Hello everyone. I'm in my final weeks of nursing school and during this time, students have extensive clinical training working directly with a designated RN at the hospital. I'm rotating in med/surg, where a nurse can take up to 5 patients during her 12 hour shift! Sort of reminds me of my serving days as a waitress on a busy Saturday night (sort of...). I'm finding that the extensive amount of blood, sweat, and tears that I have spent with all my fascinating lecture notes, books, and interactive software about Pathophysiology of illness, what to look for, assess for, monitor for, teach and encourage (not to mention the offering of great therapeutic communication), has taken a less critical role because of the amount of tasks I need to do for each patient in order to be on time with all my patient care and documentation. I'm struggling with this a bit and have been wondering if anyone else has experienced this as well. Or, if the veteran nurses out there know what I'm talking about and can offer their thoughts about this.
Taking care of as much as 5 patients as a student nurse has meant that I spend less time discussing the etiology and new signs and symptoms of my patients' conditions with anyone who scarcely has 5 minutes to listen to me with THEIR busy case loads so that I effectively develop, goal oriented care plans specific to my patient, has been shadowed by the mounds of documentation and meds administration, not to mention discharges, admissions, telephone calls, etc. I tried to share this enigma with a close relative of mine, who mind you is not in the medical profession, and my relative thought I was trying to do the doctor's role because I'm not there to teach the patient about his illness, I'm there to just give them their meds and help them get better. Hmmm. It then dawned on me that unless you've been sick and hospitalized in an acute care setting, you really do not know how knowledgeable RNs absolutely MUST be in order to, what was that, oh yes, "help you get better". But aside from that, I wanted to post a thread here because I feel like I'm not spending my time understanding WHY my patient is getting better, or what is making him get sicker! According to RN school, that is what nursing is about ...yet, when does the nurse get to analyze all this with such a hefty case load? I don't want to forget why I got into this profession. I don't want this to be another busy Saturday night job where I need to get things out in a timely manner and worry about my patient when things get really bad. But until then, as long as he or she has his meds on time, is comfortable, and is not calling me with any distress, I can move on to the next proverbial table (from my serving days).