So I've been precepting (teaching) a new graduate nurse for the past 2 months. All new grads get a 6 month orientation to the PICU, b/c there's just SO much to learn!
Most days I love precepting. It's fun being able to get someone new who knows nothing, and watch them grow over the course of 3 months (they get 3 months with me, or another day shift person, and 3 months with a night shift person).
And then there are days that I hate precepting. They go SO slow....you have to talk them through and explain EVERYTHING...and you have to watch them like a hawk. But, I remember where I came from (SO slow, didn't know anything, needing to be watched like a hawk!)...so the days of not enjoying precepting are few and far between.
Yesterday was a day I really enjoyed precepting. We took care of a little cutie who had just gotten a liver transplant (thanks to a gang member who got shot the night before- he was able to save the lives of 5 other people as well!).
I told my orientee (AKA: girl I'm teaching) that since she's nearing the end of her orientation she needed to be independent. Liver transplants are my VERY favorite patient population. They are super busy after transplant, but I just love them.
So knowing she would be super busy, I wanted to teach her time management and prioritization. However, little did I know I would be teaching some major "Professional Charting" lessons that had us laughing!
As I was looking over her charting I noticed comments such as:
"Red splotchies to pulms and feet" and "Purplish marks" and "Pretty big"
Alright, first off, I did not make a typo....she really put "pUlms"! After asking what the heck a "Pulm" was, she pointed to her hand (her pAlm!) And when I asked what it was called she replied (in a "duh" like manner!) "pUlm!"
To which I could only laugh, and replied, "Nope, that's a palm!!" She looked at me so confused, and just spelled "p" "A" "l" "m"??? Yup! It's a palm!!!
So moving on after making sure she said (and wrote) other various body parts correctly, we discussed how "red splotchies" and "purplish marks" and "pretty big" just wouldn't cut it!
Things like "Erythematous" and "Echymosis" and charting the exact size/shape in centimeters were more appropriate. And splotchies?? Yup, not a medical term....macular or papular or flat rash would be more appropriate (depending on the true description of the "splotchies").
We laughed through the whole discussion. She laughed partly b/c she thought she was doing a great job being descriptive. I laughed fully b/c she thought that was a great job being descriptive!!
It was a day that truly reminded me where I came from. There was a day where I too had never heard of erythema ("redness")....and couldn't tell you that ecymosis was just a fancy word for bruise (or "purplish marks" as she would say!).
And one day, she too will be teaching a newbie, and laughing at the funny things they will say to parents, or chart, or call their various body parts. Oh the circle of PICU nursing life...what a beautiful thing!