I can't remember clinic last week, so no interesting stories. I will say I'm slowly starting to feel more comfortable, particularly with sore throat/cough/congestion-type complaints, since that's A LOT of what we've been seeing. Not too many influenzas or strep throats this week either. It's continually educational, and I still can't answer too many of the questions I'm asked, but it's getting better. I saw a few more patients on my own, and he keeps saying he's going to push me more out of my comfort zone, which is good so I'll have to do more stuff on my own. I would be fine with just reading EKGs and suturing, but that doesn't appear to be our population. We did see a few more Latino pts, which is fun to listen to, but I'm pretty uncomfortable when I actually have to speak.
Of interest this past week we spent about 4 hrs casting which was entertaining and incredibly uncomfortable; I decided I don't ever want to break anything that would need to be casted, and I hope to never have to cut a cast off an actual pt. That was ridiculously and unreasonably stressful for me. Nearly more stressful was when I had to do newborn exams at the hospital on tuesday. The baby we were using (whose mother is an ortho surgeon at the U--no pressure) was kind of cute, but we had a little scare when the resident who was showing us how to perform the exam was showing us the meconium in the diaper and the little kid decided to shoot out a whole diaper-full of the black tarry stuff; that's not so cute. I was holding one of her legs, and my classmate who was with me kind of let out a little shriek and she and I both JUMPED BACK at the same time, like it was going to get us and cause bodily harm. That was really maternal and professional. If I ever see that kid later in her life I'll have to remember that one.
I did also have a little breakthrough this week. Each wednesday after we go to grand rounds at SLRMC (which is a COLD dark room in the basement) (and this week was an incredibly fascinating lecture on breastfeeding) we meet in our little groups of 4 with a PA who is our "clinical associate". They are the ones who have been working with us since we first started, doing mostly physical exams up to this point, and various other stuff. Our group's CA happens to be one of the faculty members as well. Anyway, the rest of this semester we'll be reviewing a SOAP note from one of our friday pts, and working on a case study as a group. And it finally occurred to me that my stress and discomfort in clinics so far has been that I don't know everything, but I feel like I should! And I realized, I shouldn't! Most PA programs at this point aren't even seeing pts until the 2nd year, so I've got a lot of time to learn a lot of stuff, that can only be learned by seeing pts and experience in a clinical setting. So I decided it's ok if I don't know, and it's motivation to study and just enjoy the experiences and learn. It's nice too that so many of our instructors (drs and pas) let us know how long it took them AFTER graduating to feel comfortable with what they were doing, and that there are so many things that they have forgotten and can't remember anymore because it doesn't pertain to what they do everyday, and it's ok to ask when you don't know! Probably not something pts want to know, but, let's be realistic; medical professionals are people too.
So that sort of makes me feel better, while at the same time somewhat depressing that I just might not ever know it all! But I will try, and try to convince everyone that I do :)
Better go study now!
PS-I went snowboarding again this past weekend; it was a great day, but I will be happy when it's 80 degrees again!