Who am I? By: Simon ZHang

Job Description

My daily duties are divided up in to 2 main groups. They are Tuesday and Thursday duties and Monday, Wednesday and Friday duties.

Tuesdays and Thursdays

  1. Photocopying work
  2. Aquatic class to help patients perform their exercises or help them put equipment on and off
  3. At round 10:15 AM I change and go help my department organize files
  4. Go to dry land knee class where I help patients with exercises and putting equipment on and off.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

  1. Clean the gym with cavi wipes
  2. Change the pillow cases and bed sheets for the entire department
  3. Photocopy documents, chart documents, organize files
  4. Make small equipment such as theraband and crutches
  5. Check and restock inventory
  6. When it is time for knee class, I would go to knee class and help patients with exercises and putting equipment on and off.

Speical Days

Foot Clinic

The first Wednesday of every month is foot clinic. Foot clinic is when a team of orthotists come and make orthotics to correct the alignment of bones in a person's body. During foot clinic my duties are the following:

  • Observing procedures
  • Organize data
  • Help in the making of orthotics such as help holding a piece of equipment in place.

Shadowing

During my co-op placement I had the chance to shadow 3 different departments (MSK, ICU and Cardiovascular surgery). During shadowing you watch small procedures such as a PICC line and the removal of stitches and you get to do the duties of other students.
How to have a successful experience?

Tip 1

Don’t be afraid to ask, because asking to see or do the things you want can enrich your co-op experience by experience more events, gaining more knowledge and get to know more about your chosen field.

Asking can allow you to experience more events and gain more knowledge on your chosen field. For an example one day a doctor came down and began doing assessments on patients. That event was not part of my job description so at first I thought that the doctor would not allow me see him work but after seeing an assessment from a distance I found the event to be very interesting and as a result I went up and asked him for permission to watch and he said it’s perfectly fine. As a result by asking him to watch assessments I got to know what a doctor does on a daily basis and got to experience more events.

Asking is the key to unlock the door to knowledge because many times after you watch a procedure you might have many questions and after the procedure if you ask the health care provider questions about the procedure you can gain knowledge on many topics such as how to identify broken bones by an X-ray.

Tip 2

Always maintain a positive attitude because maintaining a positive attitude is the key to have a happy Co-op experience.

Many times in Co-op things would not go as you planned or hope.

For an example on my first day to Co-op I got assigned to the rehabilitation department but I applied for MSK. At first I was unhappy but then I thought of the positives such as I get to see a wide range of patients from stroke to TKR, it is very hands on, I am working in a very friendly environment and I thought about how lucky is it for me to make it this far because only 20% of the applicants made the cut. After these thoughts I maintained a positive attitude and as a result I had a very good time during my Co-op experience.

How to over come a challenge?

One challenge that I faced during my placement was the first day of my Co-op placement. On the first day of my placement I was sent to the rehabilitation department this was a challenge because originally I wanted to go to the MSK unit. I overcame this mental challenge by first having a positive attitude which I think is the key to have a successful Co-op experience. After I started my placement I realized that my placement is very hands on because instead of changing bed sheets or getting food I am actually providing patient care and getting to know patients on a personal level. Not very boring unlike the other placements because I always have something to do. I get to meet with a very diverse group of patients from stroke to TKR patients which allowed me to see different patients and get to work with health care workers that specialize in different fields. Last but not least my placement achieved the objective for my Co-op placement which is to explore and see if I want to go into the health care sector or not. Overall I overcame this challenge by looking into the good in everything and enjoying myself at my placement. Just remember everything is a mental game and always look for the good rather than the bad.

Impression

Overall I had a great time at my placement.

During my placement I learned how to communicate in a professional work environment such as how to communicate with co-workers and patients. I had the chance to apply many skills in a real life environment such as organization skills, leadership skills, communication skills and initiative skills. I gained knowledge on the healthcare industry such as the management style of a hospital, what does each specialist does and what is a day like working in a hospital.

However most importantly I got to help people from different age groups, cultures and backgrounds to make them feel better, connect with them and help them get better. Seeing patients from not being able to walk to running truly makes me feel joy because I got know that I helped another person get through one of the most depressing chapters of their life so that they can start to write new chapters of their life.

I learned that there are many different kind of jobs in the health care sector such as an orthotists or a radiologist not just doctors and this helped me to achieve one of my goals for Co-op which is to see if my chosen path is the path I want to walk or not. Co-op can truly make you feel if your chosen field is the field that you want to pursue in the future and can help you develop many different skills and this will lead to a fun and exciting video.

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Simon Zhang
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