30 Oct 2020 Real Life Experience: My Clinical Practice Journey as a Nursing Student
Hi, I am Ngu Kah Fui, currently a Semester 4 Nursing student at IMU. Many times, people have asked me on my decision to choose this pathway as my future career, and I always tell them that Nursing has always been intriguing to me, in both aspects of caring for people and the amount of medical knowledge I can acquire from this profession.
As a student in IMU’s Nursing programme, we are given opportunities to undergo a 2-month clinical posting in designated hospitals within each semester (except Semester 1). This is to allow us to learn, experience and practise in a clinical setting and help us in developing proper critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills. With this opportunity, I also managed to experience a patient-nurse relationship, as well as working as a team with staff nurses and other healthcare professionals within the hospital.
|First Clinical Posting|
|During my first clinical posting in one of the top private hospital in Kuala Lumpur in Semester 2, it was initially challenging as it was my first time in a clinical setting as a student nurse. There were expectations that we were required to achieve, yet at the same time, our limited knowledge of certain aspects of nursing has hindered us from performing at our best. Nevertheless, we gained a lot of insight and experience in nursing at this posting.|
|Second Clinical Posting|
|For our second clinical posting in Semester 3, it was evident that our past knowledge from Semester 2 has helped us improve since we have become more knowledgeable and have more interaction with patients, staff nurses and other healthcare professionals. There was a pharmacist that readily taught us on proper medication dosage instructions, physiotherapists who taught us how to properly hold patients or to provide tracheostomy suctioning, and of course, staff nurses that taught us to administer, change and remove IV infusion drips, document Intake/output charts, patient history and more.
Some patients were very kind and taught us about their diagnosis, patients who were very willing to let us student nurses perform prescribed nursing procedures on them. Some may not be as cooperative, nevertheless taught us how to deal with such patients to ensure we can provide the best nursing care to all patients. And of course, our lecturers were with us every step of the way, guiding us and imparting us with valuable knowledge on nursing.
In Semester 3, our modules have become more specific, hence we were posted to different wards such as the Heart Centre, Cath Labs, Endoscopy Centre and Blood Bank for a week. There, we learnt about how different procedures were carried out, and the nurse’s responsibility in these wards. We managed to observe surgeons performing cardiac catheterization, technicians performing an echocardiogram, doctors performing endoscopy of the digestive system, watching nurses draw blood from patients for blood investigations and assisting the patient during a stress test to measure heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and how tired they get under different physical activity levels.
At the Heart Centre, we also had the opportunity to observe an electroencephalogram (EEG) test performed on a young patient with a history of seizure. The technician was able to educate us on the specific brain wave patterns for detecting any neurologic abnormalities.
Another interesting occurrence during this clinical posting was experiencing the start of the current Covid-19 global pandemic. At the time when news of Covid-19 was rampant in China, Malaysia was experiencing the annual Influenza B outbreak, so it was common to see people with face masks on. As Covid-19 started to spread within Malaysia, unfortunately, shortage of masks started to occur. Fortunately, IMU was able to provide face masks for us to last for our remaining clinical posting days. ‘
When we changed to other wards, we received news that there was the first Covid-19 patient admitted to the hospital. The patient was a foreigner and was initially admitted with viral flu. Unfortunately, the patient was then tested positive for Covid-19, but by then some student nurses had contracted the illness as well (they were quickly quarantined and treated, had no serious symptoms and recovered well). My course mate and I had narrowly avoided the illness by being posted to different wards by then.
In theory, we were taught with patients presented with classical symptoms of specific illnesses. However, in a real-life clinical setting, we were confronted with various presentations of the same disease, added with many other complications that help with teaching us to expand our mindsets and knowledge.
With the experiences and knowledge gained from these previous clinical postings, it has given me the confidence to look forward to future postings in the upcoming semesters. Nursing has always been interesting for me, and I hope that with more confidence and knowledge, I will be able to make myself proud by becoming a nurse that is well-prepared and equipped with critical thinking skills.
This article is submitted by the Clinical and Experiential Learning Sub-committee.