Student Nurse, prn

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Emergency Department

After all my teasers I feel guilty. As sometimes it is the case real life, it is not how it is portrayed on TV mostly because it would make a boring TV show. The average small hospital ER is kind of slow, dull and then an occasional excitement gets in the mix. Keep in mind I was there for about 8 hours starting at 6:30am on two weekdays.

When I arrived there is one MD working and by 11am there are two . There are usually 6 nurses (including one in triage-checking patients in and one charge nurse helping when&where he/she can).

Here are some of the down and dirty stats:


(age, sex, chief complaint, possible diagnosis or reason- some of which I state as unknown because I was either not involved in their care or they were discharged with status as unknown)

55 M - Bladder, possible UTI

94 F - Fall, head lacerations&concussion (transferred to her primary hospital)
20 M - jaw dislocation, from altercation
9 F - headache&fever, unknown
23 M - cough, pneumonia
11 F - cough&fever, pneumonia

89 F - nausea&vomiting w/hematuresis (blood in urine), unknown

35 M - dizziness, vertigo

89 F - altered level of conscious, unknown

22 M - ear laceration, earring caught in car door (13 stitches)

5M - red eye, not conjunctivitis-unknown

Keep in mind we had a two hour stretch in the AM without ONE patient. That is known as the student syndrome. I made labels for a ear/nose/throat cart. Yipeeeeee (*not*)
. I am missing a few in my log as we got busy towards the end of the day. In report I heard they had a total of 51 patients for this entire day.


83 M - chest pains, admitted for observation
4 month old M - fever&red eye, unknown

50 F - bad day, psych referral

73 F - seizures or stroke, admitted to ICU for probable stroke

49 M - R wrist swollen, sprain

3 M - bloody nose, bloody nose

46 M - R hand swollen, arthritis

41 F - knee pain, unknown

38 F - pelvic pain, UTI

51 F - flank pain, unknown
41 F - cold, unknown

62 F - shortness of breath, unknown
16 F - "5150" came in with a sheriff, suicide attempt-psych referral
45 M - extremely combative brought in by Highway Patrol officers-gurney prepared with restraints, unknown
18 F - severe asthma, unknown
83 F - shortness of breath/ weakness/altered level of conscious, unknown

2 month M - shaken baby syndrome/shortness of breath-unknown

56 M - infected toes-complications of diabetes

We also had about an hour+ with no incoming patients in the AM. I missed logging
several more towards the end of the shift because it got swamped with at least one patient waiting in the hallway.

To answer Neil and Chelle: nothing worth casting in Hollywood but I wouldn't have kicked a couple of them out of bed for eating crackers *grins*

From a student perspective it was a really good two days. I got to do a PPD injection, two In&Out catheters, NG tube medications, a splint, IM injection, focused assessment, one unsuccessful Foley catheter, dip several urine samples and absorb the overall environment. I was calm under the chaos when it started to get busy. I was complimented by the staff for my skills and ability to learn quickly and was told "I would do well in the ER".

Think I should join the Screen Actors Guild? or stick with my nursing career path?


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