The Countdown to Practicum

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Well the time has finally come. The Cardiology Technology class has now officially completed all of the classes for the program and there will be no more time spent at the Stenberg College campus. At first it felt a little strange to not make the same trip to and from school every day, but it feels like it’s time. I’m ready to close the classroom based chapter of the year and move forward with the clinical practicum placements. The past month has been a little different from the usual routine, from hospital visits to guest speakers to alternative class times. I’d like to take this chance to fill you in on the final stretch of classes.

The first three weeks of November were dedicated to a course about other related cardiac procedures. We learned about Tilt testing, signal averaging, and nuclear medicine. No one really knew what to expect for the last serious course, but I think it’s safe to say we were all surprised with the outcome. Related cardiac procedures was shockingly intense and fully packed with new curriculum to learn. There was a big three part project that entailed the most detailed and critiqued content of the year. To lighten the load, we had the pleasure of spending a day off-campus at Burnaby Hospital touring around various departments. We visited nuclear medicine and imaging, CT-scanning, MRI’s, and of course the Cardiology Department. It was especially exciting to watch the Cardio Tech’s in action with real patients in real unpredictable situations. We also had the opportunity to become more educated on Pacemaker’s from a guest speaker who specializes in the technology. He spent two days at the college sharing his knowledge with us, which I hope will assist me with further interpreting Pacemaker ECG’S.

The last week of the month included a career search strategy workshop and first aid/CPR training. The workshop offered helpful feedback on resumes and cover letters designed for a new career. There were also individual mock interviews that provided a chance to test out our interview skills. First aid training flew by and before I knew it December had arrived. The first week of December happened to be the last week the Cardio Tech class would all be in the same classroom again. This final course was based out of a small education building at Surrey Memorial Hospital. It taught the basics of the computer software program used in most hospitals across British Columbia. Although it was nice to have a change in scenery, I wish this course took place earlier in the day. The hours were from 5-9pm and for a student who has been attending the same morning classes for eleven months… it wasn’t easy to make the switch.

My practicum now begins in less then two weeks on December 15th. I’ve been in touch with my two preceptors through email and have received my first week schedule. My boyfriend and I have been packing up our home, there are boxes everywhere and the bookshelves are empty. It’s the combination of all of these things that have made me realize that this is really happening. Classes are finally over and my time living in the Lower Mainland is dwindling. The countdown is on before I’m back in the Okanagan wearing scrubs at the hospital forty hours a week. To say I’m excited would be an understatement, but the nerves have definitely kicked in. I can only hope that everything to come in the next three months will be worth this year of hard work and end with a job offer.

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