Clinical is usually pretty boring. To be fair, I’m not sure how I’ll feel about a bunch of neophytes working under my license– once I get it. Most clinicals involve doing very mundane tasks under watchful supervision. It’s rare that something exciting happens. And if it does, I’m usually pushed aside for the more experienced people. Also, to be fair, I’d rather have an experienced therapist working on me than a student, if something interesting happens.

I was talking to Chris about this and he said “you never want to be an interesting patient.” At first, I didn’t quite understand the statement, but now, I get it. If one is sick enough to require an attending physician or a specialist, then one is quite sick. If one’s condition can be solved by a student, it’s not that serious. Besides, students get excited about attending’s mundane

I digress.

The other day, we were wrapping up for the day, and I was walking back to our meeting point when I heard someone coughing. Not like run of the mill coughing, but like end of times coughing. I poked my head in and asked if the patient needed anything, tissues? trash can? The patient motioned for me to bring the trash can over. So I did. Not two seconds later, the patient coughed, and produced massive quantities of blood. More than I’ve ever seen at one time. More than a trauma. A lot of blood.

And I just stood there.

The patient’s nurse came in as I was standing there. She hesitated for a half of second before going to the patient’s bed. She held the patient’s hand while simultaneously pressing the call button. A few moments passed until a few others filtered in the room. Time of death was called. I walked out of the room in a state of shock.

The physician took me aside and said, ‘the patient was a no code. There was nothing that could be done.”

I replied “But there was so much blood.”

“The patient most likely ruptured their bronchial artery coughing. You can do this until you retire, and you’ll probably never see this again.”

I met up with the group, still a little shocked by what I saw.

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