Reflection on Nursing Placement
The experience in I.C.U. was incredible. It enabled practitioners to establish fundamental skills that an intensive care nurse ought to have. First is the area of competence imparted by the wonderful clinical instructor in collaboration with the nursing staff. Unlike year one, it was introduced to a wide range of nursing procedures each performed based on a particular rationale. The competencies developed include basic hygiene care of the patients, care of sedated patients, fluid management, post-operative care that encompasses pain management and resuscitation, as well as oxygen therapy. Certainly, it derives pleasure from the confidence developed throughout the placement and most fulfilling experience of being part of the nursing team who cared a number of patients. It is worth mentioning how theory works in practice; personally was able to administer drugs safely and performed aseptic wound dressing under supervision by the clinical instructor. Unlike, year one of the studies this particular clinical exposure provided a more scientific basis for each clinical procedure. There was more learning from doctor's ward rounds that I participated, particular on reading and interpreting electrocardiogram (ECG), auscultation of chest sounds to rule out wet chest and interpretation of chest x-rays. Writing patient care plan is theoretically simple; implementation has been challenging (Bulman & Schutz, 2004). It is in the I.C.U. that I successfully implemented patient care plan. However, the placement was not without setbacks, first challenge was the use of sophisticated technology and machines. Honestly, the first day was more confusing, and the sight of very sick patients mounted on different gadgets was scaring. However, after learning the different types of ventilation modes and ECG it became easier to appreciate the need of close monitoring the patient. Despite all sophistication and complex machine learnt in I.C.U., the bottom line duty of a nurse stands out clearly as an advocate of patient and a primary caregiver (Johns, 2000). Certainly, the placement was worth the time allocated. It brought more meaning to the theory learnt from the class. It is my recommendation that more hours should be incorporated into clinical practice in oredr to narrow the theory and actual practice gap.