Saturday, February 19, 2011

You learn something new everyday

Every day at clinicals, instead of getting a nice lunch break...or any lunch break at all, we go to "Noon Conference." We can bring our lunch there, so it's not like we don't eat, but we listen to a lecture, while trying to quietly chow down.

Most lectures are power point presentations put on by various attendings. This week was a bit different.

The doctor started writing on the chalk board (yes, those still exist, despite the fact that I keep hearing friend's kids only using personal laptops or projected computers onto white boards in school now!).

Anyways, he writes on the chalk board the following information: 3 day old, ready to be D/C (*discharged) home with mom from L & D unit, normal delivery, no complications.

Then he says, "The nurse calls as she's discharging the family and tells you that she just changed the diaper and there is a lot of melana. What do you want to know?"

Of course the room is quiet. Nobody wants to take a risk and speak out loud. Or maybe we were all taken aback that this was an interactive session! Either way, I thought, "Nope, definitely not answering!"

Except my thought process was shot down when the doctor decided to just randomly call on someone (probably the most freaked out looking person in the room!)...


Hello, the question is "What more information do you want to know?" Well, my first thought is "WHAT THE HECK IS MELANA!?!?!?" How am I supposed to know what questions to ask or what history to gather when I don't even know what the problem is!

Just one week (or so) after writing this post on teaching my orientee the importance of knowing medical terminology, here I sit not knowing a medical term...and one I'm being questioned on!

Luckily, I had just popped some blueberries in my mouth at the very time I was called on, so the doc said "Well I'll give you a minute to the nurse notices this new problem of melana...a good amount of blood in the diaper..."

THANK YOU!!!!! Now we're in business. At least I know the definition of melana!!! Blueberries are now my favorite food!!!

I was able to throw out a few pieces of information that I'd want to know. After saying, "Great we're on the right track" he let me off the hook. Onto the next victim...I mean student!

So I learned something new this week. And melana is now a new word I'll never forget! Fancy word for "bloody poop"- nice. So thank you GI attending for the learning experience. Thank you blueberries for the stall technique! Thank you bloody poop for...ok, what would you thank bloody poop for...gross!

Here's to learning something new this week...hopefully it won't revolve around poop! Although, I guess it's quite fitting being a nurse! What have you learned new this week???

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