Self Reflection

Going into my general surgery rotation at NYPQ I was extremely anxious and was not as excited as I had been for my previous rotations. This rotation was challenging from start to finish, but it taught me that I can handle tough situations. To be transparent, this was not my favorite rotation for several reasons, but I continued to give it my all because I believe in doing my best in every situation as a healthcare worker. I am extremely proud that no matter how hard it got, I continued to work harder than I ever expected I could. I hope that this hard-working mindset that I had was noticed by my preceptor and the residents that I worked with.

Every day, rounds began at 6 AM. I enjoyed rounds because I felt that I was able to interact with the patients. I was expected to present a patient during rounds, which I also appreciated. I came in early to pre-round and see my patient and wrote down a quick soap note to present. I felt that this gave me a true understanding of what being a provider is. It taught me in a real way that as a provider you must stay current with your patient’s condition, how they are progressing and what you need to do for them in the moment. It also allowed me to practice the vital skill of presenting patients to other providers including other PAs, residents and attendings. This, presenting and being present during rounds, was one of the most enjoyable and beneficial parts of the rotation.

One day I was told to present a patient who was hospitalized for a R hemicolectomy due to colon cancer, who also had a history of schizophrenia. I will remember this patient encounter for a long time, because from speaking to him I was able to see what it is like to speak with a patient who is well controlled on medications. Most of my exposure to psychiatric patients was at the QHC psych ER which was very different than the experience I had with this patient who was stable on his medications. I learned that patients with psychiatric illnesses can lead regular lives and aren’t always violent. I also was able to practice interviewing skills specifically with the need to redirect the patient when he went off topic when answering my questions.

During this rotation I finally got to do some suturing, which was something I have been looking forward to doing. For me, this particular skill looks way easier to do than it actually is. I got to practice doing sutures on a few occasions and one time I mentioned to the attending that she makes it looks so easy. She was an amazing teacher and allowed me to do some of the suturing, watched me and then finished off the suturing while pointing out specific tips in areas of how I can improve and make the suturing easier for myself. I look forward to have more opportunities to suture, apply her tips and tricks and get better at the skill. I realized that this is something I need to improve on and that is only possible with practice. I look forward to continue to work on my skills by always being eager to do them and give off the impression that I am present and want to learn and do more.