An Exemplar in a Pediatric Unit

Facing the same situation day by day surely marks our world as stressful and monotonous. Embarking on what I learned from the previous toils has been my foundation to be a brick wall to be leaned on by my patients. Being a nurse in a public health care facility has brought me a lot of experiences that my memory will forever take hold of. These are memories that helped me gain more interest, more passion, and more knowledge of what I really want in my life and how I would want to live out my life in this world.

A few years ago, maybe 3 or 4 years, I was a novice nurse at the brink of a decision whether to pursue my nursing career or to start another career that I think fits me best. However, with that entire dilemma in my mentality, I managed to give nursing career a shot. One thought that was running all over my mind at that time was “I would not lose anything if I, at least, try it out first before I take a 360-degree turn from this path. ” That decision made me a nurse assigned in a pediatric unit of a hospital and I felt so disappointed due to that.

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Children has never been my passion since I was a student, my patience cannot last long enough for them and my mind never finds it a challenge to interpret the reasons whenever a tear starts rolling over their cheeks. When I realized these, I was actually telling myself that maybe it was really a wrong move deciding to join the health care team, and maybe it could have been better if I should have shifted my career path. However, all these thoughts vanished from my mentality after I met a 5-year-old boy whom I shall call John.

He is suffering from aplastic anemia and he has been coming in and out of the hospital for months already; most of the time he goes through blood transfusion several times a week because his bone marrow is malfunctioning. I was the nurse assigned to him, together with my partner Marvin, who was also a novice nurse like me. We really find it hard taking care of him because he was such a very irritable child, and keeps on crying every time we touch him. Taking his vital signs has been a great challenge for me and Marvin because we find it hard taking his blood pressure and heart rate accurately.

After hours of trying to take his vital signs, which is very essential because of the profuse bleeding that he is experiencing, patience is starting to slip off my hand. That was the point that I was about to give up when I finally contemplated on a tactic. Realizing that the child I am dealing with is a child who loves playing, I told Marvin what I was thinking, and together we approached John. We asked John if he would like to play a game with us wherein both Marvin and John will not move until someone gives up.

Whoever gives up first shall lose the game. I thought of this game in order to redirect John’s attention to something else, and at the same time, it helped me acquire the vital signs information that I need from him. But amidst that temper-holding experience I had, I still managed to be the best nurse that I can be to John by demonstrating proper treatment procedures for him and providing the utmost care to make him comfortable. I guess that was the time when the exceptionally resistant kid at first was transformed into a subtle one.

The bondage I formed between John and I had greatly involved his parents. It occurred when I approached his mom and asked her how things were going, and she started verbalizing the conflicts their family is currently facing. John was continuously and profusely bleeding, blood transfusions were continuously done, and the family savings account was dwindling. I fully understand how difficult it was to be in her shoes, how their family love John so much and how they would do anything to keep John even though resources were cutting them short.

Tears started to trickle down her cheeks, and as I see her, I started to realize how valuable the nursing profession is. Revelations of what is the real essence of my profession started to fill my mentality. Doubts of shifting to another profession totally vanished from my thoughts. This is the turning point for me where I told myself that this is what I want to do and I will always want to do for the rest of my life. This experience I had with the pediatric patients has caused me enough guts to face the reality that life is bitter sweet at times. Variations only occur as to how you plan to see it.

Patients that come to hospitals always have predicaments over one thing or another, and one good way to help them is to be by their side and to take good care of them during the times they most needed it. From these facets of reality, I told myself that this is something I long to do in which my skills were honed to pursue the joy of helping people that no money can ever purchase. Being a novice nurse according to Benner’s Stages of Clinical Competence (1984), which is the application of Dreyfus model of skill acquisition, means that there is a presence of stiff devotion to rules and no discretional judgment occurs.

It is amazing to realize that as a novice nurse, a lot of experiences can be learned from the situations I faced. Just like the tactic I have formulated just to gather the vital information from John accurately. I really find it awesome because I have not thought that it would really work. Aside from the novice nurse, there are other levels of proficiency that Dreyfus shows: novice, advanced beginner competent, proficient, and expert (Benner, 1984).

Each of these levels of proficiency in acquiring and developing a skill, changes depending on the ability of the learner to use previous tangible experiences as paradigms, learner’s perception of what is deemed necessary for the situation, and the ability to make the previous observer into a performer that is involved. These skills are deemed to improve one’s critical thinking skills in every situation that he or she may face where the person mainly learns through his or her experience. References Benner, P. (1984) From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice.

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