Having the job title “Nurse Aid” does not qualify one to perform many roles in a clinic. I discovered this last week during my first week on the job. My main tasks consist of filling out patient charts with their vitals, past medical history, etc. (everything patients fill out in the waiting room). A harder and more difficult task is actually going out to the waiting room, calling the patient back, and setting up their file in the computer so when the doctor comes in he or she can directly input feedback and diagnoses. Thinking about doing this, it does not seem to be difficult task at all. Quite the contrary, no patient has the same history and physical. Every patient has a different template on this computer software (the digitization of medicine can be saved for a whole separate post!). Unexpectedly, I have had to take notes to go home and study them that night. If any other health care employees are reading this they know there is no time for inefficiency in the workplace. Doctors are constantly multitasking; there is an art to it, really.
I wanted to specifically write about my experience taking out sutures yesterday. The clinic was running behind (unfortunately, very commonplace) and there was patient in a room who needed his sutures out. All nurse and MAs were busy so the nurse asked me if I felt comfortable doing it. With an immediate yes I grabbed a suture removal kit and got down to business.
No I have never had any physical contact with a patient before. The closest I have gotten was holding a fresh cast in place for five minutes while waiting for it to harden and mold. However, I dived into a pair of gloves and took out the sutures on this man’s post op. knee arthroscope surgery. Eight sutures total from the two puncture holes all came out flawlessly. The nurses now have confidence in calling me to assist with suture removals.