Nurses Practicum Journal entry # 4 The work begins
Sister Alvarez was not at the hospital today because she had more meetings to attend. However, She assigned me to Nurse Madrid who was expecting me. Nurse Madrid took me for a tour of the hospital and then dropped me off in Sterile Processing for a while. Jenny’s job in Sterile Processing is to cut, fold, and bag gauze from big rolls for bandages. These bags of bandages are then processed in the autoclave for two hours. Jenny also scrubs, disinfects, and packages suture equipment, dental equipment, and birthing equipment, then these items are placed into the autoclave. Jenny is the only person that works in this department. She is responsible for all of the sterile bandages and equipment for the hospital, as well as sterile supplies for the nearby communities.
After spending a few hours with Ms. Jenny, I went to spend a few hours with Ms. Emma. Ms. Emma is the psychologist and counselor for the hospital. She does quite a lot of counseling about breastfeeding, but it seems the majority of her work is with individuals who have HIV or AIDS. Evidently, Belize has a large portion of the population infected with HIV and AIDS. This is due to the lack of protected sex, lack of compliance, and bisexuality. When I asked Ms. Emma why the patients were non-compliant with taking their medications, she said that some say that they just don’t care, while others say that they don’t have any food to take with their medications. These antivirals medications are provided free of charge through the Minister of Health. Ms. Emma goes out into the community to make home visits and also teaches prevention measures to all different types of groups, from the school-age children, up through police officers. She isn’t feeling well today, but if she feels better tomorrow I will get to go with her into the community.
The rest of the afternoon I spent with Nurse Madrid in the outpatient clinic. I helped with weights, blood pressure, and finger-sticks during the diabetic clinic. Most of the patients were in a good range with their blood glucose readings, so they spoke to the Doctor and left. Two of the patients had glucose readings in the upper 300’s and were told to stay. Nurse Madrid gave them each one liter of IV fluid and some insulin per a sliding schedule. After the fluids infused, the patient’s blood glucose was checked again and they were dismissed to home. It was very nice to see there was a protocol for addressing a high glucose level.
I enjoyed my first day at the hospital. I was also very happy that I got to participate in so many different areas of the hospital in one day. My experience has instilled hope that that the remainder of my experience will be positive.