Sterile Technique

I’m finally writing again! I really only wait so long to post anything because I feel it’s important for my entries to be accompanied by a photo of some sort. For this reason, I always wait until I have a good picture of something I can write about. I don’t always get the opportunity to take pictures, so sometimes my entries are few and far between.

Since I last wrote, so much has happened! In Lab we have learned how to administer oxygen (via nasal cannula or mask), and these last two weeks we have been practicing sterile technique; specifically in relation to wound care and catheterization.

Here I am preparing for catheterization in a sterile field.

These skills have been interesting, but a little tricky! There are a lot of rules for maintaining a sterile field. In the picture above, I had to open my catheter kit and remove the sterile gloves I’m wearing with a pair of sterile forceps. Had I touched anything with my hands, it would no longer be considered sterile and must be discarded. It’s almost like a game of operation! It takes a good deal of focus and dexterity, two things I will be practicing for the next few weeks to come.

In my clinical setting I have done a few new things, too. I have taken blood sugar levels using a glucometer on several patients, administered medications through a g-tube (that’s a tube that is sticking though a person’s stomach if they can’t swallow), and obtained vital signs on most of the patients. I used to have some trouble with it, but I can now take blood pressure with ease and document it for the head nurse! Very exciting.

My favourite patient passed away last week. I actually came to tears for this, and still think about her a lot. She was very special… She couldn’t speak, but she had a sheet of paper that she used to communicate with me by pointing at letters. Everyday when I would wheel her back into her room before I left at the end of my shift, I would give her a hug. She would grab my hand and not want to let go. It was hard because she would cry when I left. I still think about that… I wish I didn’t have to leave her.

There are just TWO weeks left in my second semester! For third semester (May 7th) we are getting placed in a hospital! I’m seriously excited about this, especially since it’s so soon. I can’t WAIT to see what I’ll be doing in the hospital… I feel more and more like a real nurse with every passing day that I am learning.

I bought a new bike last week! I plan to ride it to work tomorrow now that the weather is finally co-operating. I will get a picture to post and make a new entry as soon as possible. For now, I have to get back to studying for my exams!