Day 14

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 31-05-2008

Day 14:

Today was another lecture day.  Anatomy that is.  All you could ever want to know about the heart and then some.  It is interesting because we have had 2nd year medical students teaching us anatomy the last few lectures.  It has been pretty fun.  They are all top of their class and really know the information, but are still fun to interact with:)

On another note, it seems I might be getting sick:(  Hopefully it won’t last long, but I guess that is all part of the program.  Maybe?

This weekend is going to be a study weekend!!

Day 13

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 29-05-2008

Today was another short day.  Meet with Mongan M.D.

We had a 2 hour lecture on how to talk to patients.  As I have said before, this is an art.  You may find that a patient tells you one story, tells the doctor another story, and yet tells the nurse another story.  This in no way means that they are not telling the truth.  It just means that each time they tell their story or talk about their problem they are remembering details that they had forgotten to mention before.  This makes perfect sense.  Just think about it.  If you tell me the a personal story a few times you may remember a few details you left out the first time.

Its also of great importance to be able to read people.  It should be down to the point where you can walk into a room and go “this person needs an ambulance and needs to be taken to the hospital now.”  Now, that comes with years and years of experience, but it shows how well PAs and doctors have to be able to read people.  Its all in body motion and general look.

It important part of your everyday life, but it is also very important for meeting new patients.  What you ask.  Well, greeting someone you don’t know or better yet someone you do know.  How you greet someone can mean a lot.  A respectful greeting can make a patient feel welcome and you have a better chance of having them leave feeling satisfied.

Ok, so i’ll stop with the lesson, but most of you will get this when you get into PA school:)

Day 12

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 29-05-2008

Today was another dissection day.

 We began by cutting the clavicle medially and then cutting each rib so we could reflect back the rib cage and see the heart and lungs.  This was no easy task.  One must take care to keep as much in its place as possible. 

Once we opened up the rib cage we were greated by a shock.  Our lungs where messed up.  By that I mean that looked like they had been run through a meat grinder.  Even worse the lungs were attached to the walls of the ribs and to the pleural membrane.  This means that breathing would have be a labor and would have hurt to quite an extent.  This was actually a nice find for us because it helps us to identity what exactly the person may have died from.

The heart actually looked in great shape, but we won’t know more until friday when the other group cuts out the heart.

So that was all for today.  I guess the thing to know is that it takes a bit of time to  be able to look at and indentify all the veins and arteries of the body.  So we cut for a short time, but we searched and found for quite a while.

Day 11

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 28-05-2008

Day 11:

First off…thanks to everyone for the great feedback.  I really enjoy reading what you have to say.  And to those that I owe responses and e-mails to, they are coming soon!

So, today was a learning day.  We began by watching an hour video on how the PA profession came about.  About how PAs where first only recruited from the military and that the majority of PAs in the early days were males.  Oh how the times have changed.  Now the majority of PAs are female, but we males are working on that :)   The video was actually put out by Duke University some years ago, but it is worth a watch if you can find it.  If I do find a copy anywhere, ill post what I can of it.

As far as the rest of the day was concerned, we talked about diabetes and how cultural difference can play a role in who does and doesn’t get it.  Also, we look at how more and more American children are suffering from diabetes due to poor diets. 

After that it was all anatomy.  A lecture on the adominal cavity and my day was over…well not really, taking anatomy in a summer semester means rapid pace, so its been all studying.

To study I go!!!

Day 10

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 24-05-2008

Day 10:

Today was another fun day.  Why you ask…because I had anatomy lab today and today we removed the brain.

It started off quite easy.  We began by cutting away the scalp.  After cutting on the back for the last few days this was no problem.  Once the scalp was gone the skull was exposed and the fun really began.  Using what looks like a handheld black and decker saw, we cut the skull off.  Have you ever been the dentist and had work done and had “that smell.”  The smell of bone being cut and burned.  Well take that and multiply it by 10.  There was bone dust and smoke flying all over the place.

After successfully getting the skull off we got a chance to look at the brain.  And I can say, it is one of the most interesting things I have ever seen.  We began on the brain by removing the outer covering, the dura mater.  This exposed all the folds of the brain.

