Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Doctor? Who? Me?

Well, because it would be sad to let it go to waste, here is something I started writing two weeks ago on my first overnight call (July 2nd, my second day of residency)...it never got finished.

July 1 is a day that should be on everyone's calendar. It should be declared, "Don't Show Up at the Hospital Because If You Do You Might be Taken Care of By Someone Who has Been a Doctor For Exactly One Day," Day.

Walking into the MICU on Saturday Morning was an odd thing. I had no idea where to go, and frankly no idea what to do once I got there. I entered the unit and spotted a nurse, and said, "Hi, I'm Emily and today is my very first day as an intern and I don't know where I'm supposed to go."
She could have been really mean or really rude. Actually, though, she was very nice. All of the nurses were nice that morning. I admit I'd been expecting the worst. I was expecting to be welcomed less than warmly by the people who will have to deal with me and the rest of my intern class as we learn the ropes and figure out to do this doctor thing. They are the ones who have to scramble to draw blood when we forget to order a lab test, or have to call us when we forget to write a standing order for a pain medication. They have to do what we ask when they have been doing their job just fine for many many years and we have been on the job for just the blink of an eye. In some ways, I don't blame them for having a bad attitude toward us, but I never knew what a huge difference it would make to get to work with nurses who are actually kind and warm and who, at midnight when they are ordering Chinese food, are actually nice enough to ask you if you'd like to order something, too.
Anyway, that is how I feel about the nurses here at the VA MICU.
So day 1 arrived and I felt both excited and incompetent. The exciting part was that I was finally starting to work, and I know that this next year is going to be the time when I learn more than I've ever learned before. Incompetent because, well, I am going to spend this year learning more than I've ever learned before, but I'm going to be responsible for all of those things I have yet to learn.
As the first day on any new job goes, there was a lot of having to ask where things are, how to et places, the protocol for addressing certain issues. And the most important part of any first day---finding the nearest restroom.
Overall the day went well. The strangest part of the day was when the attending introduced me to one of my patient's families as," Dr. Riegel," and informed them that I'd be "primarily responsible for Mr.R's care." I hate to admit it, but tears came to my eyes when he said that.

No comments: