Rachel White St. Gianna Health Academy My experience at
Orientation Week <ul><li>My first week attending St. Gianna Health Academy was very interesting. I had been told by the previous seniors that Health Academy was a great program and that if I am at all interested, to definitely get involved. After much instruction from Mrs. Clarke-Hang and other presentations fraom various speakers, I understood the program and was eager to begin rotations. </li></ul>
<ul><li>BLOG 1: PICU </li></ul><ul><li>Being in the PICU was very interesting. I got the opportunity to follow a charge nurse, who's patient was suffering from gun shot wounds. The patient's story was very shocking. I feel blessed and am amazed with the help the nurses provided for this family. They are true heroes. I watched my nurse help the patient with their output, which caught me off guard but still was educating. The patient seemed in a daze, but overall, was healing nicely. They had a chest tube inserted into their right lung to help with the drainage of what they thought, was probable blood. The second day I was there, the chest tube had been removed - a sign of improvement. They also had a tube inserted down their throat, to assist the breathing. The patient was responsive and doing well, the nurses expect them to be out of the ICU in less than a week. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>BLOG 2: NICU </li></ul><ul><li>NICU was absolutely awesome. The nurse I had was awesome and I would recommend her to any health academy student. She was very welcoming, helpful with questions and very educating. I was priveledged to see 27 week old twins. They were born right when I got into the unit, which was super intense and hectic. It was so crazy but I loved every minute of it. The nurses were right there, keeping me posted and telling me everything they were doing as they were helping these twins. The first one was 2 pounds 8 ounces. Suuuuper cute and small. I could not believe the size of their feet. I was amazed at the organized chaos. There were about 5 nurses to each twin, but they knew exactly who did what, and how to get it done the quickest. I also was given a tour of the NICU, the OR in the NICU, the Respiratory rooms, and parts of Labor and Delivery. It was pretty awesome to learn about the way the units are connected and how the NICU relies on Labor and Delivery. I really enjoyed how my nurse did not just focus on the positives of nursing at the NICU, she told me both sides. She stressed the fact that in order to work in the NICU or in health in general, you cannot just work for the salary. You must have a passion for good of others, to truly want to help them; that is what makes it count. I was inspired by her, for she really did have a love for her job and I am pretty sure it rubbed off on me. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Post-Rotation Blogs #1&2
Post-Rotation Blogs #3 <ul><li>BLOG 3: BURN UNIT </li></ul><ul><li>I went to the Burn Unit for my week 3 rotation. I was very excited to go to this unit before because I heard it was one of the most intense and graphic - which really captures my attention. When I got there, they sat me down and showed me what they called, "The Burn Book." All patients and families see it, along with academy or college students. It was packed full with information about all the stages of burns, how you get them, what they look like, how long it takes to heal, how to help it heal, skin graphing, etc. The way it was organized was perfect, because I breezed through the +50 page book and obtained a lot of the information. I felt like I obtained a lot of information from just reading the booklet which surprised me. After that, I saw a man get his bronchus checked out (by a tube going down his throat with a camera on the end- which was super interesting). He had no outside physical burns, but he had inhaled chemicals with burned his lungs. My nurses then gave me the option of accompanying them to clean one of their patients burns. The patient had a rubbing burn under their stomach in their groin area. They said that it was optional and that if I wanted to just check it out then leave, it was fine. Most of their college students leave immediately, they said, because the burn is pretty disturbing. I was interested so I decided to follow them and check it out. Once they gave the patient their painkillers and meds, the rest of the cleaning was pretty hilarious. The patient yelled the most random things and told the most random stories, some inappropriate but not offensive. The burn was serious and about the size of my head. It was a red and yellow color, which as gross as the patient's comparison to a strawberry banana smoothie is, it was pretty accurate to the injury. I ended up staying through the entire procedure, even through the profanities and the site of the burn. </li></ul>
Post-Rotation Blogs #4 <ul><li>BLOG 4: CTICU & CICU </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 4, I went to the CTICU and the CICU. The first day, at the CTICU, I was shown an elderly woman getting a CT scan. The CT scan was examining her head, to make sure she did not have a hemotoma, or blood that had escaped from the vessels in her brain. When the results came back, she thankfully did not have anything wrong with her brain or head. This was very interesting because I also had recieved a CT scan in the past for having possible appendicitis. The second day, when I was in the CICU,She kept me on my feet the whole time. I felt like I really was a nurse for the day. She was the charge nurse, so I followed and watched as she talked to the other nurses, checked up on them, and instructed them. I also helped her clean rooms and watched her help patients. She explained to me the procedure patients go through to get a bath and how getting a bath every day is crucial to a patient's well-being. Towards the end of my rotation, another patient was transfered to the CICU. I helped the other nurses get room 6 ready for the patient. The patient was an ederly woman and while she was getting her bronchioles looked at, they ran into a problem and she started coughing up blood. I watched as my nurse and several other nurses, helped her. They began to drain her lungs immediately, which was quite bloody and it was a lot more blood than I was expecting. They also undressed her very quickly because during the procedure, she unknowingly wet the bed. Once the woman was attached to a ventilator, things began to run more smoothly. I was glad I could experience that. It was pretty cool to know what she meant when she said bronchioles, because I had previously seen a bronchiole sweeping or cleaning in the burn unit, so I knew the exact procedure they were talking about. </li></ul>
