I spent this last week on the Oncology unit. I had to be at my school so that we could carpool at 0545. What a shock to my system! I’m a complete night owl and waking up early is always difficult. Waking up and being ready to work that early is even harder.
Oncology went better than expected. I thought it was going to be 100% depressing and since it was the first time being on a normal floor this semester (as opposed to OR, PACU, and Sim Lab), I was still expecting the same routine as last semester. Alas! I’m a second semester student now and we get to do more than NA stuff alone. Which meant I felt more like a nurse.
These patients were different than the LTC (long term care) facility patients meaning they could bathe themselves, feed themselves, etc. Which was totally awesome.
We didn’t get to give meds on this floor but we did do patient education, vital signs, inital assessments charting, IV flushing, line changes, and so on and so forth. We were assigned one patient for ourselves but assisted our co-assigned nurses with their other patients.
I’ll split my two days up into two different posts.
My first day, my patient, who is so adorably sweet, let me come in and do my assessment and get his vitals. He had melanoma that had metastisized (spread) to various areas ending up in the bone, brain, stomach, and more. Basically, there were too many tumors to count and one was just oozing blood. He didn’t know the extent of the ones in his stomach.
My coassigned nurse and I stayed with him in the room while the doctors told him that they could only do palliative care and were recommending hospice. He just nodded and said okay very matter-of-factly to each statement. Later his family came up for a meeting with the team taking care of him.
It was a very long day.