I would like to blame my prolonged absence again on COVID-19. To be fair, it does dominate about 95% of my work life and probably 50% of my personal life, but honestly, I’ve just gotten lazy.
The last time I published here was March 5, where I started with “it seems like we are inevitably headed for a massive, global pandemic.” For once on this blog, I get to say I WAS RIGHT ABOUT SOMETHING IN RESIDENCY! No attending or dad can correct this.
As of this writing, my area’s daily hospitalization rates look like a Space-X rocket launch. We’re out of ICU beds, regular beds, gurney, cots, sleeping bags, and patience. The worst is somehow yet to come. I am coping with this impending doom by playing with my dog and, finally, writing again.
In a little more than a month, the new interns will arrive. Much like last year when I wrote “Intern Year is Over,” I greet this milestone with joy and relief – not because I am thrilled and excited for the interns to roll in, but because I am thrilled and excited to be DONE. WITH. SECOND. YEAR.
“Why?” the interested reader/grandma may ask. After all, if intern year is when you learn the byzantine system that is medicine at two different academic centers, second year is when you focus on your actual medical knowledge. Your procedural skills. Your team-based communication. Continue reading
I have not written in quite some time because I have been on a terrible rotation consisting almost entirely of things I despise: rounding, nights, and potassium.
That’s right – I’m back on a cardiac ICU unit! Continue reading
After an overnight shift where I spent five hours of eight on the phone transferring out three patients with brain tumors to three different hospitals because I was working at NARH, I read an article entitled, “Leading Healthcare Organizations Declare Physician Burnout As ‘Public Health Crisis.’”
(Yes, mom, I know that’s a run-on sentence.) Continue reading
The journey through second year of residency is an interesting one. As I’ve mentioned before, we are tasked with two major, new responsibilities: performing most procedures and seeing a much greater volume of patients. We’ve all gone through a substantial adjustment period. It’s been hard.
One of these journeys is toward two, or greater, patients per hour. I hit this milestone rather infrequently. In fact, it is about as likely for me to achieve this as I am to win a game of Oregon Trail. It is far more likely that I will die of dysentery, or make it no further than Fort Collins before my oxen quit on me. Continue reading
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
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
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
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