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

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

It’s 3 AM And I Wanna Go To Bed

If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard from me in awhile, it’s because I went directly from the Potassium Repletion rotation, which I absolutely despised, onto internal medicine wards. I am not sure why it is called a “wards,” rotation, but basically it’s the same thing I did in med school – rotating on an internal medicine team. I actually finished my “IM” rotation two weeks ago and have since been on an obstetrics service catching babies, but that’s a story for another time.

I’m behind. Residency is hard. Leave me alone.

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

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