During my last clinical placement as a student Registered Nurse, the experience and knowledge I gained was incredible. I was placed in the Emergency Department at Latrobe Regional Health where each day was a new learning experience and was full of great opportunities. The thrill of not knowing what was coming through the doors was exciting but also frightening. I was constantly thinking to myself, what illness is coming in next? What if I do not know the condition? What if I cannot help them? Thankfully, the nursing team were exceptional and were able to help guide me in the right direction, putting my mind at ease.
Each day was different in the Emergency Department, and each cubicle would provide me with a different experience. When a patient first comes into the cubicle, the clinical team needs to determine what illness or condition the patient is suffering from. To determine this, there is a diverse range of different diagnostic techniques that can be utilised, for example DRABCDE format, clinical assessment, history taking, head to toe examination, and completing vital signs. Being able to complete this several times a day had increased my confidence and had developed my clinical and documentation skills immensely since learning the skills at university. Furthermore, treating multiple conditions at once had helped me develop efficient time management skills and had given me the opportunity to provide high level of care individually, and in collaboration with the multidisciplinary team.
There was so much to learn in the Emergency Department. I really enjoyed learning how to assess a patient, the different documentation techniques, and the triage system. Furthermore, I learnt what to do in an emergency situation where time is critical. It was amazing to see the team work together effectively and provide life saving treatment quickly and efficiently. Each different person within the room had a different role to play, which was visibly displayed with a sticker stating their job, for example ‘scribe’. It was great to be involved in emergency situations and being able to learn and administer the various advance life support medications.
It was incredible to see patients coming into the Emergency Department critically ill, some in excruciating pain and not being able to move, to then walk out of the Emergency Department with a smile was so rewarding. This placement has provided me with so many opportunities and has increased my knowledge base immensely. Being able to consolidate my skills in such an intense and fast paced environment was just incredible. I have learnt to stay focused and self-governing in stressful situations from the diverse range of clinical experiences. It was an amazing experience that helped me immensely in my final days of university and had made me extremely excited to commence my graduate program at Central Gippsland Health.