Speak up!

26th of August 22:15

Part ten.

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I know that the whole point of having clinical placements is to learn more about the nurses role and to learn how to deal with stressful situations etc, but some situations only require common sense and the smallest amount of nursing knowledge to get you thinking that maybe this person needs some extra help.
However as a student nurse, I find it extremely hard to be forceful with qualified staff if they decide to dismiss or ignore my input.

For example; I was on a hospital ward last year, and a patient who I was helping to care for was due to be discharged soon, however during a routine weigh in, I discovered that the patient had lost a staggering 13KG (2 stones) in just five weeks.
Now is it me? Or does not take an expert to think that there might be a problem here!!
I discussed it with the patient, and she tried to convince me that all was okay and that she was eating normally and not skipping meals.
As I knew this patient quite well I knew that her daughter ( of whom she lived with) was due to be visiting that day so I asked the patients permission if it was okay if i discussed this situation with her and her daughter, she agreed, as she believed their wasn’t any problem anyway!

When the relative arrived and I managed to tear myself away from the other relatives concerns/ complaints/ questions (that I could not answer!), I managed to have a quick word with the daughter……

It turned out that in fact the daughter WAS aware of the weight loss and stated that it had started just before she was admitted, however she could not believe that it had been over 2 stone!
I should probably point out that the patient only weighed in at a tiny 8 stone on admission!

As you can imagine the relative was devastated and immediately blamed herself, obviously I told her that of course it was not her fault AT ALL, that it was ours, and that a closer eye should have been kept on her anyway with such a low starting weight.
The daughter told me that every afternoon she was preparing fresh meals to bring in at visiting times to try and encourage her mother to eat but it had no effect at all.

I spent a good half an hour with the family and discussed various solutions and help I could try and arrange for them for when she was discharged home, as this seriously worried the relative.
“How will I be able to cope on my own? If mum doesn’t eat I mean! I cant let her waste away in front of my eyes! Oh mum just why wont you eat!!” (not actual quote.)

I tried to explain that it was not her mothers fault, and that it was not the fact that she did not WANT to eat, it was purely the fact the she could NOT eat, as it made her feel nauseas and she had very little appetite.

I felt trapped and upset for the family, and I knew exactly how they felt as I had been in the same situation with me own dad when he had been an inpatient. I knew that as a student nurse I was able to give them the help and support that I had not received. I let the family know that I was going to speak with the staff nurse and that I would be back soon to fill them in.

Well… this was my intention. I explained to the staff nurse what I wanted to do and if I was okay to go ahead and do it. To my surprise the staff nurse declined and told me that this was not essential or in fact even needed. I tried to argue my point but other members of staff also backed up the staff nurse explaining to me why the help was not needed.
This was the point when I should have just carried on, pushed my point or continued to do what I had promised the family, but I didn’t, I felt upset and crushed, my opinion was not needed or wanted and there was nothing I could do about it, I wondered up the ward and checked the patients notes.
I was shocked to see that the patient was not even on a red tray (red tray is a way of letting nurses/ staff know that the patient has a dietary requirement and that the food they eat has to be documented down.) & that the patient had not been referred to a dietitian at all in the five weeks she had been an inpatient. ( I can feel myself getting angry even as I write this now months later.)

I went back to the patients bedside but the family had already left, that was it I had failed to help, I was so angry and felt so useless I wanted to cry! I went home thinking that maybe nursing was not for me after all.

On my next shift, I looked at the handover sheet and saw my patients name still there, “why is this lady not been discharged yet?” I asked.
“Oh, the family decided they needed more help and home help before she is to go home as they are struggling to help, so she is staying in until social services deal with her requests.”
I could not help feeling smug, I knew I had been right. If only I had pushed my point, that more patient might of actually got home TWO WEEKS earlier!

So even though you are a student, I hope this helps you realise just how important your opinions can be, and how your in put can improve the patients care dramatically!
Good luck and learn from my mistakes!

Blog tomorrow, M xoxo

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Still in progress :)

I am still drafting 🙂 I will be blogging again shortly! :)))

Thanks for bearing with me guys x

M xoxo

Photo challenge

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Just think about it.

Inspiration needed.

As a good friend of mine pointed out today, it is a shame I decided to start blogging so late into my placement, as I am not back on placement until late December/ January, I may struggle on what to blog about.
I feel slightly worried now, I love my blog and so want it to carry on, so I am going to go away tonight and think and draft about what I am going to blog and in what order, I have loads of stories and ideas but don’t want it to come out all mix and match.

So I will go and sit and research this now 🙂 thanks mike!

Hopefully blog tomorrow, m xoxo

P.s thank you to everyone who reads my blog daily!

Photo challenge

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This photo is for all the present and surprises I have received, and given back. This one is for you Nicola H! 🙂 I will miss you and bump so much, but I promise I will stay in touch!

I will blog what is in the box tomorrow, just in case she peeks and ruins it! 🙂

Signed up for the degree pathway!

23rd August 2011 21:35

Part nine
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First day back at uni today and I have loved it!! Seeing all my friends all fresh from placement full of stories and gossip to chatter about! All of year one work complete, signed off, and handed in! EEEEEE! So excited to have passed and completed my first year, it has gone SO fast! But wow! What a year! I have learnt so much and met some amazing people! Roll on next year!

I have also signed up for the degree programme! Can not believe I actually did it, I was nervous about the work load and the financial situation but at the end of the day if I have the opportunity and the passion then why not? 😀

Random paragraph; but I was in a lecture today and we had a staff nurse in talking to us about cardiac arrests and how to react and treat them, when she randomly told us to stay the same when we qualify and not to forget how to care once we have worked for a while.
At first I thought this was slightly odd at first but when I thought about it it was actually very good advice!
As students and staff we would quite happily bend over backwards for a patient, look after them until they were better and listen and sympathise with them for as long as they needed, however when a staff nurse (or student) happens to mention that they feel poorly or that they have rung in sick, everyone seems to turn into insensitive, un caring people and tend to dismiss the person as being a “hypercondriact” or roll our eyes and say “Great! Now I need to get someone to cover that shift!
It is such a shame! I think people tend to forget that we are human too, and not super and immune to every cold, bug, and virus.
So when I am out on the wards on my own qualified, I will try to remember this piece of advise and stay caring and professional and remember why I went into nursing in the first place!
After all patients is a virtue!

Hmm rant over! Now I need chocolate, Blog tomorrow.

Love M xoxo

Sunny Sunday afternoon

August the 21th

Part seven.
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I am currently writing this blog whilst lounging around on the garden sunning myself, surrounded by friends of family.
It is one of my friends birthday and I have eaten so much chinese I feel like I am about to fall asleep! HaHa 🙂
I really need to get my arse in gear and complete my portfolio as it is my first day back at uni tomorrow and it is due in at 9 am! Oh well, I do need my dose of vitamin d after all!
I am so excited to be going back, half days and pub trips will be back on the agenda! Woo woo.
Plus my best friend is having a baby girl and I am so exited to see how big the bump is now as I have not seen her in 3 months.
Right I will love you and leave you now and blog again tomorrow x

And I promise that tomorrows blog will be nursing related! HaHa! 🙂

M xoxo

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