Saturday, March 17, 2007

Clinical Challenges

You would think that the hardest and most challenging part of a clinical experience would be learning new skills, interacting with patients and following hospital policy. But, as it turns out at least for me, the most challenging part is getting along with my coworkers.

All modesty aside, I would say that I'm a pretty smart person and can acquire new skills rather quickly if given the chance, and so the "skills" part of clinicals has not been especially challenging for me. And in general I almost always develop a good rapport with my patients, assuming of course, that they are not delirious or unconscious or something. But, for the first time in my life, I am having a hard time getting along with my coworkers.

I have been told that radiography generally attracts people with strong personalities, but it seems that my clinical site has taken that theme and run with it. I am, at least in my opinion, a pretty amiable person; I like to go with the flow and can make friends quickly, but I have had the hardest time fitting in with the other techs at my site. I try not to take it personally and tell myself it's because I'm a student and at the bottom of the heirarchy that no one asks my opinion or listens to my suggestions, but that will only take you so far, you know. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, maybe I should suck it up and stop caring what people think about me. This idea is all good in theory, but putting it into practice is another story.

I guess in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter. I will be leaving that hospital in a few weeks and never plan to return to it, but at the same time I do value peoples opinions of me and find it hard not to be taken seriously. I really hope, though, that it just happens to be this group of people and that at my next site and eventually where I work will have a more supportive, positive atmosphere. I guess in a few weeks, I'll find out.

Anyway, I'd like to hear from some other x-ray tech students or techs out there who have also had this problem. How did you get around it? All comments and suggestions are welcome.


Mary said...

I didn't have the same experience, but I know many students from my class did. Some I could have told them ahead of time they were going to have problems, just because they have personalities that can be abrasive.

Like you said, it doesn't help that as a student, you are on the bottom of the pile, not very knowledgable to start, and probably slightly intimidated.

I hope that when you get to your new site, you will be able to fit right in. I doubt you'll have any issues because your skills are there, and you know how to act around techs, and you'll be able to fit right in.

sorry if this makes no sense, I was up way too late last night and woke up to trash everywhere, thanks to the dog. gggggrrrrrrr.

Anonymous said...

Boy do I know what you mean! I have had some similar experiences at some of my clinical sites, the worst seems to be at my current site.

I had such a horrible day Thursday that I was on the verge of tears. Up until this site I felt that I was doing quite well. The techs here basically make me feel like a complete idiot if I don't know how to do something or if I do something wrong (I am still a first year student just 7 months into my clinical rotations). It's taken a toll on my confidence despite my trying my best not to let it.

I've found it to be true that there are many strong personalities in this field and at times this can make it very difficult for us students (at least for me).

Thanks for posting this blog. It makes me feel a little better knowing that someone else is going through the same thing.