Monday, October 20, 2014

A day in the life

So I promised a blog about my new job so here goes!

Interventional radiology (abbreviated IR or VIR for Vascular and Interventional Radiology, also referred to as Surgical Radiology) is a medical sub-specialty of radiology which utilizes minimally invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system.( 

The above link will lead any interested parties to discover what our department is capable of doing on a regular basis. 

So we have an awesome team. Each outpatient starts off in the Radiology Care Unit (ROCU) to be "worked up." The ROCU nurses obtain specimens for specific lab work that is needed, an IV, and review medical history and medications the patients are on. The MD's go over the procedure and obtain informed consent from each patient. My job comes in once the patient is ready in the ROCU. I personally review the patient's medical and sedation history and determine if the patient is a good candidate for moderate sedation (aka conscious sedation, aka twilight sleep). Moderate sedation is: A drug-induced depression of consciousness during which the patient responds purposefully to verbal command, either alone or accompanied by light tactile stimulation.  No interventions are necessary to maintain a patent airway.(

I then transport the patient around to the procedure room, get them on the cardiac monitor and start sedating the patient. The radiology technologist set up the table and get the patient surgically ready (i.e. patient scrubbed with antimicrobial cleansers and draped with sterile towels, etc.). Once everything is set up and *hopefully* the patient is sleeping quietly, the MD comes in to perform one of many minimally invasive procedures that we are able to do. They are typically assisted by another doctor like a fellow or the rad technologist. The minimal part stems from the fact that our procedures usually require only a very small incision (an inch or so) or just a arterial or venous puncture site.

This is a good representation of some of the equipment in each procedure room. The C-shaped machine is the x-ray, which is able to swivel around the patient as they lie on the table. The monitors shown will display the live image taken by the x-ray. The Docs can see in real-time on the screen as them move the table back and forth under the x-ray. 

After the procedure is completed, patients return to the ROCU for recovery and stay anywhere from the time it takes to get changed up to being admitted for 23hr observation. It all depends on the procedure that was done. 

It is truly amazing what we can do at the hospital with technology now. It's so cool to be involved in fascinating procedures that spare patients a lot of extra pain and recovery time involved with more invasive procedures. Any questions? There will be a quiz Friday. .. JK


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bledsoe Creek State Park

Saturday, Duane, Meah and I went on a lovely hike just outside of Gallatin. We are both very thankful to live in an area that has so many great outdoor spaces. Being a short 30-60 minutes away from many beautiful and unique places to hike  and enjoy the outdoors is truly an incredible blessing to us. The weather started out a little cool, being in the mid-high 50s with a cold breeze coming off the lake, but the work of Ridgetop trail warmed us up just fine. 

The stairs were our first challenge and definitely got me sweating! They were a fun climb though and the scenery was amazing. 

We saw some beautiful deer up close and personal, just 10-15 feet from us. I tried to respect them and go camera crazy though. It's always breathtaking to see wild animals that close. 
The Shoreline trail was also a part of the 3.1 mile loop that we took. It is literally a walk right along beautiful Radnor Lake shoreline  and it was pristine. Picture perfect for sure. I could've just hung up the hammock and stared for hours. 

We also saw "The Shire." Duane decided that the field to the left could'v been straight from The Hobbit or Lord or the Rings. 

Everything was perfect and Duane and I both agreed that we would love to go back to Bledsoe again soon! It had such a wide variety of landscapes and it was a nice relaxing hike with only a few challenging spots. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and Meah would too!


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Meal Planning

So I don't know if everyone is aware, but I recently took a new job with Vanderbilt's Interventional Radiology team. (sidebar - I'm planning another post to give the low-down on what interventional radiology is and does for those who aren't aware). With this new job, I sadly had to say goodbye to the oh-so-lovely nightshift differential so that meant less income for our household. In effort to help with our finances, I thought it might be good to start planning out our meals to curb our grocery spending. 

It's been about two months now of meal planning and I can say that we have saved money! I have not added coupons that weren't being used before or changed what we ate, we just plan to eat at home just about every night a week. I looked back at the credit card statements and did the math and on average, we save about $15 a month just by planning meals and being limited in our restaurant visits. 

So this is how things usually go... Sunday or Monday I make a list of what we are going to eat at each lunch and dinner throughout the week. Then I use that list to plan out the grocery list and go shopping. I usually plan at least one large meal that will give us leftovers during the week. I try to take into account which days I/Duane have things going on and plan accordingly to what can be cooked or  whether leftovers should be eaten. This is the actual plan from this last week. 

Lunch - Sandwiches
Dinner - Pizza

Lunch - Salad
Dinner - Chili & Corn bread

Lunch - Sandwiches
Dinner - Quesadillas

Lunch - Chili leftovers
Dinner - Chicken and Broccoli pasta alfredo

Lunch - Salad
Dinner - Leftover chili

Lunch - Sandwiches
Dinner - EAT OUT at GRAYS

Lunch - Quesadillas
Dinner - Pizza

So that's kinda what a week looks like. Occasionally it gets old, but I try to work in a new recipe every couple of weeks to keep things fresh. We will also sporadically eat out if the mood strikes us and just eat our meal another day. I don't plan out breakfasts, thats just overkill for us because we usually have oatmeal or eggs, waffles on a special day. Of course, when I go grocery shopping I use coupons (which I did before we started this too) and I watch whats on sale. If something like peanut butter or black beans are on sale, I'll get a few to last. 

It's actually been wonderful. Making the lists gets tedious and it can be hard to come up with what we are going to eat for the week but Duane will usually give some input as well. It takes away so much stress not having the conversation "Well what do you want to eat?" "I dunno." It also makes it so we will definitely have what we need in the pantry for each meal throughout the week. For us it works. And it saves us money! Double perks! 

What meals are weekly repeats at your house?