first 2 days of clinicals eye opener :( - page 2

Ok, so for 6 months I have sat in a classroom and listened to lecture 6 hours a day (m-f). Finally we get to do our very first clinical rotation which is a nursing home. I couldn't be MORE... Read More

  1. by   soon_2Bnurse
    Thank you all for listening to me <3. It is a hard adjustment to realize that you can't do everything you thought you could. But I am intent on doing the absolute best for my patients while they are my patients, and hopefully that will be enough. Thank you all again.
  2. by   BBFRN
    Quote from Jessica 392
    Soon 2B, you sound just like how I felt when I got my first CNA job. Ironically, I took a job at a home for the developmentally disabled because I thought working in a nursing home would be too sad. It never occurred to me that I would have to care for mentally retarded babies.

    I cried every day the first two weeks I worked there.

    And I remember my mom called me one afternoon after I'd gotten off work & I had just been in the middle of one of my crying fests & she asked me if I had a cold because I sounded stuffed up. I said, "No, Mom, it's just so sad where I work! Remember that baby I told you about that I thought was so well-behaved because he never cried? Well, he never cries, never laughs, never smiles...nothing! He just has a blank look on his face 24/7! He has to wear mittens on his hands so he won't bite his skin off! And the place itself looks just like something out of 1 Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest...& some of the staff are just so mean to these residents - it's awful! They handed me a baby today on a feeding tube that was so spastic, I almost dropped him - twice! These people just have no quality of life!"

    And I remember she said, "Geez, Jess - maybe you should think about getting a different job!" But I just couldn't. I had already decided that I was a nurse.:caduceus:

    I don't think Daytonite meant to hurt your feelings - she's like an online endless bank of information for all nursing students on this website! But I can remember just the utter culture shock of seeing pts so in need of help, in such worse condition than I could have ever imagined! It's a lot to take in for the first time. I remember thinking, "Why would God ever create people like this?" And when my mom said maybe I should think about working somewhere else, it was like, "No, you don't get it! I'm going to stay - I just wasn't expecting all this!"

    I can't say it will be the same for you, but I eventually learned to deal with these feelings. After working at this job awhile, I saw little improvements in these patients. That little baby (who was already 1 yr old by the time we got to work with him) eventually smiled. Then it got to the point where we learned we could do things that would make him smile. With therapy, we could eventually take his little gloves off without worrying that he would gnaw his little hands down. For every mean staff member I saw that was just there to get a paycheck, I saw several staff members that truly loved their job & truly loved the residents & would go out of their way to do little things that actually did improve their quality of life. I think you'll find that, too.

    So, that's what did it for me - I learned that as health care providers, we do things that make a difference in these people's lives. When I had decided to go into nursing, it was 100% for the money. After working at this place, I realized: Why did God create people like this? To create compassion in people like me! I think being exposed to places like the one you're in now will make you a stronger nurse, will make you say to yourself, "I'm going to do a great job for these patients, because they need me!" And believe me, you do make a difference!
    I loved this post, Jessica- it was very moving. Thanks for sharing it. :flowersfo
  3. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from VickyRN
    Dear soon_2Bnurse:

    It is not a bad thing that you are feeling such distress about the horrendous circumstances you encountered in your very first first clinical. This shows great empathy and compassion, which are essential qualities in nursing. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are horribly understaffed or mostly staffed with unlicensed personnel. In fact, the term "nursing" in "nursing home" is a misnomer as there are very few licensed nurses to be found in the typical LTC facility. Hopefully, the personnel in this institution want to provide quality care, and are probably doing the best they can, given the harsh reality of their practice environment.

    Please don't doubt your calling. I was reading a devotion earlier in the week and I think this really applies to you:

    Since this situation unlocks your compassion and has moved you so deeply, then it shows you have a heart for the elderly. Perhaps you are called to advocate for better conditions for our elders in LTC. Afterall, just one person with the right focus can effect much positive change and make a big difference in others' lives.
    Vickie - thanks for this. I've been having a particularly tough week (some, as it is with us, is self-inflicted d/t procrastination and some poor prioritization, but hey, we can't be perfect all the time, right?! ) and I really needed some encouragement.

    And to the OP - I understand about LTC. But if you can just make one person's day a bit brighter - even for just that one day - you've done what you can do, and you've done your job. Sometimes I think that's all we can do. Hang in there. I had days last semester when I only had a few hours on a floor, and I had to really LOOK to find exactly what I was doing that meant anything to anyone.

