Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Productive week on autopsy

Last week was bustling, and I was on weekend call having switched ages ago with a classmate. It put me on call not with my normal partner, but rather my PA student BFF who'd I'd actually spent the week already on autopsy rotation with. So much togetherness! I also had a resident that I haven't worked with since July but really like (just one of those people that you meet and think, we should really be friends) and another resident that I'd only been with on one or two cases.

It was great! It is amazing how little it feels like work to be doing things with such happy fun people to be around. Even though it was my busiest week on autopsy ever and sometimes the gross sign out ran later in the day, I really enjoyed it. I also feel like I have a pretty good grasp of prosection now (except I need to practice heart cutting) and if left alone with a cadaver I could do it start to finish. I do struggle with never wanting to eviscerate. After cutting myself at the MEs officer I really don't want that to happen again. I know Duke is different and the way we eviscerate is a lot safer (ie: much less cutting while actually in the body cavity) we have patient history, etc, but... I'm still so reticent to do it. I need to get over that. I do. I think mostly it is a matter of forcing myself to just do it and face the fear. I know how to do it, I just don't want to.

This week I'm at the VA. It is a little different because it is just one PA student and one resident,
Durham VA
instead of two PA students. We do have medical students with us for a couple days so it doesn't feel as quiet. So far it has been pretty good. I had a couple large cases yesterday and lots of small biopsies. Nothing overwhelming and the resident helped out on smalls and mashed fat with me looking for lymph nodes. Slide sign out was good, and having medical students around means you get some interesting questions.

My ankle is absolutely killing me though. It really hurts after almost a month and a half of being nearly normal. I think it is the result of standing for autopsies for a week straight, not having the weekend to recover, and then being at the VA. Until you go without them for a while, you sometimes forget just how incredibly helpful those anti-fatigue mats are. Duke North has them, otherwise that rotation would have been miserable. I think I'm going to try sitting down and grossing as much as possible while here at the VA. I just feel less productive sitting down (although things still get grossed so it could be a psychological thing!).

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