Looking back on the last two years of cardiac physiology

Kathryn

Faculty: Medical Science
Course: BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science
Category: Allied and public health

28 July 2017

I am just over a month away from my final year of my degree in Healthcare Science. Time to reflect...!

It definitely hasn’t been a smooth journey, but time really has improved my experiences and I’m now glad that I chose cardiology.

I have definitely encountered a lot of things I'd never been exposed to before (catheter labs, dextrocardia, takotsubo cardiomyopathy, brain death) but it was all part of the fun. Confidence for me has always been a barrier to almost everything that I want to do and it certainly wasn't any different with patients at first. In fact, my advice from a nurse was that I need to have confidence so the patient has confidence in me. I took this advice seriously and spent the entire day in the catheter lab ward/lounge where I was surrounded by various cases (heavily sedated, alert and well), which developed my confidence a lot. Fast forward two years and I’ve definitely seen a big improvement – I have even taken a main role in an incident that occurred in the ECG room!

My time in cardiology has also taught me that you never know what is coming around the corner, prompted by the unfortunate death of a patient who was well up until the point of collapse. I didn't think I'd encounter death so soon, but it happened in the first month of placement. All of these experiences, bad or good, help you become a better healthcare professional and mature you in ways that only a healthcare degree can.

My second year certainly helped me reinforce my existing skills but also develop new skills in areas that used to confuse me in my first year… I’m finally getting used to 24-hour holter monitor analysis but I still find it a bit tedious (future healthcare scientists: you’ll feel the pain soon).

On a final note, I found out that physiology as a whole is an area of healthcare that the general public are not as aware of. In some cases, I was the first physiology student many patients and even other members of staff had met... something I hope to change! We are the future of our profession so be sure to make your mark!

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