During Orientation Week, we got a tour of the hospital and general rules in Health Academy. We had speakers talk about security, conduct in the operating room, and a run down of what was expected of us in the classroom. My least favorite part was getting our TB shots.
I went to the Burn Unit my first day and it was awful. I got shown the room that super hot and it was FLAMING. There was a big open space that looked like a community shower but had a surgical table. Above it was a hose where doctors, if need be, could spray off the dead skin. There was nothing to do other than that and all of the patients were all ready tended to; however, I got to go to the SICU, the surgical intensive care unit, which was a lot better than burns. I learned a lot about the post-op aspect. The RN that was showing me around had two patients to take care, so he was pretty busy. I saw a patient's chart and an x-ray she got earlier that day which was pretty tight.
The second day I went back to burns and it was soooooo much better. Two patients had the disease necrotizing fasciitis, commonly known as the flesh eating virus. One patient had it from her foot to the top of her knee cap and it had to be removed, but there was so much on her leg that the surgeon had to completely remove her leg. The other patient had it on his groin and it wasn't completely covered because it was in such an awkward place that the surgeon couldn't staple or sew it shut. The RN's had to change the dressing over his wound and when one chick pulled out the gauze the puss was creamy and highlighter green. IT WAS FREAKIN SICKKKKKK! One girl almost passed out because she had to hold his "groin area" back with her hands. My second day was pretty sweet.
I went to the Cardiac unit in 4 SE. It was pretty cool because everything had to do with the heart which I found was really interesting. One patient had to get his heart restarted because he had a flutter. He got sent to the Electrophysiology Lab and attached a sticky pad to the front and back of his chest. Once they "recharged" his heart his normal pace maker for his body would take over and he wouldn't have a flutter anymore. The procedure was pretty quick.
From when they gave him to the anesthesia to when he was in the recovery room took five minutes. When they shocked him, his whole chest came off of the bed and in the air. It was pretty cool. I didn't get to see a lot of anything else. I did learn how to chart using Soarian and MAK which are two online charting systems. Overall it was a good experience.
I was in the Neuro Critical Care Unit this week and it was extremely interesting. I got to see an angiogram which is a medical imaging technique used to visualize the inside, or lumen , of blood vessels and organs of the body, with particular interest in the arteries , veins and the heart chambers . This is traditionally done by injecting a radio-opaque contrast agent into the blood vessel and imaging using X-ray based techniques such as fluoroscopy . The procedure was only a diagnostic so nothing was performed. The patient had an an aneurysm in her brain that had all ready been repaired, but needed to be permanently "blocked" using coils. Its hard to explain but the basic idea is to go in and stop up the aneurysm by filling it with coils to stop the blood from swirling into the pocket. An aneurysm is a "bubble" so to speak attached to the side of a vein that isn't supposed to be there. When the blood flows to the vessel with the aneurysm it swirls around in the "bubble" and is released back into the vessel which creates blood clots leading to strokes.
When the doctor performed the procedure he took a catheter tube through her right femur and followed her aorta all the way to the left side of her brain. I got to see it all on a monitor and the other computer showed 3-D pictures of it. After the pictures were taken the doctor came back to the computer and evaluated where he needed to put the rest of the coiling. I learned a lot, but specifically about aneurysms and it made me think about being a neurologist or a technician in neurology.
I went to the Lab at St. Joe's and it was an amazing experience. I learned about blood, machines and all of the technology they use there. I got to make a slide with blood and urine on it and look at it under a microscope. Along with the lab St. Joe's has the pathology unit where they dissect specific organs. I got to see a colon with a cancerous tumor. I also got to see a uterus, a placenta and a baby fetus that died earlier this month. It was really sad, but also interesting because I got to hold everything expect the baby. I learned that when infants die physicians find more of what happened by testing the fluid and looking at the placenta as opposed to looking at the fetus itself.
I also got to test what blood type a newborn was which was O+ and that is the most common. I learned all about antibodies and antigenes. I also saw the blood bank and where they keep plasm and platelettes. The lab also keeps a bag of platelettes on hand and it is constanstly moving on a scale looking thing because platelettes clot very easily so they always have to be moving.
I absolutely loved the Lab because I think working with blood is pretty cool and disecting dead body parts is awesome. I am seriously considering a career in pathology.
