For me, I think this week was the one that tied the whole experience together. This week I shadowed the cardiac telemetry unit on Greenberg 4 north and central. The cardiac telemetry unit is where most people get sent after coming to the ER for chest pain, etc. I found this week interesting because for the past weeks I was shadowing specific diagnostic tests. Rounding in telemetry, I saw how the doctors use all of the tests plus their physical examinations to diagnose the patients and come up with a plan of care. The physical exam is a very important part of diagnosing the patient. What the patient feels, what their family history is, and what they need is a big part of creating the plan of care. I also found it very interesting how much the doctors can tell about the heart anatomy and physiology just from an ECG signal. I still cannot tell more than just the basic PQRS complex, and am amazed by how fast the doctors can read them.
I continued to work on my research project this week also. My first project of the 3d papillary muscle visualization has been put on hold, due to the fact that the pulse sequence we need to do it is still being de-bugged. I have started working on a T1 mapping sequence evaluation with GE for looking at cardiac amyloidosis. So far we have scanned two patients with suspected amyloid. I summarized the results from these scans as well as future problems at my lab meeting this week. I plan on running some more tests as well as scanning phantoms to further optimize this protocol. It seems to have great potential for quantifying the amount of amyloid a patient has.
This upcoming week I plan to either round on 4s or shadow in echocardiograms. I also am really looking forward to spending a day in the ER.