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Thoughts from the First Week

1. Adult bowel incontinence smells 10x worse then an infant's.(goal for this week: do not gag/vomit on patient.I'm sorry, but it does take some getting used to)

2. Paperwork is already the bane of my existence.

3. White shows everything. And I can't use it to "blot" anything, without looking like Frankenstein Nurse.

4. I wish we had lockers.But students are not really wanted, they are just tolerated,and as such, there is a long list of ridiculous rules of things that are not permitted in the facilities...among them, any type of med. Because, as you might have guessed,there was an unfortunate incident involving a resident rifling/OD'ng on a student's meds. So my insulin gets to chill in my car.(it's not freezing,and it's not hot,but still it's highly inconvenient to not have that with me)

5. I have no appetite in the nursing home, but as soon as I get out of it I'm ready to go to the nearest fast food place (or home) and down 1500 calories. I think it's the smells.

6. Looking for information in a chart is like looking for a needle in a haystack.(sorry for the cliche, but it is) I think I could literally spend all day filling out that comprehensive assessment form,it isn't organized,and it's full of conflicting info.

7. I don't know anything.Please don't leave me alone with a patient.(not to worry...the instructor knows this,& first semester we don't breathe on the patient unless said instructor is nearby.)

8. The elderly can be so sweet, and interactive. If I had to live in a nursing home I can't say I would be that way.If I was lucid, I would try and escape every chance I got.

9. Mealtimes and insulin peaks never match up,which is why every time I get a chance to eat I'm in the low 200's.(in another hour, I'd be in the 100's,but lunch is NOW)Not that I'm hungry...but I have to eat something to stop my stomach from growling. Never been close to low but I still get the occasional "are you ok" glance from the instructor.

10. BYO glucose tabs, juice,and food is absolutely imparitive. There are no vending machines/staff (kitchen/cafe) privileges (nor any access to any nearby stores)so you've got to plan for a disaster scenario and bring enough food to treat low blood sugars all day. Otherwise,you're probably in deep water. (I wanted to ask what they do if a resident has severe low blood sugars but since many of them have difficulty swallowing, I'm guessing 911 would be called. Not what I'd want done for me but I'm pretty sure I don't get to go walking around with a huge hulking glucagon kit in my pocket)

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