first post--finally!!

Okay, I’m finally here posting something. James has been after me to write SOMETHING for this blog for ages, and I’ve avoided it. I don’t exactly know why. I guess I’ve just been busy with mundane things. “Today I sat in traffic for 2 hours on the way to school, sat through a boring class, and then sat in traffic for an hour and a half on the way home.” Somehow I just don’t think those kinds of details about my life are interesting to anyone else, haha. Well anyway, I’m finally posting something, as promised.

To satisfy the licensing requirements of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), as part of my master’s program at Cal State Northridge, I have to complete 400 supervised clinical hours, with at least 50 hours at 3 different sites. So consequently, I began an externship at Torrance Memorial three days ago. I’ve been a little freaked out about this experience since my first phone interview for the job, when I apparently impressed my supervisor so much, that she accepted me as an intern over the phone. Don’t ask me what the heck I said that was so brilliant, because well, I just don’t know. But anyway, once we worked out the nitty grittys of me working 4 days a week for 5-6 weeks as unpaid slave labor, we discussed the specifics—what I should wear, what I should bring, etc.. My supervisor, told me I should wear scrubs and a lab coat. She further explained how she used to wear her own clothes to work under her lab coat, but said that at the end of the day, she went home covered in “drool and fluids,” and would never want to wear her own clothes again. Uhm, can you say EW?! Cause that’s what I said the second I hung up the phone. And all I could wonder was “why is drool listed in a separate category as other fluids?”

So anyway, I went about the business of finishing my summer school class, and awaited my start date at the hospital. I went shopping for scrubs and a lab coat, and bought the cutest ones I could find. And although James made fun of me for buying so many (5) different colored scrub pants (pink, light blue, navy blue, purple, and black), I don’t care--fashion always matters to me, even in a hospital, haha.

So, my panic ensued. How could I walk around a hospital dressed in a lab coat? I thought only doctors wore lab coats. What if someone coded while I was treating them? Would I remember my CPR certification lessons? Would I catch MRSA? What if I recommended a patient for an oral diet, and it wasn’t really safe? A patient could aspirate. Develop aspiration pneumonia. Choke. Need to be put on a ventilator. Maybe even die. AAAAAAAAAH! It’s a helluva a lot of responsibility, and I found myself wondering if I am really cut out for medical speech language pathology.

Okay, so on my first day, I put on what I like to think of as my “doctor costume,” and went to Torrance Memorial. I felt a little bit like an imposter wandering around the halls of the hospital, hoping no one would ask me anything that I didn’t know the answer to. Okay, and as much as I kept telling myself that it wouldn’t be anything like Scrubs, it kind of is. There is a really mean, abrasive doctor that everyone seems to kiss up to even though they hate. There is a doctor who is veeeeeery sarcastic but still caring. Doctors and other professionals really don’t give nurses the respect they deserve. There is a creepy custodian guy who, when I met him on my third day, flat-out told me he was going to “give me a lot of trouble.” And I do have weird daydreams where I imagine patients and staff members acting in bizarre, comical ways.

I’m sure I will post about this job again when I have had more experience working there. Thankfully, now that I’ve started actually seeing patients at the hospital, I am not as scared. Medical speech language pathology is unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and so far, I’m liking the challenge and the change.

1 comment:

James Beirne said...

Yay! First post!