March finally arrived and I was on my way to my first med-surg clinical. The instructor came to each of us assigning a patient, giving us a report on their diagnosis and sent us on our way. I was so nervous looking through a"real" chart to learn more about my patient before I entered the room to introduce myself as a student nurse and gathering as much information as I could. I had been informed by my instructor that this patient was also going to be my first care plan.
Her name was Judy and she had been admitted through the ER for abdominal ascites and hyponatremia. She appeared overwhelmed and apprehensive of all the medical things going on around her.
I realized quickly I was dealing with a human being who was relying on me for knowledge! I assessed from head to toe asking questions as I went along. I learned that Judy described herself as a simple woman, who didn't like doctors and whose job was to take care of her family enjoying gardening and her dogs. Her husband worked as a custodian in the hospital to provide for the family.
The ascites was cultured and found to be positive for malignant cells. Her blood sugar was 322mg/dl and her blood pressure was elevated. A CA-125 result was 15250(the norm is
I comforted her as best I could with no experience under my belt. We learned how to take blood sugar levels and inject insulin together. We prayed together at her request and I let her have privacy when her husband periodically came to see her.
She was so courageous placing a mask of happiness on when her three sons came to visit. She informed me her husband and she slept in the living room to give their sons their own rooms. This was becoming very serious and she knew it but was still more concerned about how her family was going to deal with her illness.
I stopped in to say hello as my rotation continued. I received 100% on my care plan of her and thanked her for being such a great patient. Her diagnosis ended up being uterine cancer, end-stage IV.
She was discharged home and I have seen her in the hall coming in for blood work during my fifth week. She still had her same smile and said she was feeling fine, although her body language said she was in pain. My instructor informed me on our last day of this rotation that she had passed away the night before at home surrounded by her family.
My heart went out to her family because they were her whole world. God just needed this angel who always smiled even when things were bad.