Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

Proud nursing moment by Lynsay Ward

My proudest moment is actually nothing to do with nursing and everything to do with my kids, but I do have a nursing moment which sticks out as something that I am proud of...

In my first placement of first year I undertook a 12 week placement on an orthopaedic ward, I had been there for 9 weeks and had progressively seen one of the patients improve after surgery to the point that she was able to mobilize well and was due for discharge the next day. That morning when I came on shift she refused to get out of bed and asked if she could sleep a little longer, so I returned after helping the rest of the bay get washed and dressed and helped her to get up. I was surprised to see her flinching when she tried to sit up and after helping her stand up I promptly put her back into the bed as she was in obvious pain even though she said that she was fine.

I went done a set of observations which were fine except a very slight hypoxia and explained to my mentor that I was worried about the patient. At that time the nursing staff were in the process of making up IV medication so she asked me to contact the doctor and explain my concerns. As a brand new student this was terrifying but I explained to the doctor and he came straight away. However this is where I am proud to have advocated for my patient.

The doctor came and checked her over and found nothing visible that he was concerned about. I explained that she had been fully mobile without pain the day before and that something had changed. He then indicated that he didn't think there was anything wrong but that he would prescribe pain killers and take some bloods. He left the ward at that point but just a few hours later my patient asked for help to the bathroom and by the time I helped her to return to bed I could see that she was visibly paler and in a lot of pain, I done a further set of observations and saw that her saturations had dropped again so I contacted the doctor again and told them that I was still concerned and that the pain medication hadn't worked.

He visited the patient again and asked me to tell him why I was so concerned, I told him that I knew her and had seen her every shift for 9 weeks and that something was not right, she had not displayed pain like this even post operatively. This time he listened and ordered a scan.

I went home at the end of my shift before the scan had been completed but received a message from my co-mentor that evening who had came on shift to say that they had diagnosed a Pulmonary Embolism and that by sticking with my intuition had potentially saved the patients life by ensuring that something further was done.

I was really proud to be able to have advocated for my patient and it made me realize that if we don't, then who will?

What inspired you to write this blog?

The Transforming Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery 30 Day Challenge


What is your role?

Community Nurse, Edinburgh Napier & QMU graduate, RCN Lothian NQN branch exec.


What are your nursing and/or midwifery qualifications?

Community Nurse, Edinburgh Napier & QMU graduate, RCN Lothian NQN branch exec.


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