Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Clinical Note-We never push the red button!

Yesterday was not my day. I started positive and ready to take on the day...I had planed to complete my first competency exam. Or as we call them "comp." With a comp the student (in this case, me) performs the exam from start to finish without assistance. I setup the x-ray tube and table, retrieve the patient, have them change into a gown if necessary. Then I bring them into the exam room ask a series of questions and history. Then I position the patient and take the required x-rays according to affected part and hospital protocol. I review each image for correctness and re-take images accordingly. Now that that is explained I can move on....

I chickened out. I did not comp on this exam. I chose to do a mock comp, where I did everything as though I was comp-ing but I was not graded. I was still nervous. Everything went fairly smooth until I had to continually move my patient. The x-ray tube and table were unable to move past the point at which they were. It is difficult to explain, but nonetheless the table started beeping because the patient was "too high"toward the head of the table. With all the beeping and me feeling guilty for making the patient move whilst pain I just wanted the darn beeping to stop!

 I look for the switch on the table that unlocks and locks it hoping that will make it stop. I see a button, it is big and red...I push it. "Don't push the red button" goes through my head. Finally I get some help from those in the back (likely shaking their heads at the student who has no clue). The red button shut down the system and now it has to reboot. My patient is none the wiser. I take this time to maneuver them into the required position, using this "extra time" in order to be ready when the system comes back. It is back, I take the x-ray, and that concludes the exam. I am glad that was not graded...

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