Patient Care and Clinical Skills
On the 10th of September, 2019, I had the opportunity to visit a primary care center in Qatar. I was commencement my clinical placement as part of the learning process. I was placed under Dr. Faruk, who is the head of the renal unit in the facility. I met the doctor on the first day I reported, and he proved very supportive and prepared to teach. When I first met the doctor, he had just conducted an assessment of a 48-year-old female patient whom he suspected had acute kidney failure. The patient had come to the hospital on the same day in the morning. The patient had the following symptoms, swelling in the legs and hands, decreased urine output, fatigue and general body weakness, nausea, and irregular heartbeat. Although the signs indicated the possibility of kidney failure, the doctor needed to confirm.
The doctor indicated the importance of conducting a thorough assessment before reaching a decision or making a diagnosis. When I entered his office and introduced myself, the doctor suggested we visit the patient for an introduction. I was eager to experience how it felt to interact with a patient directly. The doctor asked the patient if she still remembered him. Once she said yes, the doctor told her that he wanted to introduce her to me. The patient introduced herself after the doctor introduced me.
The doctor presented the patient chart with the history and the presenting symptoms. After reading the chart, the doctor asked me if I was aware of the test that was required to make a correct diagnosis. I explained that we needed to conduct a blood test to examine whether the kidneys were functioning optimally and a urine test for albumin in the urine. I worked with the doctor to order the tests in the lab. I was present when the doctor received the results of the test that confirmed that the patient had acute kidney failure. Due to the extent of the damage to the kidneys, the doctor recommended dialysis using Peritoneal dialysis and explained that it was more effective than Hemodialysis. The doctor recommended that dialysis should begin immediately to prevent further damage to the kidneys and potentially other organs. The patient would start dialysis the same day, and I was glad to be part of the treatment team led by Dr. Faruk.
Through the case and working with Dr. Faruk, I had the opportunity to develop patient care and clinical skills. I had desired to encounter a patient with acute kidney failure to learn how dialysis works in practice. The opportunity to work with Dr. Faruk was informative. It was the chance I required to develop relevant clinical skills. I learned the importance of clinical assessment when providing treatment to any patient in health care settings. Dr. Faruk confirmed the importance of listening to the patient carefully to decide the types of tests to conduct as part of the diagnosis and decision about the appropriate treatment. He affirmed his claims suggesting that “many doctors give the wrong diagnosis and treatment because they fail to take time to understand the patient history and conduct relevant tests to know the medical condition to treat. Unfortunately, many doctors make diagnoses following an assumption of a medical condition or trusting their knowledge and understanding. They mostly treat the wrong disease and might cause worse complications to the patient.” Therefore, I learned the importance of developing clinical assessment skills to make accurate diagnoses.
The doctor taught me the importance of recording everything the patient says when taking his or her medical history. The information plays a significant role in consecutive decision-making. While working with the doctor, I learned the implication of clinical decision-making skills and critical thinking in doctors. Dr. Faruk suggested that someone might fail as a doctor if such critical skills were inadequate. During the clinical experience, the skills were useful in determining relevant tests to conduct on the patient to determine the medical condition. The doctor also used the skills to decide on the most appropriate course of treatment to help the patient to recover from acute kidney failure.
From what the doctor was doing, it was clear that he had excellent clinical judgment and critical thinking skills. When we left the room to order the tests, the doctor told me, “you should always make the patient comfortable to help them to open up to you and give you as much information as possible.” As a result, I learned that communication skills were necessary when working with the client, making a precise diagnosis, and providing the correct treatment. Before the placement, I ignored the importance of being an excellent communicator to understand patient needs and support the diagnosis and treatment. Now, I comprehend that it is one of the essential skills in clinical practice. Besides the lessons I learned from the experience, I realized some drawbacks that I was required to address and perform differently in the future. One of the areas is the importance of adequate orientation before beginning work in a health care facility. Hence, the initiative would orient me to the hospital environment. I have also realized the importance of speaking to various doctors in the facility to understand clinical processes in the setting. In the future, I will prepare adequately to acquire the most out of the clinical experience during placement. I will learn as much a possible about the facility that I plan to work during the clinical placement.
