Monday, 26 November 2007

Did I mention...

I'm using this blog as something of a reflective diary, too?

Well, I'll have to edit it, but you get the idea.

A reflective diary is something us students are encouraged to keep in order to record, reflect and change our ways for the better.

Today my mentor and the practice placement coordinator, both of whom I get on with really well, weren't in. I was assigned to work with someone I'd never met before. They were not a nurse who didn't use English as a first language (which often makes things difficult, to be honest). Additionally they were not trained (or in my opinion suited) to handling a student nurse. I felt somewhat like a third wheel but endeavoured to try and help. Eventually I got the opportunity to leave my limited duties to attend Ward Round.

(Ward Rounds, much like in Scrubs, involves a big shot Doctor going around their patients with the few student doctors as well as Occupational Therapists and Physios talking about and to the patient. Occasionally they want a nurse's opinion, so someone should be there)

I think it's important to attend Rounds as a student. In this case I was the only member of the nursing team there, which was somewhat strange from my second week, but I believed I could handle it or I wouldn't have volunteered.

Anyway, that took a bit of time - and felt like time well spent, even if the Consultant wasn't really interested in what I had to say. After that I basically sat around the Nurse's Station for the rest of my shift, briefly running a few non-educational errands.

I did get to feed back information on some patients and the Ward Round during the handover to the late shift, which was valuable as an exercise for me, but still. I felt the lack of things for me to do for the late morning to afternoon was a bit of a waste for myself and for the ward.

What can I do about this, in hindsight? Well, with only a week of experience behind me I don't feel confident to act independently. Additionally it's against hospital policies. I am, then, somewhat at a loss at what I could do in the future. I rely on my mentor to lead my studies and if that's not being done then all I can do is sit back, read about neurological conditions and open the door now and again.

I wasn't working with my mentor which meant I wasn't assigned to the more independent patients who I can chat with. The patients my lead was taking care of suffer from speech problems, as well as various other communication issues, which means speaking to them is somewhat difficult and/or pointless.

I think today underlined the importance of trained mentors during placement, and the availability to shadow and study them.

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