Monday, May 28, 2012

Nursing Adventures: Job #2: A New Hope

Springtime is whizzing by at an alarming rate. I can barely believe that it's nearly June! Mostly, I've been focusing on settling into my new post at an acute rehabiliation facility for kids (think: post surgery, brain injury, respite, not drug rehab for kids!). I mostly work with children recovering from brain injury, but there's a pretty nice scattering of different cases.

I'll tell ya, the work is completely different from what I've been doing the past two years. Gone are the workdays spent "hanging out" with the kids. I'm now a fully-engaged "walk-till-you-drop" nurse, stethocope in hand, clogs afoot, and a closetfull of scrubs to keep my civvies free from sputum, sweat, soiled diapers and who knows what else! I've been learning how to wrangle feeding tubes and body casts, ceiling lifts and mechanical baths. Some of it is coming back - the same stuff that I did while I was working as a care aide a few years ago. The tubes are quite new to me, though some of the children need feeds 5 or 6 times  a day, so I'm getting plenty of practice. What's most new to me is the omnipresence of parents and families. Some parents stay with their child around the clock and perform all of their child's care except for that which the nurse must complete (preparing medications, for example. Though even then, I might just prepare them and pass them to the parent to administer). In many cases, I absolutely love having parents around. Parents know their children best. Parents can more easily detect when something is wrong. Parents care only for their child, which means they will get 1:1 attention throughout the day (as opposed to when I have a minute to spare to change the tv channel for them or turn them onto their other side). Parents who assist with care mean they free up a few extra moments for me to spend with the kids who don't have anyone else around.

Buuuuuuut..... it's because they are the utmost experts that I often feel at my least confident. I've had many moments of total "uuuuuuuuh...." because I went into a room to treat a patient, only to have the parent ask or comment or notice that I'm doing something incorrectly, or unusual, or fumbly. I can take it from my colleagues - they absolutely know that I'm new to the game and are generally unbiased and willing to teach me. It's terrible to hear it from a watchful parent. They want to know that their child is receiving the best care possible - that's why they come to the hospital in the first place! Who am I to be inexperienced with their baby? Their brain injured, or dying child?

This is going to take some time. The good news is that I think I'm getting the basics down. Gotta do that quick, because the plan is to stay at this job until the end of September. October is when I transfer to my new job - the one I applied for in the first place - back at Children's Hospital, on the medical floors as part of the Nursing Resource Team. The Lion's den. Rawr!

That aside, here are some fun pictures from my recent endeavours!
Mike and I took in a gread day at Granville Island - I bought life spot prawns at the fisherman's wharf, and we shared fish 'n chips!

My latest knitting project! I call it the Knobby Neckie!

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