This past year during my CNA training, I had to shadow a nurse for a few days for three weeks. (Senior in High School, was in my schools CNA preparation class called Allied Health II). I shadowed in thed ICU and ER. I really came to more of an understanding of what the staff, especially the nurses go through back there. In the ED lobby everyone is seeing people go out, but "no one go in". I used to be one of those who wondered why the staff took so long to admit and see the patients in the lobby. I quickly found out why. I realized that many people that come to the ED are those with minor emrgencies that can go to urgent care or solve the problem at hom or calling a nursing hotline. It was during my shadowing experience that I was truly introduced to Triage and how those with the more life threatening ailments have precedence. Which explains why sometimes the staff will take someine who can't breathe back before they will take back someone with small laceration that has controlled bleeding, even though the laceration patient was there first. Many don't understand that. I also learned that there could be a slight stall in admissions because of lack of staff and beds and the arrival of a level 1 trauma patient come in on the ambulance and many staff are needed in the room to help stabilize the dying patient.
We had a someone come in that fell of a 25 foot roof while working, and my nurse that I was shadowing put me, a a health occupations student who just completed his CNA training, to work. She told me to count the patients respirations and encourage the patient not to move excessivelywhile she documented and got his hx and got a foley cath set and another nurse began stabilizing the patients sacral/hip area. I thought i would just be observing but she really utilized me for whatever skills I had learned. I enjoyed it, We finally stabilized the patient and he was sent to another hospital where they could help more efficiently. There were so many people in the room for that one man that it was like the mall during the holidays.
I have a new respect for the ER staff, especially the nurses who have to manage a level 1 trauama patient, a laboring woman, and 2 other psych patients at one time. Great job guys!!!
YOu inspire me to work harder to be half the nurse that you guys are.
Hopefully I will be a certified Nurse's Aide on July 17th, but until then I am still moving closer to my first step to becoming a Registered Nurse.