Blog Post 5 – Clinical Reflection #2

This semester was the second half of my first year of nursing school. And with this semester, came my first round of clinical. It was definitely an interesting semester to be a nursing student and have clinical, since it got cut several weeks short due to the global pandemic currently happening. With that being said, I am still so happy to be in this program, and I was definitely still able to learn a lot in the clinicals we did complete. At the beginning of the semester, I was so nervous and thought I would never be able to do any of the things we were learning. Sometimes just thinking about having to walk into a patient’s room by myself would make me so nervous, I thought for sure I couldn’t do it. I felt like I didn’t know how to talk to the patients, and I thought that they for sure would know I was nervous and might not know exactly what I was doing. This slowly started to change, however. As weeks passed and I went to more classes and clinicals, I slowly started to learn how to talk to patients and be more comfortable doing so. Actual experience and communications class have both helped me so much with these things. The experience helped make me feel more comfortable in the actual hospital setting with real patients. It just started to become almost habit, or routine, like I had been doing it for years. Looking back at clinical now, that is probably my greatest personal accomplishment this semester. As far as being able to talk to patients better, most of those skills came from communications class. I haven’t really had any “crazy” experiences in clinical, where I would have to use some of the more drastic skills we have learned yet. But, I feel so much better prepared. When one of these more intense/serious/not as normal situations occurs in the future, I feel like I will know how to handle it better because of all the little skills we have learned throughout the course of the semester. It’s also all of the little things we have learned that you don’t really think about, that have made a world of a difference. Something like knowing it’s my responsibility to tell family members to apply PPE if I see them going into my patient’s room, so I am advocating for both my patient’s safety and their safety. All of the mannerisms and characteristics that should be used when talking to the nurses and doctors are helpful as well. I have never been someone who is just rude to people, especially my elders/supervisors, but actually seeing examples and how to handle situations was very helpful. I feel so much more comfortable now talking to nurses and doctors when I need something or need to tell them something. Finally, all of the communication skills related to ISBAR reports were extremely useful. I was already using ISBAR in the clinical format, but I didn’t really fully understand what it was or how it worked. After learning about it in class, it was almost like hearing a report for the first time when I went to my next clinical. I knew exactly what they were going through, and why what they were saying was important/chosen to be said. This helped me organize my thoughts better, and it also allowed me to actually ask questions when they gave hand-off report. I knew what they were saying and talking about better, so I was able to engage with it more and get any questions I might have answered.

With all of this being said, I am still by no means a communication expert. One of the things that I still need to work on is “small talk” with the patients. I don’t really like using that phrase, because no talk with a patient is just small talk. Everything they say is important. What I’m referring to is if I’m in there doing charting, working on paperwork, waiting for the nurse, etc. I don’t always do the best job of talking to the patient. I know you don’t have to talk to them 24/7 because sometimes silence is just as important. I do need to do a better job of talking a little more, so it isn’t just always silence, because that’s not good either. I also need to do a better job of explaining what I am doing when I am doing something. More specifically, during medication administration in my case. When I passed meds, I was not the best at saying what they were and what they were for as I gave them to the patient. It is important because it will help establish trust, and the patient will most likely be more compliant if they know just what exactly I am giving them. Lastly, something I still somewhat struggle with is expanding on previous answers to questions or just something the patient said in general. I have gotten a little better at this, but I am still not very good at it. For example, if the patient says they have pain, I normally will ask what it feels like, but then I forget to expand even further into when it started or if it’s normal or who long it has lasted, etc. The follow-up questions are normally just as important, if not more important, than the original question, because they can potentially lead to connections between other things going on with the patient. In conclusion, I have learned a lot in just this one short semester of clinicals, and I plan on using what I have learned as I move forward throughout my nursing career.

Blog Post 4 – TV Reflection

For my reflection this week, I decided to watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I’m a little behind right now, so the episode I watched was the first episode after the winter break (season 16 episode 10). I was actually quite surprised with the doctor patient exchanges this week. Normally, I can tell that they are crossing so many boundaries and that what they are doing would most definitely not fly in the real world. But, I love Grey’s Anatomy and all the characters and it’s good TV, so I still watch it. This week, however, most of the exchanges I saw were pretty okay, with no boundary crossing. Most of the patients were also doctors at the hospital because of an accident that happened at a nearby bar, which normally means extreme boundary crossing. I will say that I’m not entirely sure it was ethical for their colleagues to be operating on them. I’m not entirely sure how that all plays out in an actual emergency situation if they are the closest hospital.