In short, we took out the brain and learned all the lobes, nerves, veins….etc.  It’s hard to imagine what a brain feels like and weighs until you actually hold or touch one.  It is something I will never forget.

Day 9

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 23-05-2008

Day 9:

Things weren’t too busy today.  I only had one class.  Today was a 2 hour lecture on medical communications.  Basically it is an indepth look at how to properly interview a patient and take a proper patient history.  Most of it seems like common sense, but there are things that can make the whole process easier.  Not to mention you can always run into the patients who are angry or just not in the mood to be nice to you.  A lot goes into interviewing a patient.  As a PA you must always be aware of what the person is saying and what their body expressions, bodily motions, are.  If they say one thing but their hands or body suggest something else you have to find out why there is a difference in the two and which one is telling you what you need to know.

You also have to be aware of what you, the PA, is doing.  You have to make sure you have proper body position and are using terms and language that the patient can understand. 

I’m interested to see how my first real patient history goes.

Day 8

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 21-05-2008

Day 8:

Today was a very short day.  I didn’t have class until 1pm and today is not my day to go to anatomy lab.  So all I did today was get an anatomy lecture on the spinal cord.  The other lab class, which is dissecting today, will be cutting out or exposing the spinal cord.  I can’t wait to see what it looks like on Friday.  Lucky for me, Friday is my lab day and my group will be removing the spinal cord and brain.  I am pretty excited about that because I love the brain, neuroscience…that type of thing.

We also got info on each of our cadavors today.  It is interesting to know how old and from what backgroup the person you are studying and cutting on had.

Im off to read about how to properly interview a patient.

Day 7

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 20-05-2008

Day 7:

Today was nothing but classroom lectures.  We started by talking about all the PA organizations that exist.  There are quite a few and in many cases each state has their own PA organization many of which are free for students!  I think it is a great idea to join these organizations.  They are a great way to keep up with and network with others PAs.

The second class was cultural compentency.  We talked about treating patients of different cultural backgrouds.  It is more involved than what you might think.  There are many times when a person’s cultural beliefs may play a role in what type of care they expect to get.  And in some cases they may not want to have certain things done to them.  It is important to always keep this in mind.  It is also important to remember to speak in terms that people can understand.  If you talk to a patient in strictly medical terms there is little to no chance they will have a clue what you are talking about.  Taking those complicated medical terms and turning them into everyday language is something of an art, but something that has to be done.

Next was Genetics and Physiology.  Actually those are two separate classes, but i’m grouping them together because you probably know what each are about.  In both we just talked about basics terms and concepts.  If you have had either before, these are a little different.  They tend to focus more on medical problems or use medical examples.

Keep the comments coming in!

Day 6

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 19-05-2008

Day 6:

Today was an amazing day.

The day started by having a lecture on pathology.  The lecture was two hours and was very interesting.  We are only covering the basics for now…cell properties, the ideas behind pathology and disease, general pathology terms…etc.

The second part of my day stared with an Anatomy lecture.  But the interesting part was what followed.  After lecture I had Anatomy lab.  My first time cutting on and dissecting a dead person.  Today’s dissection focused on cutting into the back and finding many of the muscles of the back and neck.  I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy this day, my  first human dissection, but I have to say it was really FUN.  I learned a lot and the 4 other lab mates I have are great as well.  It is interesting to see how different structures can be from body to body, person to person.  Our cadaver had very thin muscles and little to no fat, so it was a little difficult to make sure one didn’t cut the muscles as trying to cut the outer layer of skin and fascia.

Another lab group will be doing working on the same body on Wednesday and my group will be removing the brain and spinal cord on Friday.  Being very interested in the brain, I think Friday should be fun as well.

Until tomorrow!

Day 5

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 16-05-2008

Day 5:

Today is an off day for us.  Well, ok, there are no real off days, but we don’t have class today.  I’ll be busy printing off lectures, notes, handouts…etc.

I guess this is also a good time to get ahead by studying.

I’m curious as to how things are going for other PA students at other schools.  If you are currently going through PA school leave a comment and let us know how things are going for you.