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Reflection Two

Leah Will

Trent University
I have decided to write a reflection on the patient I had on Friday, March 1 st. She was a

20 y/o female with muscular dystrophy who came to the unit with respiratory distress. She is

significantly malnourished with a weight of about 80 pounds. She has a NG tube with

continuous feeding. She cannot lie down flat for very long at all because she has trouble

breathing and will aspirate. Her communication is poor, as she finds it very difficult to produce

many words at a time. The primary nurses were saying that she should really be in the ICU due

to the severity of her condition, so I was definitely aware of how sick she really was.

She was accompanied by her mother who was from the Bahamas. I learned that the

patient is a second year international Trent student in the forensic science program. During my

shift, she was to go to interventional radiology to have a G-J tube inserted to help with her

nutrition. Everybody already knew that this was going to be a difficult procedure with her due

to her anatomy and all of her internal organs being so close together. I could see her mother

and the patient were very anxious about this, but understood why it needed to be done.

I got the chance to go with them for this procedure. I was there when the doctor came

in and got her ready and answered any of the questions they had, and it was interesting to see

this process. Unfortunately, I was unable to watch the actual procedure due to the business of

the department, which was fair. Although I was disappointed with this at first, I got to spend

about 30 minutes talking with the mother instead, which was much more beneficial for me

anyways. Her mother was very quiet when she was in the room on the unit, and always had her

headphones in, sitting in the chair beside her daughters bed. She was very lovely and open to

communicating when I was in the room often doing vitals or assessments on the patient, but

she kept to herself most of the time, which is understandable. But when it was just myself and
her waiting for her daughter to be done with the procedure, she completely opened up and we

had a great conversation about Trent, and nursing and the forensic program her daughter is in,

and their life in the Bahamas. I feel like I made a great therapeutic relationship with her in this

moment.

Later on in the shift after she came back from the procedure, she was required to have

vitals done q30mins for the first hour, and then q1h for the next 4 hours, so I was in the room

quite often along with the primary nurse to monitor her. During this time, she was in pain, but

unfortunately there was not much we could do in terms of pain because there was no access to

her since she could not take a PO med.

It was definitely a very psychosocial focused shift for me as I am usually very task

oriented, so it was nice to be able to spend the time with a patient and her mother and develop

a therapeutic relationship with them. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be 20 years old

and have such an unfortunate disease, but she was so tough and still had plans to pursue

school. For her mother, I also couldn’t imagine the position she is in, having traveled from the

Bahamas, sleeping in her daughter’s dorm room just to care for her and be with her when she is

in such a vulnerable point in her illness. The best part of my shift that day was when I went into

their room to say I was leaving for the night, to say goodbye and good luck with everything,

when the mother gave me the most genuine hug and thanked me. It’s such a simple thing, but

this was the first time someone that I had directly cared for has given me a hug and it just

reassured me that I made a difference that day in both of their lives.