesn't shut like it should because I have an over-the-door hook that hangs on it, and well, with the cold weather, it's been overly inundated with jackets and coats. So when gluttonous Labrador Retriever sees the door is open, all she sees is something like humans see when they see "buffet"! She ate and ate until she couldn't eat, or hold it in, any longer....from either end.

Fortunately it was way more formed than the recurrent (human) diarrhea I cleaned up after today!