I happened to look around at the three nurses that stood at stretcher side helping a patient swallow her nasogastric tube in order that we could decompress her solidly blocked digestive system. It got me thinking about each of us….and what stage we were each at in our nursing journey.
Nurse #1: just finishing her schooling, fresh faced,(was I ever??) eager to participate, slightly apprehensive but determined to get the experience of shoving an 18″ plastic tube into her patient’s nostril down to her stomach.
Nurse #2: a few years into her practice, still fresh faced, taking the teacher role very competently and equally eager but, more so, to complete the procedure and get the patient to her ICU bed. Lying on an ED stretcher is not a great experience for the patient. (along with the whole nasogastric thing!)
Nurse#3, knees sore from her 12 hour shift, (not in any way fresh-faced!) still eager to help but more in a “moral support” role, hoping the patient tolerates the tube and doesn’t vomit on the student nurse(or nurse #2 for that matter).
I am so grateful for nursing students who are eager to get their hands dirty and complete tasks despite the situation. It gives me hope for the future of nursing at this most complex of times.
BTW: student did a great job!!!!!
The experiences in the ED are endless, one of many reasons I keep coming back for more…..despite the sore knees!