“Be prepared.” It should be a motto for teachers as well as Boy Scouts. Especially if the teacher thinks the student may faint during instruction.
Kenneth Robertson, M.D., FACP, an internal medicine specialist/hospitalist, remembers showing a medical student how to insert a central line in the intensive care unit at Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie, Wyo.
“You take this big, huge long needle and go deep into the upper chest, under the clavicle, and put a catheter into the subclavian vein. Then you float a catheter close to the heart. And I looked around at the student and said, ‘You’re OK with this, right?’”
She said she was fine, but Robertson wasn’t surprised when she passed out moments later. Trainees don’t get enough sleep, or they forget to eat — or the medical procedure is a little grisly. It happens. “We were kind of ready for it,” he says.
Robertson is an instructor for the WWAMI program at the University of Wyoming. Having spent several years as a preceptor, he now teaches an introductory clinical medicine course to first-year medical students. Robertson relishes his association with teaching and with the WWAMI program.
“I’ve been involved since day one, minute one,” he says.