Pinhead In Action: Tashi's Internship

Tashi at work

Tashi at work

Our Pinhead Institute is a science-based educational organization whose mission is to build science literacy by connecting people to the natural world through interactive educational programs taught by world-renowned scientists and enthusiastic educators, mentors, and volunteers. Each year, Pinhead, a Smithsonian Affiliate, places regional students at renowned scientific institutions for six weeks to work with leading researchers in real world scientific settings. These are customized internship experiences based on student interest. This summer, Ridgway secondary school student Tashi Hackett is working at the University of California, San Francisco Department of Emergency Medicine under the guidance of Dr. Robert Rodiguez. Specifically, Tashi is involved with blunt trauma patients and critical care in the Emergency Department of one of the busiest hospitals in the U.S. During their internships, students are asked to post weekly blog reports about their experiences. Here is Tashi’s contribution.

I somewhat thought that the first day would be a mellow orientation and boy, my presumptions couldn’t have been further from the truth. The second I got there I was already working and getting oriented at the same time. The hospital is huge, the only level 1 trauma center in the county, and I happen to work right next to the emergency and ambulance entrance. We are currently doing a study that involves the relation of chest trauma and the usefulness of chest X-Rays and CT scans. It is pretty cool. I know that I can’t really talk much about it because HIPPA rules and stuff, but basically we ask doctors to complete a survey about a patient who has chest trauma and then we input the data. We are immersed in the E.R a lot and deal with a lot of the commotion going around us. So as I was saying, I expected not much to happen the first day (small town kid expectations), well, I was in for a ride. Within an hour, we had two car crashes come in, two stab victims arrive, and then in the next hour and half, a gunshot wound and another car crash. It was quite the busy day. I take off my scrubs, hop on the bus and train and finally head home. If this is any indication of what the future of my stay here will be then I am absolutely thrilled. This is exactly what I asked for and I am really looking forward to the rest of my internship.

To learn more about the Pinhead Institute, make a donation to support these student experiences, or read other intern “Letters from the Field,” please visit today.


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