Blog #5

It’s crazy to think that I am almost finished with my first semester of clinicals. I remember in January how nervous all my friends and I were for our first day of clinicals. None of us had any experience in a hospital setting and we had no idea what to expect of clinicals. The first day of clinical for me was overwhelming, and I remember thinking that there was no way I would be able to do this for a whole semester. However, clinical started to feel more comfortable to me and I started to gain confidence in my abilities as a nurse. A turning point for me in my clinical experience was when we split from having partners to being on our own. Being by myself in clinical was scary, but it taught me so much not only about nursing in general, but about myself and the type of nurse I want to be in the future.

One big improvement I noticed in myself throughout clinical was in the communication aspect of it. The first day of clinical I was so nervous to ask questions because I didn’t want to seem dumb in front of my peers, my instructor, and the nurses on my floor. Throughout my clinical experiences, I was able to grow in my knowledge and in my confidence and at the end of my clinical experiences I had no problems asking questions or communicating with my nurse. Specifically, I found myself going up to my nurse on my own and updating her on my patient, where in the beginning my instructor had to prompt me to ask. Additionally, I found myself asking for help when I needed it rather than waiting. This improved my clinical experience because asking for help from my peers, the techs, and the nurses allowed me to grow in my knowledge and understanding of nursing skills.

In my future clinical experiences, I would like to continue to grow in my communication with the patients. Although I believe I grew a lot during this previous semester, there were still times where I felt like I didn’t know what to say to the patient or I didn’t know the right questions to ask. In the future I would like to focus on these areas so that my patient can feel as though they trust me to take excellent care of them and they trust in my abilities as a student nurse. I was able to form a lot of amazing connections with my patient’s this previous semester; however, I want to grow in my ability to communicate effectively with them. Additionally, I would like to see my confidence grow in the future. I often found myself feeling unconfident in my abilities due to the anxiety of doing them for the first time. I would like to grow in my mindset when I step foot into clinical so that I am able to be confident in myself and allow myself to learn from my mistakes.

Overall, clinical has been an amazing experience for me and I am so sad that my hospital experience got cut short this semester. I am so excited for my clinical’s next semester. I have learned so much from clinical that I was not expecting to learn, and I cannot wait to expand on the knowledge I have gained in the future. It is crazy to think back to my first day of clinical’s and how nervous I was because clinical has been one of the best experiences.

Blog #4

For this blog post, I decided to watch one of my favorite medical dramas, Grey’s Anatomy. The specific episode I watched was the episode called “How to Save a Life”. In this episode, Meredith Grey is informed about her husband’s death. The police arrive to Meredith’s house and informs her of the car accident and the ordeals that followed, and then the scene cuts to Meredith arriving at the hospital.

When Meredith first arrives to the hospital, she is greeted by a social worker who takes her kids and is guided by a nurse to her husband’s hospital room. During this brief interaction, the nurse gently touches Meredith’s shoulders and guides her towards the room, which I believe is a positive act of therapeutic communication. The nurse is displaying empathy towards Meredith during this terrible time without violating personal boundaries or saying anything that may make Meredith uncomfortable or more upset.

Once in the room, Meredith is approached by her husband’s doctors. I believe that during this interaction, her doctors are unprofessional and act in a way that does not reflect therapeutic communication. Her doctors are displaying immense emotion and are praising the skills of Derek Shepherd although they never knew him, immediately after Meredith sees him intubated for the first time. Additionally, during this interaction, they seemed as though they were not prepared with the message they wanted to give, which made it even more difficult for Meredith who was feeling a range of emotions.

Overall, I believe that this scene portrayed mostly negative aspects of therapeutic communication. The doctors in the room displayed sympathy rather than empathy and became over-involved in the case as the deceased patient was a profound surgeon. They let their feelings of guilt and the mistakes they made get in the way of being what their patient’s spouse needed. In this situation, the doctors should have remained empathetic, but professional. The doctors should have realized that what Meredith was going through required doctors who were going to be strong for her and help her through this time, but instead, Meredith was the one who was comforting the doctors, as she said “you did the best you could”.

Although Grey’s Anatomy is meant to be a TV show filled with drama, it is something that I am able to learn from. Grey’s Anatomy portrays instances that in many cases, should never happen, but also portrays caring doctors and nurses who are there for their patients. This assignment was extremely fun for me as I love Grey’s Anatomy, and it really was eye opening towards therapeutic communication and its importance in a healthcare setting.

Blog #3

Beginning clinical this semester has brought many different emotions with it. I’ve been stressed, happy, intrigued, and tired. Although I have only experienced one month’s worth of clinical, I have already learned so much, not just about the nursing profession, but about myself as well. I have learned that I am much more capable than I once thought, and I have been able to see how impactful communication is on a floor. Without effective communication, a floor could be in shambles. Through my clinical experience, I have been able to learn about my communication skills and grow in the areas that I had lacked.

My biggest communication challenge that I have experienced throughout clinical is communicating with the nurse effectively and in a timely manner in the middle of the shift. At the beginning of my shifts, my nurse had always been extremely informative about my patient and their needs, and provided plenty of information that was needed to provide the best care possible for my patient. However, being able to share information with my nurse after presented as a challenge. I noticed that during both my clinical experiences, especially the first day, I wasn’t reporting abnormal results in a timely manner. Although part of the issue with this communication challenge was that it was hard finding my busy nurse, I was also a big part of the challenge.

