Tis the season for changing

3 months has gone by, neuro rotation is over.
This month, I begin on a new floor, the last "new" floor possible (NICU/peds does not count into the rotation). So I will now be working with cardiopulmonary pts, some in ICUs, and orthos. I don't find any of these superbly interesting but hope to find some fun stuff to do. Little worried from a productivity standpoint since I suspect we'll be taking a lot of rest breaks, lots of breaks to check vitals, and probably a lot of advance planning to separate OT/PT sessions into morning/afternoon. I haven't ventured fully into the ICUs yet... we are starting an effort for early mobility and decreased sedation (similar to this) so that will be interesting but it is also stressful to make sure that I know enough about what is going on and protecting my pts, not pushing them too far.

My neuro rotation was good... it was split with surgery, which was not so much fun. Rounds for both are kind of demanding, and first thing in the morning which can make it hard to get a jump start on the day. I did learn a lot on the rotation... I am no longer scared to be in the neuro ICU despite intra-ventricular catheters and pts who have to be monitored very closely. Worked with one lady for 5-6 weeks in total over 2 admissions, she might make a good case study later. I got over my splinting fears for the basic stuff- had a period of 2 weeks where I felt like I made at least one splint everyday. Luckily there are good experienced people around me who are willing to give advice on whether to splint or not, whether adaptations need to be made. even made a resting hand splint around an arterial line.

Had several interesting cases, but lately it's been more sadness and disappointment. Some people really stick with you and it's hard to leave at the end of the day knowing that there's really no reason your pt wound up in the hospital, and that same freak accident/diagnosis that happened to them could just as easily happen to you. Life can seem random when otherwise healthy people wind up hospitalized for something no one could have seen coming. I had a lady in her 80s who had never had any illness before, but had neuro symptoms, came to the ER, and found that she has had a large brain aneurysm that was leaking. What are the odds? It's not right, but there's other diagnoses where you assign a fault, make yourself feel better- I won't get this, I don't smoke/use drugs/I wear a seatbelt- but too many things on this rotation could happen to anyone. It's a scary world out there, and unpleasant to have to contemplate mortality so often.

The switch has me working with some new OTs/PTs that I'm not familiar with so that is interesting. At least one is working on clinical ladder for cardiopulmonary, so I expect to learn a lot. I am reminded of when I was playing on a basketball team with 9 players and I was the 5th player, so there were times when I was the worst player on the court, and times when I was the best player on the court. I remember asking my dad about that situation and he said not to feel bad about being the worst player because everyone around you can teach you and make you better. So that's sometimes how I feel right now, being the newest OT hire and only 2 years experience, but I do feel that I'm learning and getting better.

I've gotten better at writing goals for ICU pts and conducting tx sessions, suspect that will continue to improve during this rotation and hopefully I will have a good update with ideas for everyone.


Huimin said...

Hi Cheryl,

I love your entries! (I haven't finished reading thou). Are you enjoying your rotation in NICU? I'm an OT working in a rehabilitation hospital in Singapore. Will follow up with your blog soon!

Cheryl said...

Hi there,
I don't really rotate into the NICU, I don't get to do that full time ever, but as there are cases available and I have time available, I get to go and shadow our NICU pro. So it's mostly cardiopulmonary right now and a baby mixed in every now and then.