Diabetes & Lipids Week 2: The Halfway Plateau
At this point in the clinical portion of school, we are halfway through rotations. I’ve been reflecting on some things that have been stirred up in diabetes & lipids clinic.
Each rotation starts off about the same, with the first week feeling like week 1 of rotation 1. The system (EMR, office policy, flow of patients, etc.) takes at least a week to learn, and at the same time I’m getting a feel for what needs to be studied for the specific rotation. At the University of North Texas Health Science Center, we have a test for 9 out of the 12 rotations, and we are expected to study for these exams in addition to site-specific info. Maybe it’s just me, but this has drained me. However, thanks to my time at the D&L clinic, I see where I went wrong.
My preceptor asked me last week what method I have for studying, because I was a little (OK, maybe a lot) stressed about remembering all the details of diabetes. I told her that I really don’t have a method. She asked me how I keep up with all my studies for rotation exams. Again, I confessed, I really haven’t. I thought about it some more and realized what happened: At some point, I began treating rotations like a job rather than school. I would read up on information pertinent to the rotation, which most of the time is relevant to the test. Yet, since about 3 months ago, I stopped reviewing for the exams. It has worked out all right, because over the last 3 months I have not had an exam. So, this mentality of treating a rotation like a job rather than school has crept up on me.
The stress of clinical rotations will remind you of how much you want to be working as a PA. When I face reality, I remember the responsibilities that have yet to be done. My tendency in life is to want to be somewhere I’m not. As “senior” PA students, we will feel burnt out. I never thought it would happen when I entered rotations because of how awesome it was to actually be seeing and doing what I have prepared for over the last 2 years. It is time to reevaluate my methods and return to my duties as a student. I am a PA-S and not a PA-C.
Thank you to my insightful preceptor for the helpful study tips. I needed to be reminded of why I am here. Back to studying!