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Friday, May 18, 2012

End of surgery and onto Geriatrics

            Once I feel comfortable in place it is time to move on to another.  I love it!  I ended my surgery rotation.  I will miss the people I worked with there.  I am positive, however, that surgery is not my calling.  I have missed my sleep!  I had gotten very good at suturing.  I was even able to sew up a few necks by the end of the rotation.  I taught myself how to one hand knot tie in the sutures as well.  I actually ended my surgery rotation with the exact same surgery I began it with 6 weeks prior.
Geriatrics began last Monday; it is very different than surgery.  The atmosphere is more laid back, however, you are dealing with many medications and potential complications.  Working with geriatric patients especially in long-term facilities can be sad; many patients are suffering from dementia and consequences of their comorbid conditions. Saint Ignatius Nursing Home takes great care of their patients.  I love seeing 85-90 year old women with pigtails, side braids and twists. 
For the most part in evaluating patients I have continued their current plan of care.  All the patients were stable and content. My favorite patient was a 90-year-old woman who told me she was frightened because she felt a non-tender lump on the left side of her chest.  I told her to point to the area.  I politely told her that that lump was nothing to be worried about that it was her pacemaker.  She and I laughed very hard for about 5 minutes.  Afterward she thanked me and told me that I had just put to rest 2 days worth of worry.  I like to think of this story as a sad story with a happy ending.  Patients with dementia are just that, patients.  You cannot discard any complaint from them because even they need piece of mind and reassurance.   Later that day I came back to check on her, she did not remember who I was but she told me the story about some “nurse” who saved the day.   It made me smile because I knew that person was me.
            Behavioral Medicine begins on Monday so more to come!