Sunday, May 27, 2007

Adventures with the C-Arm

Week of:

OR Rotation Begins


What went well:
I did my first solo OR case.

What needs work:
As usual, assertive behavior is key to success.

As I was leaving at the end of the week, the lead tech clapped me on the shoulder and said, “You need to lighten up. This place can eat you alive if you take it too heavy.”

The OR is very stressful. But one thing you notice is how close knit the people are. That includes X-ray of course. Talk is very relaxed.

My first solo case was a scaphoid fx. Not a lot to it most of the experienced people might say. I forgot that with c-arms are basically fancy fluoroscopy machines. So when I was asked by the surgeon to lighten the image on the monitor I couldn't figure it out. “The KV is at the bottom of the scale,” I said.

What I forgot is that every thing is backward with c-arms and fluoro. The tube is under the table with fluoro and increasing kv makes the image lighter! Surprise, the doc was very gracious about it. He referred to me by first name through out the case.

When I mentioned this to the lead tech he said, “Why did you think I put you in there; he's very good with first year students.”

By the way. In three weeks my first year will be over. In five weeks I'll begin my second year with an 8x5 eleven week clinical experience.

Goals for next week:
Be more assertive.
Ask for experiences.
Complete an exam from start to finish: solo.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

In the Court of the Ortho Queen

Weeks of:

Abstract: I've been busy. Exams every week. Ortho ends OR next week.


What went well:
I managed 10 comps during my ortho rotation,

What needs work:
Confidence around techs with strong personalities.

I'm writing this a study for my practical and exam on UGI and BE. I'm still excited about the process.

I got a huge compliment from the ortho lead: “You do knees exams as well as anyone. You act with confidence and accuracy. You work hard and it shows." I really needed that statement. It's good to hear.

Not all my interactions were that easy. As many students know, there comes a time when you can do many exams with confidence. One tech, I'll call her the Ortho Queen was interested in teaching me her way of every exam I attempted. She might say, “No. No. You must do it like this.” I wanted so badly to scream to the sky, “Hello, I already know how to do axillary shoulders!

I missed the point however, I can learn something from every tech. I'm too the point now where I know how to nail most ortho exams. But it's important to let go of that, and to some extent, embrace the opportunity for growth. I feel like the willful-spirited teen.

OR here I come.

Goals for next week:
Kick butt in the OR: do multiple exams.