“I was able to see a technique that I hadn’t yet seen at any of my observations or at my school.”
This is a continuation of a series with our newest associate editor, Shayla Johnson, who is currently enrolled in a perfusion program. I asked her to join the editorial team because she reflects the passion and excitement that every perfusionist has- or otherwise they wouldn’t do it.
I am impressed that as a perfusion student she has the initiative to share her thoughts and impressions with us regarding the process of learning the art of perfusion technology from her own unique perspective:
“I am a first year perfusion student.I follow your facebook and website to stay updated on perfusion news from all around the world, and I love it. I saw the posting about needing bloggers and wanted to find out if you were interested in a student blogger. Either way, thank you for the work put into the website, it was valuable as I prepared to apply for my program as well as throughout it.
The name of the series is as above- LPM: A Student’s Perspective. There is a slight play on the acronym as the L stands for Learning as opposed to a metric for Q.
As we all know- regardless of experience level- we all learn minute by minute.
Shayla Johnson, Associate Editor
First Week of Rotations
With the start of a new quarter, and the beginning of my second year of perfusion school, I’ve entered the clinical rotation portion of my learning. It has been exciting, slightly intimidating, but very informative. My first site is my away site, so I’m in a new town and different house. It’s been years since I’ve felt like I “left” home for school. In a way, it makes the experience feel all the more genuine; a chance to go away to learn and completely focus on perfusion. Of course, that’s not so say that I don’t miss home!
One week down, and nine more to go.
The first week was more of an orientation week, and a chance to get acclimated to a new hospital. The instruments they use are different from ones used at my school; almost nothing was the same. It didn’t take long to learn the instrumentation for running ACT’s, blood gases, and glucose levels. The good part about rotating at several different sites is that we get exposed to a variety of instruments and ways of doing things. The pumps used at my site are also different, which takes some getting used to. My site uses a reservoir that has dual chambers which I found very interesting and had never seen before.
My first week consisted of learning several new instruments, but the one I had not been previously exposed to first-hand was platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) collection. Whole blood is collected from the patient after the Swan-Ganz catheter is placed and then spun down in a centrifuge. Platelet poor plasma and red blood cells are separated from the platelet rich plasma. The PRP is used on the graft incision site as well the chest incision in order to promote healing.
In an effort to learn more about the application of PRP, I read a study by Serraino et al in which the use of PRP was compared to a control group and it was found that PRP significantly reduced both deep and superficial sternal wound infections in cardiac surgery. The procedure itself is relatively simple and not very time consuming. I am glad that I was able to see a technique that I hadn’t yet seen at any of my observations or at my school. While the first week was more about orientation to the hospital and getting acquainted with the equipment, I found that there was still lots to learn and I look forward to the rest of my time at this rotation site.
- Serraino, Giuseppe F, et al. “Platelet-rich plasma inside the sternotomy wound reduces the incidence of sternal wound infections.” International wound journal 12.3 (2015):260-4. Web.