Sunday, January 27, 2013

Two clinical shifts in two days!

This week was fun.  We had two public health clinical shifts in two consecutive days.  The first taste of what actually working as a nurse will be like.  I cannot wait to be doing this work 'for real', not just as a student nurse...

Our first placement was a school nurse experience.  After we all introduced ourselves, kids and nurses, the children were told to choose a student nurse to be paired up with.  I couldn't believe my eyes, when the second child who was to choose, a little boy, made a beeline straight towards me!  Maybe I reminded him of his mom???  LOL!!! He was a sweetie, and actually reminded me very much of my own son, when he was that age.

We spent a very (very!) busy afternoon with each of our kindergarten "kids" -- playing with them, and trying to get the assessments we needed for our school work.  I must say, that I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get as much info as I did, during that first day.  We have two more school placements with 'our' kids, in order to finish up the assessments, write a report, and teach a health-related lesson to the class.

The key to getting young children to cooperate with medical assessments, is to turn the assesssments into a game.  This point was emphasized by our lab teachers (teaching to many students who don't have kids), and by my life experience as a mom.  I was pleased with my idea of playing "Simon Says" with my little guy, in order to assess his range of motion of his various limbs that I was supposed to.  And of course, we both took turns playing Simon Says, so I got quite the workout too!  To get him to step on the scale to be weighed, we decided to weigh his toy Batmobile first and then him, to see how they compared.  We had fun.

The other neat idea I had was to first play with the medical kit I found in the classroom, particularly with the toy stethoscope.  After playing with that for a bit, I asked him if wanted to see my real stethosope, that he could really hear with heartbeat with.  He was thrilled!!! 

Yet another thing I love about nursing, is how you get to (have to!) use your creativity and wits, and be able to think on the spot.  Come to think of it, that statement would be equally applicable to working with children and many other groups too.

But I have the priviledge of getting to think and act creatively in the field of nursing...and I love it.

Oh yes, then the following day, we had our second clinical shift at the blood pressure check booth, at a local mall.  What a day/night difference we all felt, compared to our first mall experience.  The change was palpable in everyone.  We were confident, we were more outgoing, we looked more professional in talking to the clients, we heard those Korokoff sounds when measuring the blood pressure.  We rocked.

I'm very much looking forward to continue building on that feeling of confidence in my nursing career, as other clinical experiences come my way in the coming weeks and months.

I realize I am eons away from feeling confident as a registered nurse, that even one day when I graduate and can call myself that, that I will always be learning and bettering my abilities, knowledge and skills. 

Yet, what I can already see, is how even simple experiences can lead to increased confidence, and how that all builds upon more experience.  It's a positive confidence spiral.

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