09 September 2007


Having been sent home from work this week due to developing diarrhoea (charming, I know) I needed to make up my hours.
Upon consultation with the nurse bank desk, the only thing they had on offer was 'specialing' for a gentleman on the stroke ward during a night shift.
Having done a day of my auxiliary training on the same ward, the prospect didn't fill me with a vast amount of delight... but I am rather cash strapped at the moment, and can't afford to be choosy.
When I came on the ward, I covertly sent John a text message telling him about my night shift. John had found an A&E auxiliary nurse and asked her what 'specialing' was, and as she so succintly explained, its:
"1:1 nursing for people who can't be left, i.e. psyche patients"
So here I am, sat on the ward with a 61 year old gentleman who has had a series of strokes affecting his behaviour.
I'd been warned that he was quite strong and potentially very difficult - but I must be a calming influence, as he's slept all night.
During this time I've read around 400 pages of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, filled out a charitable trust application form for funding and slept for 90 minutes on two chairs pushed together. It's hardly been the most taxing night I've ever worked, and a very easy £114*.
It's also been a good opportunity for me to banish some fears I had.
The last time I was here was my first day auxiliary nursing in this trust, and it was while under the supervision of a clinical tutor.
I was apprehensive, inexperienced and slightly green around the gills.
We were given a patient so seriously affected by a stroke that they were unable to swallow, speak coherently, maintain continence or care for themself.
While I'm proud to say I did my best to care for the patient, I found the experience frustrating and difficult to cope with emotionally. I came away from the ward with mixed emotions and an inability to clear my thoughts.
That shift was in the middle of June, and it has taken extreme desperation to make me return.
I am glad that I did.
While I've been sat here reading I've still heard the usual wailings of the confused and troubled, but in the last two months I've learnt that this isn't solely confined to the stroke ward.
The gentlemen in this bay are engaging, intelligent and amusing. In fact they've been enquiring as to how my night shift has gone. In fact one gentleman has already walked across the ward to tell the 4 Phillipino nurses to stop 'chattering like magpies as patients are trying to sleep'. I'm not sure how I managed to stifle the laughter.
So on the whole, a peaceful night, and a great chance to get ahead on my study if these shifts arise during term time.
Fingers crossed I make it to term time....

*minus the 22% tax....

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