Mr Watson was at ward 7 for a fracture of his left acetabular, and was being treated for this conservatively with leg traction. A traction pin was inserted in through his upper tibia and was connected to the frame and a weight over the end of the bed. I decided to look up some details on concerto, in particular some x-rays of Mr Watsons fractured leg, of which I could only find x-rays of his skull and pelvis. I found it odd that there were no x-rays of his leg and there was no explanation on any of his notes regarding the exact location and quality of his fracture. Further discussion with my preceptor was initiated, which then actioned some thorough research. It came to both of our attention that the acetabulum was indeed part of the pelvis, and formed the socket for the ball of the femur. Upon discovering this, everything then fell in to place as to how the traction was working, how the fracture was healing, how to move Mr Watson effectively and care for his needs whilst on the ward.
Initially I felt shocked at my ignorant assumption of the location of his fracture. It was quite an embarrassing feeling to find out that it was in a completely different location from where I had thought, and this was felt also by my preceptor. We were both quite disappointed with ourselves, but happy with the research conducted, and the knowledge gained from this.
It was not very good nursing practise to assume the location of someone’s fracture, by what was seen face value. Something that seemed obvious, was in fact not, and we were only able to gain a full understanding of the fracture by conducting further research about its location, and how the traction was working to assist with the healing of the bone. It was good however to finally get this information and pull everything together so that a comprehensive understanding of Mr Watsons prognosis was gained, which then allowed for us to care for Mr Watson with clinical and holistic
It is very easy as a student nurse to make assumptions on what you don’t know, and what you see from the end of your patients bed. Without having gained extensive knowledge and had much experience, it’s easy to get caught up in tasks and not take the time to fully understand and extensively research things you are not entirely sure of before you start the days shift. This experience was a good example of how this can happen, and how important it is to know these details, as it is a key aspect to a much bigger picture that contributes to the optimum care that should be provided to that patient.
More time should have been spent getting to know the patient and the nature of his acute problem before getting caught up in his daily care. In doing this, it will allow for better time management, priority of care and quality of care. In the future if this situation was ever to arise again, which I’m sure will as new graduate nurses, I will ensure that if I am even the smallest bit unsure of a diagnosis or aspect of a clients care, I will let me preceptor know, and take the time to research and understand the full diagnosis and reasons why things are being done the way they are.