Every year my hospital hires what they call clinical partners. They are nursing students that will be entering their senior year in their nursing program in the fall. They are hired for the summer to shadow a nurse on each unit usually for either the day or evening shift. It's a good program though we have recently gotten some interesting CP's on our unit.
This year we have Katie (name changed for privacy). She's doing great and is a real go getter. She is always asking questions and seems to want to learn. She knows about the job I'm going to be going to soon so she picks my brain often. She's good for the ego too!!!
The last shift I worked with her brought back quite a few memories for me. We had a DNR patient who had been in the hospital for a month pass away with all his family at his side. This was her first real and family grieving death and her first time seeing a dead body.
This brought me back to my first death and dead body. My first death was also a DNR thankfully. I was still on the med/surg/onco floor then and it was an older gentleman that had cancer and had been with us for a bit over a month. I had my 8 patient assignment and had started with the sickest and was making my way forward. One of my coworkers came up to me and asked if the patient in room 10 was expected to die. I hadn't been told he was so I was kinda freaked out by it all. I had been involved in a code before but this was MY patient. The code was right before change of shift and she didn't make it but I was going home so I wasn't involved in her post-mortum care at all. I distinctly remember walking into my patient's room and seeing his dead body and feeling kinda strange. Like I didn't belong there. And then with post-mortum care like I was violating him even though his spirit had already left. Over time I have gotten used to handling death and dead bodies but I remember that first one like it was yesterday.
I asked Katie as she was helping us do the PM care if it was her first dead body and she got all quiet and said it was. Welcome to the club sweetie. You have had your induction and it goes on from here.
Before PM care was even finished on this man they call an angioplasty code overhead. Being fresh and new Katie gets all excited and says she went on one the other day but it didn't turn out to be someone needing angioplasty so she didn't really get to see anything good. So, I take her to the ED in hopes this is the real thing. It was and she got to experience it from ED to cath lab to CCU. What a neat experience for her.
Again, this brings back memories, mostly from nursing school of getting to do the "whole" process in patient care. Seeing beginning to end and being satisfied that the patient got the care they needed. Kind of a cool experince and one that we more seasoned nurses don't get to experience anymore.