So here are the deets on my first week of residency: The night before I was pacing around like a mad woman…I was so nervous, I couldn’t focus on anything. I tried to make my lunch…I couldn’t decide what to pack. I tried to choose what to wear, I couldn’t decide on what to wear. By midnight, all I had was an empty lunchbox and a dirty white work blouse…Sigh…I was done, I went to bed. So of course going to bed late, [and waking up at midnight to feed the munchkin] got me up late. I thought, “Oh great, late on my first day of residency…and my blouse is stained…” Sigh. I sped to work…literally (I am not endorsing this). Even though I’d spent the past year at home pregnant and then later at home with the baby, the mechanics of the environment of the hospital all came back to me. Logging into the system. Checking patients AM labs and vitals. Chatting with nurses about patients from overnight. It was as if I’d never stopped working. The one new thing was I got to have my own medical student! She introduced herself to me and asked, “Can I help you get started with anything?” In my head, I laughed. Because not too long ago I was the medical student, straddling the balance of being helpful to residents who were either too busy or just didn’t give a care about what I did. So in my head I had this great plan of wow’ing my attending my having all my notes done, getting all the pertinent info on them, and being super prepared for rounds. But yea…my late night pacing messed up all that. I was incredibly sleepy the first few hours…and I didn’t realize that the day of a resident would be filled with so many lectures and mtgs. Literally I went from seeing an ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), to morning didactics, to morning report to morning rounds to noon lecture to afternoon rounds to a residents mtg.
By the time I had a few mins to work on notes, its was 3pm. “Ok great,” I thought. “ I’ll work for a few hrs, finish my notes, and leave by 5pm. Winning!” So I worked with a mission…all was going well until 3:40pm…I’d gotten an admission. Just 20min shy of signout. Sigh. [For my nonmed readers: Signout is when you pass the care of your patients to another resident or attending who will be working overnight. After signout happens, you don’t have to admit any new patients until the next day.] New admissions are ok…another patient to learn from. But when they come so late in the afternoon, and you’re still learning the computer sustem, you know you’re not going home by 5’o clock. Needless to say I went home by 9pm that night, lol. My new admission was fairly straight forward but very sad- She was a 43yo female who’d just attempted suicide for the 3rd time. What’s hard about those situations is I’m a comforter by heart in an environment that’s not always condusive to that. Everything in me wants to hold the persons hand, tell them that theyre worth it, they are strong…but in real life, I’m sitting in the ER, there are 5 other ppl behind them, and I have tons of paperwork to fill out for this person. I know though with time I’ll find my groove with handling both aspects of patient care. So that was it….I spent my last few hours of the work day completing notes on my patients …and getting frustrated by the computer system…but it was a good day. I know the days ahead wont always be great, and some days will just plain suck…but today I’m grateful I’m here.