Friday, September 30, 2005

Not sure if I want some of these kids as colleagues

X-ray of a collapsed lung

Today in Anatomy & Physiology class we discussed air pressure as it relates to the lungs. To inspire, or breathe in, the diaphragm contracts and creates negative pressure in the chest cavity, which causes air to flow into the lungs.

We're going over material already presented in the textbook and the professor asked the class of roughly 75 students what happens when a person is stabbed in the chest, puncturing a lung or the lining around them.

Cricket, cricket.

So I finally spoke up that the person can't breathe in; the pressure in the lungs is already equalized by the open wound and the lung is probably collapsed. Professor nodded and asked the class what this is called.

Cricket, cricket.

She looked back at me and I, rather annoyed by my classmates, responded, "Pneumothorax." C'mon people! This is basic stuff for even a casual watcher of ER.

Seriously, give a medical vocabulary test to my class and fans of Trauma: Life in the ER and the couch potatoes would kick the students collective ass. I shudder to think of the timidity and shaky hands of my classmates when we practice drawing blood on each other. Sure, everybody's got to learn, but the fear and lack of enthusiasm is kinda depressing.

If you are into such things, the Trauma: Life in the ER website has an ER simulation game where you can pretend to be a doctor. I haven't played it yet, but it looks fun. The intro doesn't say, but I assume you can simulate what it would be like to commit negligent homicide or manslaughter, if you are into such things.

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