It’s been a couple of months since I last discussed the classes I’ve been taking, so I think it’s time to give you all an update on what I’ve been studying. In the past two months, my cohort has completed two courses that were quite cardiac-intensive; Cardiac Pathophysiology and Cardiac Pharmacology.
Cardiac Pathophysiology is a course all about the different diseases, abnormalities, and conditions that can take place in the human heart. I remember thinking Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology was challenging, but this course takes the cake for me with regards to difficulty levels. It was four weeks long in duration and every day was jam-packed with loads of information. Although important and insightful, I couldn’t wait to get this course behind me. Pathophysiology is understandably one of the more fundamental and relative textbook-based studies, given that heart disease is the reason the Cardiology Technology profession was created. I found it helpful to first learn the anatomy, then to build upon that knowledge of what can go wrong with each specific part of the heart. For example, it’s no secret in North America that heart disease is a massive problem in today’s society, but it wasn’t until studying heart disease that I realized just how substantial the crisis really is. With so many people living sedentary lifestyles and eating high-fat high-sodium diets, it’s not surprising that the number of cases are increasing at alarming rates. This course has also opened up my eyes to the vast variety of issues that Cardiology health care professionals work every day to treat… from leaky valves, to chamber enlargements, to congenital diseases people are born with, the list goes on!
Cardiac Pharmacology was a three week long course taught by a Registered Nurse that has over a decade of hands-on experience working with cardiac patients in the hospital. The majority of my class started pharmacology feeling very overwhelmed and intimidated by the amount of drugs we had to memorize in such a short time. It didn’t help that our textbook for this course closely resembles the size of a Webster’s Dictionary, but it turned out to be not that bad. We focused solely on cardiology-related drugs that are more pertinent to our field of study. I personally found this course to be impressively well-designed and delivered, in that week one had the most complicated drugs and each week to follow built upon previous knowledge. In the end it was easier to piece everything together as very few Cardiac patients are only prescribed one medication at a time. We were constantly pulling information from earlier lessons to fit in conjunction with the newer ones. It also helped that we had the benefit of hearing our instructors personal experiences; consequently, putting the drug’s actions into perspective which helped solidify the material. I found pharmacology to be one of the more enjoyable textbook-based courses and the three weeks flew by in what seemed like a matter of days.
Now that the cardiac-intensive theory courses are complete, it feels like the program is well underway and everything has become more real. With June just around the corner, my cohort is now approaching the much-anticipated hands-on learning, and by the sounds of it, things are going to get very different very quickly. It’s still too early to tell how just yet, but I’m sensing a lot more hours of homework and soon we will even have to go school on Saturdays. However, I did realize recently that there is only a mere six months left of classroom delivered school. After the six months comes three months of practicum and wa la! Graduation! Okay maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself here… but I like to keep the finish line in mind to help push me through. It’s never a bad thing to keep your eyes on the prize, especially as a college student taking a fast-tracked program that continues through the summer.