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21 hours or my day at clinicals

Last night (or early this morning) I sat in my car and updated my Twitteer/Facebook status from my Peek in the hospital parking lot. After an update like that I figured I should come here and tell you about the day I had. I did get home over 21 hours after I left but I didn't spend that whole time at the hospital. I did get a break.

I got to the hospital at about 6:30 AM for clinicals. I paired up with the RT who was assigned the ICU and we got report from the night shift therapist who was getting off. Before we could get to the unit, a rapid response was called. We rushed to the room where it was and saw a crowd of people. The patient was gasping for air with gurgling sounds and SpO2 ("SATS") in the 70's and 80's. The RT handed me a Non-Rebreathing mask and told me to get in there. The patient was on isolation but I had no time for the gown. I quickly donned the mask and gloves and began to weave my way through the nurses that were in there. I hooked up the NRB and replaced his Nasal Cannula with it. Another therapist opened up an NTS kit and thrust the sterilepackage at me to put on the gloves. I did and lubed up the catheter. The nurses held the patient's head becaause he knew what was imminent and began to thrash his head about. I suctioned him out 2 or 3 times and his Sats came up. We then got out of the room and moved him to the ICU.

The rest of the day was uneventful and filled with ventilator monitoring and breathing treatments. I did get to NTS this patient again and another patient once (that's 3 times total for the day). The evening shift came in and we gave report about 3:30. I had to be at work at 7:00 and didn't feel like going home between. I live about 12 miles away so I probably could've gone and taken a nap but I didn't.

I just hung around town. I walked around Wal-Mart, and Office Depot. I bought a mouse for my laptop. I love this mouse in case you were interested. I ate dinner at Zaxby's. Visited my grandmother before she ate dinner then went back to the hospital. The rest of the night was unexciting because as a student I can basically just take a patient list and give breathing treatments. Then I got off at 3 AM.

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Checkoffs this semester

As you guys know I am in my last semester of RT school. What this semester entails is one class a week and many hours of clinicals. During clinicals we have 220 adult checkoffs (130 general care and 90 critical care) and 20 neonatal checkoffs. I have now completed 219 of the adult checkoffs. I need to do spontaneous pulmonary mechanics one more time. That is when you use a couple of hand held meters to decide when a patient is ready to be extubated and come off of mechanical ventilation. I was so close to that final checkoff on Thursday too. It's frustrating to be that close.

I also need 5 neonatal checkoffs too. I have to try and get back to the NICU for those.

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The Vest...I have a question for my readers

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In school when we went over airway clearance we learned about the vest. I didn't think much about it until I started talking to all of you, my new friends, living with Cystic Fibrosis. Now I know that the vest has cut mortality rates in half, I also know that it costs over $15,000. Now I have some questions. Do you have one? Is it easy to get and get covered by insurance, medicaid, or whatever you use? Do you know of kids with cf in families that cannot afford one? Is the company that makes it receptive to this and willing to help you get one, even if you can't afford it? I don't mean to pry but I have plans and ideas and the answers to these questions will help me. Please leave a comment or if you'd rather it remain private please email me at marcus.williford(at)gmail(dot)com. Thank you.

Oh, before I go I wanted to tell you guys about a new blog I found. Her name is Salty (I'm sure thats not her real name) and she seems to be living with CF and diabetes. Her blog is Salty and Sweet. She's a hottie too(sorry,I just had to throw that in there. I am a guy after all). Here is what she says in the "about me" section

"Other Cystic Fibrosis warriors must be out there. I believe we must band together, share with each other, and fight these horrendous diseases together. Knowledge is power. The more we know the stronger, and healthier, we each will be.

I have dedicated many hours of my life reaching out to help my doctors find a cure and new treatments for Cystic Fibrosis. Now I want reach out and connect with others who have CF, those who have CFRD, friends, family and anyone else who knows what it is like to live with health issues, and those wonderful people who support them."

Let's get to know her too.

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A Great Strides Idea

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I was at clinicals this weekend and someone was selling raffle tickets for their Relay for Life team. That got me thinking. I should have thought of it before because wedo raffles all the time at school. I want to raffle something for my Great Strides team. I set a personal goal of 500 bucks and am at 180 now. I haven't donated any personally yet but I will. I figured I would donatelast when I got closer to the goal. That leaves me at something like 380 left to raise.

I don't what to raffle. I thought about a blu-ray player. Those are about 200 bucks so I would need to sell about 300-400 tickets to make a substantial donation.Thats a lot of selling and I just don'tknow if I am up th it. The lady for Relay for Life was raffling a gas card. Those are always good. I could get a 50 dollar one. Then I would only need to sell 100-200 tickets to make a good donation.

What do you think. I know I have a lot of awesome readers who have a lot more experience raising money for Great Strides than I do. Please chime in with comments on what to raffle. Thanks.

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A Source of Inspiration Blog Carnival

A while back I submitted a post to a Respiratory Blog Carnival that a fellow RT student is hosting. It's called a Source of Inspiration and it's up now. Go check it out. I would post a longer entry telling you about it but it's 3:20 AM and I'm up for Clinicals. Actually, I'm barely up. Go check it out and tell them I said hello.

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Just hanging out

I was sitting here alternating between studying and surfing the internet. I've gotten to the point where my time spent here is alternating between facebook and twitter. I decided I'd tell you about my new little buddy. It's my Acer Aspire One and my friend the domestic diva first introduced me to it. After reading about her experiences I decided I wanted one. It's got a built in webcam and I used it to take this picture. I may start video blogging too.

