Monday, August 30, 2010


So, I made it. My internship is over. The last few days were not all to special. I brought the station a present on Thursday. It is a picture from Lichtenstein (The Woman with a hairband) and is created using Gummibärchen (Gummy Bears). 

Various doctors and patients said good bye to me and wished me the best. On the last day I still got my report done. I had to listen to a doctor-patient conversation and then write about it. At the end of my day I even got a card from the nurses. I think they liked me and I definitely had my fun there. I learned a lot and am very thankful that I got to watch operations.

Probably the most touching moment was this one: I was rushing around the halls to put stuff away and one of our patients (she is life threatening sick at the moment and was lying on a specialized bed in the hallway (it works with sound)) stopped me. She told me that if I made it through all the studying and became a doctor.....I would be a very good doctor.

I was very touched.

So another part of my journey to becoming a doctor is done. The next time I am in the hospital, it will be more doctors works than that of the nurses. I am going to enjoy my vacation now and my semester starts on the 18th of October again with my communications class for one week before the real semester begins :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finally sterile!

Operation start 10:05AM

I call Dr.N to see if I should come to the operation room yet and the operation nurse answers the phone. She informs me that it is about to begin and that if I want to see something I should probably hurry up. So I jog to the dressing rooms basically. I arrive in room 1 and introduce myself. The nurse sticks me in the corner and tells me to wait until the patient is cleaned and then she would tell me where I could stand. At this point I am thinking "crap, she doesn't know that I am supposed to be sterile for this operation and Dr.N is in the room and isn't saying anything". Instantly my mood was down. I had met Dr.N earlier in the day and asked when I should come to the operation and already got the feeling that he wasn't having the best day ever. He seemed a little bugged.
Dr.N continued to clean the patient and then got all sterile himself. My mind keeps thinking "crap, crap, crap, he forgot! Should I say something? No, he seems a little annoyed with life at the moment." Then the assistant Dr. gets paged and Dr.N informs the operation nurse that as soon as he arrives, I should wash up with him! Yay, he didn't forget!
Finally Dr.W arrived and took me to the washing room. He showed me how to wash my hands, act in the operation room and then took me to get my sterile clothes put on. Then I got to stand next to him (with the patient's arm between us) at the table. The position was a bit stupid because I couldn't see all to much at first. It has been the same with every operation, within the first 15 minutes I get a really weird feeling, it is not a problem with blood, blood doesn't bother me, but rather the standing (although its only 15 minutes to begin with), the bright lights and who the heck knows what else. My vision went black on the sides and I just concentrated not to pass out and at the same time not let anyone notice what was going on with me. I concentrated on my breathing and making it look like I was attentively following what they were doing. Once the black was gone my vision was in super over exposure. The operation area was a big bright white area, I looked to the window and instead of seeing the landscape I saw a big white bright area. My eyes didn't focus right, even after opening and closing them. Then I saw the pattern of my iris in my vision field. I am telling you, it was totally crazy. As if someone had totally over exposed my vision. I really concentrated on my breathing and again not letting anyone notice what was going on. Thankfully, after about 10 minutes it was over. Then I became a crazy sensation of thirst and I was sweating like crazy. I really could have killed for about a gallon of water at that moment. That feeling was thankfully over after about 3 minutes. Then came the hunger for about 2 minutes and then, as if nothing had ever happened, it was all over and I was absolutely fine!?! Crazy I tell you! Below is an example of what I kind of was seeing.
Normal Vision
Then this

Then this! But almost even more intense!

I got to hold a few clamps, cut some string from the stitches made and had to name a few structures. Like I said, Dr.N wasn't having his best day but thankfully Dr.W explained a lot and we had our fun. He started speaking pigeon English for fun and I answered in English to see what he would say. We spent the next 15 minutes speaking English with one another and German with the was pretty funny. I was situated on his side of the table, so that I could assist him in what he was doing and otherwise hold clamps and hooks for both of them. It was a fun (minus the weird senstations at the beginning) and interesting operation and it was nice to be there sterile and be able to help a bit.

After 4.5 hours we were done and I headed back to my stuff to get changed and then catch Grandma for a ride home.

I have three days left and then it is off to Gö again! I still have to fit in a 2-4 hour shadowing of a doctor for my psychology class. I will have to discuss it with the nurses tomorrow. I will have to write the report on my way back to Gö/ in Gö before my vacation because the teacher wants it 3 weeks in advance of our 1-week class and I won't have the opportunity to send it to him within the month of September so I really need to get on it.

I made about 40 cupcakes with my best friend for the nurses and doctors yesterday and brought them to work today. I won't have time in the next 3 days to do so, so I took them with me today.

3 more days!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Operation Update!

