“always the student”
Always the student I am 5 more night shifts away from being on my own at work. May 14th will be my 1st night at work without my preceptor. When I first started, a 12 week preceptorship seemed like a really long time…now it’s only 60 hours away from being over. I must admit, I’ve learned more over the past 10 weeks than I have in the past 2 years combined. I don’t claim to know it all. Yeah, I got good grades in school, but that really doesn’t mean a thing. I truly believe that what you learn in nursing school is a generalized overview…just enough about everything to get you through state boards. No one told me that the real learning would begin once I started working. Sometimes I get frustrated when I don’t know the answer to a patients question. Or when I tell my preceptor what’s going on with my patient & she asks me what I should do. I feel like because I did well in nursing school I should know everything. I’m beginning to realize that it’s ok to tell a patient, “You know, I’m not sure. But I’ll do everything I can to find out & get back to you.” when they ask me a question that I don’t know the answer to. I learned in school that the abnormal lung sounds referred to as crackles make explosive, “popping” sounds when you listen to a patient breathe. We were taught that crackles can be heard when there’s an accumulation of fluid or when there are some areas of collapsed lung tissue. Since I started working I’ve learned how to predict which patients will probably have crackles based on their disease process. I’m not always right; in fact, I’m usually surprised at least once per shift. It just goes to show that as a nurse, I’ll continue to learn throughout my career. Whether it’s in the classroom or the hospital room, I am Always the Patient, Always the Nurse, Always the Student.