This rotation really flew by and I can't even believe it's over. I enjoyed it so much with exception of one mishap. I'll discuss that in a bit, but before I do... overall this rotation truly was enlightening and stimulating. I learned so much and was even able to share about domestic violence awareness with other healthcare workers and hospital staff. It's been a good, challenging two months so there's not a lot of extra life stories to mention. After I share my mishap, keep reading for one of my more memorable days on this rotation.
The Bad Day
So... I had a day where I was falsely accused of being a negligent student that was skirting responsibility/disregarding instructions of my resident... (DOES THAT EVEN SOUND LIKE ME?!...the answer is no, it does not and it was not) Oh and get this the individual that accused me wasn't working with me and doesn't acknowledge me when I am present anyway... so I was obviously beyond upset that day. Not to mention I found out via a text from the resident I was actually assigned to work with, without even the courtesy of asking me but whatever that's neither here nor there... I had to really contemplate how best to handle that, not fun. I don't get worked up easily, but I will NEVER take negative comments about my character or work ethic lightly. Those are my core, my values and to have them gossiped about in a professional setting where my reputation going forward (and my grade which I wasn't even thinking about) is vulnerable is not okay. Needless to say, I spoke to the appropriate person in the chain of command and made them aware that the accusation existed and assured that it was indeed a false one. Speaking up for myself wasn't about getting anyone in trouble or naming names in my case. Understand you may [as a student] find yourself in unfortunate situations where it is crucial to name names, but always assess what your goal is when confronting mishaps in the professional setting. Speak up for yourself and for others when there are real wrongs being done, not just hurt feelings. Also don't hesitate to just express genuine concerns in a timely manner. You could save yourself and others the trouble of a concern turning into a larger problem later. Your concerns are just as valid as your complaints.
It’s my last week on my ob/gyn rotation and a particularly busy day at the hospital. What should have been a ‘no induction/no patient day’ turned into a ‘every room has a patient and they are all ours’ kind of day... On this day a mother was laboring down and not making any real progression. After many hours she was deemed a failure of induction and taken back for a c-section. The surgery was going as planned when the doctor noticed a persistent and heavy bleeder that was hard to isolate and identify.
Minutes before this the patient appeared (to the anesthesiologist) to have fallen asleep and was proving difficult to arouse. She was breathing but not responding to her name. Help was called in for another set of hands and eyes. In the meantime, pressure was applied. The patient still wasn’t responding... Help finally arrived and the physicians worked hard to isolate and stop the bleed. Turns out there was a group of small vessels that were damaged in the process of the surgery and in pregnancy carry more blood than in the average patient. It took less than half an hour, but it felt like 3 hours to get it under control and proceed with the rest of the procedure (which went as expected). Blood was called for and soon-in the room but was not actually indicated by her EBL.
She was taken to the unit after for her immediate postpartum care. Fast forward a day... I was able to go round and check on her in the postpartum department. Her mother and baby were in the room with her... and she was receiving blood at this time. She was awake and calm. And to my surprise doing much better than I would imagine after such a stressful (on the body) surgery. Her mother talked to me about how she felt and what the family was feeling when they found out, how she (patient) looked so pale just that morning and right after surgery... I expressed my apologies for experiencing such terrifying thoughts and feelings and how grateful I was that her and baby were healthy and doing well. Her mother went on to tell me how they had family and friends in various areas around the state and country praying for her daughter during that scary time. She was so grateful for that prayer and so adamant about her faith and the role it played in getting them through thinking/preparing for the worst. In that moment I felt so close to them. Not just because I was a witness to a procedure gone awry and what could have been a devastating loss for that family but also being person of faith and believing in the hope and support prayer offers in hard times.
I considered it a tremendous privilege to be in her room talking to her and her mother that morning, to witness now her healing and this part of their story. I realize not every unexpected turn in treatments or procedures will end so fortunately but to be a part of the ones that do is remarkable and incredibly grounding.... I reflect on how quickly I and (according to her mother) her family tried to prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally for the worst outcome. You almost think you’ve done it too, but I could tell in the amount of relief I had that she made it through surgery... if she hadn’t, I would not have been okay. I learned that about myself in the midst of seeing professionals handle a difficult situation calmly and efficiently and being let into the experience of this from the family point of view... wow... just wow.
The Third Voice