This semester, for MedSurg I clinical, I was placed at 6 Ross where I was able to work with heart failure patients. I definitely had a good experience and my instructor was very helpful in wanting to see me succeed. I think with my background already working as an STNA, I had a good grasp on the expectations and I was already comfortable communicating with different types of patients. It is definitely different when making up a patient to talk to rather than experiencing a real patient because, to me, it comes more natural when talking to a patient with real problems and real responses to what I am doing and saying. I liked being able to take everything I learned last semester and new skills from this semester and putting them into action where I could practice and have instant feedback from my patient and instructor in the real clinical setting.
I think compared to the beginning of the semester, I improved in my confidence. I came in with communication and task confidence as an STNA, but having confidence as a student nurse is different, especially when the patients know that you are new and do not know what you are doing. I think I learned a great deal of knowledge, mainly on medications and plans of care. I knew how to do basic cares of patients, but full assessments and relating patient history to current diagnosis was a new concept to me and I am glad I was able to work with cardiac patients where I was getting an extra type of experience, not just medsurg but cardiac medsurg because these patients had common diseases we will see everyday along with their heart issues. I think it was an enjoyable, yet challenging, semester full of learning new skills, medications, and thought processes where I actually felt a step closer to becoming a nurse.
My area to grow would be just to continue with getting experience to master my knowledge and confidence with my thought processes. Repetitively working with certain types of cases and getting used to signs/symptoms and plans of care will help with my confidence on what I should be doing or doing next to help my patients. I do try to put things together when I work as an STNA to continue my progression because these will be simple orders and tasks I will need to always know as a nurse. I hope I have just as much progression and liking of my duties next semester in OB and Peds because I enjoyed the challenge and constant learning everyday.