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We are back in Iloilo after three weeks of clinical in Manila.  The rotations were a great learning experience and we are thankful for our time there.  Our last three weeks in Iloilo will consist of five acute care areas, which include Surgical Intensive Care, Medical Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care, Delivery Room/Operating Room, and the Kidney Ward (Dialysis).  Each of us are thrilled at the opportunity to work not only in one area, but several. At home in Canada doing our senior practicums, we would only be exposed in strictly one area for six weeks. We are hoping the time in these areas will give us a greater understanding of them and help give us some direction in possible areas where we would like to work.

Surgical ICU was intimidating for us initially as none of us have cared for a patient as acute as the ones admitted to this ward.  Our clinical instructor, Mrs. Marianne was amazing!  We told her that as students in Canada we are not given the opportunity to be exposed in the ICU. She understood this, as working within the intensive care takes skill, time, and a good grasp of basic life support measures. She took the time to review important pathophysiology, acid base balance, and other vital concepts with us prior to our time on the ward.  We felt much more prepared and ready to provide care after our orientation.

Initially after receiving endorsement, or as we call it in Canada, report, we felt it was quite  challenging due to the language barrier and difference in charting.  Charting is done differently than we are used to as in this hospital they are using DAR (data, assessment, response), but we are learning and adapting to their system.  There are certain things we like about their charting and others we will be happy to have back in Canada.  One thing we noticed when giving insulin, there is a specific sheet to mark where you injected as not to use the same spot over and over and you rotate effectively through all areas.  This is beneficial to the patient as they are at less risk for developing subcutaneous skin problems due to needle pokes in the same area.  We thought this was a great documentation tool.

Ms. Marianne is not an instructor we will soon forget. We enjoyed her patience, kindness and respect for patients. Her goal for us is to become nurse who have “the eye of an eagle, the hand of a lady, and the heart of a lover”. Anyone can carry out basic nursing functions, however it is our heart and kindness that can set us apart from robots. We learned more than just suctioning and how to take a set of neurology vital signs from her, which of course are important, but when we apply the compassion we have, that is when we can and will make a difference for the clients we encounter. This is something that no book can teach, but it is something that we must find in ourselves and learn the skills to become better nurses.