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Ruth Hommertzheim came to talk to us about the operating room when we have rotations there. She told us about putting scrubs on and where to go in each hospital for the operating room. She told us what to expect in the operating room, from doctors attitudes to surgeries, and was very funny and helpful.
Misty Marley came to talk to us about volunteer hours, and talked to us about opportunities for volunteering and how when she has the opportunities for volunteer hours she has notifications when we sign in each day.
For hand washing presentations, we got into groups of about five and got to go to local elementary schools to teach K-3 rd grade about proper hand washing and hygiene procedures. We got to get creative with how we taught the kids.
Our groups came up with a song and skit to teach the kids about proper hand washing. The children really enjoy us coming, and like singing the songs and seeing the “germs” on a fellow students hands. They also like the coloring pages we hand out.
Posted by Stephanie Kwasniak at Monday, January 25, 2010 2:42:44 PM CST
The first day in the OR at St. Joseph I watched a laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy and cystocele repair. In this kind of surgery, small incisions are made along the abdomen for a laparoscope and other tiny surgical tools, and there was a camera attached to the laparoscope, which was connected to two televisions. A laser was used to detach the uterus, while the gynecologist was controlling the robot in the back. This technology is very advanced, and for such a delicate surgery as a hysterectomy, it is very useful in that a robot provides a steady hand that a surgeon may not necessarily have had.
The cystocele repair was interesting and I have never heard of such a thing until now, but it is where the bladder starts to drop because the anterior vaginal wall looses support, causing problems such as incontinence (leaking urine when coughing, not being able to run because of leaking, etc..). A mesh-like material is used to pull the bladder up and support it so it does not sag or push into the urethra, causing the incontinence problems. I watched this surgery on the second day as well. The urologist on day one was very quiet and talked more to his physician assistant than all of the other surgical staff, where on day two the urologist was very outgoing and blasted music and made jokes with everybody. I was told by the urologist on day two that the cystocele repair patients are probably some of the happiest people after they have had their procedure. I do not think the job of being a urologist would be my passion or even my second choice, but as long as they love what they do, to each his own.
Posted by Stephanie Kwasniak at Monday, February 1, 2010 12:20:47 PM CST
On the first day of rotations I shadowed a nurse who only had two babies, one of which was born addicted because its mother took a whole slew of drugs, yet when she saw her baby she would comment and say something along the lines of "I hope he doesn't get addicted to the morphine". They give babies who are addicted morphine to help with the symptoms of withdrawal, and the only reason the poor thing was even on morphine in the NICU was because of his mother's carelessness in the first place. The other baby was fine until its mother decided she was only going to breast feed it and that formula was bad, and she was not making enough milk so it got dehydrated and had to be admitted to the NICU for that reason.
The second day of rotations there was a premature baby who was born at 23 weeks, and this one has a whole mess of problems with its organs not being fully formed since it was born so early. It had a gastrointestinal tube for feeding, it was on a ventilator, and it had an operation earlier on for its organs and there was a huge scar all across its stomach and there was some nasty gunk coming from it. There was another baby who was born at 24 weeks, and was in significantly better shape than the one born at 23 weeks. It really is amazing to see how babies can differ so greatly from one another.
Posted by Stephanie Kwasniak at Thursday, February 25, 2010 2:15:04 PM CST
We take so many things for granted, like simply walking. While in rehab, I mainly saw people who needed help with walking. It was so hard for them! I wondered how that must feel, knowing how to walk and then all of a sudden its taken away or limited. The occupational therapists and physical therapists are very dedicated and patient, which after seeing all they did I can't imagine how they stay so dedicated after all these years! Being a therapist is a very hands on experience, you get very close to the patient and work hard. I listened in on a meeting they had discussing the different types of therapy. Some interesting bits I heard was a therapy called mirror therapy, which is where there's a box the patient puts their bad hand for example in, and a mirror is attached on the outside of the box, so the unaffected hand is reflected, and the patient doesn't see their bad hand, and flips the good one and sees the reflection of it too, and apparently it has been shown that there was some movement of the bad arm because the brain thinks that arm is moving. A lot of therapy techniques have to do with mentality as well, and the patient has mental exercises where they imagine themselves moving the afflicted leg or arm.
Posted by Stephanie Kwasniak at Thursday, April 1, 2010 12:45:00 PM CDT
I was in the ER at SFC this week. The first day was pretty slow for an hour, then it picked up a bit. There was a trauma that came in, and I thought it was going to be something major. I went in the trauma OR room, and it was pretty hot in there! I asked the tech if it was so patients don't go into shock, and he said it was, because hypothermia is usually the first sign of shock. The guy that came in was working on some scaffolding and fell off. There was no blood or apparent broken bones or injuries, but he was swearing a lot and dropping the f bomb, and kept saying his butt hurt, but he didn't quite use that nice of a word. After all the doctors and staff figured out he was not seriously injured, they started laughing anytime he swore and talked. Another trauma came in a few hours later, and I went in but left after I found out it was yet another guy that fell off scaffolding. It was a great day for people to fall of scaffolding I guess. The second day, there was a girl in who rolled her car at 60 mph. She didn't act like she was in a lot of pain and she didn't look too bad considering. There was also a little boy who got into his grandma's medicine cabinet and took a bunch of her blood pressure and depression pills. There was a guy who swallowed something in prison, I'm not sure what, but they had two cops in his room.
