Category Archives: College of Nursing Funnies

An Arabic Major’s Humorous Experience Learning How to Administer an IV

Watch the video version of this at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJYqP5tS_uA.

“Be sure to inform the patient of the prick…”

I vaguely registered these words as I stared at the computer monitor. The presentation seemed to be dragging itself out a little, and my concentration was slipping.

“Be sure to properly dispose any blood-splattered material…”

My eyes shot open. Run that by me again? Blood-splattered material? Was I practicing to be a nurse or a butcher?

The flurry of medical terms that began erupting from the headphones about cannulation and catheters confirmed that indeed, this was IV placement training, and augmented how out of place I felt in the Mary Jane Rawlins Geertsen Nursing Learning Center.

My name is Steven Tibbitts, and I am a public relations assistant in the BYU College of Nursing. I am also a Middle East Studies/Arabic major. This means that when nursing faculty and students start talking about dyspnea and dilation, I’m usually grabbing a dictionary.

Given my non-medical background, it was decided that I would go through some of the same computer/machine training for IV placement that nursing students complete in order to write a story on the difficulty level.

Summary to the non-initiated—it’s hard. Lazy readers can stop here.

NLC Assistant Supervisor Kristen Whipple guided me through the process, giving me the same instructions she gives to normal students. The whole system is composed of a computer program and a small machine to which you administer the IV. For a nursing student to pass, they have to earn a 73% on the procedure.

I first had to watch several training videos. They made me feel good by reminding me how much easier Arabic is to understand than medical terminology.

IV 2

“What does this all mean?”

Following that, an image flashed on the screen about a patient to whom I would administer an IV, complete with a backstory about the accident that put her in the hospital. I could not help but think that the accident might not wind up being the worst part of her day by the time we were done.

It was time to get down to business. I selected the mid-arm as the injection point, and then scrambled to figure out what supplies I would require, my lack of understanding evident in the questions I asked myself aloud. How many needles? Which kind? Wait, IV needles come in gauges? (Nursing students, try not to mock me too much here.)

The program then had me prepare to administer the IV, first by informing the patient of the impending procedure, and then putting on rubber gloves with a satisfying snap. It then instructed me to test the viability of my selected injection site. This was accomplished by touching the part of the machine that mimicked human skin and feeling the pulse that it generated.

Easy, I thought, just like surgery class in first grade when Miss Conn taught us how to identify strong blood flow by palpating the patient’s veins…wait…

IV 3.png

“Here goes nothing…oh wait, there’s blood!”

With a site selected, I washed it on the computer and then realized that it was actually time to use the pointy thing. I apologized profusely to the imaginary patient, picked up the needle, and gingerly began to maneuver it into the hole on the machine that represented the insertion point. I watched my progress on the screen, realizing that most likely a real patient would be filling out lawsuit papers by now with the arm that I had not maimed.  However, after some fiddling, I did manage to place the catheter.

About that point, I remembered that I needed to warn the patient that I was going to place the IV, so they received a heads up a solid two minutes after the fact.

As you might guess, my initial score was not superb.  The report had many tips that Whipple helped me understand, like not moving the needle back and forth in the vein (be grateful that I will never be a nurse) and warning the patient before I poke them.

I practiced several times, achieved a 92 on the third, and then called it quits when my scores began precipitously plummeting to the 60s. In fact, I never managed to completely the procedure successfully by the program’s standards. One of the times even resulted in the patient bleeding profusely (this attempt is highlighted in the above video).

IV 4.png

“I need to flee the country before they sue!”

While I was contemplating my failure, Whipple explained to me the same thing that she does to Type A nursing students who get only a 73.

Obviously, the computer program is not a real patient. It is like a nursing video game whose purpose is to initiate students into IV training. This training is coupled with practicing on manikin arms and other materials, so the skill is finely honed during first semester, despite what people’s initial results may be with the machine. It is all about practice.

