Discharge to Home

When you go to the ER for medical care and are discharged home, almost every ER will send you home with “discharge instructions.” In a perfect world, this would contain information that is actually relevant to the patient’s medical condition and cover what was done in the ER, the results of lab tests and imaging studies, and “return precautions” – when to come back to the ER. Continue reading

BUFF and TURF

I am now done with my ICU month. I would just like to reiterate, again, that being on 30-hour call every third day for an entire month is total and complete bullshit that ruins your body and soul and no one should have to do it.

I have also been advised by legal counsel, also known as one-half of the Bringers of Life, that in my previous post I apparently ran a small risk of getting in trouble. I am not sure why; perhaps this is because I reference in somewhat pointed terms that one of my hospital sites (the Not A Real Hospital one) is run about as efficiently as a traffic jam. Continue reading

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

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

Awaiting Return of Bowel Function

As I wrote last week, I am on a surgical service, trauma, at the moment. And my day is governed by, and revolves around, poop.

It is astounding how much of my daily well-being on trauma is influenced by the ability of someone else to poop. I think about it literally all day. It is often the first question I ask patients in the morning and the last question I ask them before I go home. It sits on my constantly-growing, frequently changing TO DO list I carry with me as the only constant: “Check on BMs for Patients A, B, F, W, P.” Continue reading