Looking back, I affected my own ability to communicate almost more than my excuse ever did. I felt uncomfortable approaching the nurse, because I felt like I didn’t belong on the unit. I let my anxiety and thoughts get the best of me and would wait as long as possible before I approached the nurse. In the back of my mind, I always felt that I was bothering the nurse when I would go up and report to her, however, there was no evidence to support this fear as my nurse was always so kind to me. Additionally, during the first week I didn’t know what information I should report to the nurse. For example, one of my patients consistently had high blood pressure readings, so when I obtained a high blood pressure, I didn’t even to think about reporting this to the nurse. However, after talking to my clinical instructor, I learned I should report any vitals that are abnormal, even if they are considered normal for the patient.

I can overcome this communication challenge by being more confident in the information and knowing that communicating with my nurse will never hinder my patient, but only help them improve. When I am unable to find my nurse, I need to become more aware of my surroundings and continue to look for her as soon as possible without neglecting my responsibilities. Additionally, I can help overcome this challenge by communicating with my instructor when I am confused about what I should report to my nurse, as this will help me learn more about what is important to communicate and what doesn’t need to be shared right away.

Blog Post #2

After seeing the details of this assignment, I got excited because of how entertaining people watching can be. For my 30 minutes of observation, I decided to go to one of my favorite places to people watch: the library. While at the library, I was able to observe many different styles of communication.

I saw many examples of verbal communication while in the library. Many people were walking around the library talking to the friends they came with, would talk at the tables they were sitting at, and there were a couple of people who would talk on the phone. It was interesting paying attention to how everyone interacting so differently from one another. What I noticed about those who were communicating verbally were how they used their tone of voice and hand gestures to help convey the message they were trying to send. Additionally, the people who were interacting seemed to understand what the other was trying to say and never seemed to interpret what the other person was saying incorrectly. Verbal communication is different from nonverbal communication in the aspect that it is much easier to decipher the correct message and the tone of the conversation.

Nonverbal communication was evident almost everywhere throughout the library. One specific thing I noticed was how people would nonverbally communicate stress. Personally, I know when I am stressed I pick at my eyebrows constantly. In the library, I noticed two girls sitting at a table and one of them was sitting there biting her nails as she was doing her homework. From the nail biting and the look of concentration on her face, I was able to infer that she was stressed. However, the issue with nonverbal communication is that it isn’t as easy to decipher the meaning behind the message as it is with verbal communication. The nail biting could just be a bad habit and it might not have anything to do with stress.

Communication with technology was present all around me at the library, and much like nonverbal communication in person, communicating through technology can also make it hard to determine the meaning behind a message. However, despite this almost everyone around me within the 30 minute time frame had picked up their phone, or had gone on their email or text messages through their laptop. Technology use is everywhere, especially in our society today. Technology has made communication so much easier than ever before, as I could easily reach out and talk to someone who lived across the world from me, However, the issue with communication via technology is how easily a message could be misinterpreted. For example, I am a very sarcastic person and I know many times I have sent a sarcastic message to my friends over text and they took the message literally. This could cause issues especially when communicating with other professionals. Technology has been useful when communicating with others, however, it is something we have to be careful with in order to make sure our messages are being portrayed how we mean for them to be.

Introduction to me!

Hi! My name is Hannah and I am currently a sophomore in the program! I am from Cincinnati and I graduated from Mount Notre Dame High School, which is a Catholic all-girls school. I loved my high school and could talk to anyone about it for hours! At home, I have two younger brothers and a dog. My two brothers are both in high school. The oldest of the two is Jake (18). He is a senior in high school and is currently looking at colleges. He wants to play soccer at a Division 2 school, so he is looking at colleges such as Wooster and Transylvania. My other brother is Nate (16), who is a sophomore in high school, and he is still learning how to drive. Nate also plays volleyball for his high school. My dog’s name is Max and he is a golden doodle. Everyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with dogs, especially my dog. Just like I can talk about my high school for hours, I can also talk about my dog for hours and have countless pictures to show. Whenever I am facetiming my family, I always make them turn the camera around so I can say hi to Max. I love my family and my hometown, and as much as I hate being away from Columbus, I always am so excited to go home.

At Ohio State, I am involved in my sorority, which is Alpha Xi Delta, as well as Buckeyethon. My sorority just held elections for the next year, and I received the position I wanted, which is the Assistant to the New Member Director position. In this position, I will be working with the new members and getting them acquainted with Alpha Xi and what to expect while being in the sorority. Additionally, I am available to all new members if they have any questions and I will be one of the first faces that they will initially know. I also did Buckeyethon last year and absolutely loved it, as I was involved in an event which was similar in high school. I love kids and have been considering being a pediatric nurse post-graduation. I am also working at the Ohio State Child Care Center. At work, I basically get to play with babies all day as I am stationed in the infant room, along with feeding them, putting them down for naps, and changing them. I absolutely love my job and it reinforces my desire to potentially go into pediatrics.

I have wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember. I have always been drawn to this career field as I have always been interested in medicine, injuries, and everything else. My friends call me the “mom” of our friend group because of the amount of care I have for each of them. Besides my interest in the pediatric field, I am also interested in the surgical field, the emergency department, and the mental health field of nursing. As you can tell, I have a wide range of interests for my future career and I am excited to learn more about these fields in the future! For my current clinical, I am at the Wexner Medical Center and I am on the burn unit. My first day of clinical was an amazing experience and I am so excited for the rest of my clinical experience. My first week of classes has already been so interesting and I am so excited for all that I am going to get to learn this year!

PS: here are some cute pictures of my dog Max!