Monthly Archives: November 2006

Night

I worked on the ward for the first time in over a week last night. I am (just about) better. I feel much better in myself generally, but I’m still congested, especially behind my ears and my cough is being very persistant. The doctor has given me decongestants, which are helping. I called in sick for 2 out of 3 night shifts, not because I was still bedridden and really ill, but because my body was is taking a long time to fully recover from the nasty infection. I wouldn’t have had enough energy to do a night on Thursday or Friday, I only just managed it last night. The congestion and pressure behind my ears was also causing considerable pain. But yesterday I felt better than I had done for over a week, and I felt I was fit for work.

The other major after effect of being ill, is of course, the entire weeks worth of work on my dissertation that I haven’t done. Now that I’m better, I’m trying to catch up and at the moment I feel like I’m doing so 24 hours a day. Yesterday I worked on it for most of the day, except for a couple of hours nap in the afternoon before my night shift. Then I went to work, and as it was quiet I spent several hours in a spare room doing some reading towards it. It was good because I was still on hand to take the most of any learning opportunities on the ward, but in the quiet patches I was using my time productively. I also managed to do a large portion of my big annoying folder with my mentor, which was really good. I think it was about 2.30am when my brain said ‘STOP! – I can’t do any more work, I’m supposed to be sleeping!’, so any ‘free time’ after that was spent reading my non-acedemic book. This morning I’ve come home and slept for a good four hours. I could have slept longer, but tomorrow I’m back on days (7am start, nice!) and I need to make sure I sleep tonight. This afternoon will be spent plodding on with my dissertation and tonight I’ll be flopping in the pub with good friends!

The Full Works

I went to the doctor this morning, because my health hadn’t improved, if anything it had deteriorated. He checked me over and said I have 2 infected ears, swollen glands, congested sinuses and a cough. Then he put his hand on my forehead and said ‘ooh and you’re definately burning up’. On top of that I’ve still got a headache. He’s given me some antibiotics, which should help (as long as it isn’t viral). ‘The full works’ he described the infection as – and it certainly feels like that!

Many thanks to you guys for your supportive comments and prayers. And also thanks to the friends who have been helping me to get better and reminding me to rest! Although, my body does a pretty good ‘rest reminder’ itself at the moment – if I do any vaguely energetic (such as not sleeping), my body screams to go back to bed. I physically *cannot* do much more than sleep at the moment. Speaking of which – I’m off back to bed!

Knackered, Ill and Frustrated

I’m ill. 🙁 My glands are swollen, my ears hurt a lot and I’ve got a persistant headache. It feels as if someone has come along and drained every molecule of ATP (energy) from me. I’ve spent over 80% of today in bed, either sleeping or watching a DVD. My sore ears have completely thrown my sense of balance, so everytime I do try to move around the house I feel dizzy. I’ve been regularly drinking lemsip which helps a little, but not for long.

I know generally, I’m not the world’s best patient, but I have been resting today. Even without several motherly friends telling me to rest, I *knew* I couldn’t do anything else. And resting for a day or so is alright. But, with the way I feel at the moment, I can’t see myself improving rapidly overnight. And at some point my work does *have* to be done. I’m off placement now until next Thursday night, which is good because I don’t immediately have to take any offical time off. But I was planning to use these valuable days off to work on my dissertation. And now I can’t. Its just really frustrating, because I’m enjoying my dissertation and I want to get on with it! I saw my supervisor on Thursday and she boosted my enthusiasm for it and wants to see me again in a couple more weeks with lots more done. Hmm… :S 🙁

Work

I am very aware that I have hardly blogged recently. And this afternoon I received a specific request to blog about nursing stuff. So, I thought I’d take up the request and also explain why I’ve been too busy to blog much recently.

I started my placement at the beginning of last week, where I am working full time until Christmas. For the initial settling in week, all the students had to work 5 short shifts, but this week and onwards we’re given the option to do 12 hour shifts, which I opted for because you only have to do 3 or 4 shifts a week then. I’ve settled in reasonably well and the staff are friendly, which always helps.

Putting my badge on the first day that stated I was now a ‘3rd year student’ was scary, because the staff treat third years as practically fully qualified staff. Which I suppose we are, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t scary! Having said that, I have been embracing and some what enjoying the extra responsibility. Most shifts I’m given my own patients to nurse, and if the offical alocations give a group of patients to a staff nurse and myself to work together with, then I’ll offer to take one or two of the patients myself, and the qualified works with the rest. And then if I have any problems I can approach the staff nurse about them. Most of the staff are friendly and approachable about these things and are also happy to do teaching sessions with students too. Which is quite good, because it makes up for the fact that despite having 2 mentors, I’ve not spent a single shift with either of them yet!

Last week when it was quiet, one of the staff members spent 2.5 hours going through *everything* in the high dependency unit with myself and another 3rd year. Most of the things he covered, was stuff we’d done in uni only a few weeks before, which meant we were able to get most of the questions right! At the end of the session a doctor walked in, and this staff nurse told the doctor that “if we have an emergency today, then Jen’s your girl!” Eek!!!

Outside of proper work, I’ve also been working on my dissertation. I’m doing it on nurses communication with children with sereve communication impairments, for example children with special needs. These children are frequent visitors to the ward environment, and yet the staff don’t have the skills, resources nor time to effectively communicate with them. Its a subject that really interests me and so I tend to enjoy working on it. We have to do a 5000 word literature review by the 10th January (but I want it done before Christmas) and a 5000 word management for change assignment by April/May time. I’m getting there with it. I’ve done most of my researching and reading – there are still a few holes that need filling, but I’ve done a substantial amount. And at lunchtime today I saw my supervisor with the first 500 words I’ve written – a draft of my introduction. She said it was a good start and gave me constructive criticism to help me improve it. I am just trying to plod on with it, whenever I’m not working on the ward. But then also finding time for relaxing, socialising, eating, sleeping, etc, can be interesting. It doesn’t help that this morning I woke up with a horrible sore throat and headache. Hmm, I will try to find time to rest at some point….

Green Points

Yesterday I went to Tescos to stock up on food, and as usual, when I came to the till, I opened my rucksack to pack the food into it. The cashier then asked if I had a clubcard, and I said ‘yes, why? do you need it now?’. She assured me she didn’t need it now, she was just wondering. So, I continued to pack up my shopping. And once I’d packed and paid for everything, I examined my receipt, only to realise that she’d given me ‘2 green points’. I was really chuffed – I got green points!!!! But then I thought for a moment and realised that if I can get green points for doing it that time, I should have got green points all the other times I’ve done it!

Dave pointed out the annoyance of their green points a few weeks ago, because he too never received green points for not using a plastic bag. On their publicity, it said that you had to re-use an old plastic bag, which was fine, but what about it you don’t use any plastic bags?! If you only use rucksacks and/or bags for life (which get re-used)?! I took the opportunity over on Daves blog to rant about this apparent ridiculousness. I was hoping to find the time to contact Tescos, to say ‘well done for being ecofriendly, but why can’t I get green points when I don’t use any plastic bags?!?!’ But now, it appears that I can actually get clubcard points for not using a single plastic bag. And it is annoying that I haven’t been given them before.

I am perfectly aware that Tescos, and other big multinational companies use such schemes as clubcard points to control their customers and encourage them to spend even more money in their stores. But I do have to give them some credit on the green points scheme – at least they are making *some* effort to be ecofriendly. Or at least, they would be if their cashiers knew enough about it, and actually gave you the points!

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. I am still alive. Just a bit busy.