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Week 2: Diving In

June 14th, 2013 etcare14

As my second week up in the capital of the Constitution State is drawing to a close, I can already tell that these ten weeks are going to fly by. After a little reflection at home over the weekend, I realized how cool and exciting the first week was. Hopefully it will be a harbinger of things to come. Last week the other interns and I really enjoyed seeing the hospital’s helipad and state of the art simulation laboratory. The “sim center” had manikins for practicing medical techniques, and what are essentially surgical video games to practice surgical procedures and dexterity. We were all impressed by their ability to simulate real human conditions.

I dove right back in this week, as all of the other interns and I, as well as some other new Hartford Hospital hires, spent all of Monday in hospital orientation. Lots of lectures and packets, but it’s good to have a firm knowledge base and a solid foundation to move up from. We also got a free lunch out of it, which was a plus. Afterwards a couple of us went down to the hospital fitness center in the building where I am living to get the blood pumping after sitting in an auditorium all day. Having a gym in my building is incredibly convenient, as I learned from living in Loyola Hall last fall.

After Monday, I am on my own and done with training. I have been shadowing my physician mentor, a general surgeon, both around the hospital and in his office. The past few days have been fun and exciting, and the doctor I have been working with is a tremendous caregiver and mentor. The past few days have been a challenge in navigation, as I try to make my way around this enormous hospital without getting hopelessly lost. Luckily I have avoided the look of walking around the hospital with a map in my pocket, but its gotten close. Another challenge has been learning to breathe in a surgical mask (not as easy as you might think. Hint: try to look like a duck).

Today I got going on my research project with my mentor. We are looking at complex hernia repairs, his specialty, which is pretty interesting. I did a bunch of reading before the internship, but am also learning a lot on the fly to keep up with him and the research. This morning I had a long meeting with one of the hospital’s clinical data managers about the specifics of our project and how to get it off the ground. So its encouraging to have some progress there, and I am planning to work on it some more tomorrow.

After a long day in the office today, I went out to dinner with two of the other interns at 5 Guys in West Hartford. Although it was only three guys (myself, one from UConn, one from Trinity) at Five Guys, it was a good time. It was pouring out, but it was really nice to get out and explore a bit. It also totally reminded me of my monthly pilgrimages to the ones back in Worcester.

Talk to you all soon. Check back in for my weekend plans.


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