The first week of Health Academy was quite interesting. I did not know what the expect andwas a bit nervous, but Mrs. Hang made us all feel welcomed. We had a nice tour around both St. Francis and St. Joseph hospitals. Severalindividuals involved in the Health Academy camein to welcome and inform us on the expectations in which we needed to fulfill. Officer Dickinformed us on where we were to park everydayand how to get ahold of security in any situation.Lastly, a surgeon showed us how to “scrub in” for whenever we go on rotation in the operating room.
My first day in the CICU was very interesting. I was able toobtain information on why each patient was in the CICU and howthe nurses took care of them. I followed a nurse who was caringfor a 31-year-old woman diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. She hasnot been able to move any part of her body nor could she speak. The second day of my rotation I was able to feed and givemedicine to the patient through a feeding tube attached to herstomach, take her temperature, and record her bloodpressure/pulse. I also had the opportunity to watch a physicaltherapist work with her which was very fascinating because eventhough the patient could not speak, she was able to smile at thefact that she is slowly improving. Another thing that I had theopportunity to gain knowledge on was dialysis. There was apatient in there who was being treated for her kidney failurewith a method known as hemo-dialysis. I learned that in hemo-dialysis, your blood flows through a tube that removes toxins andfluids. the clean blood is then put back into your body. The twomajor causes of dialysis are hypertension and diabetes. Patiencemust go to treatment three times a week.
My rotation in the operating room wasintense! I loved every minute of it. The firstday I watched a lady get colon resectionsurgery. There was a section in her abdomenthat looked like a tumor which they had toremove. It was quite gruesome, but surprisinglyI was able to handle it. The tools used insurgery look quite intimidating, there was onethat I found especially interesting. It was adouble-staple gun that cuts into the tissue andseals each end of the split tissue to stop thebleeding. The second day, I observed a hip surgery.The patient had an infection in his hip from thehip replacement he had about ten years ago.Everything I saw looked so unreal. The way thedoctors handle the tools and body parts wasinteresting. In the operating room during thehip surgery, the doctors had rock music playingloudly, which made me a little morecomfortable. Overall, I had an amazing time inthe OR.
For my 9th rotation, I went to the NICU. I have beenlooking forward to it for a long time so it was a really niceexperience. I love how the NICU is like another worldseparated from the hospital. The nurses were very welcomingand nice to me. The first day I followed a lady named Donnawho had 3 patients. Two of her patients were twins who were3-4lbs and about two months old. I got to hold one of thebabies for a while and he was adorable. I also helped bottlebreast milk. The second day I followed a nurse named Heather. Shegave me a nice tour of the unit. She had two pairs of twins whoshe had been working with for the day. Two of her twins werelittle girls who were only about 2lbs. They were born at24 weeks so they were in critical care. The other twins wereonly about a week old and were almost 4lbs. I really liked thisunit and would like to come back to visit so that I could seehow much the babies have grown and improved on theirhealth.
For my 10th rotation, I went into the burn unit. I was reallynervous because I was not sure if I could handle seeing all thenasty burns on people. For the first day I did not really follow aperson, but I sat and watched a power point about burns andburn management. The pictures on the power point made mewant to vomit - It was definitely not a good time. But then Ishadowed a nurse named Trish while she dressed a patient. Thepatient was a man who got into a farming accident with amachine. He had fallen and got wound up in the propellers of amachine(I think). His left arm was wound up in the electric wiresand the whole left side of his stomach had second and thirddegree burns. Both of his legs also had burns on them. Thedoctors had to cut off his left arm because it was so stretchedout. To cover up his burns on his stomach, they used cadaverdissection. This was pretty gross to see. The second day, Ifollowed a nurse named Emily, and she had been taking care ofthe same patient who I saw the day before. Her other patienthad an infection on his right leg which looked disgusting.. but Idid not get to see much.
For my 12th rotation, I went into the NCCU.The first day was not very interesting. I followed anurse who had one patient who had a stroke, but shewas being taken to get tests done when I got there.Another one of her patients was very critically ill andhad just been back from surgery so he was sleepingmost of the time. I really liked the second day of myrotation, although it was on a Saturday. I expected ittoo be really slow and boring but my nurse, Lisa, wasawesome. Her patient had been in there overnightbecause of stroke-like symptoms. After a variety oftests were done, they found out that she had twobrain tumors. This lady had a history of breastcancer. When the doctor came in to tell thefamily, he had said that the brain tumors lookedmore like cysts formed on the surface of thebrain, which would be easier to remove since it isnot dug into her brain. I felt so bad for the family.We then took her to get a CT scan which woulddetermine whether she would be able to havesurgery to remove the tumors or not. Overall, Ireally liked my second day in the NCCU.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)Under the direction of a physician or registered nurse, licensed practical nurses care for those who are sick, disabled, or injured. In order to be an LPN, one must complete a State-approved training program in practical nursing to be qualified for licensure. A high school diploma is required for entry, although some programs are part of a high school curriculum. An exam known as The National Council Licensure Examination is required in order to obtain licensure as an LPN. One would need to be observant, emotionally stable, sympathetic, and have good decision making and communicating skills. Physical Therapist Assistant Physical Therapist Assistants work under the physical therapist, helping them provide treatment to improve patients’ mobility, treat physical disabilities, and relieve pain. They also assist in providing exercise instructions, therapeutic methods such as mechanical traction and ultrasound, massage, and gait and balance training. Most clinics require one to have a high school diploma. Assistants are trained on the job and most employer provide clinical on-the-job training. Having hands-on clinical experience is vital in being an assistant. In most states, an associates degree is also required to become an assistant. Physical Therapist Assistants have to be well organized, detail oriented, and caring.
Physician’s Assistant Physician’s assistants practice under the direction of physicians and surgeons. They are trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services as directed by physicians. Physician assistants must have experience as a registered nurse, emergency medical technician, and paramedics. They should also have a desire to serve patients and be self-motivated. One must also have a good bedside manner, emotional stability, and the ability to make decisions in emergencies. PsychologistPsychologists study the mental process and behaviors of humans and animals. They do this by looking for patterns that will help them understand and predict behavior. Psychologists often use scientific methods, ethics, or procedures to test their philosophies. A doctoral degree is required for individual practice as a psychologist. Psychologists with a Ph.D. or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) qualify for a wide range of teaching, research, clinical, and counseling positions. Important qualities would be sensitivity, compassion, and the ability to lead and inspire others. AnesthesiologyAnesthesiologists are physicians who care for surgical patients and pain relief. This long term career requires completion of a premedical program at an accredited college or university, a bachelor’s degree, and a certificate from the American Society of Anesthesiologist or the American Board of Anesthesiology. Those who would like to become a physician must be able to serve patients, self-motivated, and capable of surviving long hours of education and training.
After High School I plan to continue school at KU or here at WSU. I hope to major in pre-medicine, but right now I am still undecided. After college I would like to start a career somewhere in the west coast. Health Academy has opened my eyes to many of the possibilities inhealthcare. I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to be in such a great program. Through each rotation, lecture, and research project I have gained more knowledge than I would ever imagine. This class has showed me many things that I did not think I would ever be able to experience. I can truly say that I will miss this class next semester. Thank you Mrs. Hang for giving us all a great experience!