Sunday, January 12, 2014

First Week at St. Clair Hospital

St. Clair Hospital is a 328-bed independent, acute care facility. The Pathology Department receives about 16,000 surgical cases per year and since the hospital is a general hospital, they get a variety of specimens (great for a first rotation). The lab is set up so that the gross room, histology, and cytology are all in one room, which has been really great because it allows for immediate feedback on issues that may arise (thick sections, submitting sutures and staples, or any stones, etc.).

This past week I was able to gross several smaller specimens (biopsies, appendixes, gallbladders, placentas, etc.) and then I would observe the PA as he grossed larger specimens.  I’m still getting used to dictating using the Dictaphone (and having to hear my own voice on a recording).  While shadowing at Ruby I got used to the “Voice-over” technology and being able to see what I’ve dictated on the computer screen as I’m working. With the Dictaphone you press down on a foot-pedal and say your dictation into a microphone.  Once you’re finished, the dictation gets sent to the transcriptionists and they type it up for you.  There were many times where I would lift my foot off the pedal too soon and my lasts words would get cut off or sometimes I would end up saying a sentence later in the dictation that I wished I had said earlier.

I think the highlight of my week was cutting a frozen section for intraoperative consult with success! This was something I was definitely nervous about doing so I was happy that I didn’t panic and was able to cut decent sections for the Pathologist.

Another great thing about St. Clair - all the employees in the lab are super friendly and more than willing to help me out when I have questions. The Pathologists have been awesome at explaining certain gross descriptions that correlate with what they see microscopically and giving me pointers on what sections will work best for what they need to see microscopically.  The PA and the grossing tech that work with me have been such great teachers and have been so patient with my awkward, just-starting-out dictations and millions of questions.

Overall I’d say my first week of rotations was a success and I’m loving clinical year so far! On to week 2!

1 comment:

  1. Very similar experience for my first week at Allegheny General Hospital w/ the addition of 2 autopsies and minus an actual frozen, but I did help stain and coverslip actual frozens that my boss cut.