When I was a STUDENT, the clinical experience I remember most was... - page 2
This is a long time ago! More than 24 years: The first IM shot: He was a cachectic old man dying of bony mets and he needed a pain shot. I just remember giving it in the vastus lateralis and... Read More
Jun 15, '02The clinical experience I remember the most was the day my instructor told me to go chase down the smart-mouth doctor who wouldn't stand still long enough to answer my question regarding a patient of his. I was more fearful of what my instructor would do to me than that doctor, so I chased him down and got out of him what I needed, and haven't been afraid of a doctor since that time.
Jun 15, '02l first started clinicals in the dark ages, l had no prevous medical experience......greener than grass!!! the first day my instructor was a soft spoken older lady....reminds me a lot of aunt clara on bewitched.....pulled out her clip board and said..."your pt, (pause).....ted hose".....(gave his history)....i said what room is ted hose in?" she says the clean utility room.....l say "where?"...she says clean utility room...l say,"did you say clean utility room?" (exasperated) yes!.....i go look...mr hose is nowhere to be found......what am l gonna do......frustrated, delemma........ok so i'm gonna ask aunt clara one more time..."what room is my pt in?"........"oh......let's see........mr. xyz is in room 123."............needless to say she never figured it out.......true story....you can't make stuff like this up!!!
Jun 15, '02I remember trying to give a S/C Clexane (prepacked syringe with a needle as blunt as my butter knife) to a pt with scleroderma (sp??). The nurse told me to literally stab him with the needle and it should go in easy enough. I must have had too loose a grip or wasn't stabbing hard enough because as soon as I hit the skin, the blasted needle bounced of the skin, flew up in the air and landed, implanted perfectly upright into the anterior medial aspect of his upper thigh. I'm sure my jaw was almost hitting the floor. The nurse who was supervising me laughed her butt off and told me to hurry up and give the injection before the needle fell out.
Jun 15, '02I did my nursing school in my home town, so I knew a lot of my patients. One day, my patient was my high school heart throb who had had a (God forbid) circumcision the day before. This was in the old days when patients stayed in bed longer than now, and he had an order to be assisted to the bathroom that afternoon. After lunch, I helped him to the bathroom with no problem, assessed that he was not dizzy, closed the bathroom door to give him privacy, and stood outside for his safety. Suddenly, a blood curdling scream came from the bathroom. I immediately opened the door, and several other staff came running. Here was this hunk standing there, with urine all over the room. The head of his penis had been covered with gauze and he didn't remove it. When he urinated he sprayed the whole room! He looked at me sadly and asked "Will it always be like this?":chuckleLast edit by judy ann on Jun 15, '02
Jun 16, '02Grabbed by another student, pulled along to a room where "They're going to put in a Steinmann pin!" Of course, I don't want to miss a thing in clinicals so I trot along w/my fellow student, round the door to pt's room. . . arrived just in time to see the final scrub of the R knee, and the pin inserted in one side, poking out thru the other, and secured to traction . . . Up to that point I had NO IDEA what a Steinmann pin was or where it goes or what it's for, . . . I was, as you can imagine, SHOCKED! (but I didn't faint, unlike one of the male students in our class: all scrubbed in - finally - for his surgery rotation, watching surgery w/his sterile-gloved hands held perfectly in position in front of him. . . he starts swaying and turning green, backs up to the wall . . . other student hurries to his side, to grab him, and he murmurs, as he's sliding down the wall, passing out, "Don't touch me, I'm sterile . . ." Sorry Johnny!! Never have forgotten!!)
Cheers!! --- Diana
Jun 17, '02The summer before I started nursing school, I was working (in the hospital where my mom was the pm supervisor) as a NA. I think I'd watched one birth, but they were delivering twins and the mother gave permission for me to observe. The first baby went fine, but when the doctor put his gauntleted hand up INTO the mom's uterus to turn the second baby, the room started to close in and turn dark. I had sense enough to quit watching and get out. Those babies weighed about 7# each!
Jun 17, '02I think mine was when I was having my ICU clinicals and had a guy who was in his 40's and had a bleed in the front of his brain. Alcoholic, owned his own bar. He was in a coma, and had an NG tube, well you guessed it, they worried about DT's so I had to give the guy shots of tequila q shift via the NGT. The family brought the tequila from the guys own bar...I've never been able to look at a bottle of Jose Cuervo gold the same!
Jun 17, '02I remember some sad times as a student....the little 4 year old leukemia patient who was so brave and told me not to worry about sticking him for an IV because "I'm a big boy". Had to fight through the tears that time and KNEW I couldn't ever do peds...too hard on me.....
I remember the 19 year old student nurse with Ewings Sarcoma in her right leg....she asked me if I worried that cancer was contagious because she (like me) had been working oncology as an LVN for several years....she was a long term patient for us and I always asked to be her nurse. She succumbed after a 4 year battle with the sarcoma. I learned a lot from her about grief, death, life, and dying.
