labor nurse has been reborn and shares her experiences as a new nurse-midwife, woman, and blogger

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hiccups Take 2

I'm reposting this from Life & Times so I can be reminded of how grateful I am not to be at this clinical site anymore. No matter how tough or terrible my clinical days might be now (and trust me, there certainly have been some falling into those categories), it will never be as bad as this one was.

This clinical was so bad that I would have rather stuck nails in my eyes and bamboo shoots under my nails than go in to the office. I was not allowed access to patient medical records, was never incorporated into the visit or allowed to perform any exams, and generally was just kept in the corner of the room like some mistreated dog. I don't think this post expresses that experience exactly, but it was the only time I tried to interject in a visit while using my humor.


So I had all these intentions of this great post, but after allowing my brain to fizzle a bit I can't remember what it was I wanted to write about. Clearly it was not that important, but I have this nagging feeling that it was good.
Instead, I will regale you with Tales of The Horrible Placement, or otherwise known as my primary care clinical rotation. Not only is this not my bag (remember, I feel at home when a uterus is involved) but my selected preceptor is not cut out as an educator. Perhaps I am sensitive to education because I am a nursing instructor myself. Perhaps it's because I am a really big dork who absolutely loves school. Or perhaps it's because she sucks.
Regardless of the reason, my clinical days are drawn out with Chinese torture. And so, in true Labor Nurse fashion, I decided I was going to try to make the best of it. Unfortunately, the preceptor doesn't exactly have the same sense of humor as yours truly.
We were seeing an elderly woman for her weekly follow up appointment. Needless to say, she has multiple issues. I've seen her every week that I am at this office, and find her quite endearing. She's the typical picture of independence lost: lives with her younger sister, relies on her son to take her to appointments, and generally needs daily assistance. Her faculties of the mind seem to be all there but it is clear that she does not like being the way she is. She doesn't say much but everything she does speak yells out to me: "I'm done with this life." The exasperation is evident with every answer she gives my preceptor.
As things were wrapping up and the visit almost complete, this woman gets a bone rattling case of the hiccups. "Excuse me," she would say after each hiccup. My preceptor offered her a glass of water.
"No, thank you," she replied.
And so I said in my dead pan way, "Instead we'll just scare you when you walk out the door."
The elderly woman laughed and her hiccups stopped, but my preceptor shot me a look that made it all too clear that she wasn't liking my little ditty.

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