Cardiac Emergency Room

The past week was pretty exciting: Cardiac Emergency time! No vitally threatened patients (unfortunately for me, fortunately for them!), but I did get the chance to learn A LOT, once again. Monday and Tuesday were pretty chaotic, and I saw quite a few patients myself. Terrifying in the beginning, but you slowly get used to seeing patients on your own. The way you approach them, the way you talk and ask questions, the way you examine them.

Wednesday was not such a good day, and I guess days like that won’t cease to exist. On moments like that I have had doubts. Already? Yes. We have been told that the first few weeks will be the hardest. So far I’ve been fine, except that one day. It coincided with something very sad, a topic I’ll address in a few days.. So maybe it was some sort of unnatural feeling that something bad had happened, something that influenced my day even though I had had no clue what was going on somewhere else. I’m not superstitious, I don’t believe in an upper power, but I do believe that things, thoughts, feelings from someone else can reach you and influence you, even when not in contact.

Anyway, I was talking about doubts. Doubts about the life laying ahead of me, if that’s really what I want. But I guess that’s normal, especially on less-than-fine days. There are some things you just need to endure, it will only strengthen you. On better days the doubts are pushed aside and I’m happily seeing my patients and bouncing around in the hospital. Note to self, though: I shouldn’t let bad or not-so-good days influence me so much. It shouldn’t radiate from me. Lesson one.

That Wednesday night I also took my first night shift. There weren’t any patients coming in so we did some consultation rounds at other departments. I also learned how to read ECG’s, so that was very useful. And luckily I could go home fairly early, so that I was able to get a relatively normal amount of sleep before needing to be out of bed the next morning at 6.30 again. Six-thirty is not that late to get up. It used to be very early for me, I’m not so eager to get out of bed every morning. But when if I stay over at my own house instead of the temporary house I got offered during my rotations, my alarm is set at 5.15. That’s just not worth it. I love my house, my room, my bed and my housemates, but for the next ten months I’ll be there mostly in the weekends probably. It’s already tiring enough..

Thursday was great. Days fly and I don’t remember exactly what I did that day even though it was only two days ago (do you remember what you had for dinner that day?). What I do remember, and won’t forget that easily, is that I shocked someone. Yes, that’s right. I did an electric cardioversion. My hands were on the paddles of a defibrillator, which in turn were on the chest of a living human body, and 150 joules passed through it to reset the person’s heart. It was such an adrenaline shot for me. I think my own heart skipped a beat when the body jumped. And once again when I saw that the heart rhythm had stabilized. The first attempt I was so nervous I almost electrocuted the anesthesist, so I said something along the lines of “I just wanted to set your heart on fire” and that comment was very well-received haha. He loved me for it. Score.

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