Trau·ma  Junk· ie  ( 'trau-m&  'j&[ng]-kE) n. Slang
  1. One who has an insatiable interest, devotion or addiction to responding and assisting people with serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident.

Job Shadowing, Or the Lack Thereof...

So yesterday I arrived at the hospital where I work (let me just say it's totally different during the day...) at about 6:30. The program director told me to arrive at 6:45 a.m. but I thought I would be early. "Meet "J.G." in the lobby of the hospital."

Well, I sat down there until about 7 a.m. and at that point I was wondering if the guy was going to show up or if I somehow missed him because the lobby is rather long but every few minutes I'd walk from one end of it to the other just to be sure. Thank God, that I work at this hospital and I happened to know where the RT department ("cave," according to a fellow blogger) was located so I figured, well, the teacher is also doing clinicals today, so since the entire class isn't down here, they are probably in the department.

I found them. "You must be my job shadower, right? I'm glad you found us," and he laughs. I tell him that fortunately I work nights here so I had a good idea of where he might have been and I laugh also. Well, there were three other new RT students there with me because we all have to job shadow by August 12th as required of the program, so that's 75 students who had three weeks to shadow and only on Mondays and Wednesdays each week...because we had to be where the clinical instructors were. So, he tells us to have a seat and hang tight for a minute (this was the first out of 20 times we'd end up hearing that.)

Apparently, the hospital was really, really slow. Hell, I picked my hospital instead of the other one across town because I knew it wasn't slow. Our census sits typically at 90%. But, in total, there was 2 vents (in a 30-bed ICU, which usually has 10 vents), and about 15 patients with neb tx's (out of our 240 beds), but each unit was only half full, which I've NEVER seen in the two years I've been there.

We couldn't "job shadow" in the usual sense, which I assume meant we'd follow a therapist for their entire shift and never stop until time to go, because there were also about 15 students there and that was already one per therapist, plus some went to Cardiopulmonary Rehab and Pulmonary Medicine.

At 8:30 I got to watch two second year students adjust and check vent settings...that was pretty cool. Then the four of us went back to sit. At 11:00 we got to see a student get signed off on contact precautions in clinicals...which is nothing new to me because I've been dealing with patients on contact and other precautions for quite some time. lol

We got an hour long lunch, just because there was, "Nothing for us to do or see."
I couldn't help but think, these are 2nd years who graduate in two days. Their RT doesn't follow them into every room. And they didn't take the RT's entire assignment, so why couldn't we follow the RT's when they went in to do sat checks, 02 checks, assessments, neb tx's, or even maybe one of us could have went to the rapid response that was called. None of it made much sense to me.

At noon we were supposed to observe a Bronchoscopy so we went to Pulmonary Medicine. Although the procedure was schedule for noon, the pulmonologist didn't arrive until 1:15. But that's okay...I wouldn't have minded waiting all day because I had no idea how neat that procedure would be. I found myself recognizing the trachea, the right lobes, the left lobes, etc. just from what I remembered in Intro to A&P. The doctor was like no other doctor I've met before in the professional setting...she spoke. lol. She explained everything in detail and was cracking jokes the whole time. "This is what a perfect lung looks like, and this lung shows you why it's not so cool to start smoking when you're in middle school." It was great, and I'd love to see another one...I'm sure we will in clinicals.

So, we were there for 9 hours and spent 8 of those sitting the department. But I guess the bronch made up for it, at least for me. They only had two scheduled, which is odd for a Monday because they usually do 15 or so. So let change from the upset tone and say that I did enjoy parts of the day, but I really hated sitting, which is why I chose to go to school for RT.

I just feel bad because the other students that were job shadowing that day had no medical background at all and I think they probably felt like it was the most boring job ever. I hope that's not what they take out of that day.

On a random ending note, I can now see why Rick likes to refer to the RT Department as the Respiratory Therapy Cave. He says you can't miss it, and that's true. It's right next to the ICU, and I've passed it every time I used the staff entrance to the Unit. Once inside there, it is like a whole different world compared to the rest of the hospital. A somewhat cramped space that stores bulky equipment, boxes of worn out stuff, a work station with a bunch of computers, and a few closet-sized offices for the RT managers. It stayed pretty quiet all day, despite being connected to the noise of the Intensive Care Unit. Unlike the nurses' station (which I'm used to working at), it has a totally different karma--if you will--about it. People are more laid back. I like that.

Well, school starts in a little over two weeks, and I can't wait. I'll be sure to post often between now and then.

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