Sunday, October 13, 2013

Shadowed in the ED!

On Friday afternoon / evening I shadowed in the emergency department at one of the hospitals in the area. While it was (according to the resident I was shadowing) one of the slower nights in a while, it was still pretty awesome to me. Best thing I learned all night - I am definitely still VERY interested in Emergency Medicine. It's been a loooong time since I set foot in an emergency room (without arriving in an ambulance), and it was just what I needed to help stay motivated this semester.

I did the shadowing as part of an elective course (that's right - I get to shadow FOR CREDIT. In the emergency department!) that consists of three, 4-hour shadowing ops. All I have to do for each one is write a one-page summary of an interesting case for each shadowing session. In the meantime, I get to gain some exposure to the various emergency departments and physicians in the area.

The... highlights... (not sure if that's the best term, given the context, but anyway) from Friday included:

-  A seriously inebriated (BAC = 0.38) patient who threatened the life of a pregnant resident physician.

-  Getting to watch a fourth year med student do his first lumbar puncture (seriously can't believe that'll be ME in two years), getting it right with stunning success on the first try.

- A middle-aged hypertensive patient who had some crazy swings in consciousness (incredibly lethargic and hardly responsive at all one minute, then alert and oriented the next) who ended up going home after a CT and LP showed absolutely nothing wrong...?

-  A patient with a brain infection, kidney stones, and hallucinations (talking to deceased relatives).

It was a great night overall. Even though I'm not allowed to do anything (nor should I be, since there's nothing I know how to do other than take blood pressure and do general examinations to minimal effect), I liked it so much that I didn't really want to leave at the end of an (ahem!) slightly extended stay. But, the physician's shift was ending, so it was time to skedaddle.

This week is going to be packed, and it's only one week till the Musculoskeletal Domain exam. You know, how bones, cartilage, and muscles work; tumors in bones, cartilage, muscles; and diseases of bones, cartilage, and muscle... Yeah, you get the drift. We only have two weeks total to learn this material, and I don't exactly feel like I'm halfway there at the moment. I plan on getting a good night's sleep tonight so I can hit the ground running this week. Note: "hit the ground running" = "severely deprive myself of sleep for the next seven days."


1 comment:

Susan said...

You can do it, Justin. Seen you do similar feats :)

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