Tell your memorable "1st" story

  1. In the mood to hear stories. Figured I'd try to get the ball rolling with this...

    Tell a story about a significant 1st in nursing school.

    For example, it could be your first clinical day, patient, blood draw, exam, even 1st big laugh. I'll tell one...

    My very first nursing class ever. It was microbiology & I was excited. I had bought the book & read ahead. Ahh, I was so conscientious (geeky) back then (9 months ago) at the tender age of 32.

    Instead of attending my first class I sat by my father-in-law's bedside. He had pneumonia (complication of emphysema) and it didn't look good. He died that very night & I was soooo glad I cut class to be with my husband.

    Two weeks later, I was psyched for my very first nursing class. Sure I felt a bad for missing 4 classes, but I learned A LOT about nursing, especially end of life issues. I thought the professor would say something wise, something supportive, or even ask me what I learned about microbiology from my father-in-law's opportunistic infection.

    She had nothing to say about my absence. Instead, she suggested drop the class. As you guys know, I don't have the luxury of that when I had to take 7 pre-reqs within 1 year (inc. Anat 1 & 2). I told the prof. I could muddle thru.

    All semester, I kept thinking that this woman is my first role model of nursing, the 1st nurse to guide me. She missed a huge teaching opportunity with me. She could have asked me about my two wks of bedside vigils, funeral arrangements, sitting shiva, packing an apartment, and watching sons make sense of their distant father...No, she had her canned lectures and slides.

    But that is okay. She may have missed a teaching experience, I had a huge learning experience.

    Anybody want to share a story?

    --Caroline (only A & P II & ethics pre-reqs left)

    (ps. kicked butt on the 1st exam. a in class. sorry to brag)
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   Momto2Boys
    Unfortunately, I do not have anything to share but wanted to say your story was great. Keep up the good work and I am sorry to hear about your loss.
  4. by   essarge
    I am very sorry for your loss but glad that you came away with a positive learning experience from it all....it will come in very handy when your nursing classes start. Here's one of my "beginning" stories.

    When I first started nursing school, I obtained a job in the ER as a tech. I was really excited! Well, the first trauma was called and they told me I had to do CPR....I was mortified and didn't do it. Quite frankly it scared the crap out of me....well, a year and a half later, I have no problems giving CPR, working codes, etc. It was a great learning experience for me, but I can only imagine what I looked like when they asked me to do CPR the first time! I have seen the look on the faces of the new techs when they are asked to do their first CPR.....definetly a "kodak moment"!!!
  5. by   Gretamatt
    It was my first semester of nursing school, first clinical day. I had been in the night before and got all my pt info, had my care plan fairly well in hand. We get there in the morning and I go into the room to start my am care, the bed nearest the door was empty and made, the bed by the window had this nice old lady who was already up and moving around. I go in and introduce myself, addressing her by my pt's name, and she goes along like everything's peachy. I start taking her vitals when my prof comes around to make sure we're all doing o.k. - she comes around the curtain, looks at me, looks at my pt and says "Who's this? and I say "Mrs. so-and-so" she looks at me (smiling) and says "No, it's not" I'm like what? So my prof takes me aside to explain that this is not my pt, to which I replied "But she answered me when I called her by my pt's name!" and my prof says "Did you check her ID band? Your pt is already down in the dining room" Then I had to explain to my pt's roommate that I wouldn't be taking care of her today after all, which was difficult considering she had Alzheimers. But my prof & I were able to laugh about it in post-conference and I learned always check the ID band when you go in the room - even if they answer by whatever name you call them!
  6. by   PlanetCaroline
    I love reading stories on this board. It is a way of getting vicarious experience-- that is, learning from what others have been through. Thanks.

    --Caroline
  7. by   CVnurse08
    I am not yet in nursing school so don't really have any good stories but I am volunteering this summer at the local hospital and I remember my first very scared moment in a hospital this past week. It probably wouldn't have scared anybody but me but anyway. It was the first time I heard "code blue"
    over the intercom and knew what it meant. Even though I was floors and many rooms away from the code and had nothing to do with it, it just sent chills through me knowing what was going on. But I hope one day to not be so scared and actually be the one to be able to help during it !! Just had to share my "non-nursing school" story.
  8. by   NICU_Nurse
    Aiight, peeps, I'll tell you my stupid story so that none of you EVER have to feel stupid again just because you're new. 'Kay?

    I was hired in the NICU and was terrified. I don't have kids, have rarely held babies; in fact, I only knew one person with an infant in my entire life, and he was six months old when I met him and started helping her care for him as a sort-of live-in nanny (long story, not for this post...).

    Get the picture? No babies. No experience. Zip. Nada.

    My very first day out of classroom orientation, my preceptor says, Kristina, that baby needs a diaper change, bath, and change of linen because the diaper came undone.

    I look over at this baby, who is in an Isolette (incubator). Looks innocent enough. Biiiiiiig baby, barely fits in the Isolette. Nice ten pounder recovering from respiratory distress at birth. Looks at me. I think he smiled.

    I'm like, okay, nooooo problemo, senorita. I've got this under control. Dying babies, no. Diaper changes and changing sheets, no big dilly-o.

