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Clinical Placement

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    The first six weeks of the nursing program has forced me to turn myself inside out and examine/analyze a lot about my way of life. It has forced me to look deeply into my communication and listening skills. I have learned many different ways to deal with situations and problems that may arise with my impersonal and Intrapersonal relationships. I’ve been trying out different skills with my roommate and trying to really understand what we do in class by actually doing it. I have always found it hard to express myself if I thought I would hurt someone or that a confrontation may arise.

    But I am now more aware of different ways to handle conversations so that I express myself fully ant the outcome is wondrous and successful. – author unknown Touch, to me is the most valuable sense. Being able to touch and feel your environment and the world around you is such an important tool. I find it so interesting that touch is so important to life and learning. The realization that many children are dying from not being touched by their parents is unreal and devastating. It is not a hard thing for parents to do – to touch, cradle, hug and kiss their children.

    This closely reflects on our society and the recent paranoia about sexual harassment, abuse etc, that is discouraging parents from touching their children affectionately. – author unknown Continuing Care – ward 23 (RLI) Ward 23 is a combined elderly rehab and rheumatology ward. The merger of two formerly independent units has resulted in some tensions and unsettling within the staff, but overall the ward is coping well with what must have been a difficult transition phase. I really enjoyed this ward.

    The philosophy of care is built on maximising independence (along the lines of Orem’s model) and promoting dignity and self worth to the (mainly) elderly client group. Although one cannot get away from the fact that it is a hospital ward, the aim is to make the environment as ‘normal’ as possible. Patients’ own clothes are worn throughout the day, as opposed to nightwear, and meals are taken in a dining room (unless the patient particularly wants to eat at the bedside). A self-medication system operates at varying levels where appropriate in order to educate patients regarding their medication and prepare them for elf-medicating following discharge. The discharge planning is the best I have seen, with strong liaison with other multi-disciplinary team members and community staff. One of the most difficult things to learn, coming from hectic acute wards to ward 23, was to stand back and allow patients to do things for themselves instead of rushing round doing everything for them – and one of the most satisfying things was to see the confidence and independence of these individuals growing through the patient support of the nursing staff. Finally, with regards to this placement, I must mention my most satisfying experience of my nursing career so far.

    It was in fact giving someone a bath. Seemingly not the most remarkable of events for most of us, but this lady, who suffered from chronic rheumatoid arthritis, had not been able to have a bath for the past three years. In assisting her to do this I recieved the warmest gratitude – and it really made me feel so good! Just shows how the simplest things we take for granted can make a huge difference when they are no longer available to us… Acute Medical – ward 2(RLI) This was my first medical ward and lasted for ten weeks from November 1998 right through Christmas. I loved this ward!

    It was exceptionally busy mainly due to the ‘flu epidemic which swept the country in December and January – affecting both staff and patients. Perhaps because of the hectic pace and the staff shortages I was given more responsibility than ever before and in taking this on I gained so much confidence. Despite being so busy, the nursing style was still far more holistic than on my surgical placements and the involvement of the multi-disciplinary team was far more evident. Overall a very good experience indeed. General Surgery – Ward 33 (RLI) I have just finished my ten week placement here, and I’m so glad it’s over!

    It has been my least enjoyable placement so far. The pace was so fast and the ward was very understaffed – which means of course that students get treated as dogsbodies for much of the time rather than having the time and space to really learn. Added to this was the fact that we had an important exam to study for in the midst of all this. It made for a very stressful time and I often wondered what am I doing this for. Ward 33 is a mixed gender 28 bedded ward which is always full. As soon as someone is discharged there is another patient waiting to come in.

    It takes both elective and emergency cases mainly for vascular surgery and bowel surgery. There was such a lot to learn, so much interesting stuff going on, but all in all the whole experience was just too stressful by far. The staff were a mixed bunch with some very highly skilled and knowledgable nurses, but some which made us feel so stupid and worthless and treated us really badly. It was as if they couldn’t remember what it felt like to be a student nurse. Having said that there were also a few really lovely nurses who worked there, but all in all the atmosphere was not good

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