Alabama St. Student
December 13. 2013
Day Three: Always Bring You’re A-Game
Today I started my clinical work at the Operation Room. Coming in, I thought that my group two members and I would be assisting in a mastectomy, but the doctors had already performed the surgery. Instead, Alayna and I were allowed to assist in removing a cyst from a man’s wrist.
The surgeon started off the surgery by injecting a local anesthetic into the patient’s wrist, which numbed that injected part of the body. The surgeon then made an incision, opening up skin to find the cyst. Looking like a tiny, pinkish golf ball, the cyst was exposed by Alayna stretching out the skin with her scissors. With the use of a gauze, I started to apply pressure on the cut while the surgeon tried to remove the tumor. In order to stop excess bleeding, I continued to apply pressure until the doctor successfully removed the cut and finished suturing. I enjoyed that surgery, but it made me wish I knew Spanish better, so I could respond to the surgeon’s orders quicker. This was my first time performing surgery with a doctor that only spoke Spanish, and some of the verbs he used were initially hard for me to comprehend. During surgery, the every healthcare worker in the room has no time to waste, or else they’ll put their patients’ health in jeopardy.
After working in the ER, the TPaIDA students and I had a lecture over fever, dengue, and HIV with Dr.Valera. The lecture was very informative, and I learned an important lesson from it: Doctors have to do as many lab tests as they can when dealing with a patient who comes in with a fever. A doctor can’t tell whether a patient who comes in with a fever has dengue, leptospira, or any other disease, so blood testing is required. A doctor having knowledge of all the results from a lab test prior to applying treatment can decide whether or not a patient lives or dies.
The third part of my day consisted of lab work at a children’s hospital in Iquitos, Peru. In a room on the second floor of that hospital, my group two members and I pricked blood off of each other and made blood smears. The method to making blood smears wasn’t hard to master, and I appreciated the hands-on experience. After we were done, we got to keep the blood sample we created as a souvenir.
Looking back at today, there was a common lesson that I kept learning: Doctors have to always bring their A-game. If a doctor does not perform at his best, he puts his patient’s life at risk. For me, I want to take on the challenge of learning how to speak and understand Spanish, so I can perform at my best when working with Hispanic patients. Along with Spanish, I must hone all the skills required to become a great doctor, in order for me to positively impact the lives of people in need of healthcare.