Sunday, July 20, 2008

Yellowstone National Park

For my final elective rotation I was lucky enough to be sent to Yellowstone National Park, which by the way, was the nations first national park. I was very excited about this. I love hiking and I love being in the great outdoors. I thought this would be the BEST.
I didn't factor my time well when I made the 14 hour drive to the park so I did not arrive in time to spend my first night in the park I stayed in a the little Idaho town of Ashton which was fine.
The next day I go into the park for my first day. The clinic is an urgent care clinic so we don't take appointments it's for walk in only. So we get everything from heart attacks to splinters in the fingers of little kids. I got to do sutures, take care of people with life-threatening heart conditions and the whole bit. It was a really cool rotation not to mention the great landscape.

The biggest drawback was all the People! There were so many people all the time. Whenever I had a few days off I traveled to my Grandmother's house in Afton. I just HAD to escape the throngs of ridiculous tourists who come to the urgent care for mosquito bites. They were willing to pay the $120 fee for me to dig out a splinter.... (shrugs)

At one point we had a kid come in who was walking off of the walkways and his foot slipped into a boiling mud pot. He had pretty bad burns on his ankle this was my biggest fear while in Yellowstone. I remember a story about a kid when I was little who jumped into one of those clear pools and was burned to death. To this day when I walk around the walkways at the park I have a sick feeling in my stomach imagining burning to death in those pools.

One day while working at the old faithful clinic we were trapped in the clinic by a Bison that camped out right in front of the clinic.

One of the first emergency cases I saw on this rotation was a 11 year old kid who got too close to a bison for a picture taken by his parents. The bison decided he was too close and it attacked him! He wasn't gored by the horns luckily but he was pretty shook up and we suspected he may have had a fractured pelvis. We called life-flight from Idaho Falls and had him transported.

Barlow came to visit me one weekend and we went all around the park in a wirl-wind tour of the park.

Next Yellowstone national park is Teton National park which has beautiful mountains and much less crowded than Yellowstone. I saw 2 bears on two different occasions when driving through Teton park on my way to my grandmothers.

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