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'What amazing things have you witnessed while on placement?'

On placement the other day I witnessed a practical procedure that left me feeling truly astonished.

It was a procedure called ‘cardioversion’. When a patient’s heart is beating out of rhythm and the symptoms are severe enough to warrant the risk of a general anaesthetic they are connected to a defibrillator and shocked. The hope is that this process will restart the heart’s natural rhythm and alleviate any symptoms.

I was genuinely amazed that this process even existed. It’s one of the amazing things about being a student nurse, you can turn up one day and be introduced to something you may never have considered before.

So while I was pushing the resuscitation trolly out of the recovery unit towards the theatre in preparation for the cardioversions, I started thinking about other things that have amazed me while on placement.

There was the time when I came back from work after spending a day in the x-ray department. I told my wife that I had seen the most amazing procedure to date. Under the guidance of x-ray, a doctor had inserted wire into a patient’s groin up one leg and down the other and inflated a balloon to allow blood to flow through the vein. Then just to make sure, he inserted a stent (a little tube to keep the vein open).

It was one of those occasions that really made me marvel at technology.

I want to know what procedures or treatments you have come into contact with through your training that have left you lost for words.

What are some of your wow moments?

Readers' comments (65)

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  • Anonymous

    I saw an organ donation retrieval during a placement and it was amazing but not for the practical reasons. I was so impressed with the respect and care shown by 2 expert surgery teams to the patient whose organs they were removing. A not particular nice procedure but such a great experience for the right reasons of seeing a team respecting the spiritual and practical needs of a patient and the family.

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  • Nice post Adam. Refreshing to hear that, from time to time, our job can still be just a little awe-inspiring and it is always worth remarking upon. In amongst the day to day bustle and negative stuff going on in nursing and the NHS, it can be easy to forget that we see and do some amazing things as we go along. I could fill a book (as could most nurses of my vintage) with amazing stories from when I was a student and throughout my career, but I won't bore you with them. The good thing is, you will continue to have your 'wow moments' because your mind is open to those experiences. The learning? That's a cinch. You'll just sponge it up as most enthusiastic students do. Stay amazed. It's healthier for you.

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  • Anonymous

    If I was a patient I would prefer to be nursed by Adam, Laura or Mags than by JRT who appears to be somewhat lacking in empathic skillsthat are so vital in nursing.

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  • Anonymous 5:32

    As you wish - be nursed by someone who is informed and knowledgeable or be cared for by someone who will be "Amazed" at the suddenness of your demise !

    Do not be fooled into thinking that someone who has extensive skill and knowledge lacks empathy !

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  • Anonymous

    JRT | 30-May-2012 6:03 pm

    Interesting that you think it has to be one or other. Don't be fooled into thinking that someone who has the capacity to be amazed isn't also knowledgeable, highly skilled and empathetic.

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  • Anonymous

    JRT | 30-May-2012 8:03 pm

    ".....be nursed by someone who is informed and knowledgeable or be cared for by someone who will be "Amazed" at the suddenness of your demise !"

    Read your own post.

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  • JRT | 30-May-2012 6:03 pm

    "As you wish - be nursed by someone who is informed and knowledgeable or be cared for by someone who will be "Amazed" at the suddenness of your demise ! "

    Would I be correct in thinking that in your opinion I am neither informed nor knowledgable??

    To be honest, I am somewhate astounded that you should be able to make such judgements after reading a few sentences I wrote!

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  • Anonymous

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