My first week with patients went well! I’ve had 2 so far and I’m loving every moment of it. We are the secondary nurses but are doing all the meds, assessments, teaching and with the primary nurse just following through with their assessments and charting. I’ve used so many skills we have learned in lab and school on this unit and feel totally comfortable doing them. It is very important to learn to prioritize your patients by their needs. One morning my patient was hypoglycemic, so obviously correcting and intervening on that was more important than providing A.M care to my other patients for example.
I am learning that it is good to be fast and efficient at what you do, so that in case something goes wrong, or you need more time to do a certain skill, you have that time without your other patients having to suffer/wait. It is important to do throughout pain assessments and give your prn meds accordingly. For example one of my patients was having slight pain in his knee that felt throbbing, and after giving a prn of Acetaminophen and assessing 45 minutes later, I found that specific intervention worked to control and manage his pain. Another patient of mine was having 9/10 pain on her whole back and right hip and after assessing me the primary nurse determined that giving hydromorphone through her butterfly sub cu would help manage that pain better than Tylenol.
This practicum so far is teaching me my skills really well. I have seen lots and being on a renal unit I am learning lots about the GU system. I am really improving on my patient charting, becoming really good at communicating with the intraprofessional teams like OT, PT, Hospitalists, SLPs and dieticians. I am very lucky to be on a unit where everyone is really nice and helpful and grateful that there are students there to help. Everyone on this unit helps each other and works in a team, so when a call bell is ringing and you’re the only one free you’re the one answering and helping out. This is nice because it creates a more team like environment, and helps get to the patients concerns/problems sooner then if they had to wait.
Being a student you have to take every opportunity you get and experiences to watch-if you’re allowed. Even though you may not be hands on doing the skill or procedure you are still watching which is still learning. Jumping in on every opportunity when its there is key to being more knowledgable. Its better to say “I’ve seen that once” than “ I have no idea, I’ve never seen/heard of that before”. Certain things are out of the LPN scope but I’ve gladly watched the other nurses do them for when I get an upgrade to my RN so that I have a better understanding and know what to expect. You can practice a skill in lab 100 times but when doing it in real life, with a real patient and real equipment it is a very different situation.