Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 1: Bigger Hospital ICU

I had the same problem again at this hospital as last time - no security card - so I am constantly locked out of places. Also, it is big and I get lost. A new thing to get used to is computer charting (but since I don't have a computer login for this hospital I can't really do it anyway) since all we do at my home hospital is paper charting. At first it seemed like it would be a huge pain, but by lunch time I loved the idea of having all the electronic charting. It saves time! It is wonderful! I don't have a password so I don't have to do it! Yay!

One major thing that I have realized is that I finally have transferable skills. It's not that I just know my way around my hospital, I actually have Respiratory Therapy skills that I can use at different hospitals and different institutions. I may actually be hire-able.. Maybe. 

In the afternoon we took a patient to MRI. It was an actual nightmare. We made it to the hallway before the patient woke up. And then we had to go back to the ICU to get sedation. So then we were on our way to MRI again. We get downstairs and it takes an hour to get everything organized. The monitors aren't working. Nothing is working. Also the patient has bacterial meningitis. So the gowns and the gloves etc. We finally get the patient on the table. He de-sats, so I am bagging, and wearing ear protection, and sweating. They try to get the patient into the MRI. Hello obesity on the rise in Canada. He doesn't damn well fit. OMG. Repeat the above - in reverse. We finally get back to the unit. Guess what! He is no longer isolation! We wore all that shit for nothing! Yay! Total time - 2ish hours. Actual things accomplished - nothing. 

The day ended with a patient with a post op abdominal bleed. Very unstable. Code on. Code off. DIC. Bag, suction, bag, suction. I left before I saw the ultimate outcome, but I doubt very much that the patient will be there tomorrow. All hospitals are the same!!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I am not done sending out resumes. But I don't really know how to write a resume for a hospital. So far I have submitted a few resumes to home care companies. These places function more as offices - and I know how to write a resume for an office, so that wasn't too much of a stress. It was a bit of a stress though, since I really want a job. Because I am broke. RT school is long and expensive. Not as long or expensive as some other things I guess (MD for one).

I have yet to complete my hospital resumes. There are two hospitals I intend to apply for. One is the children's hospital. I would mediumly like to work at this hospital. Unfortunately I haven't even had my rotation at this hospital and since hiring is pretty much a popularity contest I don't stand much of a chance. I don't know if the school could work out more a system where they ask ahead of time if you would ever like to work at the children's hospital - and then try and schedule your rotation earlier in the year.  Anyway. I am starting my rotation in early February so will apply and hope for the best. Hopefully I will have lots of interesting things to write about that time.

The other hospital I am planning to apply for is a medium size hospital in my home city. I would only get a casual position (that is basically all the is available for any new RT these days). Next week I start a sort of mini rotation there, just to get some bigger city experience and also to get my shining face out there. I am not really looking forward to this - other than the fact I will get to be at home. I don't to be the new girl for two weeks, and then again for a month at sick kids. Ugh. And then after that I have 2 weeks at a home care company (in small city where my main hospital is) and 2 weeks at a PFT (pulmonary functions) Clinic.

My head is spinning. I kind of feel like it would be helpful if we got more advice from our school on how to properly apply for jobs at a hospital. You know.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Weekend from Hell

The idea now is that the student therapists are supposed to take on a full workload in the hospital. That would be fine if the ICU hadn't exploded over the weekend.

On Friday we had a patient who was perfectly fine out on Wards in the morning. By the afternoon the doctor was telling the family the patient would not live through the day - necrotizing fasciitis. TERRIFYING. I went home at the end of that day (3 hours late because it was so damn busy) and showered. Twice. And again in the morning. I have never felt so completely disgusting and crawling with bugs.

We had two back to back intubations. Like so back to back we didn't have time to re-fill the bucket of supplies. The manager called a stat meeting about nothing in the middle of all of this which was also exciting.

Over the course of the weekend I inserted 4 art lines! That was amazing! I am glad because it is probably the last time I will ever insert artlines - at the hospitals in the city I will be working in RTs rarely insert Artlines.

I have also started sending out resumes which is tortuous. I also have a migraine. Have to do a weekly discussion. Have to write a research paper. OMG.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Welcome Back.

I am back at my regular practicum site. Today was my first day back after Christmas, although it was supposed to be yesterday but there was a problem with Greyhound Buses, Reliability and Snow.  It sounds like it was a good day to miss though, since they had a dead baby at a c-section. Today for the first time ever I saw a peritoneal lavage. A patient came in through EMS coding. They called it a code, but  really  no one had heard from this guy in 2 days, and then they found him down in his house. With his dog sleeping beside him. Saddest thing ever. Anyway, he was like 25 degrees, so they tried to warm him with first the Bair Hugger (a giant blanket with hot air circulating t/out, and when that didn't work they cut him open at the belly button and pumped warm water into him. That didn't work either.

In my absence from blogging land I did a job shadow with a local home care company in their CPAP clinic. I liked it alright. On Thursday I am doing another day with the same company, but instead in the home oxygen area. I really think I will like that a lot more, but honestly if the company offered me a job I would take it. No matter what area it was in.

You might be wondering what a day in the CPAP clinic was like. I arrived at 7:45 AM. Since I was 30 minutes EARLY, I played Sudoku on my phone in the car for 30 minutes. I went into the office. Everyone was expecting me and was super nice. I got a coffee. I asked some questions. I looked around a giant room filled with CPAP machines and masks and some minimal oxygen supplies in case of oxygen client walking in off the street. We saw a few clients. Mostly they come in with their CPAP machine, and we download the data off of the machine. We then encourage them to use it more. Then we try to sell them a new mask for $250 to $300. I really respect this company though - they have a closet full of donated CPAP machines that they are happy to give to someone without insurance or the money for a machine. I know I am not making it sound that exciting, but I actually had a really great day. The therapists have relationships with the patients, because they see some of them week after week. Also CPAP changes people's lives. I am not even joking.