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Thanks to my amazingly wonderful med school I do not have to re-certify in ACLS until May 2012, however, my BLS (aka CPR) certification ends at the end of July... so it was time to re-certify. Now, Wayne State was old school in that for both of these you had to sit through 1-2 days of lectures/ codes or "MEGA-CODES" and then prove to an instructor that you knew what you were doing.
Well, it seems the AHA has since upgraded and digitized... So instead of sitting through lectures, I sat through a bunch of web-modules. And then, instead of just showing people that I knew what to do on a plastic dummy, I had to prove myself on a ultra-sleek super sensitive manikin. And I'm not joking about the super sensitive ("Give smaller breaths", "Give more volume", "Place fingers in the center of the chest."); It seemed impossible to actually do it right and I one point I felt really silly that I was getting mad at a plastic baby manikin. But eventually, with the help of an instructor, we mananged to trick the sadistic little doll into accepting my more than adequate attempts to revive it from it's dull plastic life (no bitterness at all, promise). So, I am now BLS re-certified for 2 more years.
A few days later, me and the other 7 categorical incoming surgery interns headed down to get ATLS certified. This basically means that they trained us in the proper management of trauma patients in order to stabilize them and ship them to whoever it is that is actually going to take care of them (it's geared towards rural docs; in actuality, it means they would be shipping patients to us, and the trauma patients we would be getting would be getting stabilized and/ or sent to the OR).
It was a 2 day course, and the first time we all met each other. It was a lot of lecture, but we had lots of fun learning how to do procedures (i.e. saphenous vein cut-down, chest-tubes, cricothyroidotomy, diagnostic peritoneal lavage, etc). By the end of the second day we were all certified and supposedly ready for the trauma bay (God help us all if we have to run a trauma by ourselves though... but that shouldn't happen anytime soon).
Since then, the days have been filled with functions:
- Friday was the party at the Chairman's house -- basically a time for us all to meet the attendings and some residents, and for them to meet us; had a wonderful time.
- Saturday was a small grill-out with some of my co-incoming residents
- Sunday one of the outgoing interns had her class and all the incoming interns come over for a get-together to meet, get advice, etc... another great time was had getting to know more people (I feel bad that I don't remember a lot of names, but the past week I've met so many people it seems like a blur).
At one point I got totally overwhelmed about the reading; Outside of the 12-16 hour shifts we are supposed to read... Totally get that, was already preparing to read, didn't expect anything less. But then she started talking about all the stuff we had to read. In any given week there we are supposed to read:
- A surgical textbook
- The Fundamentals of Surgery curriculum
- The SCORE curriculum (both junior and senior tracks)
- About the "interesting case" and cases presented at M&M
- For every case we scrub
On that note, maybe I should start reading... Hmm.