1st year nursing student with a complicated client

  1. This past Saturday, I was supposed to have a patient that I had already assessed two days prior. I did the researched about her medical diagnosis and prepared the careplan. On Saturday, when I went to clinical, the patient was transfered to another unit, so the instructor decided to give me another client. The client I was given had so many complications, such as a telemetry, colostomy, stage 1 pressure ulcer, breast cancer and diabetes. It took her more than 30 minutes to swallow the 5 pills that I handed to her. I provided as much comfort as I could by talking and providing therapeutic touch. Since she did not want to get out of bed, I assisted her with passive ROM and deep breathing techniques. When I got home, I felt I should not have gotten this patient because there were too many things that I did not cover in class yet. I am only in my first semester. In the school evaluation, I am going to mention to the chairperson to talk to the clinical instructors, when they assigning new patients to new students.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Melina
    Did you tell your instructor you felt uncomfortable with your patient? She might have been able to give you some support.
    ~Mel'
  4. by   NaomieRN
    No, I should have said something eventhough she was in a very bad mood that day. We ended up leaving early because she had an emergency.
  5. by   Daytonite
    So, did you have a question about the care for this patient or need help with writing a care plan for her? Or, was this just a vent?
  6. by   JentheRN05
    Well - not to seem like a pain in the rump, but i loved it when the instructors gave me a challenging patient. Gave me the chance to learn about things, and do things that I hadn't been taught/exposed to. But that's just me.
  7. by   emtb2rn
    Quote from JentheRN05
    Well - not to seem like a pain in the rump, but i loved it when the instructors gave me a challenging patient. Gave me the chance to learn about things, and do things that I hadn't been taught/exposed to. But that's just me.
    I'm with ya Jen. I prefer the train wrecks too. I've been very fortunate to have a CI who challenges me and be assigned to nurses that like to teach.
  8. by   Spatialized
    Yep, me too, as I've been fond of quoting, "I like sick people, but broken people will work too."
    The complicated patients were always the ones that made me step-up and really stretch my abilities as a student nurse. From what you said, you did more than you may know. Due to the pace of nursing, your patient might not have had much interaction in the last couple of days. Just by being there, providing at least a modicum of care, understanding and compassion may have been the best thing for her. Sure you didn't get to start an IV, push meds, dress a wound or any of the myriad technical skills that as students you long for, but you cared for her. It may be hard to see it, but you did something. And yes, you will get many more of those patients where you know next to nothing about, either from lack of coverage in class, or from lack of experience in the clinical setting, but you can always go home and look it up, or take a moment on the floor to look it up, it's how we learn. You can 't or shouldn't be expected to know everything, it's not possible. Go with what you know, which it sounds like you did, the rest will come.

    Cheers,
    Tom
  9. by   Lisa CCU RN
    We had AIDS patients first semester, one of my classmates had MVA victim, another had a patient with AIDS dementia complex and we had gone over none
    of those diseases or issues.

    I thought that was normal. You can't expect to have perfect patients everytime.

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