Patient Simulation Lab

I think the use of mannequins to introduce medical students to various medical procedures is a good thing. Although we will also eventually work with standardized patients, being able to practice blood drawing techniques, intubation, and other procedures that we should eventually learn, is great….especially since at the beginning, we wont have the slightest clue what we are doing. Today, for our summer program, we spent most of the day in the simulation lab, that is also shared with the military. It was really cool to learn the “right” way to stop someone that is bleeding from an open gash. The first thing you do is apply pressure with your hand. Don’t directly place your hand on the wound, but use something (like the persons clothes) to put in between your hand and the wound. (I asked “why do we use the patients clothes, instead of ours?”, and my instructor answered “cause then you’d be naked”, lol). Anyways, if that doesn’t work, you can try elevating it, if it’s an arm or leg. If that still doesn’t work, the next option, (and last resort) is a the use of a tourniquet. You always try and place the tourniquet two inches above the wound, and use a long stick or pen, or something that is long, to tighten the tourniquet. I was so excited to learn anything new and get out of that anatomy cadaver lab, that seeing a fake patient was good enough for me. We also learned how to stabilize a person who maybe broke their leg hiking or biking, and how to do a 2 person and a firemans carry. Lastly, we practiced pressing a bag that pushed oxygen into the lungs of the mannequin and watched an intubation. I think it’s called bag-valve mask ventilation. Honestly, I don’t think we did it right. If it were a real patient, I think we would have killed our patient! The mannequins oxygen stats kept dropping, and the heart rate was erratic. Our pumping of the bag was very inconsistent and I could have sworn it was supposed to have some sort of technique to it. (At least that’s what Greys anatomy said lol). Overall, today was very exciting. I think the application of medicine is going to be fun, and the coursework is going to be the part that I will have to push through. There is a simulation lab elective for the fall (by lottery), so I will try and get in that class. So many options and areas that I can practice in…and everything looks interesting. Atleast I found out today that I may really like hands on experience with patients doing various procedures (except for dissections, so pathology and autopsies are OUT, lol). Who knows what aspect of medicine I will be going into? Will it be Emergency Medicine? Who knows…..

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