During my first day of clinical, I encountered an issue that I believe is very significant. As a student nurse, our duty for this day was to follow our health care aide around the ward and assist in completing resident care. The resident required assistance in many of her daily tasks. The health care aide asked if I would perform one of those and do perineal care for her. I turned down her offer because I did not feel comfortable with my skill level. The resident had a bowel movement during the night. There was a significant odour in the room that overwhelmed me. I really wanted to leave the room because it was so unpleasant, but I stayed in the room so that the resident would not be embarrassed. This feeling of embarrassment, I assume, was already present but I decided to continue with helping clean up and change her linens. The issue that seemed significant, in this experience, was my feelings pertaining to intimate care. One of the reasons why there is so little training in this area could be because the act of providing intimate care for others can be considered as dirty work and is undervalued both within services and by the wider society (Clark, 2006) In society, going to the bathroom is seen as a very private matter and is not done in public. During this experience, this was going against my beliefs of our social norm and understanding this, I went with my values of caring and supporting individuals in need by staying in the room.
During this situation, I was trying to achieve my role of a student nurse while being professional in my actions. I did what I believed was right instead of following societies norms. Evaluating the issue with patient and my own personal issues, I made a decision that followed my morals and values. I chose to react positively to the situation at hand while learning from experience and following what I believed was ethically right.
Consequences that may have arisen for the patient stem from the fact that my techniques were not like the health care aides and were stiff and uncoordinated, which I can only imagine caused discomfort. It took longer than usual for me to complete my tasks because of my personal doubt in my skill levels and amount of experience. The health care aide I was with initially mentioned that shifts were very tight for time and for getting things done she noted that she comes in early to ensure things run smoothly, just in case of complications such as my current situation. My health care aide may not feel as confident in my actions as she may have been if I chose to initially participate despite my personal issues with intimate care. Having a loss of confidence in my abilities to deal with difficult and new situations turned out to be the consequences of my actions. Having more confidence and being aware of situations that may go against my beliefs and personal issues may have allowed me to have a better first day.
The health care aide was very supportive of my actions and praised my...