This weekend I had two students come to the floor and shadow me for an hour or so. The first day, Lauren came, and we had a rather uneventful experience but she was able to get a tour and ask questions and understand how complex patient care can be.
The next day Mollie came and, unlike Laura, she got a very close look at nursing care. Probably too close for comfort! One of my patients was vomiting from one end and … well, doing something else from the other end. He was miserable. To make matters worse, his vomit was hazardous. The reason is that he is on a medication so poisonous pregnant women should not touch it. Furthermore, once the pill has been crushed (or partially digested?) it should only be dealt with under a fume hood. And unfortunately for me but probably fortunately for the lab techs, he didn’t vomit under a fume hood, he vomited all over himself. While vomit is always gross, this situation was the first time the vomit was also hazardous to my health! We got him all cleaned up but poor Mollie may never be the same!