I am now officially a Cardiology Technologist! I successfully completed my practicum at the Kelowna General Hospital and graduated Stenberg College on Friday March 13th. It feels amazing to be done but also surreal. For the past 15 months my entire life has revolved around school and it’s going to take time to get used to not being a full time student anymore. Although I’m done school, I still have a good month of studying ahead of me. I have one last exam to write in April in order to become registered with the Canadian Society of Cardiology Technologists.
The last three weeks of my practicum were a wrap up and refresher of everything that I had already learned. I did another week of evening shifts scanning Holter monitors and I’m glad that I did. Spending that extra week scanning really boosted my confidence and improved my speed and accuracy. During week 11 I worked primarily in the Emergency Department doing ECG’s. Sometimes there are routine ECG’s to be done in the mornings, but typically in the ER they’re ordered throughout the day as the patients come streaming in. It’s not surprising that working in Emergency is never boring. It’s unpredictable and you never know what to expect and it’s where I learned how to approach and work with various types of patients that aren’t necessarily at their best. I also had the chance to do some trauma patient ECG’s. This is when the ambulance service brings in a trauma victim that is in critical care condition requiring immediate medical assistance. The room quickly fills with nurses, doctors, and technicians, and technologists and you have to wait for the opportune moment to step in and do your job. It was similar to a code blue situation where everyone is busy doing their own task and you have to be assertive and move people out of the way to get the ECG done. At first I was a little uncomfortable pushing my way through, but it got easier the more I got to take part.
My last week of my practicum was a little different. For the first time I was able to make my own schedule and decide where I wanted to work and what I wanted to do. It was different to have that freedom and I decided to do a little bit of everything. I spent a day in the RACE Clinic running Stress Tests, a day scanning Holter monitors, and a day doing routine ECG’s in the ICU and CSICU. I decided to spend my last two days following one Cardio Tech for the duration of their entire shift to get a sense of what it’s like to switch departments every 2-3 hours. It was good to wrap up the week by refreshing my mind in all the different areas and I’m now confident in my abilities to start working as an employee. When I look back on the past 12 weeks it amazes me how quickly the time flew by. I had an incredible practicum, worked with a lot of great Cardio Tech’s, and I can easily see myself working at KGH in the near future.