Day 15 - I Belong Here


We met as a team briefly, before Dr. Tandoh beckoned me to leave. We went to the cafe and got breakfast, where she explained that she was waiting to be paged to the operating room today.

I was excited! And now that I was prepared to be in a burn room (they're hotter than normal rooms to help regulate the patient's body temperature... a fact I hadn't learned until yesterday, when I was dehydrated and unprepared to be in a 98 degree room), we went to change the dressings of one of the burn victims from yesterday.

While we were there changing the dressings, I met some other med students and even a nursing student! She had just finished her third year. I also met another doctor who appeared to be their teacher, and he let me touch the different burns to compare them to normal skin. I helped them change the bedsheets (rectal tube leaked) and asked more questions to the students and doctors.

After lunch, Dr. Tandoh was still waiting for her case. We went to meet the mother and grandmother of the burn patient, which was an interesting experience. Dr. Tandoh calmed them down and answered their questions about the burns, and I got to see how the interactions with patients’ families work. 

While we were waiting more for Dr. T’s case, she showed me various CT scans and x-rays from her current patients. She taught me how to identify bone fractures and loose fluid, and how to identify bullet fragments. 

On my way out, I met some anesthesiologists who were chatting outside the OR. They asked me if I felt like I didn’t belong (I was standing with my arms crossed in my usual I-don’t-want-to-get-in-the-way position). They told me that if I was with Dr. Tandoh, I did belong. 

That made my day. Dr. T said her case was pushed back to after 6pm, so I finished on that high note.

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