11.08.2008

Fun on the floor

I didn't even notice when it was time to leave at the end of my 12 hour shift at the nursing home. Lots of fun. I got to order X-rays for a couple residents, helped put together all the admission paperwork and actually writing the orders I was following earlier in the week while I was learning the treatment and med cart with the LPNs.

I switched sides of the health-center today, and helped cover the side with more long term care, while the half I was on earlier in the week was mostly rehab. The director of nursing picked a clever method for integrating me into the unit, starting me out where things are the most slammed, and then introducing subtler and more complicated elements.

The amount of paper work is staggering. I could think of dozens of ways to speed this up with computers, but the in-house designed system hasn't gotten to us yet (if one exists at all).

It's a lot of writing by hand, something I've always been averse to and not any good at. I can't write in cursive, at all. It's messy at times, and I make a lot of mistakes, but I think as sloppy as it is it's still more readable than that cursive garbage. I'm forever having to ask people what written words mean. I almost mistook an entry in the Kardex for a completely different drug! No pyxis, no automation, no double-checks.

I'm thankful for the OCD-ness my clinical instructors strived to inspire in us, It saves my butt on a daily basis from near-misses and mindfulness.

It reminds me of something my aikido sensei said about meditation. At first it's challenging because sitting that way can be really painful at first, maybe for a long time. Then, when the pain is gone, the problem becomes staying awake.

Same on the unit, I think. At first the challenge is getting everything done, then the next challenge is doing it every time even when you've gotten good enough at it for it to be routine.

I witnessed some interesting things during my time there so far, but maybe two much to fold into a single post, I'll just sprinkle vignettes throughout.

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