Friday, November 05, 2004

Kids, Flu Shots and Show & Tell

I've come off my second round of caring for pediatric patients and this week endeared me a little more to pediatrics. I had an extremely sick but appealing patient. It wasn't that the patient was particularly sweet or special, it was just that I was able to interact with the patient . And I liked it! Even though most of our conversations consisted of talking about Wrestlemania or Dora the Explorer, it was still rewarding somehow.

I really had to get my nursing chops up to prepare to take care of this patient: 15 medicines (and I have to know the actions, side effects, dosage and other parameters for each of these), 2 IVs (one in each arm), strict I&Os (Input and outputs - self explanatory), continuous monitoring (heart rate, respiratory, pulse ox) and research the pathophysiology of my patient's illnesses. It was fairly stressful and every moment of my day was taken up caring for the child. It's hard to imagine how a real nurse cares for 2 or more. Although this type of patient takes so much work and the type of unit I work on is full of similar children, it is a perfect learning opportunity. If I ever have someone with something as uncomplicated as a tonsilectomy or pneumonia, it will be no big deal at all.

Side note I:
Believe it or not, nursing students (even those working with pediatric patients) are not eligible to receive the flu shot. 've noticed, however, that some doctors are walking around with an "I've Had A Flu Shot" sticker on their lab coats. Do they expect us to read the sticker and think: "Oh, good for them, they've had their flu shot. Well done! Good show!" Goodness knows, though, we'd all like a flu shot very much. I have no idea what the thinking behind the stickers is this year. Ridiculous.

Side note II:
The election has put me a little on edge and I've done some bizarre things since Wednesday. First, I broke down into tears while watching the Kerry conseccion speech while on the treadmill at the gym. Everyone else was watching the speech, too, but no one else decided it merited tears and sobs. Later that night I had a little boy (only 3 years old or so) from my child abuse prevention group come up to me to ask for a tissue. When I brought him a tissue he extended his finger to show me a giant booger, clearly pleased with it (and it was truly magnificent in size and consistency). I cracked up, choked on my popsicle and had a coughing fit.

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