Of NARH and NARS

The title will make sense later. Trust me.

As I’ve mentioned before, I split most of my residency training time between two hospitals: a large tertiary care center that has all the bells and whistles, and an understaffed county hospital that on occasion struggles to perform basic functions of a healthcare facility, such as checking routine vital signs or (spoiler alert) admitting patients.

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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?

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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

Putting In Orders

Although most of my medical school classmates have already begun their formal residency rotations, we here at the Necessarily Anonymous Emergency Medicine Residency have yet to officially start. This is, depending on your point of view, either because our residency is warm and fuzzy and wants us to have a high quality of life, or they lack so much confidence in our abilities that they feel it necessary to train us up for an entire month. Continue reading

Intern

So, we’re interns now. At some point in the last two weeks, someone handed me a pager and an ID badge that says “M.D.” after my legal name. Next week, my co-interns and I start taking introductory shifts in our emergency room.

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