    It's there. Keep looking; you'll find it when you least expect it.
  4. by   RN2B78
    I love this post...I preently work in long term care and I get so frustrated when I try so hard to make my patients as comfortable as possible when everyone else around me just seems to do the bare minimum. I just cant understand people today and why they cant see the job as more than a job but as a service for people that have worked hard all of their life and in the end they do deserve the very best that we can provide.
  5. by   Woodenpug

    It's kinda like when you hear a baby's first cries. "Kid, it gets worse from now on." The highs are worth all the crying. It feels so good when you make the right call; provide that extra little bit that improves someones quality of life. Even when it's only providing "basic care."
  6. by   michellesrndream
    I'm sorry, I couldn't read anymore without responding. Daytonite is totally taking the original down a path that I don't believe was the point. Soon 2 B Nurse, you had a completely heartfelt reaction to something that you'd seen for the first time. Idon't take that as whining or complaining about how your work environment is going to be for the next 30 years! And it's not to say you've picked the wrong profession or you're not cut out for means you have a heart for people and that's what people need during a time of illness in their life. You've obviously got the brains to be a nurse - you've gotten this far haven't you?
    I took Daytonite's comment extremelyl harsh. Do you not remember "years" ago seeing things for the first time and being struck? Either you've become one of those nurses I hate to get when I'm in the hospital because they're so hardened from what they've seen, my measily little problem falls way down on their list of priorities and I'm just another chart to check off. Or you possibly chose the wrong profession, not being has sensative to patients emotional well-being as well as the physical. It worries me to hear responses like that one because that's another wake up call of the kind of people I'll be working with.

    Just my two cents. New nurses especially, read some of these comments with a grain of salt! Don't take them personally...they don't even know you for goodness sake!

    Good luck for all you new nurses out there!
  7. by   Daytonite
    michellesrndream. . .i want you to know that i've taken a lot of criticism and beating up for my two posts on this thread. i still stand behind the controversial part of my original message which addressed the op's statement:
    "i felt as if all i have done is maintain a residents basic human needs."
    isn't maintaining basic human needs what nursing is all about? this is what got my dander up in the first place. i still say that if that simple understanding, providing basic human needs, is not something a person wants to do then nursing is not the career for them to be in.

    i would also like to point out that allnurses consists basically of forums for discussion. one of the reasons i primarily hang out on this particular forum is because it is an assistance forum and most of the posts are requesting help with school assignments. however, i do have very strong opinions about some things. this happens to be one of them. over my 30 years as a nurse i've had to work with some pretty negative attituded people, some who expressed that very same opinion. what in blazes did they go into nursing for, i asked myself? this is a service industry; a career where you must give of the self. that begins with being unselfish. when i feel that people are acting as if the patients owe them something to make them feel better, i will speak up. patients (and we will all be one someday) deserve caregivers with positive attitudes and a willingness to be of service to them and for them.

    do i remember seeing terrible things and being struck? you bet. and it made me resolve to not only be a better nurse, but to do something to correct these terrible things. i went back to school and i got into leadership positions where i had the authority and influence to do something. as a nursing assistant i witnessed the tail end incident of a very angry and intimidating coworker rubbing a soiled chux in the face of a helpless patient. she was angry because she had just changed him moments before and he had pooped again. two of us physically pulled her back and the police had to be called to remove her from the facility. as a unit manager i had a problematic staff rn who continually told a nursing assistant who kept asking she look in on one of the patients that he was just being a pain in the butt, except the patient was in the midst of expiring. when she finally did go look at him, she stood there saying "i think he's a dnr." the patient died, he was not a dnr and there was a big incident over this. this same staff rn was constantly going on about how no one should become a nurse; how nursing had gotten to be a bad profession. really? and, here, folks, was their poster person!

    so, you are wrong to think i am hardened and insensitive. no one is a bigger advocate of quality nursing care. i worked my whole career to provide just that to the patients i've cared for. and, i will work tirelessly with a struggling newbie and take them under my wing for much longer than many others will when they are trying to learn for the simple reason that they want to learn. attitude is everything. you can't accomplish anything with a negative attitude. believe me, i know the difference between culture shock and a negative attitude. i worked with many newbies to know the difference. i won't fan the flames of a smoldering negative attitude.
  8. by   canoehead
    Quote from soon_2Bnurse
    (It's easier to write in the MAR that you gave the med when you are drawing it up then coming back and doing it once you actually did administer it.)
    I helped these elderely patients being provided for, ie, bathed, washed, fed, medicated. Then once that is done, they are placed back in their room and left to go to the next resident.
    Check out the staffing next time you go. Does the worker who leaves residents in their rooms have time to take a break of their own? Could they be doing the bare basics just to get through the day? these are both time savers, and unless someone is hurt it's IMO excusable.

    It's a culture shock response. If a worker at a nursing home spends five extra minutes making someone smile, and completes all his/her tasks thoroughly and gently I would consider them an above average worker. The time and personal attention I expected to see when I was a student is only a layman's fantasy, except in high priced facilities.

    I'm not saying you are not cut out for nursing. One of the reasons nursing is such a tough program is that you are not just learning concepts and passing tests. You have to reform your view of the world. People get sicker, and suffer more than perhaps you knew, and you have to find a way to deal with it up close and personal. Make YOUR shift count, but learn to leave it there so you can come back the next day with renewed energy to do it again.
    Last edit by canoehead on Mar 11, '07