Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I (Heart) Rural Medicine

In the last 48h have included having the opportunity to:

-catch a baby
-cut a piece of glass out of someone's face (and then stitch them up afterward)
-surgically assist with fusing toes, replacing hips, replacing knees
-perform a D&C
-assist with a hysterectomy
-sew up knife wounds
-assess / treat / discharge about 75 emergency patients
-learn how to insert an IUD

Despite the exceedingly damp climate my hands are cracking from so much handwashing, I'm surviving solely on t.v. dinners and instant soups, clean underwear is becoming a scarce commodity, and I've spent every day (except one) in the hospital since my arrival. And I couldn't be happier.

My days are so full and varied, with such fantastic teaching from the docs here. It's hard to sleep at night, completely wired and excited by each day's events. I feel so fortunate to be here. I'm starting to believe that saying about how "there are teaching hospitals and then there are learning hospitals". Say what you will about rural medicine...but my experience is that people working in remote areas have half the egos and double the desire to teach.

I've been spending a lot of my retractor-holding and trying-to-sleep time thinking about the (soon arriving) residency application process. Today I truly felt like a few things have started to crystallize in my mind about what I want to pursue...

As always it is a work in progress, but I think that will have to be a post for another day.

In the meantime, check out my new O.R clogs while I try to get some well deserved sleep.

Yes, yes I did.


Unknown said...

My first job out of nursing school was at a teeny, 20-bed hospital in the middle of nowhere. I loved it there. Everyone I worked with was very eager to teach me. There was no shortage of learning opportunities given the large area we serviced.

The ER was always hopping. The town also had a drug and alcohol rehab center (middle of nowhere is where you want to be if you want to be discreet about your detox) so we had to detox patients before they entered the center.

I remember after my first code how the charge nurse sat me down after the dust had settled and walked me back through it, step by step. She wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything.

I'll never forget those people. (Staff or patients)

Anonymous said...

Happy to hear you have had such as awesome experience in rural medicine :) I'm going to be doing a rural elective in the summer so your post definitely got me all pumped up!

PGYx said...

I'm so happy for you! Living your way into the answers, indeed. :-)

Grumpy, M.D. said...

There can be a magic to this job, when you find it.

Albinoblackbear said...

NJ--Yes, fantastic. Glad to hear of others with similar experiences and love for rural med.

MS--GREAT! I am sure you'll have a great experience. Enjoy!

PGYx--Thank you for reminding me, indeed that is what is happening. :)

Grump--Yes, the magic seems to come right when you need it!

nursemd said...

So glad you are having a good time (sounds like a med-a-holic's dream), and I can't wait to hear more about these crystallizing ideas of yours!

P.S. Those shoes, are fantabulous. :)