Self Reflection

Being that I am interested in pursuing a job in emergency medicine once I graduate I was disappointed to see that my second rotation was in the emergency room. I was hoping to have it later on, when I had more experience and was more comfortable with dealing with patients. Despite that, I decided to make the most of my experience and feel like I learned a lot over this rotation. In a sense, this was filled with a lot of firsts. My previous rotation was in psychiatry and was less hands on. This was really where I got to interact with patients on my own. At first I was nervous to even speak with patients but by the end I was very comfortable going to get a history, physical exam and starting the plan. Being thrown into it definitely made me realize that I am capable of way more than I think I am. I generally presented to the residents or PAs and when one of the residents told me to present to the attending I was a little nervous. With his help, I practiced and presented to the attending. It was very encouraging to see that the attending thought that my patient presentation was good and had no questions on the history.

The emergency room is also known for the procedures done. I was happy to practice placing IVs and doing venipunctures on real patients. I also got to use the ultrasound machine to look at kidneys, gallbladders, livers, bladders and hearts. The providers at Metropolitan are all very nice and spent time to show me the different organs and how to find them on the ultrasound machine. One even gave me tips and tricks to find the gallbladder on patients where it is hard to find. I was disappointed that there were no patients for me to do sutures or I&Ds on, but I did get to observe both of those procedures once.

Although this rotation came earlier on in the year than I had hoped, I do feel that I learned a lot and this has prepared me well. I got to speak with many patients, often immigrants who do not necessarily understand the healthcare of the United States, and explain different medical topics to them. I also got to practice physical exam techniques and presenting patients with confidence. I will use these skills gained in future rotations and continue to become a better PA.