Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Really Useful Page + The Last Patient

I run a website to help out my clinical level at NSU.

Basically, I scan all the paperwork forms into the computer so that they can be printed from the website. The copy machine is 10 cents a page, but computer lab printouts are free. My clinical level has found it invaluable, so I plan to expand the project next year. I'm thinking of requesting some official school webspace to set this up permanently. It would be a student-run thing that would fill in the gaps left by teachers who can't figure out how to use Blackboard.

Those of you at other colleges... you should look into doing this for your own school. Its a great community-support thing. (I'd link my page as an example so you could see it for yourself, but there are copyright issues involved.)

It is important for nurses to help eachother.

~~~

Today was my last day in the hospital as a first level clinical student. I can hardly believe the semester has flown by so quickly! I had an exciting ending to the semester. My patient had wildly fluctuating glucose levels and uncontrolled diabetes. Thankfully they'd gotten her down from 400 to about 200, and holding steady. Then, when we were talking about brushing her teeth, she told me she wasn't feeling right. A quick glucose check showed her level to be down in the 40's. Freak out! I was running around with orange juice and sugar packets and sticking her finger every fifteen minutes. She started to get drowsy before I got the juice in her. Thankfully she didn't pass out on me! As I left I watched her grimace as they kept re-sticking her for some blood to take down to the lab. The longer I work in the hospital, the more thankful I am that I am an "easy stick".

She was an interesting patient in more ways than one. She told me about her move into the nursing home after her daughter could no longer care for her. It was disheartening to hear; she was obviously intelligent and fully cognizant. She didn't want to bother her daughter with her depression. I found myself unable to speak. What words could I offer in the face of such suffering?

I feel this society needs a major paradigm shift when it comes to nursing homes. People think these homes are where people go to die, but that isn't the case at all. Nursing homes are places where people keep on living.

True, quality of life is often diminished from what a person once knew. Especially for a woman such as this; she is only there so health professionals can monitor her blood sugar and her tendency for falls. When I listened to her speaking in such soft, deliberate tones, she conveyed to me such profound sadness. Yet even with the sadness, her voice also held a resolve to live in spite of it. To live.

When I am old, I hope to bear myself with such dignity. When I am depressed, I hope I can find such strength of will.

4 Comments:

I wanted to congratulate you on being active in your student nursing community. I am a Nursing Student in Australia and after my first year at University I set up a student nurse website where I post all my favourite helpful resources.

I find it really rewarding to actively help other students. Feel free to check out my website and recommend any good resources you know of too!

http://home.iprimus.com.au/theboss6675/

By Blogger Unimum209, at Wednesday, November 30, 2005 at 7:10:00 PM PST  

Heather, Congrats on finishing your first level clinicals. Its amazing how fast the semester can seem to go sometimes, and how slow it can seem to go at other times.

I am also dismayed at what often happens in nursing homes. They are often neglected institutions. Its a shame our culture doesnt revere our elders and take advantage of what their experience can teach us. Now that medical science has figured out how to prolong life, it needs to come up with a way to increase the quality of our last years on this earth as well.

Dustin B.

By Blogger ArizonaDB, at Friday, December 2, 2005 at 9:22:00 AM PST  

Nursing Homes are where we send our loved ones who are so totally incapable of taking care of themselves that they can't be without 24-hour care. Granny is there now. Papa and Mom spend every minute of spare time (that is to say time when they are not at work) they have to be with her. I hate the smell. I also hate the lack of willingness of the "aid"s to give two cents about the residents.

By Blogger Blue, at Wednesday, December 7, 2005 at 12:53:00 PM PST  

Really an effort of this caliber should won praised. Great work. Keep it up.

By Anonymous Medical Taining., at Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 1:00:00 AM PDT  

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