Thursday, July 31, 2008

More firsts (there will be a lot of these)

My first 12 hour shift actually working the floor start to finish. My legs are exhausted but I made it. The nurses were more receptive to help and at times enthusiastically assigned us new things to do. My patient was recovering from a cat bite on his hand. It looked terrible! Very swollen, hot, and red. He also has "a bit of Alzheimer's" (seems to be my disease specialty lately), but just pleasantly confused and flirtatious, so it was easy to deal with. Made assessments a bit harder, but at least he's interesting, right?

So some cool new things I got to do:

* Soaking the wound, then dressing change with an ace wrap (I love putting on ace wraps. I was a little sad that I didn't have more injuries in dance so I could wear them)
* Administered meds using the computer scanning system
* Finger stick glucose test
* IV insertion (Failed, actually. Despite my dad's excellent teaching both of my two tries blew. Weak veins. Always blame the patient, right? My teacher got it in by taking off the tourniquet as soon as we were in the vein to release the pressure).
* Bladder scan to check PVR (post void residual)
* Came to the rescue with air freshener after my patient had BM all over the bathroom. Psych. Not so cool.

I did plenty of other more mundane things like vitals, linen changes, helping with ambulation, etc. All in all a good day. Let's see how I feel after another 12 hours tomorrow. I might turn out to be an 8 hour shift girl :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New link on the right

I read my myriad of blogs using Google's Reader. It allows me to share interesting items with other Reader users. Recently I figured out that it dumps all my shared items onto its own webpage, so non-Reader users can see what I browse. I added this page as a link on the right bar, "Rachel's Shared Items." It's a smattering of weird and interesting articles, pictures, and videos. I tend to share items often, nearly every other day. So it will be updated much more than I get a chance to update this site. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

First Day in a Hospital

This is just a quick update. I really don't want to type a lot but I feel bad for not posting much lately.

Adult 1 is awesome so far. We've covered cardiology, fluids, respiratory, and ABG's in just 6 sessions. Needless to say these are pretty intensive days and I've been exhausted most nights - hence not posting much. We also have lab where we've learned really basic care for trachs, ostomies, chest tubes, PICC and central lines. Most of the learning is going to be in clinicals.

Today was my first clinical. Most of it was spent in computer training and orientation to the unit. For the evening I was assigned a super nice patient to do vitals and assessments. My patient had MRSA so I got pretty fast at gowning up. But I had to chuck my pen and folder at the end of the day because I had taken them into the room, forgetting that they would be contaminated then. I need to learn to memorize vitals like a waitress memorizes orders.

Left the house at 6:30 am, got home at 9 pm. Dad is probably thinking "welcome to my world," right? The school week is done for me now, I have 4 days to study and catch up on housework before returning on Monday.

I just want to mention how great Ben was today. He watered my plants since I was dashing to leave this morning. He waited until I got home to share dinner together and even offered to pick up a blizzard treat before I got home. He listened intently and patiently while I chattered about my day. It's nice to have someone to come home to :-)

Friday, July 11, 2008

First clinicals and a three day weekend

I'm writing this in my serene clean house. Ben is visiting his family in Maine for a few days. I indulged myself by taking Jem to Beds n Biscuits for an overnight stay. She will have tons of fun and exercise and I don't have to worry about getting home to take care of her tonight or getting up early on Saturday to walk her. It's just me and Molly chillin' this morning.

My classes for five week two are finished. We had our first set of real clinicals in real scrubs last thursday, yesterday, and tonight. I'm at an extended care nursing home, 3-8 pm. It's been tough - I'm not interested in working in extended care plus we were assigned the dementia/Alzheimer's unit where more than half the residents only speak Russian. So the class objectives to work on our bedside manner and focus on communication isn't really happening. But I'm getting to practice our basic skills and get my ankles wet in working with patients. I've done a lot of patient transfers, even using mechanical lifts, toilet care, making beds, feeding, taking vitals (using the nurse on a stick, not manual equipment), and passing PO meds. I hope tonight I get to do a glucose stick and insulin shot.

Last weekend was super fun and busy - hence me not posting about any of it! The greatest news is that my sister moved to town! You can read all about it on her blog (linked on the right). I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of her move. I'm going to hang out with her tonight after clinical, so I'll take my camera and try to get some shots of her new home. My family came to help her settle in. We ran lots of errands and ate lots of good food (as usual). We also went to the dog park with the Walkers and swam in Brian's pool wiht Azalea (again, more pictures on their blog, linked to the right). I have a few new pictures in my camera to share.


Believe it or not I still cook most days! Here's a smashing cake for summer, and in the back you can see another grilled pizza. I kind of OD'd on the grilled pizza in June. I also make the corned beef using my pressure cooker and baked the rye bread from that weird mix in a carton from Ikea.


The dog park in Arvada where it was horribly hot. We got cold drinks at Sonic on the way home. I baked a pineapple upside down cake on Sunday and it was delicious! Pretty easy too, I will making this again. We found this darling patio set and succulant plants while shopping Saturday. I eat breakfast outside with Molly every day now, she just loves it. I can't wait to get some flowers to put above on the windowsill to pretty up the corner even more.


My parents very kindly got me that Ikea desk I was pining over! Sunday it came together in a snap. Moving the furniture around took longer. We also cut our old desk in two and kept the side drawers, you can see them to the right of the desk. I just love this new arrangement - it makes the living room feel wider and more airy.

This weekend will be great! Pharmacology, touchy-feely class, and Foundations are done, I just need to show up to clinical tonight. I start Adult 1 on Monday - so this weekend is a little mini break from schoolwork. What a relief!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Crating dogs is good

If any of you wonder why we're such mean dog owners, always crating our dog when we leave the house, here's my answer.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Grade A

Little update, I got my pharm test back - 94%! Rock!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I heard that some readers wondered how my tests went. Fairly well. In Foundations I have almost a perfect grade (98-99%). In pharmacology I'm still floating an A overall, but I'm waiting to hear back on the last test. I think I got a low A or high B. Pretty good, but not great.

Lots of homework, lots of other things vying for my attention. Amanda moved this week! I went down after school today to help unpack. Is it sick that I'm jealous? I wish I could move all my furniture around, go through my house item by item, and have a fresh start. I hope she likes it here. I'm going to love having her in town!