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  • Mental Triage: The Art of Emergency Medicine

    Triage is the act of prioritizing patients based on their probable diagnosis and necessary treatments. It comes from the French word tier, meaning to sift or to separate. Our ED has a ''triage'' area where patients are seen by a nurse who collects basic history and vital signs. We rely upon this information in our overall assessment. Last ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on March 19, 2012
  • Back Up

    As I write this, my body is suffering from a 9-hour jet lag and 4P-4A shift in the ER. On Saturday, I returned to the States after an 8-day trip to Uganda. Our purpose was to teach at a leadership conference in the northern part of the country. We flew in at 2:30 PM that day. On Sunday, my normal schedule resumed.  The shift was ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on March 12, 2012
  • Medical Spanish: Dangerous or Necessary?

    Him, ''No English.'' Me, ''Uhhh, well, ummm, duele (pain)?'' Him, ''Spanish word, Spanish word, Spanish word'' and then points to his right lower quadrant as he writhes in pain. This patient began with the luxury of his PA using the translator phone, but as fate would have it, the phone lost service in the beginning of the evaluation. ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on February 20, 2012
  • No Room for Mistakes

    The medical director said, ''We don't want you to make mistakes because they're too costly,'' when I asked him for some tips. My first day of emergency medicine orientation was spent one-on-one with the ED director. This one stood out. He went on to explain that mistakes are avoided by asking questions whenever you're unsure about ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on February 13, 2012
  • What's This Rash?

    I have tremendous respect for my PA and NP colleagues in dermatology. With eyes as skilled as Picasso's, they have the horribly difficult job of identifying literally thousands of skin conditions, ranging from benign to deadly. Dermatology confuses me. It must me my engineering background. I'm more comfortable with mathematical equations and ...
  • Responding to a Reader's Questions

    One of my readers had some good questions that I would like to address. Being that I am a student, my answers may need some help from practicing PAs. Here we go: ''I want to be in surgery, but I'm afraid that being a PA won't allow me to be as involved and hands-on as I want to be. What do you think of this?'' Surgery PAs are very involved and ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on February 15, 2010
  • Rejoicing Over Clinical Rotation Schedules

    The UNTHSC PA class of 2011 is counting down the days until we head out the door for rotations. On March 29th, we will go our separate ways for 3 ½ weeks at a time and come together every 4 weeks for testing, presentations and re-connecting with each other.  Each student has 12 rotations ranging from 1-2 months each. Our core rotations ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on February 8, 2010