Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

It is a known fact among family and friends that I am an indecisive person. I easily become overwhelmed by all of the possibilities that I am considering in my head. Even when I do decide I am often still in conflict of whether or not the decisive result of my pros and cons list is the best option. I am not a push over however when given options I can weigh them out and evaluate what I think is best or what I really want to do, though sometimes just to appease the situation I will go along with things. Maybe I am not indecisive I just take time to assess situations and build up the courage to implement my actions. I think in this one paragraph alone, I have proved my inability to settle on a single conclusion. I believe that sometimes there is more than just one option or there are multiple decisions to be made that lead up to what ultimately will be done in one’s life. In other words although we would like to pin point the major decisions as being monumental in our lives there are actually a thousand everyday little decisions that lead up to that pivotal moment. The pivotal decision I would like to discuss is my selection of BYU as my college choice.
As stated earlier there were many decisions that led up to this point in my life. It was the decision to sacrifice those extra minutes of sleep in the morning to try and make it to early morning seminary (emphasis on the try however). It was my dedication to my high school education and desire to learn that influenced my standing GPA that BYU approved. It was the everyday decision to read my scriptures and building my relationship with my Heavenly Father. The last statement includes the most important aspects of my everyday decisions that have helped me decipher what needed to be done in my life. The interesting thing about making the decision to come to BYU was that at first I felt that I had no choice at all. I was unfortunately either wait listed or denied at all the other schools I had so eagerly applied to during my senior year. When I found out I was accepted to BYU I was excited, but had never actually planned on coming. I had a bad taste about BYU from previous family member experiences and had felt that it was not as prestigious  of a school as the others I had applied to.  I then set about making my pros and cons list and then I prayed about it. Today I am not entirely sure of how I went about receiving an answer but I know I did. It was one of peace; reassurance and everything just seemed to easily fall into place. Once I arrived at BYU I then had the choice to have an attitude adjustment and actually give the university a shot. It was shortly after arriving that I had to make the decision, which this time included a couple hundred options, what was I going to study. For some reason I know now that even though I feared if I really had any choice but to come to BYU, I realize that my selection in what to study was also prompted, but a decision made entirely of my own accord. I know I prepared for BYU in high school and then once I was here the opportunity to apply to the nursing program was why I had come.
Everyday is full of little decisions that help you decide your own destiny in life. It also encompasses realizing the benefits or complexities of all the alternatives. We have the choice to be proactive participants and decipher the options before us or merely just buy the book because of its cover but never really discover what it has inside for us. In my own life I know it takes time and quality consideration to come to a decision. Unfortunately for an indecisive person in a fast paced world I have had to learn quick thinking and to fully rely on trust in the Lord’s hand in things. This does not mean I am a floater in this life, no because I know there are priorities and contingencies to each decision we make. I know we cannot always control the outcomes of our decisions but we have to have courage and trust that in the Lord’s eyes all things will be for our good

D&C 122:  7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit or into the hands of mrderes, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Come together right now, over me

In understanding what is happening to our patients we have to not only see the bigger picture at hand but also all the small details that encompass and make up all that we are seeing. In clinical last week I worked not only with my patient who was experiencing pancreatitis but also a kidney transplant patient. Both patients provided opportunities for me to understand what exactly the pathophysiologies of their conditions were. After trying to understand the lab values by interpreting them and applying them to their present conditions or medications it all started to come together for me. I was prompted or taught by my nurse a lot as she challenged me to explain why things were occurring and why were performing certain treatments to correct them. It was exciting to understand the correlations between treatments and what was happening physiologically to the patients.
These experiences taught me the importance of studying the interactions of medications upon the body’s systems. I learned that with study and evaluation of what is going on in your lab values, they will make sense! I learned the importance of educating our patients’ so that they can adhere to their medication regimen and understand what to avoid if applicable.
I hope to continue to put the puzzle pieces together of what is occurring in my patients. I hope to take the time to really evaluate the systems of the body, what is occurring due to the present condition, and what the medications are doing that I will administer. I am excited that things are starting to fall into place but it also challenges me to learn more so that I can really understand what is happening physiologically to my patients’.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Both are edified.

