One of my favorite things about my studies as a nursing student is how frequently I am able to apply what I’m learning to my daily life. There’s not a lot I can do for serious medical emergencies. I have been developing a step by step checklist in my head of everything that can go wrong or needs to be monitored, so I know what needs to be done.
Nurses specialize in easy interventions that don’t require a doctors prescription, so that we can handle as much of what we can on our own. Most of what a nurse does is common sense remedies, except studied, rehearsed and systematized, for every sort of health situation possible. Nursing also is about learning to stay calm and take action when everything is spinning out of control.
My year behind the books is completely unsupported by experience my own, so I’m not always positive I’ll be able to do much when the need for medical attention arises. When we got the call this summer that Alexander had seriously hurt his leg, I got a chance to see just how much I knew, as I was the first family member on the scene.
First, assessment. Vitals first, always, and they mostly fine, though respirations are high. cause: pain and anxiety. Leg bone integrity visibly altered, skin integrity intact. Then circulation? Leg color pink, skin warm. Nerves intact? Sensation felt and able to move toes.
Then time to act. Leg elevated above heart? Check. Antiinflammatory for swelling and pain: given, 400 mg of ibuprofen. Breathing techniques for pain implemented. Full report of everything that has happened and occurred to health professionals in emergency room. Completed. Nursing care delivered.