ER Volunteer

I’m fortunate to know several people that work in the ER at the hospital close to my house and they’re letting me volunteer (even wear scrubs!). In fact, most of the docs and nurses know I’d like to go to med school, so I’m always allowed in to watch cool stuff. The docs always let me ask questions and talk to me as they work through procedures. Anyway, this experience has really opened my eyes to what I really like. I’ve seen lots of people get stitches and staples, bones set, got to hold a boys arm while the ortho pulled, torqued, and twisted it back into place, and have seens a few abcesses cut and drained. I think its the combination of mental/physical work and being totally focused on the job at hand that excites me. When people come in for SOB, general aches, and primary care stuff, I get bored. I imagine my lack of knowledge concerning disease processes adds to the bored feeling. Talking to the people is easy, but it reminds me of the business I’m in now which is centered around paper and communication, but nothing physical (except typing). All this to say that I never would have thought seriously about ortho or surgery because of the length of residency, but this volunteer experience has really served me well in terms of identifying what I enjoy doing.

On a side note, watching someone as they’re injected with the “knock out” meds before a bone is set and how their body reacts just blows my mind. Its so cool.



I can totally relate. I got to follow a Dr. friend of mine in the ER for 10 hours one night. I got to see a totally drunk man (450 blood alcohol level) get intubated after testing to see if he had a gag reflex (which he didn’t). I also got to see a man with renal failure and pneumonia get a central line. Wow! It was amazing. The great thing about being in the right situation is having a doctor that will talk you through the procedures and the problems.

Anyway, I can relate to your excitement.


P.S. By the way, is your screen name (tc13) a Star Wars nod?