Things to Learn When You Start Your Clinical Rotation

Tips for Your Clinical Rotations :
This article will help those, who start their Clinical Rotation or who those who are aspiring for Clinical Rotation. It is important to have some skill sets while starting the clinical rotations. These particular skill sets help tremendously for every student for the rest of your clinical years of med school.

1. How to Write H&P
During your clinical years, you need to write lots of notes and H&P notes are common within all notes. The H&P note is the note you write when you see a patient for the first time, in which you record the patient’s initial complaints, findings, and background history. There is no particular format to write H&P notes, yet we are discussing some components of H&P such as
• CC — Chief Complaint (or Reason for Consult if you’re writing a consult note)
• HPI — History of Present Illness
• ROS — Review of Systems (N/V, Diarrhea/Constipation, HA, CP, SOB, etc.)
• PMH — Past Medical History
• PSH — Past Surgical History
• Medications
• Allergies
• SH — Social History (smoking/EtOH/drugs, occupation)
• FH — Family History
• VS — Vital Signs (temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation)
• PE — Physical Exam Findings (General, HEENT, Neck, CV, Pulm, Abd, Ext, Neuro. Psych)
• Lab Results (CBC, CMP and other labs when applicable)
• Assessment and Plan

2. How to write SOAP notes
Every subsequent time you visit the patients, you need to write one progress note or a SOAP note. The progress note is called as SOAP note because it holds four components such as Subjective, Objectives, Assessments and Plans. Subjective is all about what the patient says, Objective is what the doctor finds out from the patient, Assessment is a brief statement summarizing the big picture of how the patient is doing, Plan is what the doctors plan to do for these patients.

3. Reading EKG
The electrocardiogram OR EKG is something more serious if you especially do a cardiology rotation. It is highly important to have an in-depth knowledge on reading EKG earlier of your rotation.

4. Reading Radiographs
In many situations during the clinical rotation, you need to learn how to read X-rays, ultrasounds, CTs, and MRIs and other features of radiographs.

5. Learn Abbreviation
This is one of the, most important things during the phase of clinical rotation. As the abbreviations are extremely needed, you need to understand some patient charts and doctor’s notes. Let’s take a look at it.
Pt — Patient
c/o — complains of
s/p — status post, meaning a procedure is completed (i.e. s/p appendectomy in 2006, meaning the patient had an appendectomy in 2006).
c (with a dash over it) — with
Ψ — no
HA — headache
MMM — moist, mucosal membranes
There are so many abbreviations students need to learn at the phase of their clinical rotations. Here we are giving some examples of abbreviations.
Apart from this, there are a lot more things to be learned during the phase of clinical rotations such as performing a focused patient encounter, knowing trade name etc. Clinical Rotations is not just a phase; it is a memory for the aspiring doctors which is worthy to keep for the lifetime.