Friday, January 16, 2009

Breath Damn it!

Today we had our first labs of the semester. In the Patient Care Procedures lab, we learned some more about suctioning and acquired some experience assembling and using the suctioning equipment. We had a contest to see who could put together, and set up, suctioning equipment the fastest. I won. I was able to do it in 32 seconds. I guess that taking apart all the equipment, and putting it back together, several times during the lab was worth doing.

In the Patient Evaluation lab, we learned how to take vital signs. Finding brachial pulses, in the upper arm, is freaking hard! I also had trouble measuring respiration rate, which is supposed to be easy. I actually started yelling at my partner to "Breath Damn it" because I couldn't even see her breathing. I almost tried to take a blood pressure. We played around with pulse oximeters and did things to make them give erroneous pulse and SpO2 values.

Last semester we all took to heart the fact that we shouldn't wear watches for infection control reasons. It's kind of hard to take a pulse, or determine someone's respiration rate, without a watch. Our Patient Evaluation lab instructor was kind of perturbed by the fact that only two people showed up wearing a watch. I mentioned the infection control thing to her and she was kind of amused by our collective stupidity. I guess the whole "you shouldn't wear a watch" thing is a bunch of bull....

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