Saturday, March 2, 2013
Medical Assistant Intern: 1st day! Grateful.
It finally has begun! I must admit, I felt as if this day would be too good for it to happen to me. I really thought it was going to be one of those really good things that just never come through. Once I finished up my paper work to begin my externship and I was ready, it took me about 3 weeks to finally set foot in the clinic and begin my volunteer work. During those 3 weeks my supervisor got sick for a few days and then was really busy in the clinic so it was hard to get a hold of him for me to begin working. This is when I thought I might end up doing my externship next school semester. Before going in I also made sure I reviewed all my notes I saved from my past medical classes at my college and I looked up videos on youtube to refresh my memory on how to do certain medical procedures, routines, clean-up, etc. Yesterday was my first day working as an intern at a small clinic near Santa Cruz!
I still can't really belief I was behind the counter at a clinic doing work. During my semesters at Cabrillo it was hard to picture myself really working professionally at a clinic. I felt I would not be able to do it, or I felt too young to be working in such a professional medical setting. But honestly, time grows on you. My most recent classes of medical assistant have helped me shape up more my attitude and feel more mature. As I grew older I focused more on my classes, payed more attention, aimed for the best grades I could get, and began to really enjoy feeling responsible.
When I walked in for the first time at the clinic to begin learning in action, I did not feel very nervous...(but waiiitt). I felt completely alert and ready to have tons of information thrown at me. I felt eager to learn it. My first couple of hours I shadowed a Medical Assistant who worked for one of the doctors at the site. As I watched her do work on the computer I began feeling a little nervous. I was thinking to myself how am I going to remember all of this? She clicked on things so fast, opened up files really fast, knew who to call and where to search. I asked her how long it took her to learn this? She said the obvious of course, "with time and practice here you'll learn." She was very nice and very kindly answered all the questions I had. I watched her assist a few patients in the room, take their weight, height, blood pressure, temperature, questions, and gather information. So after a couple of hours she threw me right into action! She asked if I wanted to bring in the next patient. (I was already thinking I would like to try this, but I was just not expecting her to say it!) I felt a little bit excited when she said this and I told her "yeah, okay!" But this is when my palms began to sweat a little. I began asking her quickly about taking blood pressure and other small questions to refresh my memory but I thought to myself "okay stop, take a breath, walk out there, bring the patient, remain calm and do it step by step. If I have questions she said she'll be watching me." So as I assisted my first patient I asked her small questions throughout my procedure and she then helped me to put all the information on the computer. Having her there guiding me helped tremendously.
I became better with the next patients I assisted. Of course if I did something wrong I told the patient it was my first day and I'm sorry for having her/him do repetitive things haha. They were all very nice. Later on I began assisting patients on my own! I took them to the room, closed the door, my short little young self was in their with the patient, then I told them the doctor would come see them shortly and I walked over to the computer to record their data. I feel I've got the basics down and have a good idea of how their electronic system works. I will keep learning more with the days to come. I felt very alert, clear headed, energized, and remembered information.
I really liked all my co-workers I met that day. There is such good energy flowing at the site, and everyone has a great sense of humour. They laugh with one another, help each other, they bring food and candy to share, and are playful with each other :) I was very attentive too to others working around me. It's a very intense job. There is a ton of remembering, researching, keeping up with patient appointments, backtracking different people's history, figuring out possible causes of illness, etc. It's a lot on the mind and body. It's fast paced, and you are on your feet most of the time.
I found myself a little reserved with the workers at the clinic. I look forward to the day were I feel comfortable to join in their conversations and joke around with them too. My supervisor, manager, and the MA's have all been very nice to me so far. They have all given me advice, shared some stories with me, and given me smiles.
I really liked working with patients and letting them feel we are there to help them. All the patients we saw that were ill made me feel bad inside, but thankfully I didn't have an emotional break down at the clinic. When I came home last night, I was writing up my daily journal and all of a sudden I felt overwhelmed with sadness. I began to cry fast. These are times when I wish I didn't care so much about people. I saw patients that day who looked tired, overwhelmed, and their facial expressions stayed in my heart. I witnessed two severe health problems. One lady had an opened abscess from drug abuse (a wide and deep whole on her thigh...unbelievable), and a man had to get his toe amputated that afternoon after his visit with us. These are people of less fortune, but it is just not fair they should go through this. These people should have access to proper nutrition, NATURAL foods, proper hygiene, less economic stress. Money should not rule. Their health should not suffer because they don't have the access or affordability. I'm sending positive energy to them. This really showed me just how strong my passion is to help others, and to keep myself healthy, self-aware, and informed in this modern society. I'm going to keep bugging the waiters with questions about their food (sorry guys), feed my body the best I can and nourish my soul, and find balance. I give a DAMN about my body and my well-being.
I know I will b seeing many more people suffering during my intern days, and I will have to find ways to cope with this. I am feeling positivity on other aspects though. Being in a working environment feels great! I love feeling productive, love helping others, meeting new personalities, and putting my body and brain to use. I'm really looking forward to going back to work :D
At some point doing your day, take a few minutes to be grateful about something in your life. Or better yet, every day think of 1 different thing each day that you are grateful for. Something positive.
Now for some yumminess...
I was glad to know there is a fridge for us in the snack room for our lunches and dinners. Next time I'll bring solid food.
I had breakfast early.
I drank my usual amount of water upon waking.
Then I made a yummy refreshing quick drink of 1 cup water in a glass jar, 1 tablespoon raw Maca powder, and a good splash of organic Cinnamon.
The at 8:30 am I ate 2 ripe sweet bananas on the drive to the clinic.
For lunch at 12:30 I ate a whole bag of raw Cacao-Goji Power Snack (great source for a lot of good calories.)
One of the MA's brought homemade apple slices coated in caramel and chocolate so I took a small slice when they offered me some :) No biggie. Sharing of food brings people together.
I drank some water throughout the day.
I was supposed to leave at 6pm but I ended up leaving at 6:30pm. When I left I drove to Whole Foods and I enjoyed a satisfying meal of sweet potato, salmon, warm chicken, and salad with dressing. The chicken never tasted so good! I definitely worked up an appetite and in general I was just feeling thankful for this opportunity, a productive day, and healthy food.