Half of third year is over

Kathryn

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

18 December 2017

The bags under my eyes may be getting darker than the winter night sky but I can finally say that I’ve reached the halfway point in placement!

I’ve spent 12 weeks going between interventional cardiology and cardiac rhythm management and I have learnt a lot of new skills from pacemaker programming to haemodynamic monitoring. I can honestly say that interventional cardiology remains my strong point as it is an area I feel more confident in overall but I’m definitely catching up on pacing – I even managed to interpret an EGM (electrogram-tracing within the heart rather than transthoracic) correctly for the first time!

Dual chamber pacemaker

A dual chamber pacemaker!

I’m trying to get as much exposure to different types of device implants as I can as I find that it gives me a better understanding about why these devices are given to patients and how they operate within the heart. I recently saw an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implant in a patient who had a cardiac arrest whilst out jogging as he has a condition called ‘dilated cardiomyopathy’ which makes him more susceptible to arrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia.

I had another particularly interesting case in which a patient had a very fast heart rate which caused him to fall over and fracture his foot. He went into ventricular flutter (a particularly fast heart rate) and got a shock from his ICD, but continued to drive home when he came around from the whole ordeal. Patients never fail to surprise you!

I am looking forward to a well-earned rest and catching up on the things I don’t usually get time to do, like seeing my friends and family. (Although I can’t get away from work that easily as I have my dissertation to do, and a few hours of my time to devote to my job as a healthcare assistant, which is all good practice for my course!)

I hope you all have a well-deserved break!

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