Post-Rotation Blogs #5 <ul><li>BLOG 5: NCCU </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 5, I went to the NCCU. This has been definitely the most interesting unit so far. Right when I got to the unit, I was immediately rushed with the nurses to the cath lab, where we were doing on a young woman to see if she had anything wrong with her brain, for they saw in her x-rays, blood in her brain. The procedure began in her thy, where they made a small incision to access a big artery, which they said was one of the safest ways to enter, and they stuck these small strings, like wires, through her arteries. They managed to fish this wire all the way up, past her bellybutton, past her heart, then up into her brain. I was priveledged to see her during the procedure and also see the x-ray imaging behind the screen. She was also awake during the entire procedure. The x-ray imaging was awesome. I didn't even know x-rays could be seen like a movie, I was watching the woman's skeleton talk, and move, and everything. I kind of felt that I was watching a scary movie. The best part was when the physicians flushed her body with dye, so the arteries would appear in the x-ray. It looked like a black and white painting. At the very end, they made a 3D model of the arteries in her brain to discover an aneurysm. She was later rushed into surgery. (and she's recovering!) </li></ul><ul><li>The second day I followed a nurse that I really enjoyed. She was very calm and patient with my questions. I really enjoyed following her because she gave good medical advice and also good college advice. She showed me her day-to-day care she provides for her patients. She also walked me through the care they give to patients that are on life support, and I was almost able to witness a patient get taken off life-support. He was no longer responsive. It was very sad but the family agreed it was time for him to go. Even though it was very heartbreaking, I still was very glad I witnessed it. I even watched the pastor talk to the friends and family. It was an amazing experience and I definitely think I could possibly have a future career in the NCCU. </li></ul>
Post-Rotation Blogs #6 <ul><li>BLOG 6: LAB </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 6, I went to the laboratory. I was priveledged to follow a nurse who I had met previously. She was very helpful and treated me like a daughter. I felt very welcome. She took me around units, like the CICU, to obtain blood from patients to bring to the lab to test for various diseases. After that, I was taken to the Pathology Lab, where I followed a different nurse. She was very helpful in her explanations. The first things I got to see were fibroids and a woman's breast. The fibroids have an unknown cause but may interfere with pregnancy. They aren't extremely serious, but if a woman wants to concieve, she would first have the procedure (in her best interest). The breast tested positive for breast cancer. The breast was dyed in various sections. It looked rainbow when finished. Then it was cut into sections, like one would cut a vegetable, like a carrot for example. Then once it was sliced, we examined each individual slice and that is when the cancerous tumor was detected. It appeared as a white-ish bump, clearly distiguishable from the yellow fatty material which is normal. The second day, I was taught the basics of the lab. I was shown how they extract blood, put it through a machine which calculates the count of cells and all of the properties (determines positivity or negativity), and then how samples are made where the nurses can observe the cells through a microscope and determine the patient's disease. I saw pictures of specific types of cells, like lymphs, and how their appearance determines the disease. I then went to Pathology again to follow the same nurse. This time, there was a prostate gland and a testes to examine. I got to see a doctor examin and cut apart all the pieces of the testes. His explantation during the examination was very helpful and taught me a lot. There was a tumor growing inside the testes, stage T1 (lower stage). I enjoyed the Lab. I must say Pathology takes a strong stomach for certain situations. It could be hard on the nose in some cases, also. </li></ul>
Post-Rotation Blogs #7&8 <ul><li>BLOG 7: GENERAL SURGERY </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 7, I went to General Surgery. I got to follow multiple nurses, which was nice because it kept things interesting and there was never a waiting around, boring moment. I followed several RN's as they treated post-surgery patients. There was a man who's head was hit by a metal rod. He had surgery on his head for he had internal brain bleeding. He was kind of dilusional but he began to regain his memory and recognize his daughters. I learned how the nurses access their medicine and the scan and check system when giving it to patients. I really enjoyed the unit, it took a lot of care though. The patients were all in a lot of pain. