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2.12. Clinicals nightmare

It may be spring break, but the subconscious continues to construct private hells on its own schedule.

6:30 am. Nightmare land. 
It's clinical day at a public park, and between jungle gyms, swing sets and slide structures, everywhere are hospital beds, bedside tables covered with medical paraphernalia, IV poles, computers, nurses, technicians, and patient families on picnic mats.
We had done our research on a primary patient the day before, but upon being released into the public park hospital after morning report, we discovered that all the navy-blue-clad registered nurses had decided to ice out the nursing students.

Every single nurse refused to let us work on any of their patients. They even locked the glass-doored nurse's station so we couldn't get in to look up patients or get any supplies. Whenever staff members saw one of us smurfs (royal blue uniform, steamed-bun-looking white shoes) approach, they turned their backs.

"Please, if we don't have our two patients each by 8am, we'll be in huge trouble with our instructors," we pleaded.

The nurses ignored us and walked away. The good news is we finally get to do our Horizontal Hostility paperwork, but the bad news is we won't need our paperwork if we flunk out of nursing school.

"Please, let us do something! Even nonpharmacological measures. People are sick and we want to help."

All around, patients were bleeding, coughing, moaning in pain, having psychotic breaks while nurses called the doctor for Haldol and pain meds. Every time we approached a patient, however, hoping to be accepted as a caregiver, the nurses or assistive personnel blocked us or pushed us away.

I approached the charge nurse, the one with the thickest stack of badges clipped underneath her ID, and asked her to please let us help with some patients.

"We'll do all the meds, IVs, vitals, hygiene, ambulation, and we'll do everything exactly according to protocol while individualized to each patient's situation. Our instructors, who are licensed RNs, will be supervising. Your patients will be in good hands."

The charge nurse looked away. We're screwed.

"Maybe we can offer to babysit the babies," someone said hopefully, pointing out all the babies lying on mats next to their families.

"We need two patients each, and they have to require second semester skills. They're not even newborns, so we can't do newborn assessments, baby meds or anything," someone pointed out.

We realized we were probably going to fail this clinical day, maybe get kicked out of nursing school.

There were thunderclouds in a distance, rumblings coming from the sky and from beneath the ground. We felt tremors, but it wasn't just because we were shaking.


As the grey rain came down and the concrete beneath our hideous white shoes shook, our instructors, stepping in unison with their long legs, white coats flapping in the wind, appeared in the distance. They're getting closer, closer--and none of us have any patients.

We're dead meat.


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