Yesterday I finished a two-day course in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). This is a requirement for my internship position next year.
The class consisted of me and 6 nurses. I felt very intimidated when they started talking about heart rhythms and other medical knowlege I have only very limited experience with. I knew I would have to be able to lead a team in a simulated "code blue" (emergency) situation and was very nervous. I would have to be able to initiate CPR and basic life support, as well as identify the heart status of the patient, whether to use a defibrillator, and what medicines to administer in each situation, the dosages, and the order. Eek. As a future "Dr." I knew I would be the team leader in a real life situation and I felt a lot of pressure to perform when these nurses had much more hands on experience than I in these situations.
Despite my anxieties (I felt like, "I'm just a dentist! I wish I knew more.") I got 100% on my test and did very well on the simulation. Phew. I feel a little more prepared on how to react if I have problems with a patient in my chair or even with a family member at home or stranger in the community.