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>BLOG 8: CATH LAB </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 8, I went to the Heart Cath Lab. It was pretty cool. Right when I got there I watched an old woman get her heart shocked. I didn't know what to expect but it was kind of scary when it actually happened. It looked really painful and even before she was sedated, she was moaning in pain. She had a lot of bruises also. When she was shocked, the doctor held a box of gloves over her heart and held her down. She literally bounced and flew up off the bed. It was pretty intense and was nothing I expected. When I told my fellow health academy friends, I said it was like they needed an exorcist- that's how scary it was the first time. They shocked her heart 8 times, 5 times more than the normal amount, and unfortunately, they were unable to shock her heart into the rhythm they wanted. I also saw a heart cath procedure. They made an incision on the patients thy and stuck the wires up her arteries to her heart and placed a stint in her artery. Inside the stint was a balloon, they inflated the balloon and pulled it out. The balloon stretched the stint, holding the artery and keeping it at the correct height and width necessary for function and to prevent any health problems. I really liked the unit and most of the nurses. I could see myself possibly working in the Cath lab. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
Post-Rotation Blogs #9 <ul><li>BLOG 9: RADIOLOGY </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 9, I spent my two days in Radiology. I was super excited to go to this unit because I've already been privledged to see a lot of the x-ray imaging and I have been really fascinated with it. I've always been attracted to black and white photos and I think that's why I enjoy watching the x-rays and looking at the pictures. The first day I got to watch a speech pathologist feed a man- who was very uncooperative unfortunately- food such as yoghurt, honey, graham crackers, milk, and pills. They watched his swallowing through x-ray imaging to make sure he was not aspirating- meaning the food wasn't going "down the wrong pipe" as we call it, or into his lungs. The woman was an astonishing age of 102. I was impressed, for she didn't look that old at all. We watched her swallowing, also. It was a little bit hard for her, and she spit up a few times but the aspirating was not as bad as the nurses and Radiologist expected. The second day, I got to watch some CT scans and CAT scans. They were both interesting but very complex. I was happy to witness a CT scan because my dad had previously had one performed on him. I think Radiology is definitely a possible future career. I'm very happy this program is giving me the opportunity to discover careers I would have never considered- until now. </li></ul>
Post-Rotation Blogs #10 <ul><li>BLOG 10: CICU </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 10, I went to the CICU at St. Joseph. I really enjoyed this unit. I think I liked it so much because the nurses were really laid back and didn't act so intense all the time. I was really happy to see this because I don't think the medical field would be for me if everything was so hectic all the time. They handled emergency situations perfectly and made everything organized and under control. The charge nurse that told me everything about the unit and everything about being a charge nurse was really cool. He explained to me the importance of being a charge nurse and how the unit's function depends on them. It made a lot of sense and it also helped me better understand all of the other units also. The second day, I followed a different nurse. She was really sweet and she said she followed in that exact unit when she was a student and it was one of her favorites. She had two patients. The most interesting, to me, was a patient who had diabetes and really really high blood pressure. They also took a urine sample and they had a large amount of marijuana in their system. The patient wasn't taking prescriptions and wasn't checking blood pressure frequently like they were supposed to. I definitely think I could possibly work in a unit similar to this... especially if the nurses are as cool and calm as they were in this one. </li></ul>
Post-Rotation Blogs #11&12 <ul><li>BLOG 11: EMERGENCY ROOM </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 11, I went to the Emergency Room. I enjoyed this unit way more than the other units. I was busy and crazy almost all the time, however, it was organized chaos. The first day I followed an Emergency Tech and she showed me a basic day in the ER. She showed me how she helped patients and cleaned rooms. The second day, I probably saw one of the coolest things in my entire life. I had the opportunity to go into trauma, it was only a level 2, not a level 1, however, the injury was still very serious. The patient's leg was badly injured and there was a possibility for amputation. The doctors got me right next to the injury and allowed me to see everything! I really enjoyed my nurse, she made sure I got a solid day in Health Academy on rotation. I definitely think I could see myself working in Trauma. It was so awesome. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>BLOG 12: CICU </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 12, I went to the CICU. At first, there wasn't much for me to see. A lot of it was me glued to a desk watching the nurses chart. I really enjoyed the nurses, they were very nice and welcoming. They said mornings would be better for students, also. One of my nurses showed me their patient in critical care. He could not keep a steady blood pressure and had a heart cath done. He was also hooked up to a heart pump, which worked to keep his heart rate regular. It wasn't working correctly, according to the nurse, because the pump was having a hard time catching his heart rate considering it was so irregular. I think the CICU would have been more interesting if I would have been there at a better time. </li></ul>
