Monday, December 14, 2009

Nearing Semester End

Friday our A&P class took our seventh exam of the semester. It’s the last one until the final exam next week as well as the lab practical that I need to sit down and prepare for. My exam average for the semester is 87.5%. My other averages are okay with the exception of my lab average; one practical exam that caused trouble for me has my grade lower than I think it fairly should be. My opinion, of course, because it’s my grade. But I still think it’s unfair that I couldn’t change any of the microscope settings except for fine focus. And I did appeal; it went nowhere.

Maddening.

The final exam is this coming Friday; we’re doing the lab practical during the class and the written exam will be available from 8:00AM Thursday until midnight Friday. As I write this, I really should be reviewing the lab manual with all of the stuff I’ve gotten done since the mid-point. At least most of it is stuff I’ll recall quickly; the muscular and nervous system has actually not been horrible, and I get the nervous system. It makes sense. Probably some of the reason why this is so is because I understand how data communications work, and much of where that technology is derived from is from how the human body’s neural paths and nervous system all work. So, at least in my mind I get it. And I’m told that with the material covered in Part 2 it will get even a little less stressful because much of that is what I know already.

This morning I had to go to Roslindale for a base meeting about the upcoming activities in Newton. The changeover is going to happen two weeks from today – Monday, 12/28. My first shift there will be on Wednesday, 12/30. I’ll be working on Medic 2, based in the north end of Newton on Crafts St., alongside of Engine 4. As I don’t know Newton much to speak of, it will be interesting, I think. But I think I’ll learn the area pretty fast. I’ve driven around down there a couple of times, and it reminds me a lot of Manchester, in terms of size. It’s actually a little bit smaller than Manchester, but not a lot. Geographically, it’s a little smaller (Newton is about 18 square miles, Manchester about 25) and population-wise it is definitely smaller (Newton has approximately 88,000 residents, Manchester about 105,000), but Newton is considerably more affluent than Manchester. It’s not that Manchester has no affluence; the entire North End of Manchester as well as parts of the East Side are really nice. Newton, though, seems to have much more of that. And there are three major colleges in Newton: Lasalle, Mount Ida, and Boston College. Manchester has its share, though; between SNHU, UNH Manchester, the Manchester Community College (formerly NHVTC-Manchester), and Hesser (affectionately referred to as “Hesser High” by those of us who’ve worked the city), not to mention St. Anselm even though St. A’s technically is in Goffstown, there are lots of college students around.

I suspect the hospitals are somewhat comparable; Manchester has the Elliot and CMC. Newton has the Newton-Wellesley, and across the city line in Brighton is St. Elizabeth’s. Of these four facilities, the only one I’m not intimately familiar with is St. E’s. Having been an in-patient at all of the others at one time or another I have a good understanding of how they work in terms of the level of care they provide. And I think it will be okay, at least, going to the ED at the Newton-Wellesley; when I was in Paramedic school I did ride time in Waltham, and I was in and out of there a lot with patients. As I recall, the staff were pretty decent. I know they were when I was an in-patient on Usen 6 (one of the medical/surgical floors), and I’ve taken patients out of the ICU on more than a few occasions. So, I guess what I’m saying is that NWH shouldn’t be a bad hospital to deal with, overall.

On the other hand, I could be wrong; it could become like dealing with the Whidden Hospital in Everett, and that place is horrible. I wouldn’t take a sick animal there. But – that’s a story for another day. And whichever scenario occurs will only become noticeable over time.

Going back to the city itself. I said I didn’t think I’d have trouble learning the geography. That said, in the street guide I have there are eight pages of duplicate names of streets. I suspect that will cause huge confusion, but at least I know I won’t be alone.

So – with all of that said, I should get back to studying for Friday. And I will make sure I have myself ready to go by then for the exam. God knows I have enough to do in the next 4 days to get ready…

3 comments:

TOTWTYTR said...

Newton-Wellesley is a decent hospital. Not terrific, but decent. I think that they are part of Partners, but I'm not 100% sure. Easy enough to check on the 'net.

St. E's is a very good hospital. They have the fastest door to cath lab times in the city, at least in my experience. They just opened a totally new ED, I haven't even been there yet. I hear it's nice.

They don't do a lot of trauma, so you'll be bypassing them on those for BI or Brigham.

From what I've seen, if it was in a smaller city without all the competing EDs and trauma centers, St. E's would be more highly regarded. A far cry from the old days.

Good luck on your finals.

I still don't get the whole not adjusting the microscope thing.

TOTWTYTR said...

Oh, Newton is one of the more affluent towns in the state. There are some sketchy sections, but overall it's very nice.

Walt Trachim said...

NWH is indeed part of Partners. I've taken patients out of the ICU more than once to go to the Brigham or to the MGH on multiple occasions. For what they have for resources, they do a pretty good job. When I was there after my surgery I was reasonably pleased with the care I got. And that, in my book, goes a long way.

Newton is indeed affluent; I know a few people that live there. One of my friends lives near the Brighton line across from the BC Comm. Ave. gate. I try to schmooze whenever I can.... :)