Jesus meets Martial Arts meets Nursing School

Last Day of CNA Clinicals!

I must say that it was a good day to catch a break. The heat outside doesn’t make inside much more comfortable as the sweat kept beading on my arms and forehead.

I was assigned no particular patient, but helped with several others. I was labeled a “floater”.

The first person I helped was a lady who was nonverbal and total care. She could not feed herself, so that became my task. Eggs and cereal were on the menu with condensed orange juice and milk the consistency of cough syrup. I was taught to “add what you can” to whatever the main food is to “make it sweet”. In other words, if they have sugar or salt on their plate, put that in the food. Also, if they have oatmeal, mix a little orange juice in it. I personally would refuse to eat if somebody did this to my food, but I gave it a hearty try several clinical days ago and it worked wonders. They ate better by far with the sweets mixed in.  So I checked the name card on the tray to verify that the condiments package was in fact the correct one, and knew the sugar was fair game. So I put sugar in the cereal and nothing on the eggs.

This lady was calm and I had to wake her up with a jovial “good morning Ms. ____! Are you ready for some breakfast?” Usually this will give me a quick assessment as to what they can do for themselves and the cognitive state they are in. Unfortunately I didn’t get a response like I was hoping for. She did make eye contact, so I was holding onto a bit of hope there. I put on her clothing protector (bib) and removed the lid from the tray. And as I stated above, I added the sugar. I gave her a small bite of egg, careful to stack it on the end of the spoon to make it easier to get into her mouth. I let her chew on that while I quickly opened the thickened juice and milk, pouring the milk over the cereal. I told her what she had and let her try a bite of each, and then I asked which she preferred more of. She again didn’t answer. At least she was easy to feed for the most part, other than she kept pocketing food in her cheek so I had to offer her liquids after every bite, and the bites had to be smaller. The good thing was we ran out of juice and milk – so she got nutrients for sure! After feeding her til the food was gone, I put the tray up, removed the clothing protector, pushed her geriatric chair into the tv room and wrote down her intake on the name card (which I left at the nursing station). Off to my next task.

I knew two classmates were assigned a shower to a lady who I had helped with last clinical day, so I thought I could lend a hand or offer some pointers to ease the process. This lady may have been 90 lbs sopping wet, and around 5’8″. I watched more than anything, with her room not having any AC on I was constantly grabbing paper towels to dry off my arms and brow that were dripping beads of sweat. The shower was an adventure! It involved my teacher telling the other two how to do it and I was running back and forth to the supply closet and resident’s room to grab things the pair had forgotten. The resident had two bowel movements on the shower stretcher, which one classmate did an excellent job of handling professionally and quickly (to prevent further mess). We were warned of the chances of this happening way back before clinical even began, but its different when it happens to you. That got finished and we headed back down the hall to get her dried off good and dressed. As I was passing the resident one door down, I saw she was sitting outside her room. Had I kept walking I would have been fine, but this resident, Ms. M., was the first resident I ever had on the 1st day of clinical. She told me she couldn’t get in to her side of the room (back side away from door) because her roommate was in the bathroom and the door was blocking her path. I went to shut the door so Ms. M. could get by and Ms. A. (in the bathroom) hollered out, “I’m done!” That became my third task for the day.

Luckily I had a pair of large gloves in my pocket from my instructor’s clinical supply box. ( In the rooms they only have clean, size medium gloves, and lotion with a prayer included wouldn’t get my hand to fit in those.) So I threw on some gloves, fixed the safety harness on the sit-to-stand lift we had to use to life her, and stood her up. I cleaned her and changed her pad (diaper) and got her back in her chair. Then she said she wanted to get dressed. Her CNA was on the way in then, so I switched off with her CNA to continue with getting her dressed. That was the first BM (bowel movement) I had to clean that wasn’t on a baby. It wasn’t too bad an experience all in all!

Then we did rounds changing linens, making up beds, and emptying trash. Then we took a break. Once we congregated in the classroom conversations began. Having us work in teams caused drama that was unnecessary, especially seeing it was our last day. Finally we caught a break and got to leave at lunch time! YAY!

NOW- on to the karate part – lol. Black belt testing for Lachapelle and Taylor was on Sunday morning. I was privileged enough to sit on Lachapelle’s board. Having been a yudansha for 9 years now (WOW – never thought I’d see this day) it is always an honor to help out with black belt testing. You get to critique on a new level. You get to evaluate somebody on years of practice and dedication. In clinical today I learned that you can’t always be the teacher, sometimes you have to be the student. I know this may not mesh really well but I tie the two events together in this way and one other. Both of these “hobbies” of mine involve service. It is about the giving back and increasing quality of life!

(I’ll try to make my next post shorter! lol)


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