I'm so grateful for those preceptors, though, and for the countless other people I met that made an effort to make me feel like I wasn't just a waste of space, who encouraged me and befriended me and taught me. Every single experience has served to make me better now, taught me about what to look for in a job, and will make me a better practitioner in the future. I wouldn't trade the 4-week rotations for anything. Having exposure, even just a short course, to certain specialties has really helped. I have to focus the majority of my studying now for my boards exam on the areas I did not get to rotate in, and am much more prepared in the areas I worked in. I think that was even more beneficial than longer rotations in the general things like primary care would have been. It's experience I obviously couldn't have been without. Am I ready to be a health care provider? I think so. I know it will be a big learning curve in whatever I work in, but I have confidence in my ability to make a difference in patients' lives. And I'm committed to keep learning. Always.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
This past year has been an exciting and interesting one, a special and unique year for me. As a PA student we only do 1 year of clinical rotations, and it was a whirlwind. Our rotations were typically only 4 weeks long. That's 4 weeks to get used to a new hospital or medical office (or sometimes multiple!), new preceptors, new medical staff, new responsibilities, new patient populations, new procedures, and new ways to do the same procedures. Leaving home extra early because it takes twice as long to find where you're supposed to be. Never knowing if I should bring my own food, if there would be a place to put it, if I'd even have time to eat, if there would be a place to buy lunch, or if my preceptor would be eating (and let's face it, that was deal to me). Often following someone around and adopting their schedule and routines completely. Feeling like I was just in the way and often serving very little practical function. Gauging when and what questions to ask and how to make the most out of this experience and the best impression. Feeling out what was expected of me and attempting to communicate my own desires and expectations. Trying to be as enthusiastic as possible while actually feeling just tired. Getting told the same things over and over and just nodding my head. Treating patients while not always agreeing with the plan, and having preceptors not listen to my ideas and concerns. Feeling nervous so very much of the time.