Posted by: iamlillian | May 13, 2010

Nursing Journal: Happy Nursing

For each shift thus far, i thank God for providing me work and watching me through every shift. 🙂

I was working in Royal Perth Rehabilitation Hospital (Shenton Park) for the last 2 shift.

I left work today feeling really good and contented. Really appreciated the friendly and helpful staff that i worked with.  They were so patient to show me around and ask me if i needed help. I felt so comfortable working in the friendly environment. I even met a few nurses who were once either studying/working in Adelaide.

Today i was in ward XI – Spinal Unit. It’s quite a specialized nursing. i totally enjoyed the shift. learning a bit more about spinal patients and the associated nursing. One of my patients was a Vietnamese lady, Mrs V who does not speak/understand English. Having conversations with her was quite challenging, even with the word cards. Everytime when she said something, i would look through the cards to see if i can find the word she’s saying. It was quite fun actually trying to communicate with her, using body languages as well…must be quite frustrating for her especially when i did not understand what she said. But when the request finally understood and executed, there’s a big relief and a smile on her face. I would double-check with “ok?” It was interesting to learn a few vietnamese words and slowly recognizing the words after she said it repeatedly.

Very sadly and unfortunately she was involved in a car accident while holidaying in Australia resulting in a tetraplegic state with multiple spinal fractures. She’s wearing a neck brace, a chest brace and an abdo binder. But today she’s in good spirit. Together with a physiotherapist, we got her up for the first time in many bed-bound weeks, sitting in a special chair using the hoist lifter. It was such a good feeling to see her bright happy face! 😀

There was a ‘team’ consist of a nurse and 2 personal care attendants (PCA) – usually well-built big tall male PCA ( i noticed in 2 wards – similar built) – and i noticed the nurses would call out to them for help with turning the patients. They would do their rounds of “Patient Pressure areas care Regime” at 1600 and 2000, attending to patients who were bed-bound. I was helping out with Mrs. V’s turns. The teamwork was really impressive. Felt good to work with such a great team of people.

Interestingly, one of the positions for Mrs. V, written on her wall – turn to R) side, crucifix position with arm boards. And patient herself would keep saying “Zan tai, zan tai, zan tai…” and eventually we managed to figure out what she wanted. – Arms Out = Zan tai. So that’s what she wanted. so we would place her arms out on the boards with pillows, looking exactly like a crucifix. I’m sure the physio students know what i’m saying. 😛

Although she has no sensation to her body, we still need to make sure she was warm and her body in alignment with her head. With spinal injury, most of the patients were wheelchair-bound and bed-bound. Assessing and looking after their skin integrity and their elimination regimes were essentials. Most of the patients were taught to perform self-catheterization intermittently. I was able to help a lady with hers as she was unsuccessful and she was getting anxious and agitated. I was relieved that it was successful the first try.

What i like about nursing is that it is gratifying. I am glad to be able to provide assistance and nursing care to my patients and cheer them up by showing that I care genuinely. I really appreciate the mutual respect in our nurse-patient relationship. I am grateful for i am blessed with good health so that i can look after those in need.

I dont take each encounter for granted. For each soul has a life-story to tell. I have learned so much from my patients and my nursing experience just keeps widening. I have elderly patients who just wanted someone there to listen to them, even if it was just 5 minutes. I really appreciate those little moments.

There are good days and bad days, in any job, not just nursing of course. And i really thank God for giving me good days to start with and to date, building my confidence again to work automonously. The nurses whom i have met so far have been so helpful and approachable, and that also boosted my confidence and making the shift a good one. The people you work with really matters and does impact on your performance. So i thank God for these nurses. It means a lot to a junior nurse like me.

To finish off … another interesting thing was that I have been asked by other staff/patients at least 5 times now that if I were from Japan. or Korea. or China. And when i said Malaysia, there’s a disbelief look on the faces. haha. Some even misunderstood me as a student nurse saying that i looked so young. Partly because the uniform looked different. Mediserve is white top which look a lot like Curtin nursing student’s top while Royal Perth nurses are wearing navy blue.

Thanking God for another good day at work,



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