From the other side...nurses as patients.

  1. I'm a brand new nurse still on orientation. I am learning a LOT during my first 90 days.

    I had the unfortunate opportunity of being rushed to the ED during my shift last week. And then I was admitted overnight in my own hospital! As awkward as it was knowing almost all involved in my care on a professional/personal level, I learned a lot. Things that I plan to improve on/things I learned:


    1) communicate frequently with patients about procedures, what you are doing while you are in the room, and their overall treatment plan. Not knowing this caused me great anxiety. I understand having 5 people work on me at the same time without much conversation is okay in the ED. It was truly an emergency. But once on the floor...talk! It's so easy to forget that just because you know their case inside out, that they don't know hardly anything. Put them at ease with some information.


    2) understand that the food really does suck, and that it's harder than it sounds to eat. I have true appreciation for my patients who won't eat because they can't stand the taste.


    3) GET MY PATIENTS OUT OF BED. Unless they have an activity restriction or have not yet been evaluated by PT, they need to be up, at least sitting on the edge of the bed or in the chair. It was unbelievable how weak my legs got after a day of bed rest. I'm a strong 26 year old. And I still felt weak after being in bed.


    4) Bedpans are a lot more difficult than they seem. I had to use one because I was unable to stand, and could barely even sit up. When your whole body is weak, lifting yourself up onto one is really rough. My nurse wanted to give me privacy and said that I could just get myself off of it and call her when I'm done (she was really trying to be nice). As a coworker, she wanted to reduce my embarrassment. But actually it was a lot more embarrassing when I tipped it and she had to clean me up. REALLY embarrassing. Please, stay with your patients while toileting! Modesty doesn't exist in the ED.



    I go back to work tomorrow, and I'm ready to be a better nurse
    •  
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   FutureNurseInfo
    Quote from kataraang
    I'm a brand new nurse still on orientation. I am learning a LOT during my first 90 days.

    I had the unfortunate opportunity of being rushed to the ED during my shift last week. And then I was admitted overnight in my own hospital! As awkward as it was knowing almost all involved in my care on a professional/personal level, I learned a lot. Things that I plan to improve on/things I learned:


    1) communicate frequently with patients about procedures, what you are doing while you are in the room, and their overall treatment plan. Not knowing this caused me great anxiety. I understand having 5 people work on me at the same time without much conversation is okay in the ED. It was truly an emergency. But once on the floor...talk! It's so easy to forget that just because you know their case inside out, that they don't know hardly anything. Put them at ease with some information.


    2) understand that the food really does suck, and that it's harder than it sounds to eat. I have true appreciation for my patients who won't eat because they can't stand the taste.


    3) GET MY PATIENTS OUT OF BED. Unless they have an activity restriction or have not yet been evaluated by PT, they need to be up, at least sitting on the edge of the bed or in the chair. It was unbelievable how weak my legs got after a day of bed rest. I'm a strong 26 year old. And I still felt weak after being in bed.


    4) Bedpans are a lot more difficult than they seem. I had to use one because I was unable to stand, and could barely even sit up. When your whole body is weak, lifting yourself up onto one is really rough. My nurse wanted to give me privacy and said that I could just get myself off of it and call her when I'm done (she was really trying to be nice). As a coworker, she wanted to reduce my embarrassment. But actually it was a lot more embarrassing when I tipped it and she had to clean me up. REALLY embarrassing. Please, stay with your patients while toileting! Modesty doesn't exist in the ED.



    I go back to work tomorrow, and I'm ready to be a better nurse
    This is what I call, a teachable moment. As a teacher of 7 years I have been on both sides of the learning process. It is amazing how much you can learn when you happen to be on the other side of the "fence". Good for you!
  4. by   HouTx
    Actually, this is exactly why I have become a supporter of Bedside Shift Report - I experienced it as a patient and it was GREAT!!! So much better than my previous inpatient adventures. I was kept informed about everything that was happening & asked for my input. Prior to that, I was a complete skeptic. But now I know why it makes such a difference in pt sat results.
  5. by   pixierose
    Gosh, OP -- I hope you feel better!

    Great post -- as a new nurse entering the field, I definitely learned something new.
  6. by   kataraang
    Quote from pixierose
    Gosh, OP -- I hope you feel better!

    Great post -- as a new nurse entering the field, I definitely learned something new.
    Thanks! I definitely had quite a scare. Double vision and vertigo to the point I couldn't sit up in bed without losing balance. They called a code stroke on me!! Thank goodness it wasn't. Toxicity from a med too high prescribed dose. No wonder there were 5+ people crowded in that small ED room looking initially quite worried. I'm better now
  7. by   3ringnursing
    I hope you are feeling better now.

    It is a horrifying experience being on the receiving end of health care. And we all learn something from it.
  8. by   quazar
    Good for you for taking such a positive spin on it. It's always hard to be on the other side of the bed, so to speak. It's a fine balance when I have nurses/doctors/PAs/NPs as patients. You want to respect their knowledge base, but at the same time, give them good care as a patient because healthcare practitioner or not, they are still a patient.
  9. by   kataraang
    Quote from quazar
    Good for you for taking such a positive spin on it. It's always hard to be on the other side of the bed, so to speak. It's a fine balance when I have nurses/doctors/PAs/NPs as patients. You want to respect their knowledge base, but at the same time, give them good care as a patient because healthcare practitioner or not, they are still a patient.
    Yes yes yes, the assumption that because I'm a nurse, I know everything about my care. And the value of listening. Pain is 100% real! The nurse kept insisting on flushing a hand IV that HURT REALLY BAD. It wasn't red/swollen, and it was accepting IV fluids (slow rate) without complications, but my hand was throbbing so I refused flushes. She kept insisting. So I took it out myself and then an ICU nurse got one in my AC in less than 10 seconds with no pain. A week later, my hand down to the beginning of my wrist still hurts. I don't blame her though, we were almost on yellow status (not accepting into our ED -- too full, and no beds upstairs). She was overwhelmed. I'm glad that I got great care otherwise though and she really was so nice given her situation.

    And this epiphany is because this is the first time I've been admitted to a hospital before. I'm not experienced in this :P

close