Tuesday, March 31, 2009

While I thoroughly enjoy my weekly clinicals, I can't say there's usually much excitement going on. In fact, we get our stimulation fix by watching videos about violence in the workplace, or maintaining confidentiality in keeping with HIPAA laws.

But the nurses at the facility are OK with routine. Because excitement in health care doesn't usually mean a surprise birthday party.

Today we had quite a few detours from the normal routine.

The first was when the patient I was taking care of got nauseous and threw up all over the place. Thankfully, it did not get on me, and I’m so thankful for Meghan my partner who ran to the linen supply closet to get new towels and fresh sheets. But with my patient sick, I was kind of left with nothing to do. So I went to the treatment room (which isn't much bigger than my closet) and I reviewed and studied some more with Meghan.

When I emerged, Shawn told me that I’d missed more excitement. A patient had somehow gotten stuck in the Hoyer lift. A Hoyer lift is used to lift heavier or otherwise totally immobile patients out of bed to their wheelchair. it looks like this (varying from facility to facility)

While it looks like fun, it is actually quite terrifying for a patient to be lifted up out of their bed-especially in the case when the patient has dementia, and is not very aware of what exactly is going on. And the other factor is that the CNAs (certified nursing assistants) who move the patients, have done it so often that their movements are quick and jerky, which makes it all the more terrifying. but that's all part of the issue of desensitivity of health care workers, resulting in a decrease of compassion towards the patients (which is a wholly another issue to be taken up at a later time) so it seems the lift somehow broke or malfunctioned, and the CNA left to get help, leaving the patient dangling midair. So the nursing students who had been attending to that patient had to manually get the patient out of the lift and maneuver her back into her bed.

as if to make up for all that had transpired in the morning, the rest of the class passed uneventfully. unless you count the rousing discussion i had with Jan (nonreligious classmate) and Tatiana (Latino classmate) dispelling the myth that Jews have horns.


G6 said...

The "senior" version of getting stuck at the top of the ferris wheel.....

nmf #7 said...

Ouch. Glad the nursing assistants were there.
And, wouldn't your sheer presence be enough to dispell the horn myth?