Sunday, June 24, 2007

Spring Wrap Up

Quarter of: Spring 2007

Abstract: I finish my first year successfully.

Mood: Relaxed, I had six continuous days off.

What went well: My clinical experience provided many areas of growth.

What needs work: Assertiveness and speed.

Elucidation: Spring quarter was successful on my many counts. And I'm sorry if this is going to be a self congratulatory sounding post. But I managed a sweet GPA for the quarter.

I got a glowing evaluation from the education coordinator of the hospital. She's noted growth in all areas. It was interesting to me that I pretty much led the evaluation.

Wow! My second year starts tomorrow. I'm feeling a little apprehensive as usual. Read my last few posts if you're wondering why. This is a different set-up because there are no classroom hours. It's all in the hospital 07:30-16:00 M-F. I know I'm going to learn a lot.

Goals for next Quarter: To gain self proficiency in triage & in-patient portables. To gain speed and accuracy in the OR. To continue to integrate and synthesize concepts and methods.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Crazy Uncle, Tough Love and The OR Queen

Week of: 2007-06-04

Abstract: OR Rotation Ends

Mood: Nervous, cause I drank to much coffee while studying for the exams I have tomorrow.

What went well: My level of independent work in the OR has shot up.

What needs work: I still need to improve my speed in the OR.

Elucidation: I find that I am reflecting on the events of last Tuesday. I had scheduled a case in the OR. Two other techs had joined me to set up the room for the case. One tech, I'll call her, OR Queen, was asked, “Why does the schedule say upper extremity when its a lower extremity case?”

“Because it was an idiot who scheduled it,” OR Queen said to the tech who had asked.

Upon hearing the last I asked, “That would be me. I didn't quite catch the gist. Is there a problem?” Without batting an eyelash she told me in no uncertain terms what my transgression was. OR Queen does blow everything, around my experience, out of proportion. She is a type-A female. She's often overbearing in the middle of cases.

Upon reflecting on the events I share these thoughts: It doesn't pay to take anything personally, even when you've been insulted as much as that. Life is full of joys as well as jabs.

I would never personally say something about another person being an idiot. That's my nature. I tend to be PC to the hilt. In a similar situation I'd say, “That person had a clueless moment.” OR Queen's example is certainly more direct.

I told the lead tech, Crazy Uncle about this. And he said it was no big deal. That I could change the exam type when I ended the case.

Crazy Uncle also has noted that I'm not assertive enough for the maximization of the experience. He said, “I'm going to push you into things outside your comfort zone.” I thanked him and said that I need that push. One thing I need to caution my readers who have yet to start your programs: I don't harp on assertiveness for nothing. It is critical to get your experiences in. I feel that I am improving.

It was a successful week in many ways. First though I want to continue my rants about “hard love.” Being in such a intensive program, unlike many stand alone classes at the college level, often there is a race to the finish line at each quarter. What this final week entails is a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Many new concepts related to fluoro and advanced procedures have been introduced. It's been exceedingly difficult to retain everything. I have two exams tomorrow! The last several days have been fat with study. I find the best thing to do is to study when I'm relaxed.

That said, I'm feeling somewhat resentful to the process because so much new material was dropped in our laps. Getting so much new material makes it hard to assimilate everything.

I was able to complete several exams this week. My level of independent work in the OR has increased. And despite what I said about OR Queen, I like her and the other techs quite a lot. And I feel respected in return. This feels like a good way to end my account of the rotation.

In real news: A supervisor for the radiology department spoke with us last week about summer employment. I'm looking forward to getting paid. The jobs are contingent on good grades, strong performance in the hospital setting and comps.

Tuesday is the last day of Spring Quarter for me and the last of my first year!

Do say, Hi.

Goals for next week: Next week I'm in the Main Department. I will round out some of the spine comps that I missing.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Getting Over the Jitters

Week of: 2007-05-28

Abstract: OR Rotation Continues

Mood: Tired

What went well: I got into the rooms: started and completed exams.

What needs work: I need to get over the jitters and bring up the speed.

Elucidation: Working in the OR requires a skill set that is hard to acquire if you're not in the department all the time. My OR hours to standard radiography hours are 3/11. Next quarter, my clinical will be 40 hrs/wk Monday-Friday. It will be productive to a better grasp of all the departments including the OR.

It's easy to understand why a student might feel nervous. I remember an early situation, during a flustered moment, when I moved the c-arm proximal when the surgeon asked for distal. Most surgeons have no time for students who take extra time. I need to bring up my speed.

Surgery is really a race. Everyone has limited time: for the patient to be under anesthetic, before the next scheduled exam.

Goals for next week: Be more proactive. Speed up my movements.