In being in an academic setting I often seek knowledge primarily from my professors. In nursing, however knowledge must be shared and taught by all members of the team. This team includes the patient. This past week at clinicals I truly learned the meaning of your patient being the expert and your best source of information. In working with my patient I learned a valuable lesson of how to learn from and teach a patient. My patient was very knowledgeable about her current condition and knew exactly how her care was to be implemented. She was able to teach me about why things were done for her in a certain way and how to properly perform them. It was wonderful o have such a great coach who was patient enough with me to teach me. I then realized that some one along the way had done the same for her. Other nurses who had cared for her continually had provided care and had taught her along the way. These nurses had given care that was rue to nursing standards and had provided the correct teaching as well.
I learned that the patient may be our best resource of information but only if she understands how to care for herself and what her condition entails. My patient was able to teach me correctly because another nurse had taken the time to do so for her.
I hope as a future nurse to be able to take the time and really teach my patients about their conditions. After all it is their health that we are trying to treat. I think that teaching our patients will help empower them and allow them to be their own personal advocates for health. In my nursing career I hope to not only take the time to learn for myself but allow my patients to learn along with me. I hope to achieve this kind of understanding with my patients just as it states in D&C 50:22, “Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Order, order in the court of life.

Into the wee small hours of the morning, when sleep was beckoning me I was still feverishly typing away, lab findings, pathophysiology of the diagnoses, and nursing care needed for my patient. All the while trying to understand what it all meant! I was exhausted the next morning from my late night of work of pre-assessment but was still eager to get started for my first day on the transplant floor. I was a nervous wreck at first and was unsure if my nurse’s lack of acknowledgement to me was a tell sign of how the day was going to pan out. Luckily, the nurse that I was following was wonderful and my patient was very compliant. It was a day full of new experiences as I implemented my skills into real patient care and not on mannequins (though I love Mr. Arm and Gretchen Allen) I was able to do my first assessment on my patient, who had just received surgery from a removal of a tumor from the junction of her esophagus and stomach, and administer lots of medications. I was able to give my first IV push and I could tell the patient’s husband when asked about them exactly what I was giving and why. It was very exhilarating but before I get a head of myself this was also a very humbling experience. I learned that I still have so much to learn and to be comfortable with before I can really implement my skills and knowledge as a nurse. As I followed my nurse through out the day I saw her interact with more difficult patients whose needs were not always physically demanding but emotionally. It was not always the patients themselves that were the most difficult but their family members instead were the challenge. I saw how she addressed the patient first since they were her first concern. She rationally explained things to the patients and their family members in a way that was respectful and calm. She did not show her frustration until she left the room but acted sincerely in her interactions with her patients. I also admired my nursing professor who helped me administer the medications. She was able to relate to the patients so easily and make them feel at ease. She helped me understand why I was giving the medications and reemphasized to me the importance of doing the six rights(Right medication, right dose, right route, right time, right patient, and documentation). I feel that I am gaining a better understanding of my skills and I am constantly becoming more comfortable as I am put to the challenge. It is funny how I have been noticing that the things that I fear the most are most often what I end up valuing the most. I think it is because I have to learn how to replace fear with faith. It is in this faith that I learn and eventually gain confidence not only in myself but in my God. It is frustrating at times when I try to really care for my patients and feel limited by my skills. I want to give them my whole self and really care for not only their physical but also psychological needs as well. I want to have a wholistic approach to my care which I feel is lacking right now because I am concentrating on mastering my skills. I was grateful today when I read a verse in Mosiah 4 that reassured me of what I was doing right now is necessary for success later, either that or I am trying to justify my inadequacies. Either way I found it beneficial for what I am trying to do today:
27) And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

Post Script: I know there are some of who are grammar savvy. I am in a research class right now where I need to improve upon my grammar skills, especially in regards to commas, semicolons, and dashes. If you feel so inclined to inform of incorrect grammar in my posts, please feel free to inform me. I obviously really need to master the usage of proper grammar, since I am in college and am still lacking!