12 November 2015
NCCU (Neurosciences Critical Care Unit) was one of my favourite parts of this hospital placement. The hospital I was placed in is the region’s Major Trauma Unit; therefore they get lots of interesting and ‘only see once’ cases.
One of the first –and most incredible- experiences I had was seeing a patient, who had been intubated for days after having brain surgery to manage an aneurysm, extubated. I assisted the nurse with preparing the airway trolley in case the patient was not ready for extubation. The nurse taught me about the sedating drugs they use and how they manage patients under sedation.
Most of the patients in NCCU were there for medical reasons, however there were a few trauma cases, who had been there for a while and I witnessed the management and assessment of these patients. I was on shift when a patient was brought in from Resus, I watched the handover and listened for the critical parts that I may use in my handovers in the future.
One of my most stand out patients was a patient who had been in a house fire and had extensive burns. I was included as part of the team who calculated her burn percentages. I was responsible for writing down percentages and noticing any parts that the consultant missed. The consultant missed the burns on the feet of this patient, so I challenged them, as I felt it was important that all the burns were accounted for. The consultant thanked me as he forgot to look at the feet. This also taught me the importance of having eyes on every part of the patient, going methodically top to bottom to check for any other injuries that may be present. This patient had burns to the airway and was intubated on scene, I took this opportunity to look at the patient’s mouth and nose to see what I need to watch out for in future.