At work the other evening, I was summoned from my watchful post in the ICU to help out on the extremely short-staffed med/surg/oncology floor. I was immediately given a shift report [half way through the shift, mind you] on 8 patients. Before leaving, the charge nurse asked me to check in on a patient who she thought might be turning septic. [Deep breath] I plunged forward. In reality, the patient was overloaded with fluid, making him feel extremely uncomfortable and just "not right" [a cue for patients who might be septic]. A dose of lasix and shedding of 1400 ml of fluid was blessed relief for the poor man.
It was hard to watch this patient; in mid-life, struggling with some diagnoses that are, in general, pretty fatal. Another patient of mine for those few short hours was a teenaged boy with an acute GI bout. He reminded me so much of what my sister Laura is going through. She has never had to been hospitalized though, thank the Lord. Finally, another patient of mine turned out to be taking an unfortunate turn toward unwellness. Going in to take her normal Q4hr vitals, I noticed her BP was extremely high [200+ SP] and that she was febrile. These two changes in vital signs are significant, especially in geriatric patients. Tylenol and some BP meds gave her some immediate relief, but her current state of health was not looking hopeful that evening.
I am very ready for my transition from Nurse Tech to Registered Nurse. In a little over a month, I'll be exchanging my 1 CORA/COSI patients or 10 med/surg patients for 2 critical neonates. For the life of me, I cannot tell you what I expect. Most recently, I have asking for special guidance from the Lord; asking Him to prepare me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as I prepare for these precious patients.