This week I went to General Surgery which is the same as the OR. It was FREAKING AWESOME! I got to change into scrubs which are surprisingly comfortable. I saw three surgeries. Two were knee repairs and the other was an oral procedure. The first knee repair I saw was an ACL arthoscopy surgery. It was very interesting to me because that is the exact same surgery I had when I tore my ACL. I was right by the knee and got to see the surgeon manuever through the knee with the scope. My favorite part was when he used a tendon ripper to take the hamstring graft out and sew it all together. I wasn't able to stay and watch him put the graft in, but everything before that was so exciting to watch. I saw two other surgeries, but they weren't as exciting as the first knee repair.
I went to the Cath Lab my first which was a good experience. There was one procedure where a pace maker was put into the patient's body. It was pretty quick because there is no anesthesia and the surgeon had done multiple procedures like that one. I didn't get to see it close up because there was radiology and the doctors didn't want me to get exposed to the radiation; however, I sat behind the glass screen and learned how to operate the computers and learned all about what their functions were.
The second day I went to the NICU because there was nothing going on in the Cath Lab. I absolutely LOVED the NICU. I almost fell asleep because its warm, dim, and quiet so the babies are content. I absolutely adore infants so being in the NICU made my week! I got a tour of the floor and I really liked it because it was all secluded and away from the rest of the hospital. My favorite unit by far!
I went to the Radiology unit this week and it was all right. Day 1 was very slow and there was'nt much going on so I got a lecture on what machines and instruments they used and how they all function. Day 2 was better. I got to see a barium swallow which was pretty cool to watch. I also got to see a lot of CT scans and the tech there explained everything so well to me that I practically know how to read a CT scan of the brain now! Even though it wasn't as exciting as other rotations, I learned so much information about the modern technology used for scans.
ER was awesome. I met a lot of different people in the unit because there are different types of cases that call for all different types of doctors. I got to personally talk to the orthopaedic surgeons and see what their jobs are. I was so excited to talk to them and see what they did. The people I followed around were very informative and willing to let me see everything. I had a great experience in the ER.
I went to the Coronary ICU and it was extremely boring. Majority of the patients there need surgery so they get checked in, prepped for surgery and then get the procedure and get sent back to the unit. They still need care, but once they are done with the procedure they go to the floor or off to a different unit. It wasn't exciting and I didn't like it at all.
I went to 8SW at St. Francis and it was a good rotation. I learned a lot terminology and health care wise, but I didn't get to see anything exciting. The floor has a lot of older patients and physicians are coming and going a lot through this unit which was cool to see because there were so many different physician occupations. I met energetic and professional people there which made my experience worth while.
I went to the 6 East unit at St. Joe's and it was very uneventful. Most of the patients there had diabetes and pneumonia. It was common that they were over weight as well which didn't help with their diabetes. It was very uneventful, but the nurse that I followed was personable and informational.
For rotation 13 I went to rehab. It was very interesting to watch why rehab was so important. I followed a physical therapist and she had an aide with her because with some patients it takes two people. Also, to properly fill out paper work they need to have two different therapists. Since I want to be an orthopaedic surgeon I will definitely be dealing with a lot of physical therapists to keep my patients healthy for the rest of their lives. I had a great experinece with the rehab employees and learned what it takes to be a beneficial therapist.
For week 14, I went to the OR which was absolutely amazing. I got to see a patient's liver, gallbladder, and intestines in one of the procedures. The patient knew he had cancer and was only treating it with chemo, but the surgeon was going in to make sure that it had not spread to the rest of his body. If so he had no business operating on the patient. If the cancer was centralized in just the liver the surgeon was going to have to take out all of the tumors and traces of cancer in the patient's body. The surgeon found a nodule and took a biopsy of the liver. Unfortunately the surgeon never figured out if the cancer had spread or not, so he resorted to suturing up the patient and the patient would have to do chemo until the cancer could be determined.
The second day I saw an open heart surgery!! It was amazing. The patient needed a triple bypass and one of the stints was taken from the patient's leg and I don't know where the other two were from. I stayed to watch the whole surgery and it was one of the best experiences I've ever endured. The surgeon was very concise and patient when tearing through the skin.
I went to the PICU and it was very uneventful. As always there is a lot more action and I wish I would've seen what happened in the morning. There was a 5-month old baby that my nurse was in charge of. He had a number of problems, but the most noticable was jaundice and he also had MERSA. Other than that I didn't do anything and sat for an hour to my med term.
I went to the NICU for my last rotation and as always it was one of my favorites. Being around babies give me a sense of joy and peace no matter their condition. I learned a lot about premies and the extra care it takes to keep them healthy.