Top 10 Ways To Prevent Mistakes When Using Ultrasound

10.  Do not forget to plug in the machine and learn to power on the machine BEFORE you go into the patient’s room.  You don’t want to look like an idiot searching all over for the power button on the machine while the patient is waiting for you to start the scan. 9.  Make sure the probes are clean and the cords are untangled before you walk into the patient’s room.  You don’t want to waste time detangling cords or cleaning off blood and gel in front of the patient. 8.  Warm the gel bottle before you lather up the patient with it.  If you don’t have a gel warmer, you can place the bottle in a hot water bath (eg. Basin filled with hot tap water).  Just make sure you warn the patient that the gel will be cold.  Apologize profusely and help clean up the gel afterwards. 7.  Don’t push harder on the probe to try to improve your image.  Getting the probe closer to the target organ doesn’t give you a better image.  Add some extra gel, change your angle, and redirect your ultrasound beams to maximize image quality. 6.  Turning up the gain may make your picture brighter, but it will wash out some of the important detail.  You will want to see the difference in contrast between the various structures (e.g. liver and kidney...

12 Important Tips for Your Residency Applications and Interviews

As I wrap up residency interview season, in between the delayed flights and using spotty wi-fi at questionably clean hotels, I thought it’d be helpful to assemble a list of tips for future applicants. These are things that I wish I would have known or things that I underestimated the importance of. Hopefully, this will help others traveling the country in their freshly pressed suits in pursuit of a place to call home for the next few years of training. 1. Know answers to common canned questions What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Why do you want to come to our program? What are you looking for in a program? Tell me about yourself. Tell me about your research. Tell me about _____ volunteer experience.  These all came up repeatedly during my interviews. 2. Google yourself to see what comes up Now is the time to limit your Twitter candor and make those bachelorette party, body-shot doing Facebook albums private. According to some Google analytics results, multiple programs throughout the season searched me in the days leading up to my interviews. I even had someone Google me less than 5 minutes after leaving a program. It happens. Make sure nothing reputation-damaging shows up. Luckily, my life happens to be pretty boring and all you’ll find on my social media pages are photos of my dog, Instagram food shots,...

Intelligence Squared Debate: Is ObamaCare Beyond Rescue?

With the disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website, critics of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” were given more fuel for the fire. Is this political hot potato’s inevitability once again at stake? And is the medical community really on board with the law, or resisting (rewriting?) it from the sidelines? Obamacare Is Now Beyond Rescue from Intelligence Squared U.S....

10 Things the NSA Would Find Out if They Asked for My Personal Records

Last week over at HuffPo, Peter van Buren wrote an article about *gasp* the NSA being able to request medical records (and I’m supposed to be shocked by this revelation?) To reduce any symptoms of mass hysteria this article, or any like it, might cause, here’s my RX: 10 Reasons The NSA Don’t Give A S*** About My Medical Records! #10: I’m a twenty-two year old caucasian female who is five feet six inches tall (I asked if they could round up from 5ft 5 and ¾ inches) and weighs 115lbs (I mean, that’s not a lie, I did weigh that much one time. . .for like a week. . .) NSA’s Interpretation: “A woman lying about her weight? Unheard of. This warrants further investigation.” #9: I currently work in the same hospital I was born in: and the first thing I did after I exited my mother’s womb was poop on the table (isn’t the mom-to-be the one worried about doing that?). NSA’s Interpretation: “Clearly this was a tactic used by the baby to distract the doctor so that the mother could hide national security secrets in her vagina.” #8: When I was like 3, I fell on to one of those plastic toy shopping carts (and was shirtless I guess?) Yeah so the plastic splintered and cut my boob so bad it bled for three days but...

Face It, US Healthcare Sucks. But There’s Still Hope

America is a pretty great country. You may even think it’s the best. But it’s not.   I know you’re thinking, “This girl is so unpatriotic,” but I’m not at fault. There’s no denying the statistics. If you look to where the well-being of our people lie, the healthcare system, you’ll see we are nowhere near the top (well, except for health care costs). Where We Stand A 2013 survey published by The Commonwealth Fund showed that in comparison to 10 other industrialized nations, the United States fared the worst in terms of health care cost, access, and affordability. For example, 37% of US adults did not get the care they needed because of cost while 4% and 6% of United Kingdom and Sweden citizens faced the same issue. Also, 41% of those in the US spent $1,000 or more out-of-pocket regardless of insurance status while only 2% and 3% respectively of Sweden and United Kingdom citizens had to pay similar costs. You can see these data for these countries and others displayed in the graphs below. While our healthcare system is making it difficult for us to get adequate care and costing us a bundle, we’re also overall less healthy. We’re the second most obese of well-populated countries with 31.8% obesity only falling short to Mexico with nearly a third of its citizens packing the extra pounds according...

5 Reasons To Start Listening To Podcasts

1. You don’t want to listen to slayer on your morning commute. There was this guy who lived on my floor freshman year of college who casually admitted that he didn’t “really like listening to music.” Everyone thought this was equal parts hilarious and bizarre, as well as a potential warning sign that we lived amongst a future serial killer, but I still think of him whenever I’m not in the mood for tunes. Although modern technology allows us to put music in our ear holes pretty much 24/7, there are plenty of times (that dreaded morning commute comes to mind) when I’m too busy idly contemplating suicide to deal with the emotional demands of a song. In fact, the pleasant distractions of an engaging conversation are just about the only thing I can tolerate until about noon. This was presumably the thought process behind morning talk radio shows, but thankfully most podcasts aren’t hosted by the kind of wacky, prank-calling “shock jocks” that make you want to careen your car into oncoming traffic. 2. There’s a podcast for everything. The internet has obliterated any semblance of subculture, exposing the underground (all vulnerable and exposed like an unready, shriveled penis) to the light of the mainstream. Gone are the days of tape-trading, obscure message boards, the fear that you might be the only one – now every possible niche,...

14 Signs You Work in a Hospital

1. You don’t have to look at your badge when a code gets called anymore because you’ve already memorized what they all mean… But if you got dropped in a new hospital, you’d probably be lost because there isn’t a standardized system for code labeling in the U.S.   2. You’re either BFF’s with the kitchen staff, maintenance staff, switchboard operators or all of the above, because you know they are the reason the hospital keeps running.   3. At any given moment, any location in the hospital, you know where the nearest coffee pot is.   4. You know which shoes in your closet are 1) too clicky 2) too scuffy or 3) too squeaky to be worn throughout the hospital corridors.   5. You also know what items of clothing you can clip your badge too, and what pieces will require you to wear a lanyard.   6. You have a minimum of three lanyards, at least one of which is silly and/or sparkly.   7. You have hidden in the hospital Chapel at least once; and if you haven’t yet, trust me, you will.   8. You know which bathrooms are the least used and you try to make a beeline for them on your break.   9. You weren’t sure what I meant by the word “break” just then.   10. You know which departments...

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