The Nights Watch

Hi. I have just completed a stint of night shifts – twelve in the last fourteen days – and I feel like a moldy, rotted potato.

As I write this, I’m trying to “flip back to days” for a regular day shift tomorrow, as the cruel scheduling gods have elected to grant me one day of work during normal people hours (albeit on a Saturday) before switching back to a third week of uninterrupted nights. Continue reading

The Liver ICU

The second year of residency begins. The new interns have arrived (we have already lightly haz- uh, introduced them to residency) and are bright-eyed and fun to work with… just as I go onto off service rotations for two months.

Those of you who are loyal readers of this site (hello Grandmas, parents, and random fan club from South Africa) may notice a website name change. “Status Hazmaticus” proved too difficult to remember. I also realized that since my quest to complete my medical training has been marked by a tremendously amount of bumbling, falling, and general clumsiness, a more accurate website name – “Crashing Resident” – was in order.

Crashing Resident is also a play on an existing terrific website, Crashing Patient, which is an online textbook for emergency medicine and critical care. Continue reading

Intern Year is Over

The new interns started their orientation this week.

I say this mostly because it means I am just a few short days away from no longer being “the intern.” This is fantastic news, mostly because it relieves me of the duty of explaining to non-medical people the vestigial and archaic distinction between an intern and a resident. Just so everyone (grandma) remembers:

I made that diagram. Aren’t you impressed?

Continue reading

Night Float

I am back in the Cardiac Care Unit this rotation. If you recall my earlier tribulations from my previous CCU block, this means I am once again forced to Constantly Replete Potassium. I have never really forgotten how much I hated the CCU – all other rotations are judged in relative fractions of CCU terribleness – but I had, at least, airbrushed out the violent rage induced by being interrupted every eleven seconds about electrolytes.

(This post is, in fact, not about electrolyte repletion, although there will be frequent references. You may all breathe a sigh of relief.) Continue reading