Monday, December 20, 2010

Hood Nurse, shaping the future of nursing

OMG, guys. Someone was smoking the wrong stuff and decided to send a shiny new nurse extern along with me so I could show him the ropes yesterday. Poor guy. I think it was my by default since I came in a few hours early and was the only night nurse there when he showed up. It totally solidified in my mind the fact that I am in no way, shape or form prepared to teach anyone anything- I was trying to show him how stuff in the ER works and just let him get some experience whilst trying to deal with my regular shit magnet assignment, and I kept losing the poor kid because I was practically running back and forth from the doctor's station to the omnicell to patients rooms and back for about 3 hours straight. On the bright side, my terrible luck probably made for an exciting introduction the the ED for him- we got a spontaneous pneumohemothorax, fake catonic state vs. possible dystonic reaction, pneumonia, hypertensive crisis, and a rollover MVC with a giant head laceration who kept passing out in just the first couple of hours.
I tried take advantage of teachable moments, but most of my education went something like, "Okay, new extern. Go into room 15 and listen to that lady's lung sounds so you can know the difference between regular wheezing and 'oh shit' wheezing. She sounds like total hell, so we're gonna give her some steroids and breathing treatments." Hot mess. He got to work on some assessment opportunities and some IV starts, and we figured out the order system, but I just felt so bad that he was stuck with someone as disorganized as scatterbrained as myself.
He couldn't have been nicer, either- he actually gave me a hug at the end of my shift and seemed genuinely disappointed that I wasn't going to be there with him the next shift- I hope they can pair him with someone that can actually get their thoughts together long enough to explain what they're doing, because I sure wasn't that person last night.
Sometimes when I'm having my on days I think to myself, "Wow, I'm like an experienced, grown up nurse now." Yeah, not so much. Trying to teach someone else really solidified the fact that I still have some growing up to do. Good luck you, new extern.


  1. Let me tell you from a shiny new extern POV, you probably made his night, hell, his *career* up to this point.

    I loved the nurses that got me involved, and told me stuff like, "Listen to these lungs they sound like shit."

    That's why you got a hug.

    That or you're just hawt and he wanted full body contact. Which is what I suspected all along. ;)

  2. I think what happened was the best kind of experience. Nothing like learning at a full run. That's reality. Plus he got to do all kinds of neat stuff.....Hands on is what you hope and dream for when u are learning.....

    Good work!

  3. Bahahaha at least he saw interesting shit. Someone in admin smoked some crack and decided they wanted me to precept earlier this year, which automatically meant the new nurse didn't see anything remotely interesting for two months, AND I realized immediately how dumb I really am.

  4. Hang in there! I sometimes feel the same way when I'm paired up with a student or orienting a new nurse to the unit. It can be absolutely crazy, that I literally have no time to keep up a running commentary of why I am doing what I'm doing, and what my assessment results mean. The thing is, I love working with students and precepting new nurses! Just wish there was more time and a lighter patient load to be able to fully explain and teach things.

  5. "Nurse extern" is what? Trained but inexperienced?
    Enquiring minds and all that.

  6. Nurse extern is a nursing student that can do most nursing functions sans meds- they work with us and do IVs, catheters and EKGs, plus patient transports and code browns and all that other awesome stuff.