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Running head: CLINICAL PAPER

                               Clinical Paper

                               Kristin Faber

                        Pacific Lutheran University
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                                        Clinical Paper

       The first morning I walked into Orchard Park I had a lot of anxiety; I guess one

could say I was nervous. I did not really know what to expect; I had never worked with

the elderly population and I had no idea how I would react to different situations. The

skills we practiced in lab seemed to fade somewhat that first day as my nerves took over,

but soon into the first clinical somehow I started to feel at ease. I figured out that the

people there were just like me, they were not something to be afraid of and as my nerves

started to ease I started to love what I was doing.

       The people were friendly; first the staff was friendly and welcoming. They

smiled at me in the hall and any time I asked a question they were quick to answer and

help with a smile. I knew I would not get everything just right the first time, but I was

determined to do my best.

       Meeting my client was somewhat overwhelming the first day. She was sleepy

and not very responsive when we entered the room. When we first tried to talk to her she

acted as if she could not hear us at all and so we tried to write messages on paper to

communicate with her. That seemed to work at first, but was really slow. The next time

we came to clinicals to actually perform care on my client I talked to the nursing aid and

she explained to me that my client could indeed hear, she was just “playing us opossum”.

With that I learned that the people who care for a person daily are one of my best

resources for information to provide the best care possible.

       After the nursing aid introduced us to my client everything went a lot smoother.

My client started communicated with us and care went really well. I enjoyed talking with

my client and also meeting other residents throughout the hall. Throughout my time
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meeting people and caring for them I realized I really enjoyed working with the elderly.

They are often really funny, cracking jokes and even nonverbally expressing themselves.

I also learned to respect older people a lot more. They have been through so much and

have so many great insights to share.

       I appreciated seeing the way staff interacted with clients. Nearly all of my

experiences were very positive in this aspect. My client once told me that the people

there take very good care of her. I observed many such examples of good care. Nursing

aids would sit with people and talk to them. One nursing aid saw a resident was having

difficulty with her food and politely asked her if she would like her help to cut up her

waffle. The way she asked and her facial expression showed great care and the resident

brightened up immediately, appreciating the gesture of care.

       I also had a great experience with one resident in which she called me over and

wanted to talk. We introduced ourselves and she told me she liked me and did not want

me to leave. I stayed and talked with her for a while and she received her breakfast tray.

I noticed she was having difficulty cutting her food and asked her if she would like some

help and she smiled at me and said yes. I cut the food into small pieces and saw the

appreciation on her face for the help I had given her. It made my day to see her happy.

       I saw and was involved in a few innovative ways to provide care. One clinical

day I helped take care of a client who we provided a bed bath in a wheelchair using a lift.

It was interesting to be involved with this adaptation to provide the resident with more

ability to assist in her care. She expressed her feelings of hopelessness and I believe that

we really helped her to gain some more mental strength, knowing that she can still do a

lot for herself and we appreciate so much all the help she can provide. As care went on
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she seemed to brighten up and really start to enjoy talking with us. It was very hard to

say goodbye at the end of the morning.

        By the second or third day of care I felt a lot more confident in my ability and

very much began to enjoy every part of my clinical experiences, even the messier

activities such as cleaning up bowel movements. Helping bring dignity to people and

maintaining their respect and receiving their appreciation brought me much joy. At times

I felt somewhat flustered and frustrated, but overall I found that I really liked the setting,

but especially loved the people.

        There were some negative things that I observed. Sometimes nursing aids were a

little rough with clients and seemed to be a bit rushed in care. I do understand that they

have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time and this can make for a very difficult

task. Sometimes when a person gets in a rush they can forget or just not see how their

actions might be perceived. I think that the staff does its best to give the best, most

positive care, sometimes things just make it difficult.

        I would like to see more of a home setting be made at the facility. It seemed to

me that some patients had very few pictures, if any. Many had no processions. People

were sometimes woken up when they did not want to be. I do see that all of these things

are being worked on, and over time have improved and over more time will improve even


        I very much enjoyed observing wound care, it was very interesting to see the

different wounds and how something so small can develop such horrible complications.

It made me see how important it is to observe possible problems early on. I did think that

the wound care nurse was a bit rough and not as aseptic as I thought one should be. I
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know this was addressed however and students no longer followed this particular wound

care nurse.

         Restorative care was also very interesting to me. It was fun to help people

exercise and the restorative aids seemed to have a great connection with the patients. I

was able to assist clients walking down the hall by holding gait belts and by following

with a wheelchair just in case someone started to get tired and needed a break. It

surprised me how far some of the residents could walk. It was very rewarding to be a

part of this care.

         I very much enjoyed being a part of care at Orchard Hills. The adult daycare

facility seemed to provide excellent care. The staff was very friendly and talked with us

and provided us with good information. The nurse took time to explain to us about tube

feedings. This was really interesting to me because I did not know much about them. I

was able to spend some time with the developmentally disabled people and loved it! One

young woman picked me out right away and told me she liked me. We started drawing

pictures and talking. I also participated in the exercising portion of the day. It was fun to

be involved and see the smiles and all the fun the people had there. A group came and

sang some Christmas songs and both the developmentally disabled and the dementia

clients got together and listened to the singing. They even got involved and sang and

danced. The staff was very responsive to the people and all the people seemed to love the


         Overall my clinical experience was amazing. I learned so much, got to put all the

skills I learned in lab into practice and most importantly made great connections with

residents. I feel confident going into the next phase of my nursing program using the
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fundamental skills I have learned this semester. I look forward to what the future holds

and hold dear the many amazing experiences I had.

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