My ER rotation is close to being over :( I only have 5 shifts left before I move on to Peds at a private pediatric practice about an hour away. So far I've seen TONS of cool things in the ER. It's not a large trauma center, so the only trauma we see are patients involved in small car wrecks or injured joints after football/softball/field hockey (pick your sport) games. We have seen a lot of sick patients, though. I've seen a couple people in diabetic ketoacidosis which can be very dangerous for diabetic patients dependent on insulin. It's a very complicated, but fascinating disease process. I've also seen a couple of patients with infected gallbladders (cholecystitis) - one of which I diagnosed just after interviewing her and doing her physical (for which I got a nice compliment from my preceptor). I did get to place a couple sutures in a guy's finger which was cool. Unfortunately though, I haven't had the chance to do any other procedures. Hopefully that will change in the next week! Of course there's been tons of people (kids mostly) with "flu-like illness" which we are assuming is H1N1. Luckily (knock on wood) I have not come down with any of it as of yet! And, as of today, I've been vaccinated against seasonal flu and H1N1. I've never once gotten the flu vaccine, but I decided this year, with the daily close contact with sick patients, my chances of getting it and/or passing it along were just too high. Plus, working in the ER then peds at the beginning flu season means my risk is just that much higher!
I realized the other day just how lucky I've been so far in my training. I met a girl from another PA program who is only 2 months into the program and is extremely frustrated with what's going on within her program. She also told me she was told by a patient that they did not want to see her because she was a student. I have been fortunate thus far in that I haven't been turned away by any patients. I've also had the chance to educate several patients on what PAs are and what we do - hooray!
Finally, this article was published earlier this week ranking Physician Assistants as the #2 Best Job in America! Wahoo! I cannot wait to fully join the profession upon graduation :)