Monday, September 24, 2012

Knock, knock who's there?

Today I had my first standardized patient exam. This is when you walk into a mock doctors examination room with a real person and you have to treat them. Today we just found landmarks on them which was not too bad. (I am not looking forward to rectal exams next year.) But it was very nerve racking going into a room where you are watched through a one way mirror and recorded.

From inside the space station aka SPL
When I arrived at the Standardized patient lab (SPL) we were briefed on our mission, to palpate anatomical landmarks and then send into this space-station like room. It was a dark long room with desks facing windows into an exam room. In front of each window is a doctor or nurse wearing headphones typing at a computer. Inside every room was a real person.

Door 10 they told me, I made my way over to door 10. They woman at the station gave me and sanitizer and told me "Whenever your read." I looking into the window to see my first standardized patient. Male, mid thirties, fairly in shape, tall. I thought, ok this wont be so bad, but I was still nervous and my hands were shaking.

I looked down at my shoes and took a couple deep breaths. Knock, knock. Its the first thing you must always do when your entering an exam room. I heard the mans voice from within the room. "Come in." My heart was racing, well its now or never, I opened the door to my very first patient.

All in all it went well. I didn't get any questions I did not know, and I was well prepared. When I was palpating him my hands were shaking still, I wonder if he noticed. It was not as bad as I was expecting. Although I didn't forget that the widow was there, I did grow in confidence the longer I was in the room. I left the room feeling satisfied about my first patient encounter. I wont know for at lease another week how I scored, but at least I didn't faint.

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