Thursday, February 26, 2009

Clinical Day II

Today was my second day of clinical in the hospital. I have to say that I felt much more confident when I hit the floor at 0630--I hope that trend continues.

By the luck of the draw I got paired with another awesome nurse today. My assignment was to pick a single patient, complete my assessment, and then collect enough data to write up a total care plan. Given how awesome my nurse was, I made the executive decision to tag along with her and watch her manage the care of 5 acute patients instead. As a result I ended up with doing 5 assessments instead of just one, and all before 0830. After that we started passing meds, and she was so cool. Her challenge to me was that if I could correctly name the drug's purpose off the top of my head without looking it up, I could relay that information to the patient as I...ahem...happened to hand the patient the little medication cup that may, or may not have had the medication in it. I may have pushed a few syringes that may, or may not have had medication in them as well. Of course I couldn't *officially* pass meds since I haven't been checked off on that skill. But let's just say that my years as a pharmacy tech really paid off today...

Amongst our patients today was a patient I got to know last week--a 36 y/o male who'd had a suspected stroke. He was in a semi-coma and completely unresponsive. The docs really had no idea what was going on with the patient though. He'd spiked a bad temp, but wasn't responding to any of the antibiotics they threw at him. None of his cultures were growing anything either. Such a young guy, in good shape too, and has a wife and young kids. Anyway, as the tech and I were giving him a bath today, I noticed when I was washing his back/sides he was twitching a little bit like I was tickling him. So I said something to the nurse, and he started squeezing her hand on request. Later when doing oral care on him, he was retracting his lips to help. And then he started lifting his head and following you with his eyes. When I was leaving for post-conference he actually spoke to the nurse.

That was a pretty amazing experience--he's been admitted for two weeks today, and completely unresponsive the whole time. Until today. I've been blessed with some pretty awesome experiences in my two days of clinical. I hope the trend continues, because I've heard of classmates of mine not being quite so lucky. Personally I think someone is watching out for me. I just don't think I could handle a shitty clinical experience with everything else that's weighing on me right now.

Anyway--the next two weeks we're in lab instead of clinical, so no stories of codes or miraculous awakenings. Although, stay tuned for a post where I talk shit. Literally.


  1. Just a thought about the stroke and the temp. What part of the brain did the suspected stroke happen in? I see some stroke patients who have problems with thermo regulation.

    Also I am jealous of your pharmacy background. If there was one thing I wish my particular degree program had more of it would be pharmacology.

  2. Sounds like you had a great clinical day. I could always judge my week by whether or not I had a good clinical. If I felt incredibly dumb on clinical day, (usually) I re-ran event in my head until I could get a chance at it again. Finally, last week I felt pretty confident. ;)

  3. DS--Hey, that's a good thought, I'll have to check his chart if he's still around next time I'm there. Also the pharm tech job was just a job at the time, but it's really paid off.

    Christy--isn't it funny how one little tiny part of your week has that much bearing on the rest of it? And you're funny...last week, haha.

  4. that would be so cool - to be there when the guy started to respond, I mean.

  5. Isn't it great when you finally get a nurse that is cool with students? I wish I could give meds more often, it all depends on the clicical instructor you're with. Hello, I got checked off LAST QUARTER and your not going to let me give PO meds? Crazy! Becky