Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Nursing Education Starts For Real



Finally I have arrived at classes about nursing. But before I talk about them I promised to give you the results from our bathroom swabbing! Some of you guessed it! The dirtiest spot in a public bathroom is the door handle or knob As you exit. Did you guess right?? Think about it. Yucky, huh!More people need to wash their hands!! That's why I use a paper towel to exit the bathroom if I am at a store. 

This semester we finally met up with the students who were in all of our classes for the next two years. Nursing Students! We got together during the summer for a meet and greet. And we formed some study groups. This proved to be very important as I forged ahead. Nursing school is NOT easy. Not for the weak at heart. And you can't bluff your way through it. Just not possible.

Our first semester dealt with taking care of people in the aging community. We spent our clinical times with residents of a local nursing home. We learned how to do the "hated" process recordings. These were papers we wrote, detailing a conversation with our assigned resident. Then the conversation was picked apart in class to see how it could have been done better. For instance, we learned to say "tell me more" instead of "why did you do it that way" or such. It was to encourage conversation. We all laughed about. And made fun of it! Plus, I don't think any of us really learned to talk to patients that way. (Also, we weren't allowed to call them patients. They were "clients") One of the doctors at the hospital told me one time: Nurses have patients. Prostitutes have clients. Ha! Ha! I don't think my instructors found that to be as funny as I did.

I met some wonderful elderly people during this semester. And sadly we sent a few of them off to heaven. That is one of the down sides to working in a nursing home. At the time of my first semester I was NOT interested in working in a nursing home. I wanted to be a surgical nurse. Stay tuned for what happened with that career choice. 

During this semester I also took a class called Death and Dying. It was really interesting. We learned all about Kubler-Ross and her studies. And we visited a funeral home and actually laid in a casket. We also wrote our own obituaries and planned our own funerals. A very 'eye-opening' class.

We were assigned one resident at the nursing home and he/she remained our resident for the entire semester. We were required to see them at least once a week. We mainly just visited. No actual nursing chores were assigned. My darling lady, Ada, (not her real name) was an elderly Mennonite lady. She was a quilter. I sat with her for many hours, as she quilted, at a quilting frame. She didn't like to have other ladies help her. She was pretty independent. And nearly 100 years old. Her family lived in the vicinity but rarely visited. At the end of the semester (close to Christmas) she gave me a pillow shaped like a Christmas tree which was quilted. I will have to look in my things and see if I still have it. We were not encouraged to maintain long term relationships with our elderly clients, but I returned to see Ada off and on until she died! She became a friend! She made sure I learned how NOT to treat people in a nursing home.  She talked a lot about the staff in the home.

On to Nursing II....medical-surgical nursing!! Plus a round of obstetrics and pediatrics!! 

26 comments:

  1. Paula, I've missed reading your blog, and I'm so glad to see you're doing well and becoming a nurse. You're going to be one of the great ones. I need to go back now and catch up.

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    1. These are stories from the past Flora! I graduated over 25 years ago and am now retired from nursing. It is so good to meet up with you again!!

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  2. I try to use the backs of my hands to push open the restroom door, but never considered using a paper towel to exit! Because our ladies restroom faucets are pretty lame, I just keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in my desk drawer.

    Before my mother spent her last year in a nursing/assisted living facility, geriatric care wasn't something I gave any thought to. Perhaps someday, when I'm retired with too much time on my hands(!) I'd like to volunteer my time.
    I'm glad you wrote about this!

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    1. I am thinking about doing some volunteer work at the nursing home too!

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  3. That is sad that you students were not encouraged to keep up the the resident at the nursing home. I would have thought that would be good bonding for both of you. Glad you did with "Ada." Too funny too with patients being called clients. I had not heard of that before.

    Enjoying your nursing stories for sure!

    betty

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    1. I'm sure the reason they were encouraging us to not keep up with the residents was to teach us professional behavior. All through nursing school they stressed the importance of not becoming involved with patients. One of the students ending up marrying a patient she became involved with during her orthopedic rotation. Guess she didn't learn, huh?

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  4. I use paper towel to exit as well. Lucky Ada getting assigned to you.

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  5. I hope you still have that pillow. What a wonderful gift.

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    1. I will look for it when I get out my Christmas stuff! I hope I still have it too!

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  6. I will be using something, a kleenex or paper towel from now on when I exit a public restroom. Just thinking about how many people don't wash their hands makes me cringe. Being a nurse would bring some lifetime learning.

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    1. Yep, it is crazy to see people enter and leave bathrooms and never wash their hands!

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  7. Paula. After my years of taking care of mom, and her time in assisted living/nursing care, I have decided that I have more to give in that area. I miss the older folks. Once I am settled I considering doing some volunteer work in that area. Too much going on right now, but when the dust settles that is a goal, that and to get a Y membership to stay active.

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    1. I think both are good ideas. I am thinking about joining the Y too! Darian just joined!

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  8. What a touching lost, Paula. Ada sounds like a living-breathing gift for a nursing student! The bathroom germ results don't suprise me. I am always stunned (at the college where I work) when I see someone leave without washing hands.

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    1. She was a good 'first' patient. Taught me a lot! I am always stunned too, Gram!

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  9. I agree with the one doctor who told you that nurses have patients. I work in a large hospital and I always call our patients patients! Calling them clients makes it sound to me like they are just money to be made! Another thing that bothers me is when they tell me that a particular patient is a VIP. They are all VIP's as far as I'm concerned!

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    1. We fought it during nursing school. But they were so into turning us into Professional Educated Nurses that they pushed it hard on us! They are patients to me still! And, yep, again there is not such thing as a VIP patient to me either!

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  10. So interesting to read of your nursing school experiences! :)

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  11. Another good interesting episode :)

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  12. Great blog post. I thought the comment from the doctor was funny too!!!

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