Saturday, October 27, 2012

Every beat of your heart. . .

I got to go to the Cath Lab yesterday.  For those that don't understand medical lingo, that is the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory where they do procedures like angioplasty (the "balloon" in your artery to open it up if you have had a heart attack or chest pain).  It was very interesting! You get to see someone's heart function on television!  LOL!
(this is a pic I found online, not one that I took!)

I saw the end of one case where they went to the heart through the radial artery (this means that they put their catheter in through the wrist) and another where they went in through the femoral artery (down near the hip bone).  The first case the patient had a sick heart, it was not putting out as much blood flow as is ideal and the second case the patient had had bypass surgery 10 years ago and was having chest pain again.  That one revealed significant heart failure on both sides of the heart which is never ideal.  It took the doc a long time to find all the grafts to check their patency (whether or not they were blocked).  In the end they put one stent which was not going to solve his problems but was more of a "while we are here" action.  Overall it was fascinating to watch, but again, I quickly figured out that this is not something I want to do.  The nurses cannot be near the patient because of the radiation (they use fluoroscopy throughout the procedure which is like an x-ray movie) so the patient is awake (just slightly sedated with happy medication) laying there during the whole procedure and no can sit and reassure them.  It's kind of sad.  Everything is done in a very habitual, robotic, cold manner.  Not for me!  I did learn a lot about the heart which is great because we are in the middle of our cardiac lectures in class so it helped to tie everything together in my head.

When I returned to the floor at the end of the day, to meet up with my classmates and professors, I saw the patient rooms and realized that I had missed taking care of a patient that day.  I really enjoy patient care and am realizing that I definitely want to be in a hospital.  I'm so thankful to be getting such a broad range of experiences while I am in school because it is helping me weed out the things that I don't like.  Next fall will be the big "transitions lottery" where we choose an area to concentrate in for the semester and have a one on one clinical in that area.  My first choice for sure is Maternity, with Med/Surg a close second, then I am trying to decide if I could do pediatrics for an entire semester or not.  I'm not sure what the other options are.  I know God is at the helm anyway.  If I haven't learned that by know then there is a problem!  So I will put my choices in for the lottery and exercise my "free will" then I will be content to sit and wait patiently for His guidance.

For now I am all registered for next semester.  I am taking Medical Surgical Nursing 2 (there is so much info that they cannot fit it all into one semester!) and Contemporary Professional Nursing, AKA Leadership which is a theory/paper writing class.  Not looking forward to Leadership but I love Med/Surg and am looking forward to that a lot!  I'll only have one clinical for Med/Surg, as Leadership does not have a clinical, so it should be a little bit lighter of a semester.  Also, my clinical is what is called a preceptorship.  It means I will be paired with one nurse for the whole semester and we'll work together on 4-5 patients.  They recommend this for "more mature" students who are confident in their clinical skills; as it resembles a more realistic view of patient care (many patients as opposed to just one).  I will be at Rhode Island Hospital so I will get to see yet another facility which is awesome!  They actually have a DEU there which stands for Designated Educational Unit.  It is utilized exclusively by Rhode Island College.  I am excited about that!

I am so happy that October went by so quickly!  Now there is just November and a bit of December and I can have a little break!  A well deserved break!

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