What IER placement did you do?
I completed my IER placement in Cardiology
What was the most interesting thing you got to see during your observership?
This was my first time observing in a hospital setting and I was fortunate to hear a systolic heart murmur for the first time. We had just recently learned about murmurs in clinical skills and it was nice to hear an actual example of the abnormal heart sound.
How much did the people you did your observership with know about PAs? Were they receptive to our role on the health care team?
Over the course of the day I rounded with a physician, resident, medical student, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, and pharmacist. I also observed social workers and physiotherapists. For the most part, most people knew exactly what the role of a PA is, but there were a couple people that were unfamiliar with the profession and had some questions about the PA scope of practice. Everyone seemed receptive to the role of a PA in a healthcare team.
What did you wish you knew going into this observership?
We had just started our cardiology unit, so a broader knowledge of treatments and pharmacology would have been helpful when rounding with the resident. It was an eye-opening experience to say the least.
How has this experience helped you clinically, in class and/or in career decision making?
As my first real clinical experience, I learned a lot about the various roles within a healthcare team and the importance of teamwork in the optimization of patient care. The cumulative effort of an entire team to improve the health of one individual was truly inspiring. It is exactly what I am looking forward to in a career as a PA.
Any other comments?
I really enjoyed my experience in the cardiology unit! My preceptor and the cardiology resident were extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the role of PAs within a healthcare team. They made me feel included in the discussion and were great teachers. I am definitely considering returning, if possible, to complete a cardiology longitudinal placement in the spring.