Monday, June 24, 2013

The VA from the other side!

Tomorrow my dad is going to the VA for a procedure. As much as I've been in that hospital over the past year, the only department I know how to find is pathology so figuring out where to go will be an adventure! Hopefully he won't have anything to send for pathology, but it'll be interesting to see what the reporting process is like. I know the turn around time is minimal for the clinicians to get the diagnosis but I don't know what the report time is for the patient, so we'll see. If he ends up having something, I could make an update on it.

Meanwhile I'll be using my wait time during his procedure to work on my seminar. Not very exciting times, but necessary. I also have autopsy reports to work on... those are due July 12th which will be here pretty soon! And I'll be spending this weekend driving 18 hours with a brief stop by to visit my best friend's guestroom, but sadly not my best friend since she's working that night.

And in thinking about things today I realized that leg amputation specimens would be nicer to do if they were in more accessible containers instead of tied up in giant bio-hazard bags. It is hard to get them out of the bags without being touched by the sides, which is sort of repulsive. Of course what the alternative would be, I couldn't say! In a perfect word they'd be accessible and not wrapped in layers and layers of ace bandage. Not that I did a leg amputation today, just a thought I had about them in general since they are a relatively easy specimen type that a lot of people don't like to work with.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Last Food Truck Rodeo of grad school

Does that not seem momentous to anyone else?

It isn't even necessarily that I do a lot at the food truck rodeos. I have my favorite trucks (Sweet Traditions by LeAne and CJ's Street food, although I'm kind of sad that I haven't been able to get their surf and turf dog since last year!) that I visit, and I might check out a couple new ones with friends, but it is more just being immersed in a sea of people all coming out to support local businesses and entrepreneurs. Plus, you get to see people you know and check in with the vendors you really like (and who recognize you, which is always really nice!) to see how business is going. I love being a part of that community, which Durham has in spades.

I was thinking about it last week, sitting between a popular microbrewery where you can play board games/old arcade games/pingpong and what is technically a music hall and watching the ebb and flow of people biking up, running into friends unexpectedly, moving a brightly decorated bass drum... It is a vibrant little area, a random side street with never enough parking that I will miss. I drove through a random street festival downtown Saturday night and asking one my friends that lives nearby if she knew what was going on she rattled off a handful of things it might have been since so much was happening that day... It is a fun place to live and I'm not looking forward to leaving it.

But I will come back to visit, which is why it was my last rodeo of grad school and not my last food truck rodeo full stop. I have people I care about here that I can't imagine not coming to visit and places I'm fond of...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Last TBL of the year for the first years!

I like how most of my entries right now are dealing with, holy crap time seems to be flying by! But yeah... that's the sentiment at the moment. The first years had their last TBL today, which means lots of studying to go, some final exams, and then a week and a half of vacation or so. And then preceptor week! Preceptor week, followed by the week of our senior seminars, and then... it is all on them. I think technically they are still first years through the summer semester but once rotations start they are second years for all intents and purposes.

That second year goes so quickly! But you learn so much and gain so much confidence!

I'm at Durham Regional again this week with the staff PA I wasn't with the first go-round. It is nice to work with as many different people as possible to see their different styles of doing things, etc. I've been pleased this week that every time I've had to go to him to ask a question about something I hadn't seen before it has been something that has also given him pause. So the things I find strange and want to consult someone on are things that are genuinely less normal (the human body is infinitely variable some days). I'm glad that I'm not having to call him over for typical things that are old hat for him.

So I feel comfortable with the knowledge that in just over a month my classmates and I will be loosed out into the great wide world. From here on out it is more an issue of figuring out how a particular practice/pathologist wants things done and repetition than lack of any specific skill or knowledge. I know that they could expand the program to have more students, but I like that they haven't because it matters to them that they know the skill of each of the PAs they turn out and that it matters to them that the standards remain high. Can't wait for next year's class to get their chance to learn.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Three day weekend time!

They've already messed up my reservation!
I'm taking off all day tomorrow. It is my congratulations you got a masters degree day off, just a month later. It worked out having that day that I could schedule at will (or so I reminded myself when I was rotating while everyone else was off enjoying time with their family!). The kids will have their last day of school and I'll be picking up a uhaul to load up everything to go back to SC. It will be a working weekend but I'm still so grateful to have the extra day to get everything done.

It has been a relatively quiet week at the VA, one of the techs mentioned that the surgical residents had their boards so there were fewer procedures scheduled. Our resident is there for her first trip to the VA and it is funny to be the one that knows how to do everything, to be unfazed by frozens, or processors. After almost a year, I feel like I know where most of the supplies are kept, except for the forceps which disappeared again. Where do the good ones always go?

Last week the other student on autopsy and I made eight formalin buckets with blocks full of various tissues. They'll sit in a cabinet in the autopsy suite for a while but sooner than they think they will belong to the first years (soon to be second years). Each one will rotate through histology as part of their first summer block just like we all did last year. So soon, and it will mean that I'll have finished the program! Yikes! Exciting and scary!

Monday, June 3, 2013

I accepted a job offer!

It is literally the only job in the country that will allow me to get to go home to be with my family every night. And right now, that matters more than pretty much anything else. I'll only be working part time but considering how little turn over there is in the area I'm glad something came open.

It means that I don't have to travel and that the kids will have two parents at home together. That is just about the best benefit I could imagine.