Our first observational experience day at our chosen practicum placement was such a great opportunity. We got to check out the place where we will be spending three months of practicing and learning about Cardiology Technology from January to March. My practicum placement is at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. I am so happy I chose this as it is the cardiac hospital of Victoria! I have family there and I know the area very well as I was there for four years for my Bachelor’s at the University of Victoria.
Excitement trumps nerves
The first observational day was, as you can probably guess by the name of it, meant for observing the Cardiology Technologists who work there. The focus was to observe as they did electrocardiograms (ECGs), which is about 90 percent of what we will be doing every day once we graduate! I am not going to lie, it was a nerve-racking morning as I wasn’t sure what to expect or who I was going to meet. However, I can say it was nervous excitement as I was finally going to be in the actual environment that I will be in one day and to meet my cohort and people in my career path.
As soon as I arrived, I met my preceptor, Heather, and her staff of Cardiology Technologists. They eased my nerves right away by being helpful. My shift started at 7 a.m. It was quiet once when I first arrived but soon the hospital was alive! I went with one Cardio Tech to observe what she does every day in her position. She took me to all the areas I will go to when I’m there for my practicum. Throughout the day we were so busy and performed so many ECGs, I lost count! I have never seen an ECG done before right in front of me and never realized how quick it is, only takes 10 seconds for the reading to be done! The Cardio Techs did it so effortlessly and efficiently. I can’t wait to be like that one day.
The first taste of future
As a class, we have not yet learned about interpreting ECGs, so I did not have any real understanding of what was being read after the test was conducted but the Cardio Tech explained it very well. The other student that I was with witnessed a patient having a myocardial infarction (a heart attack) that the Cardio Tech caught on the ECG and made sure to get him in emergency surgery right away! Of course, this is awful but in a way, a very neat learning experience as our job will be to catch those abnormalities quickly so the patient is properly treated.
This was such an amazing experience. I was able to see and learn what Cardio Techs do at their job every day! Our program involves more of these opportunities as the year continues.