Today was more of the usual stuff. Getting people out of bed, cleaning them up and taking them to breakfast. We focused a lot on getting the overall health appearance of our patients. My instructor told us to just look at people and observe their overall countenance, skin color and mood. Last week in lab, I passed my BP and pulse practical test, so I wanted to really get in there and try out my skills. The facility however only uses the mechanical vital sign machines, so the only things we could do manually were pulse and respirations. I was excited though when I did pulse and respiration on a patient and then did it with the machine and it matched perfectly, lol. :)
One crazy thing that we did have to deal with today was a patient who had C. Diff. I noticed that one of the patients had an isolation cart outside their room. Isolation carts have things like face masks, isolation gowns and gloves in them, and it is meant to obviously provide a better barrier between you and your patient in cases of high risk virus or infection. In this case, C. Diff is short for Clostridium difficile (had to Google that one, haha). C. Diff is a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea when the patient has taken too much antibiotics. Taking too much antibiotics can kill all the good "gut bacteria" in your intestines, causing weird digestive issues. If you've ever been on a cruise ship, you probably heard about Norwalk or Norovirus, as they are very common when people live in close quarters and when people don't wash their hand thoroughly. C. Diff is kinda the "Norwalk" of hospitals and nursing homes. Anyway, so one of the patients I worked with today has it. We had to "suit up" and put on isolation gowns, face masks, and of course, gloves. The patients room had a uniquely strong odor which I could smell from down the hall. The patient should recover soon, however my clinical instructor wondered if perhaps next week we will have more cases of it. I guess it spreads really fast.
So to conclude today's clinical, it was interesting, awesome and still fun (even with the diarrhea). I've noticed that my social life has pretty much come to a standstill. I work and study, and then I go to school. It's tough, but I don't really mind. One of my classmates got some fortune cookie saying which actually was appropriate for what we are going through right now, "The cost of something is what you give up to get it." Yup, it's worth it. :)
This just cracked me up!