Sometime last week, I met SN JM on my way to work.
SN JM is the best "informal" nursing preceptor I had throughout my student training. When we first met, she was an EN. From what I heard, she is a foreign-trained nurse who was downgraded locally to become a HCA, and was then promoted to EN, SEN and finally an SN after passing the SN qualification tests at Nanyang Polytechnic. Although SN JM came from the same country as SEN M, they have very different attitudes towards students and new staff. Unlike SEN M, SEN JM treats all new-comers well and was willing to share the secrets of the trade.
I asked how SN JM how she was. She replied, "So busy until NBM and NPU."
Note: For those not in Singapore nursing; NBM = Nil By Mouth (i.e. do not eat/drink), NPU = No Pass Urine. Please note that the acronyms may mean different things in other countries' nursing documentation. E.g. In B.C., Canada, NBM = No Bowel Movement (i.e. no stool), NPO = Nil Per Oral (i.e. do not eat/drink).
We laughed at how that would be a serious problem for our patients, but we nurses have to bear with such physical conditions. Then we talked about how the hospital was bursting at its seams for that few weeks. SN JM had this joke to share.
"One day we had a patient that just passed away and his family was gathered around the body, dealing with the loss. Admissions already had another patient waiting for the bed!"