Thursday, 4 December 2014

For All Intensive Purposes: First impressions of an ICU and ED - Summer Vac 2014

Some of the Summer Vac Students at The Alfred Helipad 
Aaron Kovacs is an SPHPM Summer Vacation Scholarship student this year. Have a read of his experience in the ICU and ED at The Alfred. 

There’s a certain, almost tangible weight in the air inside the intensive care unit, something I found when the SPHPM Summer Vacation Scholarship students were taken on a tour of the Alfred Hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) and emergency department (ED). It’s not in the incessant beeping of various complicated machines, or the lingering smell of chlorhexidine, but the knowledge of the work that goes on here in this limbo between life and death.

For many of us, this was the first time we’d ever been in an ICU, and a rare opportunity to get a real insight into critical care and its evolution over time. Often the mental image produced when thinking about hospitals is one of cold, confined rooms, so I was surprised to see the high ceilings and abundant natural light of the Alfred’s ICU. In our brief time there, the ward seemed deceptively calm, but the adjacent helipad stood as a constant reminder that all hell could very quickly break loose.

The emergency department was more immediately and obviously chaotic, demanding we duck out of the way for doctors, nurses, paramedics and patients alike. There is perhaps no other thing that better captures what a complex machine a hospital truly is than the ED, incorporating all the individual gears that make up its greater whole. For me, after two years of lecture halls and classrooms, it was genuinely exciting to start being able to see how all these pieces fit together in a real-world context.

The practice of emergency and intensive care medicine must surely be extraordinarily draining, but I can also see just how fulfilling it could be. It was a privilege to be introduced to the inner workings of both departments, and I certainly hope that won’t be my last opportunity to learn from the remarkable people that work there.

Written by Aaron Kovacs, MBBS 2

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful article by Aaron. Congratulations grandson.

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