To date I have been to a total knee replacement (both legs) and Skin-resurfacing (if you want to call it that). The surgeons of the knee operation were pretty funny. It was so much different than a OBGYN operation. Here they were hammering, sawing, cool! The male nurse explained a lot for me which was really nice of him. The main surgeon didn't really know who I was because he came in after I had introduced myself to everyone. I didn't really want to shout into the middle of the operation and be like "Um, Hi, would you like to explain stuff.....!?".

The skin resurfacing operation was 4 hours long and the beginning was super interesting because the patient had skin missing from their last operation and the muscles were basically free! The bulk of the operation was spent transplanting their own skin and sewing up. I was pretty dead after standing for so long.

I talked to the surgeon afterward and he invited me to watch some of his other operations on Tuesday (tomorrow!). I called the next day to ask if I could scrub in and he said yes!!! Let's see what I actually end up getting to do. I will post (this time a bit quicker hopefully).


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The quietness in the halls is nice, the crazy patients...amusing

Well the first night was good. The patients got more and more disoriented as the night went on. It was a bit of a hassle, but otherwise it was fine. I kind of liked the quietness. I could do my job without having a ton of extra people running around. I even got to do a little bit more than I get to during the day. I wasn't even that tired the whole night, as long as I didn't sit down and have nothing to do. Officially, we are done at 6:20 but I didn't leave the hospital until 7. At that point I was wide awake again and ate breakfast before I laid down to sleep. I slept until 2PM and the day has been so short. Now I am going to lay down for 45 minutes before heading back to the hospital for the second night. I am more tired today than I was yesterday. But I also haven't drank coffee yet.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yesterday was crap!

Yesterday was the worst day at work so far. It was just no fun and I just wanted it to be over. I had the late shift, I was supposed to work the early shift but was asked to switch because we have so many students and interns at the moment (6!). The newest intern had the in between shift from 8 until 3:40PM. She followed every step I took and asked a million questions. I mean, okay, I was a new intern once but I was certainly not that annoying. I was afraid to go to the bathroom because I thought she might follow me!
When she was finally gone I thought I would have my peace and get my job done. Well, then almost all the patients decided to be super annoying, having to use the bathroom every 10 minutes and just being complicated. Usually all the nurses are nice and maybe yesterday was just not their day (it didn't really seem to be my best day either) but they were both not that friendly. When it came time to get the patients ready for bed, the one nurse would tell me to get the patients in room 08 ready and if I just so happened to be in the hallway because I had to go get something, the other nurse would tell me to take care of the patients in room 20. When I told her that I was in room 08 she reacted as though I had chosen to be in room 08 and would rather be there than listen to her and go into room 20. What was I supposed to do?! Either I could split myself or leave the patient in room 08 half naked so that I can take care of the ones in room 20 and then get a bratty reaction from the nurse that told me to go to room 08! Seriously! And to think that there were 5 "extras" (nurse students and interns) in the early of them could have done late shift with us. Usually the late shift doesn't need that many people but the patients are all very needy at the moment.

I guess a day like that had to come though. It had been so good until now that it couldn't possibly continue. 

Tonight I work the night shift (8:35Pm until 6:20AM). I am a bit nervous as to how it will be. I would have liked to do the night shift last week when the patients were all so uncomplicated. Now I think I will be running from one patient to the next all having to pee or something. We shall see. Tomorrow I work the night shift again. I haven't had coffee yet today because I am saving it for tonight. If I don't sleep all day tomorrow I will post how it was.

Monday, August 9, 2010

12 days through, finally a free weekend!

After a nice weekend in Göttingen with my best friend, it was off to work again today. We were SO many people. Three nurses, 2 nurse students and 3 interns! Then we had about 5 physical therapist students running around and the doctors. I think we had more workers there than patients!

There wasn't anything interesting that happened though. I took care of the new intern; ate breakfast with her, showed her the department and a bit of the hospital.

I work the late shift tomorrow and then I work two nights in a row. But then I have a long weekend free (although Thursday and Friday will be spent sleeping because I work from Wednesday night to Thursday morning and Thursday night until Friday morning.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blood, lots and lots of blood!

The weekend was rather chill.

Yesterday we got two new people in our department. A nurse student and another intern (not a med student intern though). Since we were so many, I jumped on the opportunities to do stuff. At the end of my shift I went down to the birthing department to see if I could come work there for a week. They were super unfriendly....from the doctor to the nurses....and they didn't really seem to want me to come. I decided that I wouldn't fight to work there because if I am going to work there, I want someone to care and explain things to me like they do now on 3C.

Today I got to watch an operation again. It was the removal of breast cancer and lymphatic nodes. I only had a brötchen for breakfast and didn't drink a lot of water but I was called into the OR so quickly that I didn't have time. I had to leave for a second to drink about half a liter of water and than it was okay. The doctor was very nice and explained a lot. I thanked her at the end and said that I hoped to be there in one of her next operations and she said that would be no problem.

I am so happy that I am in this department!