Woke up bright early today to get to New York Presbyterian-Allen (on 220th St) by 7:30AM for my first day in the hospital! Unfortunately, it was raining pretty heavily and several students got super soaked. Super thankful for a peer of mine who let me huddle under her umbrella as we made the trek to the lobby! The hospital is pretty small on the inside, but it's quite beautiful and clean.
Several other clinical groups were placed at Allen Hospital, but we all split up with our designated clinical instructor. The 10 of us in group E headed up to the med/surg floor (adjacent to the spinal unit) and were briefed by our instructor about certain basics she would like us to practice with patients -- Introducing ourselves then going into the 4 P's (pain, potty, position, possessions). We were also shown around the unit we were in -- the nurse's lounge (beautiful btw), nourishment room, soiled utility room, clean supply room, etc. It was pretty exciting to be able to be assigned a patient on the first day, but also a little daunting! Luckily, we are partnered off in two's so we can work together to assess and care for a patient.
The patient my partner and I were assigned to was an adorable elderly individual (Let's call the patient, Meredith*). I obviously won't go into too much information (HIPAA), but let's just say, it was a pleasure to talk to , hear her stories, watch her be physically assessed by a nurse practitioner, be given pain medication by her nurse, and spoon feed her some cottage cheese. We learned a lot about her past history, present history of illness, and all the different types of medications she was administered and why.
I also had the opportunity to watch a bed bath facilitated by a CNA and two of my peers. It made me realize how vulnerable we really are in the hospital setting. It's a completely uncomfortable place to be. You feel awkward, ashamed, naked. There's no sense of privacy (even though the HCP's and staff try). The best we can do as nursing students is to make their stay as comfortable as possible. I am really looking forward for the next few weeks, hoping that things will feel more comfortable for me as I find a better flow for how I would like to address patients and continue with further assessment and conversation.
Have a great weekend!
*Pt name is obviously not Meredith.