The luxury of intensive care is that usually you are only nursing one patient (occasionally two, but those should be HDU type patients next to each other). This means that you hang out in one bedspace for 13 hours so you can kind of set up home, or at least I do. I organise my desk, fill my drawers and make sure everything is in order in my patients folder. I take my own supplies of certain things to my desk, things I think I’ll need during the day. And these are those things...
Starting with the top left and going clockwise;
1. Medications book
3. Vaseline hand cream
4. Nail file
5. Vaseline lip balm
7. Spencer’s Wells/ Clamps
9. Name badge
10. Fob watches
11. Water bottle (1litre!)
12. Pen torch
14. Loads of pens! Blacks and different colours
15. Portable charger
17. PIC book
18. ID badge
Those are my things, and as you can kinda tell, pink is my favourite colour 💖 If there’s anything else you guys take to your desk, let me know!
A few shifts ago, I was asked by the ward manager to move to ED for the shift, as one of their nurses had gone off ill and they were short staffed. Initially, I wanted to cry. Not gonna lie, ED scares me. I have never had a placement there as a student and I've never really stepped in one as a patient or qualified nurse. I like my organised order and ED doesn't really give you that. I'd been moved to two other different wards in my PIC life, and I hated those shifts, the other nurses didn't really include me and I struggled with having so many patients. So I wanted to cry and refuse. But I remember telling myself, I know how to be a nurse, and if I'm open and kind to others, maybe it won't be so bad.
When I got down there, I was placed in the observation area. These patients had gone past their 4 hours limit in actual ED, but were waiting for referrals and reviews from different specialties, or just for further observations. I had a small baby querying bronchiolitis, just needed observations being completed hourly, a baby that wasn't eating or drinking and needed to be watched for intake, a patient with complex needs who was vomiting, and in the morning a new born baby came with increased work of breathing and high respiratory rate. It was definitely a different challenge, to try and keep on top of all the different things going on with the patients, but because they weren't as busy, and were all mostly sleeping, it wasn't too bad. Life saver was definitely a bit of paper with different sections for each patient, and checked off when I next needed to do observations and if any drugs were due (mostly just an inhaler) and what we were waiting for. I didn't feel comfortable them not being on a monitor constantly, I mean how do know what their rhythm is like, or if they've got low blood pressure? But ultimately they didn't need all that stuff.
The other nurses were really nice, and so helpful! they transferred patients to the ward for me, when I was caught up with somebody else, and I really appreciated the teamwork especially as I was an 'outsider'. There has been some bad rumours around between ED and PIC nurses, and the competition between who is 'better'. I don't see it as either way at all. We're all nurses with different qualities, and we need to lean on each unit in difficult times. There's no place for egos or bad attitudes. I could decide tomorrow to switch to ED, but I'd be the same nurse, same person that I am on PIC. Need to spread more love in my opinion.
At the end of the shift, I was really happy with myself for going openly to ED, and surprised myself with enjoying it!