Robert Emeh

Alabama St. Student

December 17, 2013

Day Seven: Adding Gas into My Tank

Today was my last rotation at the hospital. My group two members and I were assigned to follow Dr. Maldonado as he made his rounds through the infectious diseases department. In order to protect ourselves, the nurses gave us facemasks and prohibited us from touching anything. Surprisingly, I didn’t get nervous knowing that I would be so close to patients with contagious diseases.

We followed the doctor as he went into every room, checking on the status of every patient. The most common diseases I kept seeing were dengue, malaria, and HIV. Most of the patients laid quietly in their bed, but you could sense the worry in their eyes. When we reached the room the held the TB patients, Dr. Maldonado prohibited us from coming inside. Due to the fact that the transmission of TB is airborne, the doctor didn’t feel comfortable with us coming close to the patients. Even though I was worried about my own health, I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to closely analyze the TB patients.

After finishing his rounds, Dr. Maldonado took us to see the lab where they test patients’ blood for diseases. The lab was a small room that contained various types of lab equipment, with informative posters stapled all over the walls. We saw a one of the healthcare workers perform a blood smear, just like the kind we practiced a few days ago. After a few more minutes in the lab room, Dr. Maldonado took us the part of the hospital where the healthcare workers checked newborns for infectious diseases.

As we walked into the room, I looked around and saw about thirty babies laying in beds with their mothers. Dr. Maldonado told us that this is where newborns go after birth before residing in the neonatal department, in order to check for any diseases or congenital defects. While I was there, I saw the baby that I helped deliver the day before. I came up to the mother and asked what his name was in Spanish, but she hadn’t given him one yet. I was disappointed, but it was still a blessing for me to see him one more time.

Once my group two members and I were done following Dr. Maldonado, we meet with Dr. Rolling and got to see the first baby ever diagnosed with toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is a protozoan infection caused by a parasite called toxoplasma gondii. According what Dr.Rolling said, toxoplasmosis is harmless to adults with a healthy immune system, and it can commonly be asymptomatic. With this baby, he received the infection from his mother, who had it during her first trimester. The baby had already developed some enlarged organs and impaired vision. It was a sad, unfortunate case, but from looking at the baby and the mother, everything seemed okay. Dr. Rolling said the strongest person in this situation is the mother. I looked closed at her, and I could see the love and care she had for her child. That baby may have had some serious health problems, but she looked at him as perfection.

Moments like this make my passion to help others through medical care grow stronger than ever. As Dr. Rolling would say, “this adds gasoline to my tank”. Looking at that mother made me want to do whatever it took to give her baby the healthy life that he deserved. Today reassured me that the medical field is my calling, and I know for sure that I seriously want to make a difference in the lives of people who need medical attention. That baby may not live a long-life, but I know that those doctors are going their best help him enjoy it.

The last thing I got to do at the hospital was learn how insert an IV. My partner, Erik Sesma, and I practiced on each other. When it was my turn, I stayed really focused, because I didn’t want to hurt Erik. I slowly stabbed the needle into Erik’s vein, and blood began to collect in the tube. When the tube was full, I placed a cotton ball on the point of injection and slowly removed the needle. Giving an IV was slightly nerve-racking, and I was relieved when I successfully did it on my first try.

Today was a good ending to a wonderful experience. Working at the hospital has given me more hands-on experienced that I ever could’ve ask for, and I got to see how doctors really operate. I learned that doctors are human beings just like rest of us, but they strive for perfection when it comes caring for their patients. When I was in surgery, I saw doctors laugh and smile at each other. One doctor even danced after the surgery was over. Working in the medical field is a very tough task, but this internship has taught me that you can enjoy working if you love what you do. For those doctors, I honestly don’t think working in a hospital feels like a job, since they have a love and passion for medicine. I hope that my love and passion for medicine grows as strong as those doctors’, so that when I become doctor, I enjoy caring for patients as much as they do.