A couple weeks ago my class had a first clinical. I felt so unproffesional. I was nervous and didn'y know what to ask because my patient was very quiet and had trouble hearing. I wasn't even sure wat the medical diagnosis meant. Only when i went home i found out how dangerous it was and that most patients die from this condition. Is it always like that for the first time???
Oct 22, '06
Everyone's clinical experiences are different, but, yes, that often happens. Even now, as an experienced nurse, I will sometimes have a patient assigned to me with a medical diagnosis that I have never heard of before. What do I do? I still look at what the doctor has ordered and carry on with my patient assessment and tasks that need to be done. This is not much different than a situation where a patient is admitted and the doctor doesn't know what is going on, so (s)he hasn't been diagnosed yet. All you can do is assess and carry out orders. I can't tell you how many times we had patients admitted with admitting diagnoses that were only symptoms. Remember that your nursing care is geared toward treating patients symptoms, not necessarily their disease. That's within the doctor's realm.
In the situation you were in, at the first opportunity, or when you get home, you look up the medical diagnosis and read up on it and it's medical treatment. That is how you learn. It is how we all learn. We can't know everything. That's why you will always have your books and other reference materials to go to. Your best preparation in the clinical area is going to be knowing what to do when situations arise. This is why knowing fundamentals and rationales for basic nursing care of common symptoms is so important.