Thursday, June 30, 2011

Without Words

This morning we went to Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola, which is a Jesuit school for boys starting at age 3 and going all the way through high school! We just toured the grounds, which were absolutely beautiful by the way, and at the very end got to go into a couple of the classrooms. The little boys were so cute and so excited to meet us. I highly doubt we are doing any clinical sites here and there is no connection with Sacramento Santisimio so I am not sure why we visited but it was nice to get a little break in the morning. 
After our wonderful seista, I headed back to the ER, this time I was placed on the pediatric unit. I was nervous due to the fact I was by myself with no language help from Maria and amongst twenty people who only spoke Spanish. As soon I stepped into the room I was told by the nurse to take out an IV from a one year old boy. During my adult clinical this past spring, I became the QUEEN of taking out IVs. I think out of the 7 or 8 patients I had, I took out at least 4 IVs. So even though the baby was squirming around I was able to get it out with ease and I gave myself a nice mental pat on the back. I told the nurse (in Spanish) that I only knew a little bit of Spanish. Rather than just rolling her eyes at me and then just letting me sit and watch she started showing me the charts and how they charted. She was speaking all in Spanish but slowly enough so I could pick up most words and pointed at things. I didn’t say much but I feel like I picked up on most of what she was explaining to me. I have learned in my first three days of clinicals that nursing has its own language and it doesn’t change no matter the language. The drugs may be spelled slightly different but you can put two and two together and can figure out what they are. Many medical terms are very similar so even if I don’t know the word I can make a pretty good guess at what it is, which has been a blessing for me. After explaining the charting system (which is all by hand and on paper), she started showing me how to draw up drugs and get injections ready for the patients and how to make the formula for the nebulizing treatments. I helped to get all of the supplies ready and then she told me to follow her and we took a 3 day old baby into the “trauma” room. The baby needed an IV because he had an infection and needed antibiotics right away. So I helped set up the equipment then held the baby as the nurse inserted the needle. After the needle was in, I started to tape it all up and make sure it was secure. We really didn’t say anything, everything was done through hand motions and pure nursing instinct. After that I gave more medications, took out another IV and gave a couple nebulizing treatments to the kids. I also helped the nurse soak a two year old in cold water because he came in with a fever! Very old fashioned, but it definitely brought the child’s temperature down until the doctor could come and look at him.
I was changing out one of the patient’s IV container/bag that had normal saline running and I was about to throw it away when the nurse said “no” and pointed next to the sink. I saw some other ones that had a side cut out sitting there, the nurse picked it up and pretended to spit in it. It finally hit me that they REUSE the plastic containers that they use to run IVs for spit containers for the patients! I couldn’t believe it, a hospital REUSING something! All the hospitals I have worked at in the U.S, you use something once, even if just for a second, it gets thrown out immediately and you get a new one. It made me think about on one hand, how grateful I am to live in the U.S and have all this equipment readily available for us. On the other hand, we are so wasteful with our supplies and could save so much money if we just reused some equipment. 

Giving some IV push meds to one of the patients with the wonderful nurse at my side!

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