Sunday, January 20, 2008

First Clinic!

Wow. It's been a long time since I've cared enough to write! But as this week was the first week of friday clinic, I figured that was meritorious.
Thursday night we were "ceremoniously" cloaked with our white coats. Which only means we are now going to be more noticeable when we don't know what we're doing or what we're talking about. It was a nice, motivating little ceremony though.
My preceptor is a PA in Pleasant Grove at a big old family practice/urgent care clinic. He actually started up a free clinic in Payson a few years ago so I recognized his name. But, he had to leave town this weekend, so I last minute was placed with a PA at an Occupational Medicine clinic in Orem. The good news is, I now know for sure, that is not what I want to do. The PA was really really nice, and was more than willing to let me do everything I wanted, including sutures, exam, etc. The problem was, we had no patients! I think in the morning there were 6 total, and four of those were DOT physicals. After I watched him do the first one, I did the rest after that. He didn't even feel the need to stay in the room and watch me do it! He was completely trusting. He went through a bunch of ortho exam stuff with me that I didn't know on the office radiology tech as our patient. He's so willing to teach. He worked as an athletic trainer for about 11 years, and ended up the head or assistant head of the athletic training dept at the U, and mostly worked with the men's basketball team. Then he decided 30K/yr wasn't enough for the amount of work it was and the 3 kids he has, so at 47 y/o he decided to apply to PA school and got in at the U 8 yrs ago. So pretty much he's doing the same thing he was doing before, only now with the general public instead of athletes. I thought it was so ridiculously simplistic and boring, but that's why he likes it. Easy schedule, no liability, no problems with insurance or not being able to rx certain meds or all the PT he wants. He told me he wasn't smart enough to do any other specialty so that's why he works there! He was really nice with the patients though and was really good at explaining and answering their questions, so that's nice.
I spent about an hour with the PT in the adjoining occ med PT clinic talking to this guy who's had all these CRAZY horrible accidents, and was there for a herniated L3-L4. It was L3-L4 because L5-S1 had been fused after another accident a long time ago. He was really nice and really talkative. But the PT felt the need to pimp me about all sorts of neuro/ortho stuff I had pretty much no idea about, and then he finally laughed and told me he didn't know either. Cool.
So after lunch and spending some time reading about some meds and stuff, Gerald (mr. PA) came and asked me if I wanted to draw some blood. Being that I pretty much did nothing but draw but for almost 6 years, I was not skerred of that at all. I figured it was just a drug test on a pt or something. Nope. He needed his PT/INR drawn. Ok, still not skerred to stick him. If there's one thing I can do, it's stick needles in people where they need to go and get what I need out of it. Well, I didn't. Ha, ha, I missed. I dug around for a second, figured it was a bad tube, tried another one, tried to dig around, then ended up pulling the needle out. Oops. He was chill and had me do the other arm, which I got like a superstar. I'm sure he was impressed. Luckily, when he had me check a pt's bp later on, I had no trouble with that! Ok, I will admit that I haven't stuck anyone since probably April 2007, but still. It's like riding a bike. In a weird sick way.
Anyway, he let me leave about 2 hrs early since it was so slow so that I could do something useful like study. So of course I came home and laid on the floor and slept for a few hours. Nice!
I guess it was a good way to ease into the clinical setting, and be better prepared for when I start at my real clinic next week.
I'll update next week on how that goes and all the lives I save and the diseases I heal! (Or, the screaming crying stinking children who make me cry).
PS-I get to do pelvics, rectals, and testicular exams this week, and newborn exams next week in school! Yay! (Already did the boobies last week.)


Marissa said...

I'm glad you posted. Doing clinics has got to be so much better than just class. It would scare me to death to have to work on people, but I'm glad you seem to enjoy it. :)

jonathan said...

Gross. Just gross.