WEEK 3: Hollow Hips

Lena T -

Hello all! Thanks for checking in on my Week 3 blog post :D.

S0me exciting, unexpected events happened this week! Ms. Bradford let me borrow a couple of books about the skeletal system and here are my extremely simplified, newfound takeaways from Hole’s Human Anatomy and Physiology:

  • Osteoblasts vs Osteoclasts (resorption and deposition)
    • When the bloodstream is low on Calcium. the parathyroid hormone senses the lack of Calcium and releases osteoclasts to break down bone tissue.  As a result, it releases Calcium salts from the extracellular matrix into the bloodstream. In return, the Calcium level in the bloodstream returns to normal.
    • When the bloodstream has a high abundance of Calcium, the thyroid hormone senses the increase of Calcium and releases calcitonin and osteoblasts forming bone tissue from the Calcium in the bloodstream.  It then stores the excess Calcium in the extracellular matrix.

It is important to maintain normal levels of Ca ions in the bloodstream to allow the Nervous System to transmit messages, muscles to contract, and blood to clot.

  • Ossifications (aka bone formation)
    • The human body starts to form parts of the skeletal system from the first few weeks of prenatal up until your 20s.
      • The bone tissue replaces the cartilage starting at the Primary Ossification Center (right in the middle) and moves towards the ends of the long bone, osteoblasts compact the bone surrounding the Primary Ossification Center.
      • Later, the Secondary Ossification Center appears in the Epiphyses (located at the ends of the long bone) and forms at all directions until Ossification Diaphysis (where the good old primary ossification center is) meets Epiphyses and the Epiphyseal plate.  It then no longer lengthens the long bone.
  • Factors affecting Bone Development
    • Nutrition, Sunlight, Hormones, Exercise (I will go into each next week!)
Taking Notes
My version of 10 pages of textbook pictures and words into mini notes C:

I have gathered 8 surveys this week which means we have currently 20 participants! I noticed that many patients seem to hesitate to fill out the survey because they feel as if they have not met certain standards. The most common concern amongst the patients is… they do not have Osteoporosis and they assume that to be able to participate, they need to be diagnosed with the condition. To combat this issue when I am not up front on my days at the clinic, I have personalized a small note to welcome more participants.

Table Tent
My very own personalized message right next to the surveys in the waiting room :>

This week I also got to shadow Dr. Spitalieri (a brain and spine specialized doctor at my clinic) for a Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial in the Operating Room, and though it may not have anything to do with Osteoporosis, I still got to observe the process that goes behind procedures. The doctor, nurses, and radiologist patiently pointed out the mission for the SCS trial and things to look out for before heading into sedation such as allergies and mixture of different types of sedatives. I also observed how items are kept sterile, protections needed before entering the OR, how to count the spine from the Thoracic to the Lumbar, and the use of pressure from an empty syringe. This opportunity to shadow was very important to me because I understood the requirement to be very thorough with patients such as known allergies to make sure procedures/ surgeries go as smoothly as possible. It requires teamwork, and one person simply cannot do it all. This experience confides in my future goal to become a Nurse Practitioner and I really do appreciate every single opportunity here at the clinic. Hopefully, I get to shadow next time during a Vertebral Augmentation!

Thumbs up! I didn’t need any smelling salts! (I look like a plankton haha) This is me before going into the OR, still getting ready

Overall, I think this was a very productive week and I am so excited on what next week would bring! I hope to see you for Week 4!


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    When patients see the surveys, are they made aware about your study? Also it is so hard sometimes to simplify medical terminology!!! Good job.
    Hi Sofia! Yes, I typically go up to patients and ask if they are interested in participating in my Osteoporosis Research Survey for my Senior Project! Or if I am checking them in, I observe if the patient has some extra time to burn in the waiting room, and if they do, I usually bring their attention to the stack of surveys and ask they would like to complete the survey.
    Yajaira Garcia
    Fascinating!! What type of protections do you need before entering the OR? How do they maintain items in the OR sterile?
    Hi Yajaira! I have to wear a mask, hairnet, and a lead apron + collar while being in the OR. The mask and hairnet keep my spit and hair strands to myself without contaminating anything else. The lead apron (the green vest in the picture) protects me from unnecessary x-ray radiation exposure. This is one example I noticed... on top of wearing gloves, they open the needle packaging a very particular way without contaminating the actual needle portion that will be used on the patient. They minimize it as much human touch with the items on the tray as possible.
    Toby Chang
    Super interesting findings! What are the best lifestyle choices to maintain a healthy level of calcium in your body?
    What an informative week for you and us readers! Shadowing the doctor seems like a pretty unique opportunity that can be insightful to you even after your project is over

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