Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Why I Haven't Been Around....

Sorry folks. I have been reading, just don't have the strength to type.

Placement has been less of a learning curve than I thought it would be and the last few shifts have flown past. I hope I can say that about tomorrow and the rest of the week. I have been thinking about sleep far too often. When I should sleep, when I'm able to sleep..... So why would I want to spend the rest of my working life thinking like this?

I've not started any of my written work sadly. So I'm starting to fall behind and there's a weekend away starting on Friday and I really should be there too. Ack.... I worked (like for money, for once) on both Saturday and Sunday. It's a run of 12 days without break in shifts.

I promise not to moan anymore about working too much. I did bring it on myself.
I promise to post more, especially if anything interesting happening but according to the news feeds nothing much has happened. Aside from the LHC leaking helium.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Mercury Thermometer

When I was a kid I went into hospital for an op and I had my temperature taken by a thermometer under my arm. That was the last time I saw a mercury thermometer.

Till of course today. See I'm used to tympanic thermometers. Put on a cover, jab into ear, push button and bang result. I don't even know if they are sill considered good practice what with mercury being poisonous and all. NHS direct doesn't think so.

Mercury thermometers are now being phased out, because they are dangerous if they get broken. Mercury is poisonous if swallowed, or if it comes into contact with the skin.

Only adults should use mercury thermometers because children are more likely to bite it and break the glass. You should shake a mercury thermometer before you use it. This is so that the mercury goes back into the bulb of the thermometer, which will allow you to take an accurate reading To take a person's temperature, you can place a mercury thermometer either in their mouth, or under their armpit.

So another one for the lecturers. And that shaking the mercury down? Still haven't managed it yet!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Hypothetically Speaking

In the course of your work you catch a nurse doing something that is wrong. An infection control something (considering the state of HAIs in this country). (There are other somethings too but those are real gray areas) What do you do?
a) pull her up?
b) report her to the ward sister?
c) moan to the blogosphere?
d) report it to someone outside the ward e.g. infection control nurse / college lecturer?

Clearly we're looking at option c. Although no hypothetical question ever is. I have to admit I'm considering talking to the college. We are expected to report bad practice to someone. You can't just sit on it, especially if the proverbial hits the fan at some point.

"Did you realise this was wrong?"
"Why didn't you do anything about it?"
"I didn't want to say anything to offend anyone."

How rubbish is that reason? I didn't want to cause offence? I wanted to be signed off and get a good reference? Try making that wash with the patient's family.
In about 5 months I'll be accountable for everything I do and if I were to simply keep quiet I would be as much to blame.

Damn. Rock. Hard place. Me.

P.S. Honestly not a real situation... honest.

The Begining of the End

Today is the first day of the last placement.
Arrgh. I'm starting at 9 which is unnatural, unless this was the community. So the shift will have already started when I roll up. Somehow that makes me more nervous.
I'm so close to the end now. Well aside from the 15+ portfolio entries and an essay.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Other and Better Things

Well the Large Hadron Collider came online without a hitch. Protons are running around in circles in France / Switzerland. It's also producing pictures...

Tonight was the first time I had to explain to 7 year olds why today is important and why it should be remembered. It's hard to get a 7 year old to understand why these people that they have never met, in a place they have never been to, about an event they will only see in pictures but it's possible. I do it every year for Remembrance Sunday and somehow it's actually more difficult to get them to understand something I never saw or will truly understand myself.

Actually I could use some advice. Anyone worked with a kid who is nervy and unable to be around large groups of other children? What do you do with them? How would you help include them? She wants to be there, it's just that she can't handle it.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Actually it's not but that got your attention right?

CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is to be fired up this morning.... some time.... All they will be doing is sending tiny protons round in a circle to make sure it works. We're not even at the 'sending 2 beams in opposite directions so they will smash into each other' stage yet.

Some people are freaked out by the thought of this unknown 'will it create a giant black hole that will swallow the Earth'. It's not going to create a giant black hole. Besides if it grew instantly and swallowed the Earth would we actually notice? Well no, not even twitter works that fast.

