my internship (week 2)

24 May

Monday, May 20th

Today we had a 45 year old male with a GI bleed. Eva was there again, and we all had a fun time chatting.
Tuesday, May 21st
Today I put together a bunch of packets for the charts of new admissions. Once again: there is a LOT of paperwork involved in health care.
Wednesday, May 22nd
Today Eva came, plus a new volunteer. She’s a PA student in her sophomore year of college. She needs 500 clinical hours. We briefly went upstairs to 3 East, the adult medical floor, because it was quiet down here. The nurse manager in the ICU bought everyone lunch to celebrate the fact that the ICU was recently found to be the safest, most cooperating and efficient department in the hospital, according to a survey taken in march. But jus t before lunch (and before the PA student came), the nurse manager heard her grandmother had a stroke. Even though the other hospital would have been closer, she had her brought here.
Thursday, May 23rd
I came in and both nurses were temporarily closing the ICU (which had no patients) to help upstairs where there were too many patients. I helped out here and there. Most of nursing seems to be assisting and cleaning patients. I watched an elderly woman get her diaper changed. I can’t tell if old people are just used to and resigned to humiliation, or if they simply have become more uninhibited with age. Either way, I think it’d be awful to have to have someone wipe your butt and apply diaper rash cream.
We went back downstairs when we got a patient, 54 year old female, with a GI bleed. She has had a history of ovarian cancer among others, and she looks like she’s 80. Her husband is ten years younger than her and has what can only be described as “sick tats” all down his arm. His beard drops down to his navel. The nurses say his wife’s time is coming, but she isn’t a DNR or DNI yet (do not resuscitate/ do not intubate).
She has bags on her stomach filled with a murky brown mush. They are from her colonoscopy. They stink up the room.

Friday, May 24th

We still have the GI Patient from yesterday. She is weak, even though she got two units of blood yesterday. She gets lots of treatments today: blood products–five units. I went down to the blood bank lab with one of the nurses. The lab is awesome, chock full of lab equipment. Centrifuges, micropipettes, cuvettes, a bubbling concoction straight out of Dexter’s Lab, an oscillating gizmo whose function I can’t even guess. There was a brown cardboard box with a sticker that said, “FRAGILE: donated human tissue” just sitting on the counter.
The patient developed hives in a reaction to the blood products we gave her. We had to give her Benadryl. Luckily, her respiration and blood pressure was fine. Apparently this reaction hasn’t happened in years for these nurses. But guess what: more paperwork! They need to fill out an occurrence report whenever something out of the norm happens.

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