This is me on my couch. Anyway, back to the AAO. It's a little computer with Windows XP and a 160 GB hard drive. It's perfect for what I need. Plus, I graduate in May and plan to do some traveling so this will be perfect for travel blogging. The keyboard is small and sometimes I mean to hit the space bar and don't actually get a space. That's my only drawback. Look for videos too. I also shouldbe shutting this blog down in a few months to start 2 new ones. One about me and my life (personal blog) and one about my work life. I already have a domain name for the second one.

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Great News

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Well, you guys know that I am a Respiratory Therapy student who has recently developed a passion for doing my part to raise awareness for cystic fibrosis. Since I've started this blog I've met other RT students throughout the country. My buddy the Trauma Junkie wrote me today and said that he decided to sign up for his local Great Strides walk in Texas.

"Hey, just found out there is a Great Strides walk here in April. Will be going..inspired by your efforts."

I am so excited to have inspired someone to get involved with a cause that has come to mean so much to me. Go visit his blog, My RT Life, and tell him how proud you are too.

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Well, I'm up at 5 am for clinicals today and I'm just killing a little time before I leave. I thought I would share something about me. I think I am opposite from all RT students. You see, with the normal student General care is something to be tolerated until you get to critical care. Everyone wants to get to the ICU to take care of the ventilator patients. Not me though.

I love general care. I love getting to know a patient, even for the brief time I am in their room. Now, I do hate having 10-12 patients on a list for one hours round. Then I have to shovel out the meds. You know the drill. Introduce self, slap pulse ox on finger, listen to breath sounds, put meds in nebulizer and slap the mask on their face, only to move on to the next patient. Even then I try to talk to them while I am doing this. You can learn a lot about a person in 2 minutes.

I'm still a student so I am by no means an expert. Just enjoy your time in General Care with your patients. There will plenty of Critical Care clinicals to go around. Now I am heading out to a hospital that MAY have one ventilatr patient (but probably will not).

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My First Post

Ok, not my first post but this is my first one on my new computer. It's a netbook called the Acer Aspire one.It's very tine and portable.I am getting used to the keyboard which is a little smaller. I definitely love it. It's got a gig of RAM which I may upgrade a little later. It also has a 160 gb hard drive. I'm in the process of doing all of the updates and stuff. I'm switching all of my files over. It doesn't have a cd drive so I've installed open office instead of microsoft office. I do think I'm gonna love this little netbook

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They changed the date of my Great Strides walk to June 27th. I'll still be able to do the walk. I am so excited. Next Monday night the 16th there's a Meet and Greet so I'll get to meet some others who are walking.

Unfortunately it looks like my team will only have 3 members because thats all that has signed up. Thats ok though, because this is my first year. I will also be walking at another event in NC with a friend I met on here. I may start fundraising with her after my walk is over in June. I'll take pics of the meet and greet next week. I am so excited.

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NICU week 2

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Well, I just got home from day 3 (of 4) in the NICU. It further solidified my beliefs that that is where I want to work. I just wish that the one we do our clinicals is at were a little closer. It's about an hour and a half drive from here.

The day started ok. I got there and found out that the night shift had a patient airlifted to a bigger hospital. One of the therapists had to go with them. We also had a patient on the ventilator. Remember, last week we had no vent babies so I was kind of excited to go see. I got to actually suction out the ET tube which is more difficult than you'd imagine with the isolette, circuit, and cables all in the way.

After lunch we got called to the delivery room for a 36 week meconium baby. When we arrived the patient was intubated and the umbilical cord was really green. They said he had been swimming in the meconium for a while it seemed. We got the baby down to the unit and the NNP and doctor struggled to place a umbilical artery catheter and umbilical venous catheter. It looked like I was going to give surfactant (which is like the holy grail for RT students in the NICU here. It's so very rarely done). The chest x-ray came back and there was a pneumothorax. The doctor was preparing to place a chest tube when I left. It's looking like the baby will be on the oscillator (wait til you learn about that one) in the morning. Maybe I'll get to give surfactant then. I'm really feeling like there's no doubt the NICU is where I belong.

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Enlightenment Tag

My friend Katey over at My CF Journey with God tagged me with the Enlightenment Tag. It's basically a post that I have to tell you ten things about me. Now I just have to figure out 10 things.

1.) I love animals but am more of a cat person than a dog person. I know thats rare but I feel cats have more personality and are easier pets to take care of.

2.) Can be very political with views that are very liberal.

3.) As Katey said and as I commented in her post, I don't eat vegetables. I do like corn, potatoes, lima beans, and sweet peas.

4.) I love sports but mainly football and basketball. My favorite teams are the Carolina Panthers and UNC Tarheels

5.) I've been laid off from 2 jobs that I thought were careers I would retire from. That is why I'm going to Respiratory Therapy school. For the job security

6.) Since 10th grade I've wanted to be a writer. That is probably why I maintain a blog and have already started making preparations for closing this one and starting a new one (On May 20 I will no longer be a RT student :)

7.) I love to travel and love Austin, Texas. It's my favorite city. I am going to Pittsburgh for the first time.

8.) I'm sorry Katey, I can only think of 7 things. I will post a picture for # 8 since I don't know if a lot of you know what I look like. This is me about to leave for clinicals one morning.

I will tag 2 people like she did. Carolyn over at A Thousand Pictures and Cindy at Cure CF for Reilly.

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