ICC Journal Day 8-12: Our PAINful experience
Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all)
This is rather late, but I will post it anyway :) For the sake of documenting things here haha. Sorry I wasn't able to post much these days (imagine the gap from Day 1 to 10! haha). I just don't feel like there are still readers visiting my blog anymore :( Sad. anyways, here goes!
Week 2: Anesthesiology Department
Day 8, Monday: It's all about Pain
Our second rotation as ICCs is in the Anesth Department for one week and the module title was "Intro to Pain" (huh! talk about subliminal messages, this must be some painful week).
The orientation on day 1 was quite chaotic, to say it frankly. But here are the things I got: During our one-week stay in the department, there will be a single lecture about "Pain"; we will be divided into two groups with five members each and will be assigned to different "posts": Acute Pain Services (APS), Pain Clinic at the OPD, the OPD-OR, and at the Post-Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU). We will also be individually assigned with our own patient at PACU to monitor their Pain Diary wherein we interview our patients post-op and document their "pain" every 4 hours. Yes, you read it right EVERY FOUR HOURS! (But of course there are leeway strategies on how to do it :P). A paper report will be submitted as well. Then by the end of our rotation we are to present a journal paper about something that piqued our interest during our stay. There were also be some "conferences" that we will be ask to attend.
|Welcome to the Dungeons!|
Do not let the signs fool you, it is not the EXIT but rather the entrance to the department haha
It is under construction so, yeah you see those stuffs
|The ever heart-pumping three-storey stairs you have to climb before reaching the department. |
Goodluck to those no-exercise people haha
It is also during this day that we were toured around the OR complex in PGH :) I never really imagined that it would be that huge a space! The Anesth department was connected to the OR Complex in a rather dungeon-style pathway. We went from one OR department to another and was able to view a few surgical procedures going on. And as Anesthesiology is mutually connected to Surgery, we were also allowed to observe some surgery procedures during our "free" time.
And oh, because ORs are supposed to be sterile, we were all obligated to wear our scrub suits :D Yay! Scrub days! (But the downside, we can't use those scrubs outside so we have to change every ow and then if we need to go inside the complex). It was quite tiresome if you ask me, but its for the safety of our patients so better comply with it :)
|The OR Tour :)|
Being oriented of the things to do and not to do: taking pictures.
Day 9, Tuesday: The Pain Diary
It's our third day in the department and things are getting better... By better, I mean better than the first day haha. So now we finally understood some few things that were left unclear to us on the first day:
Fact 1: ACS is actually a moving service! It is not an office where you stay there! ACS is actually a group (or more correctly a pair) of Anesthesiology residents roaming around the different departments in the hospital and provide services (read: "pushing morphines") to patients needing anti-pain medications. Some of my classmates were given the chance to experience "pushing" meds :) thanks to the generous residents :)
Fact 2: For the pain diary: We are ask to record their "Pain Diary" for every four hours that elapsed after their surgery. We need to ask them if they are still feeling any pain and then qualify those pain using the Visual Analog Scale or scoring them from 1-10 according to severity. Let's say the surgery was done in 10:30 PM, four hours post-op would be 2:30AM! How are we supposed to interview them 4H post-op in the middle of the night?
We really don't have to visit our patient every four hours. We can simply visit them the next day and ask them if they felt this and that on this particular time (which more often than not they are actually dozing off). Your interviewing skills will really be put to a test for there are patient who really don't want to talk about it -_- So bring some bags of patience and diligence. Think about the dreams you have in life and that these few problems are nothing but small rough stones along the way. GO crush it!
Day 10, Wednesday: My first OR Experience
This is perhaps the most interesting thing that happened during my one-week stay in the department :) I was finally able to observe an actual, live surgical procedure! And we were right there, at the operating room with the great surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, interns and clerks!
|Meet my Forever-mates!|
L-R: Roms, Lorvs, Me, Megs, and Karl
(Note: Basically, to everyone's annoyance--except us of course--we were nothing but space occupying lesions in a rather busy environment. But hey! This is for higher learning! And we are a university hospital, so they can really do nothing about it :) So long as we keep doing our very major role: Observers)
It was during the last three days that me and my group was able to enjoy most of the observations :) When we were assigned at the PACU and there were not much patients post-op, we were allowed to go in and observe in some surgeries. In those three days, we are able to observe the following procedures (in order):
- Right Scrotal Hydrocelectomy (removing the excessive abnormal fluid that accumulated in the right scrotum of the patient)
- Right Herniectomy (removal of an inguinal hernia)
- Right Middle Cerebral Artery (MCA) Aneurism clipping
- Laparascopic Cholesystectomy
During all those procedures, we were all left amazed by the skills and great dexterity our surgeons have. They were really amazingly performed! Our rotation in surgery will still be months from now but we were already excited to be in the surgery side soon :)
Day 11-12: It's not just about keeping patients asleep
By the end of the week, we were doing our posts, visiting our index patients, discussed about our paper report, attended two conferences (and one was quite a painful experience... nope not gonna write about that haha), had an extra lecture about acupuncture :) and lastly went to the OR again to observe more procedures and learn how anesthesiologist do their work. I could honestly say that I learned something new after a week in the department. Anesthesiology is not just about providing anesthesia during surgery but also trying to balance everything from keeping the patient asleep or awake and feel no pain while reassuring that nothing toxic will happen to each patient they handle. It is not just about sleeping, it's about sustaining life without pain while surgeons are busy opening up the patient. ^_^
Oh well! That ends my ICC Journal report on my second week as an ICC :D
I am actually enjoying it haha!
Next stop: Ophthalmology!
(PS. if there may be some things I mentioned here that you did not like, kindly inform me about it ad I could explain :) That was a purely opinionated personal experience on the said department.