And if the world does end this morning... I'll be stuck in a lecture..... What a rubbish way to go!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Viruses: An Idiot's Guide

For a bunch of student nurses the contents of my flat seem to have missed the concept of virus / infection.

First up what ever strain of cold is going around is strong (or my immune system is weak but it seems to have infected everyone I've come into contact with too, however).
Second - you live in the same flat as me. We share the same facilities (toilets, showers, kitchen, etc.) so no matter good I am with the alcohol hand gel / hand washing / covering my mouth when I sneeze, you are gonna catch some of these little bugs!
Third - NO ANTIBIOTIC IN THE WORLD WILL CURE A COLD! Colds are not bacterial infections ergo an antibiotic will not help. This kind of behaviour is why we have so many resistant infections going around (hmmm MRSA anyone?). This over prescription is nuts.
Forth - don't look at me like I have a third head (we've proved I have a second head I can't see because I get looked at enough!) when I say I haven't taken any drugs. This is because I'm aware that really NOTHING is gonna help the way I feel except for an early night. (except a couple of paracetamol)

Do we understand viruses better now? Good, now let me go cough in peace!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

A Good Ol Days Post With A Health Warning.

There was something about ERNursey's post that reminded me of my first few days... So many of the student nurse blogs I read are of those who are starting this year. Leaving me feeling like an old fart since I finish in only a few months.

It's got me remembering the 'good ol days' but I would like to issue a health warning. So to Kim @ As The Pump Turns, NurseTeeny @ The Makings of a Nurse, undergrad RN and Cellar_Door @ Not Another Nursing Student Blog please stop reading. Keep your rose tinted specs on for a little bit longer. In fact that goes for almost nursing student within the first half of their course. Flee and save yourselves, come back tomorrow when I'll be back to the usual ranting. For Not Nurse Ratched and Brain Scramble this will be nothing new.

It's fair to say school hasn't been an easy ride. The first week it felt like my brain was melting and it's never had a chance to regroup. Contrary to popular belief I haven't actually failed every essay we've been given. In fact I got a B for one of them. One of the reasons I didn't start the blog till the last year was I lived under the near constant threat of getting kicked off the course. I kinda lurched from one mess to the other.

When I was on the last course, straight out of high school, I thought that was stressful. I made myself ill and left. The summer before I started nursing I went to camp. It was one of the best times in my life and I went into college hoping for the best.

Of course what followed was THE most stressful time of my life ever. I couldn't get past this one exam and the threat of massive failure coupled with the essays and family and being diagnosed dyslexic left me... well on Prozac (not the name brand, generic this is the NHS remember) and seeing a counselor. (see folks this is why I told you to stop reading!)

I lost the rose tinted specs the first time we had a 'social' admission, read didn't need to be here not going home, with family shouting and swearing at staff.

This might be a good time to remind ya all about the good days. Getting a B for that essay, my ITU placement and just to lower the tone, that nurse I had a crush on. I'm a damn site stronger than I was when I started. It's been the hardest 2 and a half years of my life. This is why I'm not allowed to talk to 1st years anymore! Tehehe!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Closer and Closer

Today we are one step closer to graduation. I passed the resit! Woot! Just, oh, the final placement to go. I'm so close I can taste it.

First thoughts on Google Chrome - the new browser....
It's nice, shiny, looks great on Vista's Aero interface but the only down side is that I lose the functionality of my Firefox addons (like IE tab).

Special project - The college have dropped the whole peer teaching. So while I HAVE finished 2 pages of 8 I don't actually need to finish it anymore. I will keep going though, I've started so I'll finish. Hate leaving things not done. Just might take a little longer.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Pride Glasgow!

O.K. I promised pictures but my camera really sucks so I searched flickr for better photographers than me.
I found the most amazing pictures from S2 B and I've borrowed a couple to post here. You should go look at the rest of them!The pride flag flies over the city chambers for the first time. By S2 B.
The parade going down Union Street. By S2 B.
That's entertainment! Photo from alephnaught...
The day was an utter riot. We had the time of our lives. It makes you wish every day was like that!


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