Post-Rotation Blogs #13&14 <ul><li>BLOG 13: 8SOUTHWEST </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 13, I went to the nurse station at 8 Southwest. It was alright for the most part. It was pretty basic nursing. I watched my nurses check up on patients and chart. The best part of the rotation were the patients I got to see. There was a woman who was severely depressed. She abused drugs and attempted suicide. My nurse said there's a high possibility she's just trying to die. Another patient I saw was obese. He was very interesting and kind of silly. He kept hitting on my nurse, too. So that was definitely the highlight of my rotation. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>BLOG 14: 6EAST </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 14, I went to the nurses station at 6 East. The rotation was interesting and I enjoyed my nurses patients. My nurse was very upbeat and hanlded situations very well. The first day, there was a woman who was very sick and could barely walk. She was coughing terribly and her lungs were very bad, according to my nurse. When the woman decided she wanted a ciggarette, she stood up, grabbed her walker, and walked out of her room about 20 feet all on her own. I was very impressed. My nurse caught her and asked her to turn around. The patient was very upset and told her she was going home. She was getting out of this place and smoking a ciggarette. My nurse explained to her that she cannot get better if she leaves and that the nurses are there to help her. She managed to convince the patient to go back and she did it very well. The patient was then cooperative. I enjoyed the unit, the patients made it very interesting. </li></ul>
Post-Rotation Blogs #15 <ul><li>BLOG 15: Rehab </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 15, I went to Rehab. I enjoyed this unit because my father is also undergoing rehabilitation. He attends classes weekly and I was eager to see what he was experiencing. My nurses took me to various units, showing me patients and how they adapted to each patient with various exercises to help strengthen them. They work to help make patients become more independent. Some of the patients I felt badly for, they did not look like they had a promising future, physically. I could tell that even the littlest things the PT's, OT's and Speech Pathologists did, helped make a difference and increased the number of things they could do on their own, even if it was a slight increase, it was a big difference to the patient. I enjoyed this unit and was glad I recieved a better understanding of what my father must be going through. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>BLOG 16: OR </li></ul><ul><li>For week rotation 16, I was privileged to go to the Operating Room. I had written all my papers over being a Surgeon so OR was the unit I was mostly looking forward to. When I got there, I was immediately scrubbing in into an open heart surgery. It was amazing. The Anesthesiologists standing behind me told me how lucky I was that I got to see that. It was the first one they had ever seen and he said they hardly ever get them at that hospital. The patient had an aneurism that carried from their heart all the way into their groin area. It traveled a long way. They had to surgically repair the aortic valve. I watched them graph the valve. it was pretty intense and I stood right over the body. There was a lot of blood and it was a lot to see, but I could handle it and I am thankful I got to see it. </li></ul>
Thank You Letters to my wonderful mentors - <ul><li>hand-crafted: </li></ul>
Thank You Letters <ul><li>hand-crafted: </li></ul>
Thank You Letters <ul><li>professional: </li></ul>
Thank You Letters <ul><li>professional: </li></ul>
5 Career Choices Radiologic Technician Working with machinery and producing pictures of bones has always interested me since my first personal x ray. I tore my hamstring my freshman year in high school while I was cheerleading and I was so intrigued to see the actual picture of what the doctor had described to me. I felt so much more comfortable seeing my actual injury, not an illustration or a simple verbal explanation. Physical Therapist Being an assistant physical therapist interests me because it is a simple way to help others. After growing up as an athlete, I understand the need for physical therapy and appreciate the work they do. It is interesting to me because if I were to become an assistant PT, I would be helping patients just like myself. Obstetrician/Gynecologists Nothing compares to the beauty that follows after a newborn baby. Happiness is seen on every person’s face. A new life has been brought into the world. This is the reason I am interested in becoming a Obstetrician/Gynecologists because they have the privilege to see this miracle happen daily. Respiratory Therapist When I was around 8 years old, I was diagnosed with asthma. As a child, doing sports was the only time when using my inhaler was necessary, unless I had a a cold. After having to go to the hospital for asthma, I would appreciate helping others with the same problem.
5 Career Choices Surgeon Surgery appealed to me because whenever someone talks about a Surgeon, they act like it is this occupation that they definitely could not handle and wonder how Surgeons actually do handle their job. I always considered myself one of those people until I got to experience it for myself. I began to grow more interested and developed a passion to know more about the occupation. The more I learn, the more I begin to believe that it is an occupation I could accomplish and pursue. Patients put their put their life in the surgeon’s hands and they have the skill and knowledge to save them- to be a hero. Having the ability to help someone and possibly even save their life is phenomenal and that is something I would definitely love to do.
My Future After high school, I plan to continue my education at either WSU or KU. I hope to major in either Journalism or Medicine. I would also love to study abroad. My goal is to travel and see the world.
Conclusion Now that that Health Academy has finally come to an end, I realize how much I will miss this class. Health Academy was a wonderful opportunity and I'm so blessed to be a part of it. The class made me work and, at times, was way over my head. After a lot of research and hearing from our speakers, I developed a better understanding for health care and deepened my interest in the field. I am thankful for being accepted and will miss Mrs. Clarke-Hang and my fellow Health Academians very much.