Clinical Experience

My preceptorship is currently going on in the pediatric inpatient department of Jim Patterson Children’s Hospital. On one of my day shifts, I got the opportunity to care for a one-year-old baby who presented to the unit with laryngomalacia and was being treated for post-up tracheostomy. He was an ex-32-weeker with a long, complicated surgical course in the hospital. Other histories and conditions included hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, global developmental delay, seizures, and hypotonia. The patient was indigenous and came from a large family background. Because of his high medical needs, his family was having issues coping with his care. He was consequently apprehended by the provincial government but had family visitation rights. Social work was consulted, and the patient was inevitably placed in a care home. Further research led me to learn that the patient had a mother who was 23 years old and had a history of syphilis, hepatitis B, and HIV. who had a total of six children, four of whom lived at home with her and two others, including my patient, who was placed in a care home due to medical needs. One of the nurses saw the sad and slightly bewildered look on my face and proceeded to explain how birth control was not easily accessible by lots of young women of indigenous heritage who live on reserves, how it was not covered by basic health insurance, and how these women are unable to afford safe sex and birth control measures. Therefore, they are an extremely vulnerable population, highly susceptible to sexually transmitted infections and incidences of unwanted pregnancies.
With this new understanding, I went on to provide safe and competent care to the baby and I ended the shift with a better understanding of the challenges faced by my clientele base and how to act and think about their situations in the future. With it also came a clear vision of what advocacy issues to lend my voice to as I begin my nursing practice.

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