T.E.E. Time

I got to see some really cool stuff yesterday.  I spent time job shadowing staff in Nuc Med and Ultrasound.  Debra and Esther allowed me to watch a couple cardiolytes and a treadmill stress test.  I sat in on a thyroid ultrasound with Jane and Dr. Clouse and then I watched Debbie and Dr. Blackburn perform a TEE (trans-esophogeal echocardiogram) which was followed by a cardioversion. 

The TEE was performed by Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Clouse was present to provide moral support.  The level of skill and knowledge provided to the patient due to the presence of those two physicians is difficult to put in to words but in short, it’s impressive.

The cardioversion was impressive as well.  The patient’s heart was not in the correct rhythm and to correct the rhythm, current was passed through the heart.  Some of you reading this have a much greater understanding of the procedure and use of defibrillators than I do but for those of you who don’t, I can explain the procedure in just a few short sentences. 

Picture in your mind any TV show or movie where you’ve seen a patient being coded.  Paddles are placed on the patients chest, the defibrillator charges and begins to squeal indicating it’s ready, the physician says “Clear”, a loud noise is heard, the patient’s body tenses, the room is quiet, and the next noise you hear is a steady beep, beep, beep, indicating that the patient’s heart is beating normally.  My description doesn’t do it justice but take my word for it, the procedure was really cool.

The other really cool thing about the procedure was the teamwork and mutual respect displayed by the different professionals involved in the procedure.  Dr. Clouse and Dr. Blackburn collaborated about the patient, Bridgette and Norma Jean administered sedatives and pain control and monitored the patients vitals during the procedure, Debbie ran the ultrasound and captured images of the heart while Dr. Blackburn performed the TEE, Jane prepped and educated the patient and assisted with the cardioversion, and Cami scheduled the procedure and coordinated the services so that the patient would not be inconvenienced any more than necessary.  This teamwork allowed the patient to walk out of the hospital a few hours later with a healthy heart and a new lease on life.  It was, in short, amazing.

This was an experience I will not soon forget.

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Operating Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. These are challenging and exciting times in healthcare and my blog will focus on healthcare, raising boys or being raised by boys, and living in mid America.
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