Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Doubled workload

First thing that I noticed as I stepped into the ward this Wednesday afternoon was the tense atmosphere. My guess was it had been a busy day for the morning staff. Then I learnt that the toddler that I wrote about on Sunday had another emergency operation this morning. He only returned to the ward at 4pm, drowsy from the medication. Hope that he will get better soon.

Had be taking team daily since 15th June. For the past 2 weeks, the census was low at 1 to 5 patients under my team's watch. However, there were 9 patients this afternoon. I struggled through today's shift. Several parents requested to delay medications. They also wanted to air their concerns over their children's health. A "please supply" request sent to pharmacy had surprisingly returned without the medication, even though it was written as supplied. Unfortunately, I did not realise till the medication was due. The IMRs repeatedly missing or disordered.

In addition, something seems to be affecting my interaction with SEN M on my team today. Initially it was another SN taking her team today, but just before the handover report the ward manager swapped me over. During the handover report, she snatched the IMRs from me before I had completed reviewing them. She helped me to check that the morning team had completed their medications as required. However, she did not return the IMRs to me when she was done. When the post-op patient returned, the SEN kept ordering me to do the hourly NGT aspirate even though she was able to do it. Then she informed me about a parent's request for medication. She could, but did not, explain to the parent that it can be given together with other medications at a later time. On my side, I made the mistake of not communicating this fact directly to the parent involved either. Thus, SEN M claimed that the mother was very upset (although the mother was rather nice to me when I attended to her subsequently). I do not know what is happening between me and SEN M. During the past fortnight, she spoke to me in stern tones about things that can go wrong with various details but I took it as her way of guiding me. Today while the ward manager is around, SEN M felt like a hawk over me. At other times, I could not locate her for assistance. At the end of the day when I thanked her for her support, she didn't acknowledge me.

In honesty, I am not proud of my performance today as an SN. My incompetence had resulted in some delay in medication timing, although nothing serious. Hope things will be better tomorrow.

p.s. I did not have any tea, toilet or dinner break throughout today's shift :-(

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