Over the past few weeks, I have been mainly observing cases in the OR. Today, I had my first experience with making rounds in the ICU. I met Janet at 5:50AM and we made our way to the ICU in the neurology department. There we met with current medical students and residents. From what I can tell, there was one resident who was responsible for looking after the patients the previous night. As we walked from room to room, there were several students who were in charge of reading stats of the patient such as blood pressure, white and red blood cell count and any other pertinent information regarding the patient's status. There was a lot of jargon I did not understand. It seemed as though they were making sentences out of letters and numbers. However, I believe I was able to figure out that "output" referred to the amount of urine was excreted by the patient.
It was an interesting...I guess more shocking, experience. I was somewhat taken back by how loud they would talk to the patients. It's six in the morning and they're yelling at the patient to squeez their fingers, stick your toungue out and wiggle your toes. I couldn't help but think, "take it easy man...it's six in the morning." If it was me and I just had brain surgery, I would have asked them to come back around nine, when I would be a bit more awake and responsive. One patient said it was 1907, but I wasn't sure whether he was extremely tired or really thought it was 1907. I guess my point is that it doesn't seem like six in the morning is a good time to test a patient's cognitive function. But hey, I'm no doctor.
After the rounds, they got together and talked about their current cases and got advice from the head resident. All of them had little sheets, with all the patients names and status. They all fold their pieces of paper the same way and take notes the same way. I wonder who started it? I guess it would be cool to know that you were responsible for how all the medical students take notes. Overall, it was a good experience. I will continue to make rounds in hopes to understand their jargon and see how patient's treatments evolve.