The first positive interaction I saw was when Meredith was talking to Helm (the patient) while she was sedated getting an operation. Meredith using a very calm, almost soothing tone with her. Helm was kind of talking funny because she was sedated, but Meredith was very good at just listening to her, taking compliments, and just going along with whatever she was talking about. This was good because Meredith was calm, so it was helping to keep the patient calm as well.

Meredith was also good with another patient, Schmitt. He passed out with no known cause, so Meredith was doing a full workup. Before she left the room, she made sure to ask if there was anyone she could call, which got him worked up a little. She then made sure to tell him to stay calm and take deep breaths. I thought this was a good exchange because she took time to make sure that his emotional needs were met before moving on to a different patient. She knew that it is important for a patient to have emotional support when they are going through something like that.

A third interaction was when Altman was helping a patient whose PTSD from war was triggered after the accident. When they found him, she knew what he was going through because she was also a soldier. She knew to approach him by asking for permission to approach (like they do in the military) because of her previous experience. She then proceeded with facts saying things like you’re safe, gave their location, then asked him if he wanted to come with her to check him out. She didn’t demand him to do anything, and almost let him lead them in a way. I think this is a very important thing, especially when dealing with mental illness. It helps keep the patient more relaxed and cooperative.

A final positive interaction I saw was when Avery and Owen were talking to a patient’s relative. When they spoke, they were telling the relative exactly what happened during the surgery and all of the steps they took. This kept it very professional without crossing any boundaries. The relative then asked if the patient was going to be okay. Avery responded in a very good way by not saying yes or no, but by saying something along the lines of well there are always risks. Normally on this show, they make all these declarations saying they will be just fine, when a doctor really can’t say that for sure. So, I was surprised when he handled it in a very professional manner of stating facts and not making promises he can’t necessarily keep.

There was only one slightly questionable interaction that I saw this week (besides the already mentioned colleagues working on each other). DeLuca was talking with a patient’s significant other after the patient basically had a miracle happen and their heart started beating again. It was fine when he was accepting thanks and accrediting the surgeons who actually did the surgery. Then the patient hugged him, just as a gratitude hug. I think hugging is one of those things where it can be either therapeutic or totally inappropriate. In this situation, I think it was therapeutic, because the significant other really was just so thankful, and it was her way of saying thanks. But, I think there are situations where it could be considered inappropriate and crossing a boundary. So, it is something to look out for and be careful about. Overall, I was pretty pleased because I saw some pretty normal, professional provider patient interactions on this particular episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Blog Post 3 – Clinical Reflection

This is my first semester in an actual clinical rotation, and I’ve got to say, I am really enjoying it! It’s been so cool to actually start applying things I have learned in the classroom to real-world situations. It’s also been a neat experience to see how things are actually implemented in the hospital setting and how the hospital functions on a day to day basis. It’s like one big puzzle, and each person has their own specific place in order for the hospital to function. I’ve been in hospitals before, but it was always on the family side, so it’s been really cool to see the other side of it.

The biggest challenge that I have had this far is probably to just make sure I keep conversation open with my patients. I have been better about this some weeks compared to others. One week, the patient was a lot more talkative, so I didn’t have to ask as many questions because she volunteered most of the information that I needed. This past week, however, my patient was not quite as talkative. He would say something, but then he wouldn’t expand. So, I would forget to ask questions to expand on what was happening. For example, when my instructor and I went in to do an assessment, he said his legs were hurting, but I forgot to ask some expanding questions about this. My instructor was with me, and she did ask some further questions. After the assessment, she reminded me to do that, and I knew immediately when she started asking questions that I had forgotten.

The part of me that contributes to this, is to really pay attention to what I am hearing the patient say. It is one thing to just listen and make a note, and it is another thing to listen to what they say then further expand on it. It is my job to take what they say, process it, and ask further questions if needed to get to the bottom of things. When I am in the patient’s room I needed to listen and focus more on what the patient is saying, and I need to really think about what they have just said. This way, I don’t miss something. It is also important for me to continue to try and work on my confidence in what I am doing. When I walk in the room if I improve this, then I will be able to better focus on what the patient is saying instead of what my next move will be or how nervous I am. It is important to keep my focus on what I am doing, but also on my patient and what they are feeling or need. Overall, my biggest challenge this far is to make sure I expand on any complaints or concerns the patient might have to try and get to the bottom of a problem.

Blog Post 2 – Reflection

This weekend, I came home for an appointment and to visit with my family. I went out to dinner with my mom to a very casual place called Jason’s Deli. While sitting there, there were several different things that I noticed people doing. Some of the things surprised me, and some of the activities didn’t surprise me.

One thing that I noticed most of the people doing was talking. If someone was with another person, they were talking. Most of the conversations were verbal, talking conversations. But, I did notice that the people talking were sometimes using their hands when saying something. Another nonverbal due I noticed was from the people listening. Their facial expressions were a big communication point if they weren’t actually saying anything.

