Yesterday was the first day of our first clinical rotation.  If I told you that it wasn’t taking all of my composure to not jump in my car and drive away to somewhere where no one could find me, I would be lying.  A lot.  I was extremely nervous…not because I was going to be working with patients, but because I still HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING.

The only skills we have learned so far are AM care (bedmaking, baths, oral care, etc.), transferring a patient, pericare, and ambulating a patient.  So you can imagine what the nurses were thinking when we arrived on the floor yesterday morning and couldn’t even help by taking vital signs.  We felt useless and completely out of our element.

I started the morning by receiving report on my patient.  Luckily, he was pretty independent and could use the bathroom by himself so I didn’t need to worry about dry heaving on the first day.  My classmate was not so lucky, as her patient was nauseated and she ended up having to measure both the patient’s vomit and stool…double trouble.  I know that this is coming for me, so I’m trying to gear myself up for it.  I could always ask Tony to let me measure his stool the next time he goes, but something tells me he won’t be up for that. 

So I ended up making a lot of beds yesterday…I also transferred another patient from the bed and helped him walk, and I helped another patient change his gown.  We were able to observe a nurse empty a patient’s drains…which let me tell you is NOT CHERRY KOOL AID as much as I kept repeating it in my head to keep from thinking about what the oozy liquid really was.

You might be wondering why I want to be a nurse if I can’t handle the vomit, poop and other bodily fluids, right?  Well, the truth is I know I can get used to it.  I know that I can because my desire to help people is greater than the power of my body’s gag reflex.  And ultimately I want to work with infants…and their bodily fluids just don’t seem so bad at all.  If I can keep my focus on the fact that these patients are sick and need my help, I have faith that I can retrain my usual reactions…so that’s what I’m striving for here.

We’ll see what happens this coming weekend…