The experience showed me that a) I’m happy to stick with العربي and b) nursing students are very well trained and capable. Their program is rigorous and ensures that students are able to provide care in an effective way, all with the Spirit. The BYU College of Nursing holds its students to a high standard, which translates into better patient care and safer medical practices.

In summary, if you’re in a hospital and you find a BYU College of Nursing graduate administering your IV, rest easy, you’re in good hands.

If it’s me, run for the hills.

On Prayer, Gumption, and Gratitude

Note: To offer more insight into the lives of nursing students, we are sending Steven, a writer for the College of Nursing, to the weekly Nursing Stress Management Course. Steven is a Middle East Studies/Arabic major.

Shortly after I entered class, Assistant teaching professor Dr. Leslie Miles was beginning to tell a story from one of the times she took nursing students to study in Finland. We all were busting a gut (or LOLing, in the terminology of my fellow millennials), but the story ended up laying the foundation for the rest of the class.

Basically, she and her students were struggling to get around during Finland’s equivalent of 4th of July. Both the public areas and the tram they managed to get on were crowded with rowdy, inebriated Finns who were making life, shall we say, interesting for the students. To make matters worse, the tram stopped far from their desired destination and the conductor, who didn’t speak English, wanted them to get off.

Through a combination of prayer and gumption, Miles somehow managed to convey to the driver that they needed to go to their hospice. Under no requirement to do so, he left his assigned route and graciously drove them through the city to their hospice, ignoring angry people waiting to board at other stations. It was nothing short of miraculous.

The off-the-cuff tale was followed by the usual review of our week and our stress levels. The topic of our discussion was to be gratitude. I wondered if this would be like one of many Sunday School lessons I had heard on the topic. However, Sunday School lessons usually don’t start with a Ted Talk.

In it, a little girl and an old man give their perspectives on life. The little girl matter-of-factly acknowledges how much adventure lies outside her home, while the older gentleman says that each of us should live each day as if it were our first and our last. This was an interesting thought, since frequently, life tends to get in the way of us stopping to smell the roses or enjoying a fresh Cougar Tail.

IMG_3254

Students discuss their stress levels.

Miles poignantly asked the students if they had lost their imagination since entering nursing school. There were chuckles, but everyone was wondering the same thing: had they?

Miles discussed how oftentimes it is hard to be grateful in stressful situations. These situations test us and push us to the limit, which makes finding things to be grateful for even more important. Calmness can come, she assured us.

Then she weaved in her earlier story—the reason that she had been calm on that tram in Finland, she said, was because “I knew that I would be guided to what I had to do.” That trust in God had allowed her to protect the students and get home safely.

With that, we were assigned to make lists of things for which we were grateful. The lists were not to be just the typical answers like life and the Gospel, but more specific ideas. Some that came to me included not having to use Roman numerals and the fact that I have shoelaces (and shoes, on top of that). As we discussed our simple responses, we realized just how much good we have in our lives.

The best part, Miles said, was that if we made it a habit to do this kind of exercise, we would be not only be more relaxed, but we would have more to talk about with Heavenly Father at the end of the day.

This class may not have had as much interactive activities like the last few times, but it did manage to open my mind more on the topic of gratitude. I could not help but think of President Hinckley, who said, “Be believing. Be happy. Don’t get discouraged. Things will work out.” How true indeed.

A Sisterhood Scholarship and Africa

On April 30, 2016, Bethany Lambson, a recent BYU graduate in the College of Nursing spoke at the 81st annual convention of the Utah State Chapter Philanthropic Educational Organization Sisterhood. Lambson received the Ruth S. Clayton Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund, which provides need-based financial assistance for a woman to study nursing, with the goal of attaining a registered nurse degree.  This scholarship blessed Lambson’s life in a variety of ways but especially regarding her trip to Africa.

Well into her nursing program, Bethany was preparing to complete her clinical practicum for the public and global health nursing course. However, her circumstance changed when her husband accepted an internship in Uganda. With him in May 2014 for a few months, Bethany petitioned the college of nursing and was granted an independent nursing internship in Africa with her husband.

