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Notes on Nursing - Essay Example

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The eight week Nursing 411 course has affected me in a variety of ways. These reasons range from the realization that I need to dedicate more time towards my school work than I am currently able to offer, to realizing that I have forgotten the reasons why I chose to become a nurse in the first place…
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Each of these experiences had an impact on me, although in different ways. I had only made my way through a few pages of “Notes on Nursing” when I came across a select few pages of Florence Nightingale’s words that changed the way I thought. Nightingale mentions the five essential steps to securing the health of houses as pure air, pure water, efficient drainage, cleanliness, and sufficient lighting. After that, I felt embarrassed at the fact that I had previously always kept my house closed up due to some of my seasonal allergies. Also, I never opened the blinds to let light in or opened the windows to let fresh air into the house. In the section titled “Ventilation and Warming,” Florence Nightingale stated: “Even in health, people cannot repeatedly breathe in air with impunity, on account of it becoming charged with unwholesome matter from the lungs and skin. In disease, where everything given off from the body is highly noxious and dangerous, not only must there be plenty of ventilation to carry off the effluvia, but everything that the patient passes must be instantly removed because it may be more noxious than even the emanations from the sick”. In response to this new information, my blinds and windows are now opened every day for the benefit of my three year old daughter’s health and also my own. Nightingale continues on by mentioning how nurses leave full urinals and full emesis basins at the bedsides of their patients. She comments that this habit is unhealthy and may have a long term detrimental effect on patients who are exposed to this on a regular basis. These thoughts caused me to reflect on myself as a nurse. As often happens, I tend to get so caught up in the internal business of the emergency department that I forget the little things that could make patients unhealthy. I now make sure that I always empty urinals immediately, no matter how busy I am. If I cannot take the time to perform these simple tasks, then I could no longer be considered as a responsible nurse. In reflecting on this, I was somewhat embarrassed by the neglect that I was displaying towards people in my own household and also my patients at the hospital. Working in the emergency department is quite tough, as I find myself feeling glum on a daily basis. There is always commotion going on, with patients coming in and going out amidst all of the noise. I often feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of patients and also the level of responsibility that I have as a charge nurse, triage nurse, preceptor, and mentor. I often wonder how I came to be in the position that I am currently in. Am I really up to the task or am I just an imposter who does not really know what to do at all? Reading “Notes on Nursing” and realizing the simple things that I was neglecting to do for my patients as registered nurse helped me to answer this question. After I felt like I was unsure of my abilities as a nurse, Patricia Benner’s “From Novice to Expert” restored my confidence to what it was when I first entered the nursing profession. I was able to recognize the strides that I have made over the last five and a half years and realized that I am, in fact, a proficient nurse and am extremely capable of accomplishing even more in my role as a registered nurse in my emergency department. “Proficient and expert nurses develop clusters of paradigm cases around different patient care issues so that they approach a patient core situation ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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