Today was my first official day of summer break from school. I just finished up my first rotation of clinicals for vascular ultrasound school. 36 hours a week for 15 weeks. It seemed like a long time, but it also went by pretty quick. We kept busy, which made the day go by fast. I just wanted to take the time to remember a few things that I have learned. Maybe reading back on this someday will help me remember my time at the hospital.
Patient care/dealing with difficult patients. Trying to put myself in their shoes and how I would feel in the hospital weeks on end. Showing compassion.
Learning how to drive a cart/wheelchair w/ an IV pole at the same time. Transferring pts from the chair to the bed. Lift with your legs! Ask if they can stand on their own. Ask about their comfort level. Ask as many questions to gain as much info as you can.
Scanning skills and techniques. Compressing into the bone, not the bed. Positioning the pt in the right way. Trying to maintain ergonomics. Optimize the image. Elongated vessels and angle correct. Correct annotation. Scan range and zoom for small calf veins. Pressing in for edema.
There were lots of stinky feet. Scaly skin. Ulcers. Gangrene. Edema. Amputees. I learned to look past all these things and tried to focus on the patient as an individual. Most of the time it worked. Of course, you will always have the difficult, screaming, uncooperative, unruly patient. But the good ones make up for the bad ones. In the end, we are all the same. We really just want some love and acceptance at the end of the day. I try to smile and remember that.
Now I get 3 weeks off before I start this all over again. And my days are busy already. I have something planned for every day off. But all good things since my sister is visiting, and I am going on vacation for a week. I also get to actually work a few days. Being a nanny seems like the easiest thing in the world compared to what I am doing now. It will be a nice change.
In summation, I wouldn't change what I am doing and all that I am learning. It's just a lot different than what I ever expected it to be. No one tells you that you only learn the basics in school. You really can't prepare for all that's waiting for you beyond the lab doors at school. You must experience it for yourself. And what a world of difference it is being out in the real world!!
I know this experience is preparing me to work in the field someday, and I am thankful to have it.