Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Prioritizing

I had my first case study-based exam today. Essentially, the questions would include a clinical scenario and then ask you what you would do first. It's harder than it sounds i.e. one of the options isn't "B) Check back with patient after lunch break." Instead, all of the options seems equally important and critical and I am always convinced you could do two at once i.e. listen to breath sounds at the same time as you ask someone else (like a hapless nearby nursing student) to collect a sputum culture. Unfortunately, there's only ever one answer. In this case? Listen to breath sounds. Luckily, I got that one.

Today was an exciting day because I was assigned to a project for the research and leadership training fellowship I'm doing. It looks as if I'll be developing a screening tool for delirium in oncology patients. This is actually a plum assignment because the other projects all seemed to be about medication errors or whether or not to put bed rails up. And I'm pleased to be working in oncology.

Tomorrow I'm back at the hospital with real-live patients (as opposed to case studies). I won't say more than this but while looking up information about the patients I would take care of, I wrote down a patient's weight. "My my my that's a heavy one," I thought and wrote down a weight in pounds. I was wrong. The patient's weight was actually written in kilograms and is therefore 2.2 times as big as I originally thought.

Oh dear.


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