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New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 9

IU Health Methodist Hospital

New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 9

New IU Health Methodist Hospital nurse Rachel Ketelaar takes on discharges, transfusion and patient updates.


  • Lots to talk about today! I was on my own again for a few hours in the morning, but I realized I am never really on my own. One patient needed me to feed her because she was at risk of choking. The doctor ordered medication by capsule but I wasn’t confident this patient could safely swallow a capsule. So I went to the charge nurse and she advised me to ask the doctor. The doctor changed the medication to a liquid form and everything worked out.
  • Free appreciation lunch today for IU Health employees, served in a huge tent on the front lawn. We were so busy that they brought boxed lunches up to us and I didn’t get to eat mine until 3:30. It was delicious! (Though I only ate a little because I packed my own lunch today.)
  • I was/am a little intimidated giving patient updates to doctors. But I realize much of what doctors ask about are things I observed or charted and I actually know more about the patient than I thought I did. Most of the time the doctors just want to know if the patient is eating, walking, going to the bathroom, feeling less pain, improving in vitals, or if I have any concerns about the patient.


  • I had the opportunity to discharge 3 patients. This is great practice. Discharges involve getting the patient's discharge paperwork and belongings together, removing their IVs, educating them on their medications or lifestyle changes and making sure they safely get to their vehicle and have a ride home. For one of my discharges I had to give a report on the patient to the rehab facility and the ambulance staff that was transporting her.


  • Today I did a blood transfusion with Ty’s help. It is a process! We had to make sure the patient consented, send a blood sample to the lab to verify the patient’s blood type, double-check the donor’s and the patient's blood type and IDs, then monitor the patient during the transfusion. The first 15 minutes are most crucial since this is when many adverse reactions occur. During these 15 minutes, I assessed the patient, took his vitals, and he taught me a fun card game.
  • I so appreciate working on A2N. The nurses are so willing to lend a hand, whether it’s when a patient must be turned or medications administered. I love the willingness on A2N to lighten each other's loads!

Read more:

New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 1
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 2
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 3

New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 4
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 5
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 6
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 7
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 8
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 9
New Nurse: Rachel's Story - Week 10

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