Saturday, August 2, 2008

You gotta be tough! (Warning: May provoke disturbing mental images)

At the new dentist office I work at there are two podiatrists who rent space in the office. I mentioned this before and Cheryl left me a comment that said something like 'Hoof and Mouth disease?' I love Cheryl!

Anyway, I have been told several times by patients and friends that I must have a tough stomach to be a dental assistant. When they say this I don't tell them that my favorite part of being a dental assistant is helping the doctor pull teeth. Honestly, I've helped with some messy extractions and it doesn't bother me. In fact, I really enjoy it. I don't know why. I have to wonder about myself sometimes. And helping with root canals and seeing the nerve get pulled out of the tooth and laid on the counter...that's really kinda cool. I'm not sure why I'm saying this because y'all are probably going to think I'm really weird....and you're probably right, but I really don't feel like it takes a tough stomach to do my job. After the first few times you help with those procedures, you stop thinking about teeth and start thinking about what you're going to do with your weekend or what to have for dinner or what the people in the next room are saying or how much you hate the song on the radio or something like that. You don't have to be tough is what I'm saying.

I was talking to the podiatrist's assistant the other day about her job. I didn't (and still don't really) understand all that a podiatrist does. I thought that they just clip toenails and cure fungi and treat ingrown toenails. And I didn't think the assistants had to do much more than clean rooms in between patients. Well, the assistant was talking to me about some of the stuff she has seen and it was grossing me out. She said they get a lot of diabetic patients who have bad circulation and they come in with glass stuck in their foot or big abrasions on their feet and they have no idea it's there because they don't feel it and she will help the doctor treat them. The worst story she told me though was that one day she was seating a patient and helping them take their shoes and socks off and one of their toes fell out of their sock. It was gangrene and had just broken right off the foot and.....oh gross! She said the doctor on shift was very understanding and that if it had been the other doctor he would probably have said, "oh you lost a toe there, let me throw that out for you." I think I would have passed out or lost my lunch or something by that point. So the moral to this story is (I guess) that you have to be hardcore to be a podiatrist (and a podiatrist's assistant). With a stomach that is tougher than enamel (which is the strongest substance in the body, just so's ya know!).

Now, are you all thoroughly disgusted and ready to never read my blog again??? I won't post anymore disturbing stories. I think. :)

1 comment:

PilgrimHeiress said...

Ha == you're funny! I wasn't all that grossed out, but I have to admit -- I'd have a tough time doing (steppng up to or swallowing) either job!