Thursday, April 3, 2008

My Last Day.

I have not forgotten about you, oh loyal 4 readers.

Tonight was my FINAL shift as a nursing student. 4 short hours to make up for another shift where I needed to leave early. I can't believe it's over.

Tonight was a fairly interesting night too. They had a VSA on days right before change of shift, and they hadn't prepared the body for the morgue quite yet. So that was my first task.. preparing the body and taking him down. He was an elderly gentleman who had a probable cardiac episode at home and after an hour of working on him, they called it.

I have seen a dead body before, if you remember a while ago on my first night shift in the ED we had a 26 year old VSA. This guy was much older, but I noticed something similar:
Both dead guys had blue faces, necks and upper chests. Apparently this is common post-mortum. Also, their hands were blue. The rest of them was pale, however, starting to mottle. Since the elderly guy was alive up until about 1730 this afternoon, he was still warm to touch at his core. It was weird to see a dead person, but honestly, I thought I would be more freaked out then I actually was. Here this guy was, lying on a gurney, his mouth hanging open. Except for his colour and the fact that he was not breathing, he could have been sleeping upon first (and non-observant) glance.

So we took him to the morgue. I did not freak out, I did not even feel weird. It was just another task that I had never done before that I needed to do. I'm a fairly spiritual person, and call myself a follower of an organized religion, but I didn't feel that emotionally startled nor concerned. I don't know if that is good or not, but I guess I have learned that I can handle these things.

The next patient we had was an ambulance call with a guy with bradycardia. He had fainted at a visitation for a granddaughter who had died in a car accident. Fairly straightforward story, and once we heard it we thought that he would be medically cleared and sent on his merry (or in his case, sad) way fairly shortly after arrival. However, his pulse was in the 40s, and although he had no chest, neck, back, shoulder, jaw or arm pain, or even indigestion, his ECG showed a V2-V3 ST elevation and 1st degree AV block. He was seemingly in no distress, and didn't even have any shortness of breath! His only symptom was that fainting spell. So needless to say we put in some clot buster drugs, and wouldn't you know, about 10-15 minutes later his heart rate was up to 80, and his ECG looked perfect. Wow. That rarely happens. He probably wont' even need a cath. However, he did win himself a trip to the ICU for the next couple days.

I now have a MONTH off. That's right, a month before I start at the big city hospital doing general orientation. PAID work. Wow. I don't think I have ever actually taken a full month off. I tend to fill my time off with extra part-time work. However since I will be working a lot for the rest of my adult life, I have decided that except for a few days of part time work, I am taking this month as a vacation. I'm even going away for a week to Florida, where I haven't been in over 10 years. Speaking of which, I haven't been on a vacation trip since high school! That's over 8 years people!

I'm sure I won't forget much, however I bet I will be rusty my first few days working at the new hospital. I'll have to learn new protocols, and work with new coworkers. That will take a bit of adjustment. I'll post more as I know more about my orientation!


overactive-imagination said...

I know you are glad to be done. Congratulations!!
I've had to deal with the tranferring of a dead patient once so far and I must say while I didn't freak out or anything, it certainly wasn't something that I look forward to doing again. Just not my cup of tea.
What part of Florida are you planning to visit? I live in Florida. Have a blast!

miss-elaine-ious said...

I went to Tampa area. It was cold but fantastic. Sorry I didn't see your comment before I returned back to Canada!