Monday, November 1, 2010

"In Your Shoes" - Intensive Care Unit

This morning I was humbled once again as I was "In Your Shoes" on our Intensive Care Care Unit. I served as an Aide and worked for my boss Val W, Registered Nurse. She put me to work pretty quickly - after the initial shock and "recommended" assignments came from physicians and other staff members.

First I started out helping her move our patient so we could clean him. As an Aide I was allowed to help clean his mouth and remove a peripheral IV line (my boss walked me through both). I know it may seem easy and obvious to some however I was very nervous and my trembling hands made that obvious. Once the nerves settled, I was on my way serving as a better Aide. For those of you who may not know (and yes it was explained to me)...

A peripheral IV line consists of a short catheter (a few centimeters long) inserted through the skin into a peripheral vein (any vein that is not inside the chest or abdomen). Any accessible vein can be used although arm and hand veins are used most commonly, with leg and foot veins used to a much lesser extent. On infants the scalp veins are sometimes used (source: and Val W., Registered Nurse).
One patient just had surgery and was bragging about the pillow made by one of our Volunteers (we have a Sewing Committee and they make pillows and many other items for our patients to use). This same patient asked if I would give her some ice chips. One went into her mouth and another chip fell down her shoulder and back. The next time she asked if she could give herself some ice. I asked if it was due to my last incident of the ice falling onto her. "She laughed and said, "don't be a pri....." Again, very rewarding and humbling at the same time to do "In Your Shoes". Clearly she was starting to feel better! I look forward to hearing some of your stories.

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