Live From The Field




19:00 – 07:30 night shift

Our patients are spinal injury patients, those that had craniotomy because of aneurysm or falls, stroke, alcohol misuse/drug overdose patients and even suicidal victims, that has been in the Acute hospital for so long. They are discharged from there and transferred to us for their rehabilitation before going back home to their families or care home, depending on their situation and family background.

My shifts are more of nights, because of childcare issues. The shift usually starts with a handover at 19:00. 

On this night shift, during the handover, I was told that one of the patients, whom I will be naming (TEAM2), has started walking with the frame, which is a progress from Sara & Steady equipment that has been in use for the mobility before now. This type of information would make one happy, to hear that there is rehabilitation progress for any patient. But for TEAM2, it comes with extra job for the nurse, they now need 1:1 nursing (specialling) to be safe. There is strong risk of fall or harm to self, since they now think that they are mobile enough to do it themselves. Bed alarm has already been placed on the bed for TEAM2 and anytime the alarm starts beeping, that means they are already out from bed, grabbing the frame. No explanation will make them understand the situation they are putting themselves. 

As a new nurse that does not like bad records on my file, I decided to stay close to their bay and without break, in order to prevent that incident that was about to happen. I was running to the alarm all through the night. The attention I gave to the bed sensor because of the nature of this patients’ urgency to go to the toilet, superseded every other nurse duty for the night. The patient had a neurological condition from drug overdose, with reduced mobility and trying to maintain continency with the bladder. The effort to stop wearing pad and longing for independency. Because of this, the patient was not ready to wait for the staff to come before standing from the bed or chair and heading to the toilet. With the unstable legs and the ability of lifting up the frame instead of rolling it on the floor, made me to think about it the sensor alarm as the trigger for me to start running to that bay to avoid fall.

It is sometimes unbelievable that one patient could make the shift so difficult like this one. Concluding this type of night shift without incident, makes me to congratulate myself and the other staff with our achievements.

I have just comforted myself with the fact that I will definitely sleep for about 6 hours before school run the next morning.

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