Also remember caring for a child with cystic fibrosis in a high mist croup tent....25 years ago the survival rate was low past years 8 or so...now they live to be adults in many cases....it is a hard disease to live with and really got me thinking about quality of life issues.
I remember the poor man with multiple myeloma who screamed when we had to move him...so many spontaneous fractures....today we could put him on a Clinitron bed for comfort but back then we didn't have them...the poor man suffered so much and I learned about humane pain management from him.
Hope this doesn't come off as negative, as I reread it...but I'm a bit surprised to realize I learned the MOST from some of my saddest experiences as a student. These experiences can shape us quite a bit.
Jun 17, '02had to shave a turkish man for a bypass-operation!! OMG, he had so many hairs, dark and really thick, I didn't know where to start!
he saw me looking at him and in his heavily accented Dutch said that he would help me doing the job.
So together we shaved his body and he looked like a newborn baby. We had a few good laughs together too, especially afterwards as his wife came in and he showed her his body.
She came up to me and whispered in my ear, isn't it good the man no knows what we women have to do every week!!
My instructor wasn't there that day, she came back the day after and she almost had a fit and started screaming with the other RN's on the ward, why on earth they let me do this job. it was my 2 week ever! Now, I knew why!
Take care, Renee
Jun 17, '02One of our fellow students had no experience whatsoever, while I had some as a Med-Tech (passed meds, all but parenterals, in a different state). I was passing by her at the med cart with an armful of linens, and I heard her mutter, "Hmmm... 35 units...guess I need another bottle...." and saw her pick up a vial of insulin.
Did a FAST about=face on that one, and a gentle correction on the diff between units and mg's. WHEW!!
Another biggie I remember:
I had a little lady who had a chest tube and could get OOB without an assist. I medicated her but she still had pain half an hour later, only to find that somehow the CT suction tube had gotten squished against the bedside table....ouch. I learned to check the tubing EVERY time after that.
Jun 17, '02On med/surg, I did a cath on an old lady with renal failure. Only got about 15cc coffee ground material. YUCK!!!
On Post Partum, BOTH my patients passed out, one on the way to the bathroom, the other on the toilet.
Jun 17, '02A couple I remember---
First semester of clinical the second or third week. I went to the hospital the night before to get info on which ever patient I picked, I picked a lap chole that was to go in the morning, well during the night he arrested and died, so I get there right around 0630 to look at the chart, etc, and the chart is empty, no patient so I had to pick another one and do all the preclinical stuff before 0700, so I picked the guy in the room next to the previous patient, this is a young man I think around 32, with new positive HIV, low CD4 count, the beginning of KS. Well this first semester so all we did were VS, baths, linen changes, etc....Well he gets up takes a shower, I changed his bed while he is doing this, he gets done, sitting on the bed we are talking, he is talking about his partner, who has just left him because of the HIV, and then we were watching Price is Right, and out of the blue he asked me if he was going to die, I was speechless. I'm like, huh, I did not know what to say, so I started talking about the research they were doing into HIV, and said, you know my instructor is right outside and I went and got her, and told her the situation, she came in and started talking to him, and making him feel better, she let him cry on her shoulder. It was inspiring to me. I knew at that moment that I wanted to be a nurse, watching her calm this man down, making him feel better, making him laugh...I will never forget that clinical day......That clinical instructor made such a positive impact on me, she was by far the best instructor I had during nursing school. I had good ones but she was one of kind.....
The second one I remember, I was doing emergency room elective during my last semester at one the level one trauma centers in Houston, I learned so much about real world nursing that last semester..I had to do 90 hours over the course of the summer to get credit, so I would do 3-11 and Saturdays 11a-11p. Anyhow, one busy day, we had self-inflicted GSW to the head (fatal, most of the right side of her head ws gone), severe motorcycle crash (I believe in helmet law), severe car crash, and older man wo fell of ladder about 15 feet, and had open fractures of both wrist..Anyhow this all comes in over the course of about 4 hours, of course they were short nurses, so I got to do many things that I probably should not have been doing without RN watching, but anyhow, a little girl with her parents comes in and gets triaged, and taken back to pediatric treatment room, nothing severe or life-threatening, just a cough and fever. Well this little girl was only 10 years old, nobody in the 4 trauma rooms thought anything about her, well she had been there about 30 minutes, when the parents bring her out of the treatment room, screaming, she's not breathing. They bring her to the trauma room, and everybody goes to work, she is pulseless and breathless, that was the first time I did CPR on a child, then I helped record/chart things....She never regained a pulse, she was pronounced that evening...I cried..She was only 10 years old...I never found out what the autopsy showed or if they even did one, I am sure they did....That was a sad day for me and the staff.......Oh well those are my two most memorable...........