The Quarterly Check-Up: Part 3
We have carved deep into the second half of my first year as
a professional physician assistant. This is the perfect time for a Quarterly
Check-Up to examine some of the biggest lessons over the last three months
We learned that our
patient's beliefs can trump the strongest medicine and that our acceptance
of those beliefs makes us better clinicians. We felt the growing pains of a
young provider, the thousands of little
mistakes and the attitude it takes to overcome them.
We realized the strength
of our profession: the collaborative system that makes us the most flexible
professionals in healthcare. We accepted that our time as a student is over,
but our scattered
network of PAs brings a new sense of security and adventure. We finally
tackled some of that pesky
debt. And we taught ourselves a
lesson that could never fit into our textbooks.
Random Thoughts from This Quarter:
The single biggest breakthrough of my career may
have been earning the respect of my nurse colleagues. I have never been an RN
and won't be able to fully appreciate what they do, but it's clear that they
run the show. So here's a big thank you to all of the patient nurses who hung
in there while I figured out all of the little things.
On a not-so-unrelated note, discontinue rectal
Tylenol when we have oral access. Got it!
Working weekends has totally different consequences
during football season. Oh no, what have I done?
Show a spark of your personality on the job. In
a field that typically represses its own humanity, this can really improve your
environment. When people die every day, it's even more important to smile.
Many issues debated among our profession bring an
emotional payload. This is understandable, as a group that has dedicated an
enormous amount of time, money and energy to their craft has really invested a
portion of their soul. By expressing my views on a public forum, I occasionally
disagree with some of my more experienced and respected PA colleagues. One of
my recent blog posts in particular touched
off a debate.
I understand the impulse to dismiss
the insights of younger and less experienced members of the profession. But
there is value in a fresh pair of eyes on an old set of problems. Progress is
rarely jump-started by strictly following the ideas handed down before you.
Some "unpopular" viewpoints from the new blood of this profession may be
exactly what it needs.
I've tried to take you as far into the ICU as possible
without violating HIPAA or the privacy of those around me. The next three
months will end my first year as a practicing PA. The best may be yet to come.
But if there's one thing I have learned in the ICU so far, it's that you can
never predict the future.