Saturday, February 3, 2018

1st Rotation, Week 5-Butler, PA

I just finished my 5th week at Butler Memorial Hospital! I am way more comfortable now with the people at the hospital, the drive, and grossing in general.  I really feel like a PA here even though I am only a student in my first rotation.  I am the only person available to gross large specimens and cut frozens so I get the opportunity to gross everything that comes through the door.  I have grossed no shortage of colons and uteri so I am getting pretty quick at those.  I was worried I wasn’t going to get any larger resection specimens during my rotation but this week I got to gross a cystoprostatectomy!  This is a radical resection they perform when they are concerned about a larger bladder tumor invading into the prostate of a male. (The female equivalent to this specimen would be a bladder and uterus.)  The day before I grossed it they sent the ureter margins for frozen so I cut those and grossed the entire specimen the next day.  I was intimidated at first, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be!  I feel pretty lucky because they said they only get about 2 cystoprostatectomy specimens a year.  I also had my first mastectomy this week as well.  I really feel like this is an awesome rotation for experience and building confidence.

Last Friday, we had our first Path Review exam.  Throughout the semester, we have reading assignments for each exam and they are a review of what we learned last year.  We have an exam the last Friday of every month.  They are certification style exams so 100 multiple choice questions.  I think the exam was alright and fair and I am pleased with how I did for it being the first.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect but it wasn't too bad.  I only have 3 more weeks left at Butler and I can tell I am going to miss it but I am excited for the next one!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

1st Rotation, Week 1-Butler,PA

Christmas break flew by and now we are all one week in our first clinical rotations!  My first one is at Butler Memorial Hospital which is about an hour north of Pittsburgh. Here they do not have PA’s, it’s just me and a gross tech.  The gross tech does a lot of the smaller specimens and I get to focus on the larger specimens.  It is a little nerve wracking, but I can already tell this is going to be great experience.  I have only been there 4 days so far and I have already grossed 4 colons, a uterus, a thyroid, a lung lobectomy, a bunch of placentas, and some other miscellaneous type of specimens.  Two of the colons I grossed were for tumor so I also did my first full lymph node search. Monday they have a prostatectomy on the surgery schedule along with another thyroid!  I have never grossed a prostate so this will be another first for me.  In addition to the larger specimens, I am responsible for getting the morning run of smaller specimens on the processor.  This consists of a lot of skin biopsies since they have a derm pathologist that works there.  I never thought I would have gross this many larger specimens at this point in my rotation.  I was very nervous about there not being PA’s there to help me, but it hasn’t been too bad.  I definitely have to ask the doctors for help sometimes, but I really feel like our year of course work prepared us for rotations. 

I addition to our rotations, we also have exams the last Friday of every month.  We have a list of reading assignments and objectives to do in order to prepare for these exams.  I am so tired when I get home every day so I know it will be difficult to study but I am hoping to use the weekend to catch up!  I plan on blogging in a few weeks to share my thoughts on the halfway mark of this rotation and I will continue to blog throughout the year at all my other sites!

Monday, December 4, 2017

White Coat Ceremony

Friday evening was our white coat ceremony!  It was an exciting night for all of us.  Although we are not finished with the semester just yet, it marks the end of our didactic year and the start of our year in clinical rotations.  I have worked extremely hard this year, as have the rest of my classmates so I think receiving the white coat was very special and symbolic of all the hard work we have done so far!  Now next year we get to work on applying everything we have learned this year!

Like I said, we are not done with the semester yet.  Today was our first final so we are done with Microbiology.  We still have 5 more exams in between now and next Tuesday when we finish! I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.