Foley Does It

Spring Break has come and gone – way too quickly, I might add – and we are back in the thick of it. Week 2 of my Med-Surg rotation has commenced and I am realizing how much I missed the hands-on aspects of nursing (the so-called “nursey stuff”) during my community health rotation. My patient during the first week was a lesson in negotiating tubes – NG tube, multiple IV lines, Foley catheter, JP drain and even a rectal tube. A complicated medical history made recovery from surgery very difficult and prolonged. I also made my first serious klutz move on a floor: when I was emptying his Foley bag at the end of the shift, I knocked over the graduated cylinder and spilled pee EVERYWHERE! So I turned red for a bit, laughed it off (as did my patient), and was grateful to both patient and preceptor for teaching me so much about IV management, wound care, and surgical complications.

Since we are now considered “senior” Med-Surg students (ha ha), we are expected to carry two patients from the start and hopefully three by the end of the rotation. Today I actually did feel like I had things under control, even though there are so many procedures I have never done and am now beginning to do, which means my preceptor has to watch every “first” and I feel like I know nothing! Today was a HUGE day of firsts and it was exhilarating! I learned how to flush a Foley with sterile saline and change the bag, did a bladder scan, and … drumroll please … PUT IN A FOLEY! That was crazy, especially because my patient had an enlarged prostate. But he was a trooper and I got it in on the first try with very little resistance. So that bridge is crossed!

In other news, I am trying to figure out where to complete an extra 8 clinical hours. The state board of nursing requires a certain number of Med-Surg hours and because we only work 8-hour shifts this rotation, we end up 8 hours short. The bad news is, we are responsible for figuring out how to make up those hours. The good news is, there are a lot of different opportunities, from working two 12-hour shifts on our own floor and getting a taste of our destiny as RNs, to getting exposure to other areas of health care. I’ve been able to connect with Oncology and will be doing five of my hours on their inpatient unit next week – I have a feeling it will be a cathartic, but eye-opening experience, since the only experience I’ve had on an oncology floor has been as a family member. For the other three hours, I’m hoping to observe a surgery in the Cardiovascular OR, which would be AWESOME. The heart simply amazes me and surgery amazes me….what a combination!

So yes, I’m exhausted and yes, by Wednesday I’ll want to curl up and sleep for 24 hours. But I’m learning so much and loving (almost) every second of it! 🙂

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