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Joined: Feb 28, '06;
Posts: 1 (100% Liked)
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I worked as a student on a med-surg floor for a year before becoming a med-surg nurse. I've officially been an RN for about a year. My experience as a student was invaluable to me in this area because it gave me a perspective as a cna, a sitter, and now a nurse.
As cruel as restraints may seem, they are sometimes the safest method to prevent someone from hurting themselves in a much worse way. Every medication that is considered a chemical restraint can have paradoxical effects that actually increase the confusion of an already confused patient. Sometimes the amount of a medication that is required to "sedate" someone is exactly that - sedation. Sedation requires the assessment of patients on a 1 to 1 basis on surgical units. Something that is impossible to safely monitor on a med surg unit with an elderly patient. The second problem is that on any given day on a med surg unit there can be 10 confused patients. There is never enough sitters, volunteers, or money in a budget to provide that for everyone. Family members are usually to never present or unable to dedicate the 24/7 care that these patients require and their medical illness, unfortunately, requires their admission on a med surg floor.
The most unfortunate part of your day for me was that no one took the time to explain these things to you. Elderly confused patients that have dementia are unable to understand many of the instructions that are given to them. Many "burn outs" probably allow this to prevent them from still providing the compassionate care required of a nurse and a mentor to students such as yourself. Restraints sometimes are not only the only option, but they may be the best.
The positive is that even if med-surg doesn't look like where you would like to work, there are so many options for people of all types. Nursing is a profession of many fields.
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