PBL Research Paper
During the training period, we have been receiving preparation regarding PBL. Our professor has trained us adequately about the PBL, with two sessions every week. Assessment during this training includes the way to conduct a research project on a topic of interest. The process included the necessary steps that medical students should undertake to identify a medical problem and collect data to solve it. The project was a part of evidence-based practice. It would help to translate clinical theories into practice. Every week, students were required to search and identify a research article on the topic of interest and review it carefully to generate evidence applicable in practice. Students would learn how to translate and use research in practice.
Among the areas that the student needed to learn is the methodology. Students should understand how researchers use different methodologies to collect data and answer research questions and test hypotheses related to a medical topic. I selected the article, “Better Quality of Life of Peritoneal Dialysis compared to Hemodialysis over a Two-year Period after Dialysis Initiation,” published in Scientific report volume 9 for my research project. I was able to research and present my findings regarding the methodology and outcomes of the study published therein. I obtained positive feedback from the professor and peers, which motivated me to become a better researcher and reviewer of published studies. I was even better prepared during a repeat presentation of my research findings. I learned that the beginning step to conduct a proper research review is to select a quality research article. I recognize the importance of ongoing research to improve my research skills. My professor has been instrumental in helping me to choose a research article that I could review and present efficiently and successfully.
I have developed research skills after undertaking my research project. It was my first time to conduct such a tasking work in the course of my training as a medical student. The main task was to select a suitable article for the study. Following success in identifying the article, I have gained confidence that I can conduct similar research works in the future. It has become a foundation for my research activities, including those that involve the collection and analysis of data to answer a research question or test a hypothesis. I have learned what it takes to identify quality evidence that can be used in clinical practice. However, I experienced some challenges when completing the research project. Firstly, I faced a problem of identifying scholarly journal from non-scientific articles. Secondly, although I had identified the topic of study, it was challenging to establish the exact sources that were relevant. Thirdly, even after selecting an article, reading the content to understand was difficult. It was not easy to comprehend and interpret content that used complex medical terms. Regardless, I managed to read through and understand the fundamental aspects of the article, such as the purpose of the study, the methodology used to collect data, and the findings.
During the project, I studied previous studies and any other text related to research and review of empirical studies. I obtained valuable information from the class portal that helped me with the project. Therefore, when searching for the article, I used previous knowledge to select a scholarly journal relating to my topic of interest. I also developed teamwork skills because of the assistance I received from my peers when searching for a relevant source. We helped each other to identify the best databases from which we could obtain the article. When I look back at the entire process, I feel that the collaborative effort played a significant role in my success, especially when completing the research work. Such are skills that will be necessary for the implementation of multidisciplinary teams in providing care to patients. The support of my peers assisted me in improving the outcome of the project.
Regardless of the challenges, the experience provided crucial lessons that I can use in similar projects in the future. I can efficiently study, interpret diverse research, and identify limitations that could be addressed through additional research. An essential source of the learning process is the professor’s and my colleagues’ feedback. They helped me to understand areas that I had captured critical concepts correctly and where I needed to improve. The study also helped me to learn about various ideas that are useful in future research and practice. In the process, I have learned about critiquing research, identifying scholarly works that qualify for reliable and valid data, and explaining the implications of research in practice. The research skills developed will help me in my impending research work as I continue to pursue my medical degree. It is imperative to recognize and understand what other experts have studied and established in the medical field. I will contribute to the current knowledge through further investigation of issues affecting my specialty and other areas. I enjoyed engaging in the current project, and the success motivated me to continue developing my research experience. I realize that I can work with fellow doctors to investigate the quality of evidence before applying it in practice. Basically, the lives of my patients depend on my ability to use relevant and up-to-date knowledge.
Modern medicine requires students who can explore, understand, and interpret knowledge in various aspects and medical conditions. I have realized that the medical field is changing rapidly, creating the need for medical experts with the capacity to understand and implement the changes through clinical research. As a researcher, I will be a significant force in the transformation agenda because I will study and propose workable solutions to innovate and solve the ever-increasing demand for quality care. I will contribute to the exploration of cutting-edge medical discoveries necessary for implementation in diverse communities. All medical students and practitioners should use current research to ensure that the global population has adequate medical care. A review of research is critical to make informed decisions regarding patient care. Therefore, I commit to conduct more research and systematic reviews to improve my decision-making skills. Overall, I will continue to study and consult various journal articles to gain more knowledge that I can use in practice