Friday, January 26, 2007

Oh the horror; Oh the joy!

Week of: 01/22/07

Abstract: What a mixed bag; oh the horror; oh the joy! My trauma rotation ends.

What went well: I was provided with plenty of opportunity to select techniques.

What needs work:
You ever feel like a deer in the head lights?

Mood: Discouraged yet hopeful, chatty.

How did the week go? I'm trying to be the optimist here and say, pretty good. I'm getting better at predicting what the tech needs and expects. You need to be good at dealing with strong personalities. If you wilt under pressure, then your up for some rough days, sister. I was more proactive in my own eduction by asking if I could attempt a comp of parts of many exams. Sometimes those ended in abject failure. Most of the time, they ended in a lovely learning experience.

Most of the techs treat me like an peer. Others, at times, treated me like a idiot. I still think of my self as a beginner and I tend to use that as an excuse. The techs in trauma sometimes confuse first year students with second years. Second year students have many hundreds of hours of experience. I'm getting there.

I work in the hospital fifteen hours a week. Maybe I won't know exactly how to position a T-spine, because we haven't gotten the examples. I don't take it personally though, because I know it's needful to get the exam done in a timely manner.

I want to give you a real situation. One of the techs screamed at me, “You should know what size cassette to use for a T-spine!” Her point is that I've observed the exam many times. My point is that with out covering the exam in lecture and lab, I don't have handle on doing it; I might be able to think it through, but it's not yet automatic. In retrospect, maybe I should. But it my own defense, I'm more of kinesthetic learner; I learn by doing. And I haven't done much. This week offered plenty of opportunity.

If the patient is injured grievously, than it's helpful when the nurse gives them meds. that wasn't the case when we began an exam that included every extremity possible and imaging the whole spine. The hard part was that the patient couldn't lay still because she was in so much pain. The exposure times are such that any motion causes blurring.

The patient wasn't able to objectify anything that was happening during the exam because of her dementia. I have to admit that I was wowed by her charm. She was so precious with her plaid dress and gentle child-like manner and words.

It's not realistic in this context to expect a patient to lie still and understand the situation is temporary. And it's not realistic to expect a second quarter student to always pick the right size cassette and technique. How realistic is it for me to expect a trauma tech to be patient with my learning process in an acute situation?

Not very, these people aren't trained teachers. I come from an educational background. When I'm a tech I will be honored to be part of the student process. At the same time, I'll need to step in at times and say, “Do you mind if I take over here in the interest of time. Patients are waiting.” I expect that I'll always treat students with respect. I haven't earned it yet.

I think though my expectations are high of myself and the experience. I don't come across as competent as I would like. It's an issue; how do I become more able. I am proud that I didn't wilt under pressure. I showed heart when it counted. Another cliché comes to mind: If it were easy to accomplish, would it be worth it? I'm having fun in spite of all that.

I had the experience of imaging a six hundred pound patient. Wow, talk about scatter: Nothing but a blob of white and a few suggestions of lung on the image.

Have a great week.

Goals for next week:
Ortho is Disney Land for fist year students: Six comps.
A continuation of previous weeks goals.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

No Clever headline

Week of: January 15 2007

Abstract: We end the pelvis unit and begin the spine. My clinical experience improves.

What went well: My didactic studies feel focused.

What needs work:
I'm still slightly out of sync with clinical

I enjoyed this week. I didn't fulfill my goal for two comps. But I do feel I've gotten closer to where I want to be: better familiarity with equipment and protocols; a willingness to ask questions and learn from mistakes. I continue to feel challenged by the many aspects of a successful exam. An example? I put an extremity cassette in the bucky for a foot exam.

I try to go through my mind with ideas on how to improve performance. What did I do well? What did I learn from the experience? How will I improve next time.

All this to say; I had much more fun. I'm starting to feel like the hospital is one my homes. When I relax I tend to perform better. Here's hoping that hold true for next week.

I did gain progress in two of last weeks goals: Continue to be proactive in the learning process in clinical and synthesize information from the classroom to clinical experience.

Goals for next week:
All of last weeks goals.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Week of Ice

Week of: January 8, 2007

I work in my trauma rotation. School closes for two days due to snow/extreme black ice.

What went well: Overall I'm pleased with how I'm doing in my didactic studies.

What needs work: I'm still a little off in my clinical.

What a weird week. I don't know weather to cheer or cry. Since the ice storm, I missed a clinical day. I really wanted to go, but I heeded the meteorologist's advice and stayed home. It was an excused absence, seeing how the college was closed. I'm feeling caught up in my studies, which rocks.

My one day of clinical went well. I fulfilled my goal to be more proactive in my approach and found myself becoming integral to many of the exams. I followed the techs to the exams and found that I was able to help. I'm starting to feel my legs again in clinical. My comp attempts were off, but more solid than last week.

We received a lecture and practice problems on the inverse square law as well as the 15% rule. I followed it fine but I'm practicing the math as I go. It's been several months since my last math class.

Goals for next week:

Work harder in clinical and succeed more in my objectives
Comp two exams
Continue to be proactive in the learning process in clinical and synthesize information from the classroom to clinical experience.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

First Week of Winter

Week of:
Monday, January 1 2007

I begin Winter quarter 2007

What went well:

I was more assertive in my own process. I received a orientation in surgery radiography.

What needs work:
Coming back after nearly a month off leaves a lot to be desired.

Well, the first week was not especially sterling. I had difficulty getting back into the groove. For example, I totally mixed up the angle of a foot x-ray. My timing was off. And my feet were sore, unaccustomed as they are to standing for long periods. But it was temporary; I started to get my legs late Thursday.

Overall though, I had an enriching experience. I was able to integrate much of the concepts that are new to me. I was able to acquaint myself was several new faces in the O.R. A fine start I feel to the quarter.

Goals for next week:

I want to be proactive in my approach to my own learning.
I want to gain useful skills in my trauma rotation next week