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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)

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 30-May-2012 8:27 pm

    I suggest that you and JRT read the article again, consider the context and purpose, climb off your high horses and give a student a chance. I do not believe for one moment that you both came to nursing, full of knowledge and skill (even if you may believe otherwise). By all means correct mistakes and impart knowledge. But, give yourselves a slap and remember that you are supposed to be supportive and encouraging. On second thoughts, just give yourselves a slap.

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  • Laura Wyles

    I am sure that you are informed , knowledgeable and empathetic.

    Now we have cleared that misunderstanding will you please explain to me the "wire" mystery and the appalling level of ignorance displayed in the original post which was, initially about cardioversion.

    It is notable that neither the original poster or his defender who attempted to impress me (and you!) with his vocabulary have bothered to respond ! I wonder why ?

    The original poster I believe prides himself on responding comments made about his posts ------ I am waiting to hear from him!

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  • Anonymous 8:27

    For you information I did read the article more than once . Now you force me into being totally honest.

    Now you read the "article " then explain to me about wires that can be inflated and "general anaesthetics" being given for cardioversion !!

    Yes I was a student at one time and I was very grateful to the many nurses and doctors who assisted me on my journey to qualifying.

    What i never did was display in public my lack of knowledge and my "amazement".

    In my opinion the young man who wrote this article needs to take a close look at what he wants to achieve, if "amazement" is the peak of his ambition then I am truly and empathetically sorry for him.

    I will repeat, again , placements are not intended to provide freak show entertainment for students. Placements should be used to gain practical skill and to enhance knowledge.

    This article whilst proving the writer was "amazed" did nothing to demonstrate what he learnt

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  • Anonymous

    JRT | 30-May-2012 9:06 pm

    You may have read the article, but did not understand it, or did you? I suggest that you re-read his last line. The article is not meant to be an essay on coronary angiography, but I suspect that you already know that. Much more fun to humiliate the student, is it? Yeah, met your type before. Like I said, give yourself a slap.

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  • Anonymous 9.27"

    How dare you ?!

    The last line is a plea for more of the same voyeuristic, freak show type entertainment which the writer was so thrilled and "amazed" to observe !

    I have never attempted to humiliate anyone.

    The writer must stand by his article which displays a level of appalling ignorance. I started out by posing a few simple questions to the writer and now I find myself accused of attempting to humiliate him. !

    I have assisted many students to achieve their goal, thankfully I never had a student who willingly displayed their ignorance in public!

    The young man need some serious guidance !

    Wires do not inflate and (at least in my extensive experience) GA's are not given for cardioversions.

    I repeat , again, placements are not intended to provide freak show entertainment for students.

    If you witness something that "amazes" you the at least learn about what you have experienced and report on fact!

    I sincerely hope that you are not one of those mentors who never "fails" a student --------- if you are then you are doing a great disservice to the profession.

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  • Anonymous

    JRT | 30-May-2012 9:59 pm

    "How dare you ?!"

    Ooh, a veritable puffball of pomposity. Of course, you are trying to humiliate the article's author.

    However, hilarious guff and bluster!! Thanks for the laugh. Give yourself.....ah you should know the rest by now.

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  • Anonymous

    JRT | 30-May-2012 10:29 pm

    "Attempting to insult, ridicule or humiliate me is doomed to failure.."

    Why so upset? Ahem. Now calm down, take a deep breath, then rinse and repeat......matey.

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  • Anonymous

    Go and get some help with that attitude.You are accusing others of not being professional when you are showing absolutely no insight into your own dreadful behaviour.What age are you?You have set about insulting ridiculing and trying to humiliate others in all your posts.You are the one who needs to grow up.

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  • JRT
    Have to agree with you on this one. Perhaps Mr Roxby gets a lot of his training from watching Holby City, not one ounce of insight into the procedure. Now, if he had said that he was 'amazed' at how high the patient comes off the trolley when shocked, then I would have to agree, it certainly does surprise a lot of students.
    However, it's not entirely Adam's fault (sounds to me like he is only in his first year, do correct me if I am wrong Adam). Whoever was his Mentor should hang their heads in shame, letting this poor lad think that what he was seeing was next to witchcraft and without explaining one single piece of what was happening. Conversly, Adam, you need to be a lot more critical in your outlook towards nursing especially if you want to get into any kind of speciality, a sense of wonderment is just not enough I'm afraid.

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