Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Busy Is Not in the Nurse’s Dictionary

Well, that’s not applicable to all nurses. In fact, there’s much pun intended there. The most appropriate title for this article is, “Busy Is Not in the Nurse’s Dictionary… Not.”  ;) Although my current nursing post is not hospital based, we still perform the usual nursing stuffs we do in the institution/hospital. We do patient assessment which is a very critical skill for nurses who deal with medical and traumatic emergencies. Of course we provide timely interventions based on planned outcomes of care to address patients’ responses to their clinical condition (nursing diagnosis). When we intervene, we usually get immediate evaluation. For example, when there is a critical disturbance in the airway clearance, we immediately remove it using appropriate interventions like finger sweeping if the obstruction is visible, or Heimlich maneuver or abdominal thrust for non-visible obstruction; Also, we protect and maintain the airway by placing an oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal airway device, or simply head-tilt chin-lift and/or jaw thrust maneuver. As you must have mentally recited just right now, the priority is always the Airway, that’s seconded by Breathing and of course Circulation. That’s so basic: Basic Life Support. But staying in a refinery clinic does not allow a refinery nurse to practice much of those skills. Perhaps oil refineries around the world are all very much oriented to safety measures that there are only a very few disasters that have been reported to have occurred in the past. Well, who wouldn’t want to maintain a safe environment? None.

I’m sorry for confessing this, but I am really eagerly excited and nervous at the same time for my first encounter with a really TOXIC patient. Although that may sound like I wanted somebody to be in an accident, I don’t intend to mean it that way; what I want is just to experience those cases. But please, no casualties. Haha. Whatever… In my duration of stay here in my workplace, I would like to be an expert when it comes to pre-hospital trauma management; attend to burn victims, be able to place an LMA or endotracheal tube to a real patient (of course after being ACLS certified in this country), use the hare traction, administer epinephrine for an arrested patient, catch a Torsades de pointes rhythm, apply multi-trauma dressings, use the automated external defibrillator, ride an uber fast ambulance, be able to save an amputated limb, and place a red or black tag to a patient. Hmmm… Morbid? ;p

However, whichever, whatever, just as long as workers here keep on observing safety protocols and wear appropriate personal protective equipment, I wouldn’t be able to respond to real emergency cases. :( But hey, although I want to gain practical experience here, I don’t want to experience the cases I’ve mentioned earlier ALL AT ONCE. ;p Showaya, showaya. Hinay-hinay lang, pare!

So why my blog entry is entitled, “Busy Is Not in the Nurse’s Dictionary… Not.”? That is simply stating our status as refinery nurses, because we just spend 12 hours of duty waiting for emergency calls and patients to come into our clinic. In short, we’re not busy! Unlike hospital nurses who are dog-tired responding to their patients’ frequent use of the nurse-call button, conversely, we refinery nurses are all sitting like Buddha here. Haha. Aside from sitting here almost all the time, our activities include watching Blu Ray or DVD-rip movies, playing Plants versus Zombies, having snack breaks, and chit-chatting. This-is-the-life. Earning while relaxing…

But once that 911 call comes in, surely our seemingly sleeping brain cells will be put into use again. Give us an emergency and we’ll respond to that professionally STAT!

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