Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sex, Teasing and Adhesive Tape

Gosh, what a morning. I felt like I was making dumb mistakes. The day started out with me misaligning the tube and the bucky. Dosing the patient and not getting the image. And later when trying to comp exams, while my positioning was competent, my confidence was shaken.

I was able to pull out it though, by virtue of the sheer volume of exams. I think I was personally involved with twenty exams. So it was very busy. I like that because the day flew by.

Today I had experience which I'll relay here. I was doing a spine series consisting of cervical and lumbar exams. The patient was a female of advanced years. I noted when I checked her condition that her skin was extremely brittle. I took care then, when a tech asked me to immobilize her arms with tape, not to stress her skin. I put tape on the clothing. The difficult thing was that we didn't get a diagnostic image the first two times due to osteopenia.

So another tech came in. She was very brisk and put the tape directly on the patient's skin. -- The first thing I learned in nursing class was not to put tape on the skin of the elderly-- I removed the tape after the exam with great care. The tech had put tape directly on a shoulder abrasion. It was like pulling tape from paper. Ouch.

I was very upset by the experience. But I felt that I couldn't go to the female tech about it. Why? Because I'm not by nature confrontational. Also, I'm a first year Ratec student. For me to talk about it wouldn't wash. I felt voiceless and frustrated.

I will however, bring it up with the clinical instructor. I need to know how to deal with situations like this. I also need to know what my responsibility is when I see something like that.

In other news:

Teasing is a double edged instrument of bluntness. One side can be fun – the other side of teasing can be hurtful and/or harmful and I've seen it get people fired.

At lunch, my fellow RT students were taking about the Christmas party. One of the women asked, “Is anyone going to the party.” I said, “I'll go if you go,” Meaning “Y'all” in the group. One of the men said, “Oh, he's asked Loren out.” Everyone laughed but me. I attempted to clarify. I did not intend for it to sound that way. I didn't mean it that way. Moreover, I said, teasing of this nature has no place in a healthy work environment. I had to pull the man aside and explain how I was affected.

We need to ask, Is what I'm doing going to build a strong working relationship. If the answer is not an unequivocal “Yes,” than we need to reevaluate what we're doing. If it's not appropriate: don't do it; don't think it. Anything a romantic or sexual nature, that is unwelcome, is poison to the coworker experience.

I enjoy teasing, But I don't take teasing well so I've tried to reduce that amount that I do. This was good for me to see how it feels.

To close on an upbeat note: I've been dong very well in comps. I've got four times the minimum.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

That Boy's Allright.

I know it's been a while since my last post. Things have been moving a fast pace. I've been trying to work during the program and while it's doable, it's not that fun.

I had a practical exam on Monday on shoulders and the lower extremities. I seemed to do well on it. I was shown a radiograph. And it was my job to say which exam it was. I then did my best to demonstrate my ability to position each of them. I did a grashey, bilateral ac joints and medial oblique foot. I also was told to identify anatomy from a radiograph. I breezed through that portion.

Lately I've been doing clinical in the ortho department at my placement hospital. What a blast! Ortho really is a fantastic place for beginning students because all the exams are requests for the extremities. I was able to get ten comps during my brief time there. The minimum for the quarter is four.