Nursing responsibility

Emma Wolton

Faculty: Health, Social Care & Education
Department: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Child Nursing
Category: Nursing and midwifery

20 March 2014

Wow, I cannot believe that I am already in the penultimate week of my placement! Where has the time gone?

Untitled PageI have been really enjoying it and have learnt so much already (I jump at the chance to learn any new clinical skill – even giving PR medication!). But as well as learning about nursing skills and patient conditions, I have also learnt quite a bit about myself from this placement. I really do feel like I have found my calling in children’s nursing and that this is the path I was meant to find. I feel that I can make a difference to patients and their families – I used to think that ‘making a difference’ was just something cheesy that people said, but in this placement I have felt that by me being there, even just by listening, I am improving a difficult point in someone’s life. That feels really good.

I have been in a couple of emergency situations and it is interesting to reflect back on those to see the differences in how I responded. The first was a boy that I had done a couple of care rounds on in the morning; he was in quite a bit of pain which was then treated, but other than that seemed fine. A couple of hours later he had a seizure, was brought round into our high-dependency bed and quickly went downhill from there, resulting in a respiratory arrest. In this situation it was obviously a critical time for the child, but I was very glad to be of use; acting as a runner and spare pair of hands and I felt capable to do so after all I had learnt. When asked the next day by the nurse in charge if I had felt worried or scared at what was going on, I had to confess that I didn’t. Do you think I should have done?

The following week I realised the reason why I hadn’t felt this way. When working in the assessment unit cleaning the area of a recently discharged patient, a mother rushed across to me and told me that her son was having a fit. I was first over and there was no other nurse in the room. This did feel scary. I was the person in uniform who was supposed to know what to do and be able to help her son. Because I was first there, that made me responsible for helping him. With the other situation, although it was a lot more serious, I was being told what to do and was not taking the lead.

These two incidents really made me sit up and realise just how much responsibility we take on as nurses, even the small things we do such as calculating drug doses or being able to interpret ‘obs’ can have a huge effect on the outcome of a child. But despite the weight of responsibility and gravity of the job, the early morning starts and the night shifts, I feel assured that children’s nursing is for me! The thanks that a child and family give you as they are leaving the ward makes it all worthwhile, and we realise what we are doing the job for.

Until next month…

Emma is a 2nd year Children’s Nursing student, studying at our Chelmsford campus. She posts a monthly blog on her thoughts, feelings and what she has learned throughout her time studying and working. Keep checking back here for more, and follow us on Twitter @FHSCEnews to keep in touch!
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