Saturday, February 1, 2014

Getting a Workout at Work (Weeks 2-4 at St. Clair)

I cannot believe that on Monday I will be starting my fifth week of clinical rotations! Having been in a classroom setting for the past 18 years of my life, I thought I would have a much harder time adjusting to life outside the classroom.  But I absolutely love going to work each day and it feels so rewarding to see that all the hard work of the past year is finally paying off.

In the past couple of weeks I have been progressing to grossing bigger, more complex specimens (hysterectomies, prostates, colons, thyroids, and even a twin placenta). It's funny how deathly afraid I was of receiving these specimens while I was learning about them in textbooks. But when you actually have them on your grossing bench and work out a systematic approach, they're pretty painless.  I still feel that I am slow at grossing and I obviously have plenty more specimens to experience, but I’m starting to gain much more confidence in my work. 

I also grossed my first femoral head (the portion of bone that is removed during a hip replacement surgery) specimen. When dealing with such dense bone specimens you can’t just cut through them with a regular scalpel; you have to pull out the bone saw. Now I’ve cut down a few Christmas trees in my day, but I had no idea how difficult (and noisy) it would be to cut through bone. I was pathetically red-faced and sweaty by the time I had finished cutting my perfect section. Who knew that as a PA you’d get an arm work out while at work – I definitely need to start doing more push ups.

Example of a femoral head specimen

1 comment:

  1. A wise man told me, "You are working to hard, let the saw do all the work, not you." Happy push-ups. Enjoy!