My eyes have adjusted. Faint streaks of light from the edges of my window illuminate the darkness of my room. I toss onto my side and my gaze drifts to the shadows on the wall. I make shapes out of them, like making shapes out of passing clouds.
As my fellow PA students and I compared notes after our first cadaver dissection session with our medical student colleagues here at Stanford University, we discovered that more than a few of us had fielded slightly abashed questions from our MD student counterparts along the lines of, “So, what exactly is a PA?”
“Three, two, one … lift,” the circulating nurse directs as I raise the patient’s feet from the trauma table onto the recovery bed, gushing with the giddiness of getting to use my hands in a medical setting for the first time.
Given the staggering time commitment required for a pre-medical student or an NCAA athlete, one may question whether it is smart or even viable to take on both of these roles in college. By giving you a glimpse into my routine, I want to show you that it is possible to successfully pursue both your athletic and academic goals.
To combat this, we are called upon to reach a higher degree of commitment within ourselves and curb the tide of fear. Mindfulness is an optimal behavioral strategy within this period of self-isolation to manage our stress and establish the foundation for optimizing our mental and emotional hygiene.
There has been limited to no coverage regarding what it’s like to get sick during this time and to enter the health care system without knowing if your condition is related to the pandemic. I envisioned it to be a frightening situation with much grey area, and then I endured it myself.
Telemedicine should never replace in-person care, especially in the patient-centric hospice environment, but when used appropriately it can provide benefits not found in any other care environment.
On my first day volunteering in the hospital, my task is to observe Steven, a more experienced volunteer, as he visits with patients. We begin by meeting Amanda, the first patient on our list.
While I knew little about these patients at the beginning of the day, I always started out knowing one very important fact: they were already dead.
I had always thought of medical professionals as society’s heroes who could do no wrong, but with my own personal experiences in the back of my mind, I discovered the reality was far more complex.
The year was 2011. I was thirteen years old, and school had just let out. I walked back home, exactly four blocks away from school, left-right-left-right, lub-dub, lub-dub.
Medical school is an exciting time in an aspiring physician’s life, but a somber reality is looming.
Even though providers often must jump for one room to the next, it is important that they take the time to learn about each patient’s individual needs.