My nursing preceptor likes to say "awesome!" a lot, and by shadowing and learning from her for the past two weeks, nurses are pretty. damn. AWESOME. Today, a patient was waking up from anesthesia and kept saying how wonderful the nurses and staff have been. It also feels pretty great when someone tells you that you're going to be a great nurse one day. Even though I am mainly in the GI area of the PACU (post-anasthesia care unit) and things are pretty much routine and from day to day, my preceptor has been able to push me to think critically and continue building upon my skills.
I also know that not all nursing schools offer this type of "integration" for their students. I already mentioned this before, but at Columbia, integration is a 6 week clinically intensive schedule where we are assigned a nurse and are expected to work his or her schedule. Most of the time, these are three 12 hour shifts. Other schools may call this "immersion," some schools may not offer this at all, or some schools may have you find your own preceptor.
So far, I've been able to also sit in on a couple of endoscopies, EUS, colonoscopies in the GI area. I have been up to the MICU (medical intensive care unit) as well as the regular PACU where they receive patients from all types of surgeries (gynecological, spinal, ortho, etc). In the normal PACU, I learned to set up and prime PCA (patient control analgesia) pumps, give IV push medications, PO medications, assess arterial lines, proper documentation, etc.
Today, my preceptor allowed me to actually handle one of the colonoscopy admissions. Ok..ok.., well she still asked the questions since she was using a phone interpreter, but I was trying to familiarize myself with clicking certain parts of the chart the way my preceptor does and typing things in.
Later on, my preceptor opened up a crash cart to let me see the contents inside each drawer so I was familiar with the meds and the equipment. She quizzed me a lot on the crash cart meds and what they're used for, how the pathophysiology works in the body, etc. She actually quizzed me a lot today on random things medical related which was a good thing, but even the unit secretary jokingly told her to give me a break. Hahha.
Anyway, another long day tomorrow at the hospital before my weekend begins.
Keep doin' work, people!