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Always check your patients!

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I got my first taste of one of those crazy days where your shift assignment doesn’t seem too heavy, and you’re making your rounds frequently but everything seems to be whizzing by you at the speed of light, and you’re just hanging on to the tide as it carries you.  My preceptor and I were assigned 4 patients, a full load in peds, and we were excited because that meant no admits (because I am the student on the floor, they always seem to assign us the admits to get the experience, when really it just throws a wrench in everything I am trying to grasp). So we got report and checked in on everyone. They were all stable, though we had quite a few meds to give, but we started off okay.

Then before I knew it, it was 10:00, there were meds due, orders coming in and even though I’d checked in on all my patients and everyone said they were fine, they’d call the front desk 10 minutes later, suddenly in a lot of pain. Then there was the kid who threw up suddenly, though he’d been doing just fine all day (although that was eerie enough granted how sick he was, we knew something was going to happen sooner or later). Then someone wants to get up and walk, another needs some utensils that didn’t come up with their tray. We made it through, but I just felt like I was barely making it.

It was a good learning experience, definitely eye opening. The one thing that I gleaned most from the situation was how important patient ID checks really are. There were so many meds and so many IV bags to change that if you were too busy talking or thinking about something else,  it would be easy to grab a cefotaxime instead of cefazolin or to grab the wrong bag of IV fluids to hang. I found myself checking ID bands and MARs three and four times to be extra certain that I had the right patient and the right med. So this week’s biggest lesson learned: you never know what your shift is going to bring you, always make sure you’re checking your patients, and their ID bands!

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Ani Burr, RN

I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.
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