Sunday, February 7, 2010

Take a Second and Think About This....

Today is my first rotation of Emergency Department Clinicals. I am excited and happy to find myself "at home" for this next 5 weeks. I know the nurses I work with will take good care of me and will challenge me and stick me into things that I might not get to try at other places. This is a good thing. I have been reflecting on the importance of my clinical rotations lately. I was talking to a Medic buddy of mine who pointed out that when you go to the hospital under "normal" conditions ie: you are breathing and talking and there for something routine, you can request a different provider if something turns you off about the one you are seeing. You can say "no students" or "I want the guy who has been doing cholecystectomys the longest". You can make demands and advocate for yourself that way. When you call 911 or, God forbid, when someone calls 911 for you because you are not breathing, not acting right or you were in a horrible car accident, you don't get a choice. You get me. You get me and my 8 intubations putting a tube in the airway of you or your husband, your mother, your nine-month old. You get me and all the education I did or did not receive. So, if you are normal and healthy, if you are at the hospital for something routine, think about asking for a student. Ask if there is anyone who could learn something from helping take care of you or, at the very least say "Yes" if a student asks if they can observe or "try". You may, worst case scenario, end up with a split lip, a hematoma on your arm or an ugly splint, but next time they will know more and they will do better. And God forbid you ever have to call for help, they will be that much better practiced when they get to you or your loved one.

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