Busy Bees : Learning a Medical Response


Courtesy of Holy Name Hospital

Senior Simon Ertle leading his medical team during the Head-to-Toe Assessment.

Courtesy of Holy Name Hospital
Senior Simon Ertle applying bandages to cuts in Sim Wars.

This past summer I attended a medical program at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck. I was able to shadow different kinds of physicians from different departments. Most of the time, they were so busy and I was hesitant to ask questions. Occasionally, though, I was given the chance. Most of my questions were about how they got into their practice. This is important for me since I am looking to pursue the kind of education that would qualify me to enter the medical field. The recurring point that kept coming up was about how to manage finances. I always knew that going into medicine would be expensive, but when the physicians started telling me about how much their loans amounted to, I wanted out.

In this program, we also did a lot of hands-on learning. I was permitted to shadow the physicians, but that composed only a small part of the program. The program’s central activity involved students working in  the hospital’s simulation center. To organize access to the center, the 30 kids in the program were separated into seven groups. Each group was “on call” a different day during the week. When a group was “on call,” it would have to respond to a scenario designed by the people in charge of the program. One of my team’s assigned days, the situation given to us was a fake emergency that involved us helping a mannequin that was theoretically injured. On each day after there was a different situation. That way we would be able to take away more from the program, and it would be more of a challenge since we didn’t know what to expect. Each group was graded daily on how quickly and efficiently they responded to a given situation. After we responded, we would report back to the main room in the simulation center. We analyzed our performance and pointed out the good things we did, and things that we could improve on.

The three groups with the best grades competed on the last day of the program. They competed by seeing who could handle the same situation better. My group was one of the groups that made it to this competition. Luckily my group consisted of a set of smart kids who were calm and collected. We analyzed the situation fast and diagnosed the problem. This was by far the hardest situation due to the fact that there was more than one problem. In the previous situations there was only one problem that we addressed. However, in this competition we discovered multiple problems with the mannequin we were trying to “help.”

During what was called the “Head-to-Toe” assessment, we noticed several cuts in the abdominal area. As soon as we noticed it, we were quick to act and we treated it. The other groups overlooked this injury and only focused on giving CPR to the mannequin and bandaging the wound on its arm. Out of all three groups, we responded to the situation the best and ended up winning the competition.

Overall, I found the program to be very helpful. It answered a lot of the questions I had about the medical field, along with giving me a taste of how to react in a medical emergency.