12905246_993333610758958_1442233960_n

While there, they lived in the office of Days for Girls and she traveled with her husband to different villages. There she taught menstrual hygiene management and reproductive health, as well as working in different hospitals. One location included a neonatal intensive care unit where she cared for over 60 newborns and new mothers.

At the convention she expressed her gratitude for the P.E.O, and the knowledge and experience she gained from her trip. The experience changed her life and with the assistance from the P.E.O. scholarship, she was truly able to “learn the Healer’s art”.

 

Laughter: the best medicine

According to The Washington Post, “humor has been shown to decrease health-care workers’ anxiety, create a sense of control, and boost spirits in difficult moments.”

For that reason, we are sharing some humorous stories today from nurses around the country.221fdcec88710d005cdd65ab554f93a1

“On a busy med-surg floor, the doctor stopped to brief me on a patient’s condition: ‘This patient is a fellow physician and my favorite golf partner. His injury is serious and I fear he will not be able to play golf again unless you follow my orders exactly.’

The doctor then began listing orders: ‘You must give an injection in a different location every 20 minutes, followed by a second injection exactly five minutes after the first. He must take two pills at exactly every hour, followed by one pill every 15 minutes for eight hours. He must drink no more and no less than 10 ounces of water every 25 minutes and must void between. Soak his arm in warm water for 15 minutes, then place ice for 10 minutes and repeat over and over for the rest of the day. Give range of motion every 30 minutes. He requires a back rub and foot rub every hour. Feed him something tasty every hour. Be cheerful and do whatever he asks at all times. Chart his condition and vital signs every 20 minutes. You must do these things exactly as I ordered or his injury will not heal properly, and he will not able to play golf well.’

The doctor left and I entered the patient’s room. I was greeted by anxious family members and an equally anxious patient. All quickly asked what the doctor had said about the patient. I stated, ‘The doctor said that you will live.’ Then quickly reviewing the orders, I added, ‘But you will have to learn a new sport.'”

— from Scrubs Magazine

“A hospital posted a notice in the nurses’ lounge that said: ‘Remember, the first five minutes of a human being’s life are the most dangerous.’ Underneath, a nurse had written: ‘The last five are pretty risky, too.'”

— from Scrubs Magazine

“Hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn’t need my help to leave the hospital.

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator. On the way down, I asked him if his wife was meeting him.

‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘She’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.’

— from Scrubs Magazine

“One evening while administering medication to an elderly lady the following exchange took place:nursing-quotations-funny

‘Hi, I have your medication for you.’

‘Oh, okay.’

‘I’m gonna give you some Pepcid for your stomach, but I’m putting it in your IV.’

(Patient looked a bit perplexed) ‘Okay. Uhmmm…I have a question.’

‘Oh, what’s your question?’

‘Well, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but I was just wondering …why Pepsi and not Coke?’

— from Scrubs Magazine

I was the only nurse on duty during the morning shift and together with a nursing aide, we were caring for five newborn babies. We liked to talk in shortened sentences to save time and incredibly, we could understand each other easily.

During the shift, one of the babies being monitored was undergoing photolight therapy with standard order of resting intervals whenever her body temperature became elevated. While providing morning care to another baby, our nursing aide shouted from the other side of our unit.

‘Hey, baby G’s temp is 37.6. Shall I kill the lights off?’

‘Wait, I’ll double check the chart.’

Unnoticed by us, a relative approached our area to borrow a pen.

‘Yeah, 37.6 is not safe. Kill it off!’

‘You better be sure. This is not going to be easy! She’s gonna cry hard!’

I glanced at the relative and she was looking positively horrified! She didn’t know that we were just talking about the photolight machine that had a very noisy light switch.”

— from Nurse Buff

Share your fun nursing stories in the comments!

How to treat your dragon burn

wrestling-with-dragon

Thinking about getting a dragon? “How to Train Your Dragon 2” makes it look easy, but here are some health concerns you may want to consider before investing in some fire extinguishers.
Continue reading