Meet Sue Chen and hear about her Watch and Learn experience

Sue is a registered nurse in the Emergency Department and spent two days shadowing a colleague in the ICU Department to enhance her skills.

1. What is your role at Monash Health, and what does it entail? I’m a Registered Nurse at Monash Medical Centre Emergency Department (MMC ED).

2. What encouraged you to take part in the watch and learn: Shadowing Program? I came across the Shadowing Program through our MMC ED Nurse Unit Manager, and from there I did my own research.

After speaking to the Organisational Development, Learning and Culture Consultant, I gained further insight into the program. The Shadowing program provided some great opportunities involving:
‘Fly on the wall’ – learning by observing
‘Walking the floor’ – experiencing the frontline
‘Burst interactions’ – regular briefings

All three are great options however ‘fly on the wall’ and ‘walking the floor’ were the best suited for my professional development. As I work in ED, we see and experience frontline emergency cases on a daily basis. I was able to use the Shadowing Program to consolidate my experience in Emergency Nursing and to develop new insights into Intensive Care Nursing. The Shadowing Program was able to provide me the opportunity to watch and learn, while at the same time allowing me to explore different types of patient presentations. In ICU, I was allowed to assist and support a Resus Airway Nurse during a hectic and critical shift. This was very beneficial to me, as it allowed me to consolidate and further develop my current Resus knowledge. In the future, it is my aim to do a post-graduate in Critical Care. Seeing how a resuscitation is conducted has shown me that critical care is definitely my passion and I am on the right journey.

I also had the opportunity to care for a patient in ICU that came up from the ED. This helped me to gain further insights into the continuing patient journey post ED.

3. Who did you shadow and what is their role at Monash Health? ICU Department and Registered Nurse

4. What did you learn during the Watch and Learn: Shadowing Program? During my short two days in ICU, I experienced the differences in nursing between ICU and ED. Although brief, this ICU experience has broadened my nursing knowledge and skills. I was lucky to have the chance to interact with three ICU patients; a post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABGS), an intubated patient, and a Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm repair. During this time, I observed the holistic care being provided by different health professionals to these patients. One surprising thing I came across, was the concept that the Glasgow Coma Scale in intubated patients, is not necessary a 3. I witnessed a patient with invasive intubation having physiotherapy. The same patient was able to comprehend questions and follow instructions from the physiotherapist. I also observed how a team works well together to care for a patient post a CABGS procedure. One of the things I learnt, was the method of monitoring cardiac output (CO) and the interventions used if the cardiac index (CI) fell below the nominated satisfactory range. This included the use of IVF/filling.

5. Share your favourite part of the experience. Through the two days of the ICU shadowing program, my favourite part of the experience was learning about a medication new to me called Milrinone.

I witnessed the Milrinone preparation and the effect this medication had on a patient. I found the action/effect of Milrinone fascinating. Learning about how Milrinone can potentially improve blood pressure and lactate levels was enthralling to me.

6. Would you recommend the Watch and Learn: Shadowing Program to others? Yes, I would recommend the Watch and Learn: Shadowing Program to others.

The Watch and Learn: Shadowing program is a good program, to any employee who would like to:
– further enhance their professional development
– learn from any specific ward/area how their work practices differ from their own
– gain a greater understanding of a specific issue or business challenge
– gain a greater understanding of how the ward organises and goes about their day
– sit in on a particular meeting, or see how a ward goes about performing a specific task.

We want to build a workplace where people get to know what other teams do. Share with us what you have learned so we can share this with others. If you would like to learn more and get involved about the Watch and Learn: Shadowing Program, visit the intranet.

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