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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What I've Learned In Nursing: "The 5 Rights"

The 5 Rights


In nursing, part of the care is medication administration. In order to be safe, we were taught in the very beginning when our clinicals started about "The 5 Rights." These rights were: right medication, right dose, right time, right patient, right route. The order didn't matter too much but just as long as you, the nursing student, checked these "rights" prior to giving the medication.

Like in all things in nursing, it is very important to put the patient's safety as the priority. If I were to give a patient too much of a drug [or too little], or too soon [or too late], or to the wrong patient and/or route, well things can go very wrong.

These 5 Rights have been ingrained ever since in order to make sure what we give to patients as nurses are 100% correct. Yes, no room for error and I totally agree.

To tie this to the "other side of the road"--life outside of nursing--I'd still say we have a certain "5 Rights" to abide to. For me, the equivalent to the nurse's 5 Rights [of drug administration] would be the right who, right what, right where, right when, and why.

I'll refer to these "other side of the road" 5 rights as life's general's rights because the 5 W's can be applied to practically everything. But to give an example, I'll apply it to one self's being.

WHO
Who you are as a person greatly affects the people and situation around you. When you're attitude is unfitting, people just don't want to be there with you. Being positive is hard in all situations, but never stop trying. If you're a good at anything [even just being a good person in general], like what my good friend Lauren says, "Let it be known."

WHAT
What you do is always important--big or small. In Paul Arden's book Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite, there is a part that describes a street sweeper. "He wasn't just a street sweeper; he was the best street sweeper."

WHERE
I remember Brother Draper, the dean of students at my high school, always gave his speech on how students get in trouble in the beginning of the year. He'd say, "Wrong place, wrong time." Sometimes you can control the situation and change it and other times where you are is out of control. How you respond to either situations will be the result of who you are and what you can do.

WHEN
Timing is everything. If you're late for a meeting [with anyone], what does that say about you? When you remember to call a friend for her birthday, surely you are to be remembered for that gesture. Why are you saving that unused _____ [fill in the blank i.e. tshirt, box of pens, candle, etc], what are you saving it for?

To quote a good movie of mine, Kung Fu Panda:
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present." - Oogway

Timing is everything, so make it count.

WHY
My favorite word that in itself is a question. Asking "why?" can only bring answers to curiosity and solutions to problems [and annoyance if asked to much... remember asking this repeatedly as a kid?]

To understand is to question. To question is to find an answer. To find an answer is to ask again "why?" until it can no longer be explained.

I want to be a great photographer.
Why?
I love producing creative images and would want to do it for a living.
Why?
Being paid to be creative would be a dream.
Why?
To face reality of working on a schedule would not seem so fun.
Why?
Because I want time in my life to enjoy it and spend it with the people around me.
Why?
Because I find happiness in the people around me.
Why?
Being successful is nothing if you can't share it with anyone.

OK, you get the picture. Asking why can reveal many things even if you weren't set out to find that particular answer. [This short exercise for me at 2am was answered without plan].

--
WILIN "What I've Learned in Nursing" is a new blog reel that takes bits and pieces from what I've learned as a nursing student at University of San Francisco (c/o Fall 2009) and apply it to the rest of the real world. It is my attempt now to "combine" photography and nursing as many people have suggested who know I am conflicted with nursing and photography as a job/career.

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