Posted by Stephanie Kwasniak at Wednesday, April 14, 2010 12:41:28 PM CDT
This week I was in CICU. The first day I followed Terri R, who was real great. She said that we move as one, and I followed her to a code in dialysis. I was able to get some hands on experience when Terri handed me the phone to connect to another nurse to ask if she could take on this person. The person coded because she apparently aspirated all this stool that was backed up in her stomach. It was only a 13 minute code but it felt like it lasted forever. I wasn't able to see much else that day because the nurses sent me home because my blood sugar was 400. The second day I followed Paulina, and she had two patients. There wasn't much going on with those two, and she had me watch a bronch going on in another room. It was pretty interesting to see down someone's trachea. The same woman that coded the other day coded again, and I think it was because she still had stool backup and she aspirated. She ended up making it, but I guess the nurses said they lost two in dialysis last week.
I enjoyed Dr. Trolio's talk, because he told it like it was. Sure, a lot of it seemed very harsh and made me question why in the world anybody would become a dentist, but it sounds like once you get through all the troubles, it is a great profession to be in. I really liked how Dr. Trolio is very close with all of his hygienists, and they are like a huge family. That is one thing you get when you have your own practice and chose your employees, and you gain a closeness from working together so much and a big trust. I liked that he told us the relationships made in dental school last, it shows that they all survived dental school together, and I think because the schooling is so brutal the bond is strong. I guess when you think of people going to med or dental school, you think that they are in nice places and all when they are not. You have a lot of hardships to overcome with schooling alone, then put the school in the ghetto and you have to worry about robberies. What Dr. Trolio said about if you make money the number one goal in life, you will be miserable is very true, and that you need balance. What he said about self esteem and being able to control how you feel is important as well, because as a doctor or dentist having low self esteem would probably hurt not only the doctor but the patient and office morale.
Ron Shipley's lecture was over radiology. He teaches a two-year associate degree course at Newman. When I thought of radiology, I always thought that was just strictly x-rays, and CT scans and MRIs were another part of medicine. Boy, was I wrong! Radiographers can do so much, from x-rays to PET scans. They provide patient care, select the proper radiation exposure, and position patients for examination. Something else that was pretty cool was how Ron Shipley talked about film x-ray, and how that's a lot like a film camera, and its becoming obsolete now that there is digital x-ray to replace it. With digital x-ray you can adjust the voltage and ampage of the x-ray. Some of the different types of radiographic pathologies are CT scans, which uses a computer to enhance the image. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, which is superior to x-ray for looking at soft tissue around the joints. Sonography uses sound waves to monitor the patient, and its good for fetal studies in women because as far as we know, it will not hurt you any. There is nuclear medicine, which there is radioactive medicine injected into the patient, making the patient basically radioactive. There is a PET scan, which is where sugar and glucose is combined, and it is helpful in that it shows physiology, and cancer tumors. The last thing there is myocardial perfusion imaging. Radiology always sounded interesting to me, and I am glad I learned some more about it.
Dr. Crook is a family physician who's practice is Lakeview Physicians. Her lecture was my favorite so far, and I really liked the charisma she had. Dr. Crooks journey was a long and challenging one at times, but she proved you can multitask and still pass med school. She was the middle child of 6 kids, and her mother was a nurse when most women didn't work outside of the home. Dr. Crook also talked about how she learned to prescribe birth control, and at first, she did not think much of it, but later on in her career, she started having doubts about it. She went to Omaha when she was in her forties, and got new training for female health care and learned about NFP. On October 1, 2007, Dr. Crook made the important decision to change her entire career and stop prescribing birth control. She was afraid at first, because she thought she would lose many patients because of this. All those fears are gone as she has a flourishing health career. She is a very inspiring woman, and more girls should look to role models like this.
"Occupational therapy turns disability into ability". Our second speaker of the day was Clint Stucky, who teaches an occupational therapy course. He was a very fun speaker to have, and was a rather jolly fellow. He told us how occupational therapy helps those with physical disabilities like spinal cord injury and strokes or head injuries. It does not stop at physical disabilities though, they also help with psychiatric disabilities like mental illnesses and developmental problems like down syndrome. We also learned about physical therapists and what they do. I learned they get a person up and walking again, and they deal with the naval and below. Speech therapists work from the Adam's apple and up, and OT gets people to work with arms and hands, and legs and feet. There are three areas in OT, which are self care, work, and play. Mr. Stucky told us about how OTs and OT assistants work in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and homes as well.
I have toyed at the idea of becoming a veterinarian a bit, and I know the one thing that always stopped me from wanting to do it was the fact I would have to put people's pets down from time to time, which I know is really emotional and even heart wrenching just from personal experience. Dr. Greg Reichenberger was a very enjoyable speaker to have, and I am glad I got more than what I expected from his lecture. I am pleased he talked about all aspects of being a vet, from performing surgeries to giving a checkup. I liked his story about how his parents wanted him to be a doctor, but instead he wanted to be a vet, and followed his dream. When he talked about general veterinarians, I never realized that they knew so much in optometry, radiology, dentistry and neurology, but it makes a lot of sense seeing that animals may be a little less complex in their anatomy than humans. I do think that it is really cool that a general vet can do all that and have that knowledge, whereas a doctor specializes in one area of medicine.
Overall, I really enjoyed this class and learned a lot of new things in St. Gianna Health Academy. I am extremely grateful to have been in such a prestigious program, and through it all I have gained some valuable life experience, and found some things I did not expect to learn from patients and nurses along the way. It has opened my eyes to life in health care.