    I gather my supplies and go to the Isolette. The baby looks up innocently at me.

    I realize the baby is covered almost head to toe in disgusting green liquid stool. It's in his hair. He's grabbing at it with his hands. It's all over his legs, socks, EKG leads, pulse ox, everything. The sheets are ruined.

    The theme to Damien: The OMEN starts up in the background. Honest. Hoh-hoh-hoh-hoh! Hoh-hoh-hoh-hoh! Hoh-hoh-hoh-hooooo-hoooo-ho-hoh! (higher pitched) Hoh-hoh-hoh-HOH! Hoh-HOH-hoh-HOH! The baby's eyes turn red like the devil's. He starts to cry and his tongue is forked, I swear to you.

    I'm like, crap, how am I going to do this? My preceptor is watching me from the corner. I crack my knuckles and begin to sweat. I mean, SWEAT. It's freaking HOT in the nursery, and I am looking like one of the Campbell's Soup kids- you know, the one who's been smoking crack all day? My cheeks are flaming, I'm feeling pressured, she's watching me, the baby's chanting incantations in Latin.

    I reach into the Isolette. I struggle for 20 minutes to clean this mess up. I bathe the baby. I change the diaper. I undo all of the old linen, and replace it with new linen.

    Umm.

    Hey.

    Did you knooooow....

    Isolette doors open up and swing down?

    In retrospect, I should have asked myself one question. It would have made the whole process much easier.

    Ahem.

    "HOW DID THEY GET THE BABY IN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE?"

    That's right, folks. I did ALL of that with my arms stuck through the portholes of the incubator. I pulled the old stuff out and put the new stuff in through the holes. I lifted the baby and held him aloft through the holes. I turned and flipped him through the holes.

    It never once occurred to me to open the freaking door.

    Nice preceptor, huh? Think she could have mentioned that BEFORE I worked for 20 minutes?


    And yet, despite the absolute horror and humiliation of that experience, I am a very bright and capable person. And so are you. I am an excellent nurse. And so will you be.

    So come on, people, let's hear those stories. I assure you, none are as stupid as mine. If you think THAT one's bad, I'm saving the rest for margarita night.
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Oct 12, '03
  9. by   zacarias
    Kristi!!

    Girl you have me laughin, good thing I'm done with my pepsi! I mean, forked tongue and latin chants? How'd you ever survive?? Just one question, are you opening Isolette doors yet or are you still reaching in to keep with tradition?
  10. by   ShortFuse_LPN
    I would have to say that one of my most memorable nursing school moments would have to be cleaning my first trach. It was bad enough that I had to do it in front of the instructor who actually climbed over a pt to choke a student the year before, but what made it worse was my, ummm, aversion to mucus.

    So here I am nervous as heck that I'll end up getting a big loogy honked on me, telling the instructor what I'm doing step by step. And doing pretty darn good too! I am in the process of drying the cannula with those pipe cleaner thingies when the pt kinda coughs and this huge(and I mean HUGE!) ball of mucus shoots out. It didn't land on me but it startled me so bad that I jumped and in the process slung the cannula across the room!

    The only thing I could think to do was run over and pick it up really fast. I just knew my nursing career was over before it even started. But when I stood up, my instructor was laughing so hard she couldn't speak. She said most students get startled at first but I was the only cannula-flinger she had ever had.

    I passed her clinical rotation with a 98%, btw!
  11. by   Jen2
    I am still a nursing student, but am working as a phlebotomist in a hospital. My second day working as a phleb I went into a patients room and said, "O.K. Mr. so and so , I need to draw some blood for the doctor, I need to see your arm." (the patient was wrapped in blankets clear up to his neck.) I pulled the blanket down just below the bend in his elbow so that I had just enough room to draw my sample. I told the patient, "make a fist for me." The patient said. "I can't". This frustrated me a little and I said, " Just try your best." The patient pulled the blanket all the way down and said, "I told you I can't dear, Look I don't have a hand." Yes that's correct, I told an amputee to make a fist. How awful.
  12. by   lindalee
    I have been an RN for well over 35 years now. My first clinical assignment was to interview a patient. OK, had never been in a hospital, was 18 years old and scared. Worked up my nerve and went in, introduced myself. Sat there for perhaps ten minutes, pt had her back to me and did not respond. I was sooo upset. Went to the desk and told the charge nurse. Her comment, very strange, she is a lovely lady. So in she went--yes, the patient had died and I was clueless. So everyone, don't give up if I could survive nursing school after that so can all of you. Believe me I have worked critical care for many years and certainly would never make that mistake now but as a young innocent certainly did. Thought you might like a laugh at an older nurses introduction to nursing
  13. by   Rapheal
    kristi2377,

    You rock kid. LOVED that story. Had me rolling. I could actually hear that Omen song.
  14. by   Nurse_RaRa
    These stories are great! I haven't started school yet but I'm looking forward to it. Demon babies, flying mucus balls, dead upright pts, hummmm, sounds fun to me! Best night I had was working as an Aide with a CNA in an Alzhiemers unit. Had to stop "Frank" from depositing urine into the large garbage bin for soiled laundry - I guess I belong there - I would just sit down when I had a spare second and ask the gals what was up.:chuckle

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