Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Practicing My ER Skills

Back in September, our residency program had a practical skills lab where we got to perform venous cutdowns, diagnostic peritoneal lavage, chest tube insertion, cricothyrotomy, and emergency thoracotomy. It was SO MUCH FUN!!!!

Below are a few pictures of me practicing my mad skills!

Venous cutdown (You could do this when you can't get "normal" IV access - it involves making a small incision near the ankle and finding the vein there to insert the catheter.)

Here I am watching my partner perform cardiac defibrillation - shocking the heart. We do this when the heart starts acting up - by shocking the heart we are hoping to stun it back into a regular rhythm.
Now I get MY turn to shock the heart.
Here I am performing the thoracotomy. A thoracotomy is making a big incision on the side of the chest, spreading the ribs apart, and getting to the heart by pushing the lungs out of the way. We might do this in the ER when someone gets shot or stabbed - with the injury penetrating the heart. Because the heart continues to pump blood in this instance, you MUST control and close that injury, otherwise the patient will die.
Clinical Skills Lab was SO MUCH FUN and I can't wait til next time!

Monday, November 09, 2009


This is what an intern looks like while learning how to perform a FAST exam on a live patient. It was AWESOME!