Friday, September 24, 2004


Today I had my first post-caesarian patient. As far as postpartum care is concerned, c-sections are about twice as much work as a good old vaginal birth. I spent 45 minutes walking a patient to the bathroom, cleaning her up and getting her back into bed. 45 minutes! Amazing. Of course, this is not the sort of task a real nurse usually does; the three-quarters-of-an-hour bathroom walk is usually reserved for nursing assistants or LPNs. It's good, though, for me to do this sort of things because I'll have more empathy for NAs and LPNs and will know exactly how much I want to avoid having a c-section.

C-sections also seem to need a lot more pain medication than vaginal births. My patient had a patient-controlled analgesia pump (PCA) - it's a mini tank of morphine with a button for the patient to push whenever he/she feels a twinge. The pump is equipped with a computer chip that records how many requests and how many actual milligrams of drugs are dispensed. My patient made 102 requests over an hour and received the maximum prescribed amount of doses:10. I'd be frantically pushing a button if you sliced into my uterus and put it back together with staples, too.

So I have one last day of postpartum care left and then it's on to the nursery and then to Labo(u)r & Delivery - can't wait.

In other news, this week I'm attending a planning meeting for the work I'll be doing at a local community center. The work will consist of helping a nursing school graduate student run a support and education group for single mothers in the neighborhood. I'm excited, especially because I get paid.

And the weekend? Two days of freedom? Nope: pharmacology. And no self-medicating allowed, unfortunately.


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