Saturday, August 23, 2008

and they say first impression lasts

As a nurse, my first impression of a person changed. Not completely but it's there, in the back of my mind seeping through unconciously.

When I look at someone's eyes, I check if it dilates and if it's even. PERLA assessment in my head: check.

When I look at your arms, I don't exactly look for tattoos. I scrutinize how well I can see your veins. Can I start an IV on you or are you going to give me a hard time taking blood? If you seem weird, I might even check for injection marks. Drug abuse? Errr.

When I see a little bit of belly, I don't necessarily think beer belly or baby bump. A checklist goes though my head: constipation? passing gas? last bowel movement? nausea?

When I estimate how much you weigh, it's because I am wondering if I can pull you out of bed when needed and how much strength I will need to turn you from side to side while lying in bed.

After I finally get the chance to talk to you, I am analyzing what kind of a patient you'll be. Will you call me to pick up things you accidentally dropped on the floor? Will you give me a hard time if I didn't give you your medications at the exact time? Or will you be laid back and trust that I will do everything I can to make you feel better?

I'm really doing a head to toe assessment and a mental status in a minute.

If it's my day off, then I stick to hi, how are you and nice to meet you. :P


I think my time management at work is getting better. I even have time to sit before the end of the shift now. Sure, there's a few off days wherein I'll still be running until the last minute saying bye to my patients and assuring them that the next nurse will know what happened to them while I was their nurse. It's funny though how chocolates/food given by patients or their family makes us feel better though. We all smile and secretly pat our backs that we did all we could. And who would have thought being able to pee would warrant a celebration which would include giving me a perfume? :)

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