Student Nurse Laura

Orem – "creative effort of one human being to help another human being."

I wish I was at Labor & Delivery Today

Posted by Laura on January 1, 2011

It is a new year, and I wish I was working at Labor and Delivery today.

The last day of 2010 is when I had the experience of listening to a patient’s special apical heart beat. I’ve listened to so many now as a student nurse, moving my stethoscope to the right location and then moving it around to see where it was stronger, and then counting for a full minute. I can add up my favorite sounds on one hand, and the beat of a new born is definitely up there next to falling rain.

For some reason when I auscultate the human body, I get a mental map of where the sounds are originating from. It’s like a 2 story house with a basement in my mind. I’ll hear the lungs filling and deflating like the house heater turning on and off. I’ll hear the rustle of the gown on the stethoscope like the crows on my roof top. The bowel sounds will fill the basement. And if I am listening to a sim man – I’ll hear the mechanical movements or hum pulling from the wrong place in my map like a mouse that someone let loose. Obviously this starts to make it difficult and very interesting for me to listen to the human body.

But, yesterday it was different. There was no bowel sounds knocking at the basement door. There was no air flow filling the rooms. No grunts from the chimney or wheezes from the air waves.

And most importantly, there was no beat of the heart. Not quiet, not slow, and no rhythm. I waited – one full minute. Then I had to tell the room full of beating hearts, his  heart has stopped beating.

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