There were also several people there by themselves. Most of these people were on their phones doing something. There was one older man that was reading a book or textbook of some form. The people using their phones did not surprise me in the least. Especially since they were by themselves. I know I am guilty of it too, but people tend to think that if they aren’t with someone, then they need to be on their phone or doing something other than just sitting there or just eating a meal. We as people tend to think that we constantly need to be connected to another person, or persons, or society. What did surprise me was that most people who were in a group of people, were not on their phones. There were a couple here and there that would get on their phones, but for the most part, people were actually engaged in the conversation at the table. This was very refreshing. I feel like society today is so technology and electronic centered that we don’t actually know how to communicate and engage with others. However, I will say that I am being a hypocrite if I don’t admit that I can get pretty technology/electronic centered at times. I do try to not get on my phone while eating dinner with others. I feel like it’s just a rude habit to be on your phone and not actively participating in what is happening right in front of you. Outside of meals, I will admit that I am someone who can get sucked into their phone. I try my hardest to recognize this and not let it happen to0 often, but I am human. I am not perfect, and it does happen. This is why it was refreshing to see that most people in the restaurant were not using their devices, and instead, they were actually talking and engaging with others.

Overall, most of what I saw was communication while eating dinner out. There was some nonverbal communication and other activities happening, but most of the communication was verbal. And as previously mentioned, it was nice to see that not too much technology was being used.

Blog Post 1 – Introduction

Hello! My name is Hannah Purdin, and I am a sophomore nursing student here at Ohio State. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to come to Ohio State. My mom went to school here for a year, and my dad graduated from here. He gets alumni tickets to a football game every year, and when I was little he would take turns taking my sister and I to the game. I immediately fell in love with the college, and I knew back in elementary school that this was where I wanted to go to college. So I finally decided that I had a passion for nursing and took all the steps to get myself into the program. I am so grateful and happy that I was able to work hard enough and make it into this advanced program. I am very excited to one day become a nurse. I don’t, however, want to stop at my BSN. My ultimate goal is to become a nurse anesthetist. I know that it is a challenging path and will require a lot more hard work, but I feel up to the challenge. I also know that it is good to keep an open mind as I enter clinical in case I find something that I love so much more, but as of right now, the plan is to become a nurse anesthetist. I also love being at Ohio State, because now I get to go to football games almost every Saturday in the falls. Watching football is one of my favorite things to do, and it’s ten times as fun to go and watch the games in person that to watch them on TV. I sit in Block O, which is one of the student sections, and the leaders always just make the games a blast. I love being a part of Buckeye Nation and cheering on a team with 100,000 others.

I have been involved in many different activities over the course of the 20 years I have been alive. I played rec softball for most summers during elementary and middle school. I really enjoyed playing, and it was always a fun way to spend summer nights. When I was 3 years old, I started dancing, and I didn’t stop dancing until after sophomore year of high school. I competitively danced from around the age of seven until I stopped after sophomore year. I absolutely loved dancing and everything that went with it, but it was so time consuming. I had to make a choice, and I decided to make sure I stayed focused on school and my goals. That doesn’t mean that all I ever did was school work after I gave up dance. I played golf all four years of high school, and I still play golf. I absolutely love golf, and I am so grateful for my friend who talked me into trying out freshman year. I took private lessons and by the time I graduated, I was starting to play really well. I love golf because it’s both mental and physical. It doesn’t just challenge you in one way, it challenges you in many aspects. I am definitely a player who gets so frustrated and angry with myself, which then just makes me play even worse. In fact, it was a running joke that my teammates and coach could tell when I wasn’t playing well because of my facial expressions. However, I started to learn how to not let that frustration take over as I gained more experience. Golf really has taught me how to stay more calm and patient and just focus on the next shot or next task in front of me. Golf is also a skill that I will be able to take with me throughout my entire life. It will always be an outlet and a way to socialize. Overall, I am very appreciative of all of the experiences I have had throughout my life.

One of my favorite things to do is travel. I haven’t been anywhere outside of the United States, but the US has a lot more to offer than I think most people realize. I love visiting Washington DC or any other place with a lot of history. My family also travels to Tennessee a lot, which has the beautiful Smoky Mountains. My favorite trip I’ve been on, however, is when my dad, sister, and I drove out to California and back over the course of two weeks. We made so many stops including: Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, San Francisco, Monterey, Los Angeles, Denver, and St. Louis among many others. It was such a privilege to be able to see so much of the country up close and personal. I would absolutely recommend taking a similar trip to be able to see how different each part of the country is. Pictures of other places can never compare to the actual thing.