Second week down, Third week ahead

Slightly late post, I have been trying to catch up on revision, housework and cooking.

Second week of placement finished… 8 weeks of placement left?! This is going so so fast. My mentor is fantastic, she’s very knowledagble and has shown me all the extra resources I can do to help me learn and to organise a day with the speech and language therapist, Dietitian and physiotherapy teams so I can see what their roles are and what they do in patients that have had a stroke.

What I have learnt so far on the stroke ward: Every single person has been effected so differently. One patient had lost the use of their left leg and arm, now needing a standing hoist to transfer from one place to another. Another patient is fully mobile but gets their words muddled up. Instead of saying ‘I need to go to the toilet’ they point and say ‘I need my children in there.’ Then another patient doesn’t appear to have any effects of the stroke at all, they are just being monitored and ready to be discharged. It is crazy how something can affect a persons life. One minute you can run a marathon and the next you are immobile and dependant on your spouse or health professionals. It must be an awful feeling. But this is where the roles of the team come in, to build their strength back up, correct any speech problems, get their eating back to normal, put aids in place to enable that person to swallow again without the risk of asperation.

I also thought that, when doing my observations I would see a lot of them scoring high and I would have to report it to my mentor, but I have only had one patient that scored high. But that was a good experience, I was able to recognise the change, report it to my mentor and the doctor on call that day, and document it all in the patients care notes along with repeating observations every 30 minutes until stable again. The patient is now well again 🙂

Which brings me on to my next observation from my two weeks so far… We had a couple of patients that have sadly passed away on the ward. They were put into an end of life condition following a stroke. It’s awful how fast a person can deteriorate in front of you. If you are a student nurse that has never came accross pallitiave care before, don’t shy away from it. I know it’s a hard thing to do and be asked of you. We tend to want to turn the other way ‘out of sight, out of mind right?’ But that person needs you right now. You know what sort of nurse you are, you know you will give that person the best care possible. This is the last thing that anyone will ever do for that person in this life. I think of it as a honour. An honour to go out of my way and care as fully as I can for that person. Ensuring no pain, no harm, no discomfort comes to them. Ensuring the last ounce of dignity is maintained. Ensuring that the last face they might see is a caring one, that showed them love and compassion. Be proud to give that to someone.

So I now have a few days off and then I will complete my third week. Three days in a row of 7am – 19.30pm come on! I shall be going into my third week prepared, organised and ready to learn so much more about this ward.





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