This food tastes like ash!
I saw a patient the other day for follow up after they were discharged from the hospital. I had a short note on my encounter sheet to go back and read the ER encounter summary. The patient had already struck me as familiar when I had introduced myself; I was quickly reminded when I loaded the scanned summary only to find my writing scribbled on the page.
My findings. My descriptions. My words.
Helped along and countersigned by the attending physician of that day, it was now scanned into the hospital files, a legal document of an encounter for treatment and management in the face of acute symptoms.
It is a weird and funny thought to see my signature on a hospital form, mainly because it is the first of such instances. I am sure that over time, this surreal feeling of déjà vu and responsibility will fade into being just another part of the job.
I went to the wards to follow a doctor for a few hours. Who, I did not know; no name had been provided to me on my schedule. I would have to ask the nurses for whoever was available.
Checking in at the desk early, the nurse pointed me to the head nurse, who quickly directed me to Dr. A who was sitting at his desk writing a note. He happily took me on but had to leave quickly to see a patient as I got ready for the shift to begin. As I sat waiting, I was spotted by Dr. B who, realizing why I was there, said that I would actually be following Dr. C, who had yet to arrive.
For the next few minutes, I found myself moving from one desk to the next as the nurses and doctors tried to figure out who I would be following: “Go there.” “Come back.” “You’re with me.” “Follow her.” “I’m free.”
In the end though, we figured out how I was going to work in the ward and with whom. And me? I just went with the flow. Hungry for an experience, I was happy to go with anyone.
"Here is your student, Dr. C."
I did not work initially in college, but eventually I started working in a hospital research lab as a research assistant. I held a position at the lab for two years. I learned a lot about conducting experiments and gathering data but I would not say that I gained much in terms of clinical experience, which is what I think you are referring to.
Before getting into medical school, my main experience with the hospital was participating as a volunteer and eventually a shift leader for the hospital’s volunteering program. These sorts of opportunities exist in almost every hospital but may require a bit of digging on your part.
Good luck and take care. :)