Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Day in the Life...

Let me start by saying that I am so thankful my intern year is over. It was a very busy, very exciting year and I am glad that it is behind me now! So far my second year in residency is turning out to be a little more low key, it won't stay that way all year but I thought I could take advantage of it right now and blog a little more. So many people ask me about my schedule...it changes monthly and sometimes daily! I thought that occasionally I could do a "day in the life" post and give a little glimpse into what goes on at the hospital.

Yesterday was the first day of the month, and in pediatrics, that means everyone starts in a new place, and I started Outpatient. In July I was on an elective month doing anesthesia...I was able to do several intubations, which is where you place a tube in the airway so a person can breathe while they are put to sleep for surgery. I learned a lot but I was lonely without all of my peds friends! Outpatient month is spent in the emergency room and the general pediatric clinic. I was in the ER yesterday. Here's how my day went, the short version!

6:45 AM arrived at the ER to get checkout from the person coming off of night shift, then started seeing patients. It is usually slow until about 10 or 11 AM when it gets steady, and then around supper time people start pouring in to the ER! We see so many kids each day. Some people keep count of how many kids they see but that's just one more thing to keep track of to me! Here are a few cases I saw yesterday:

Injured shoulder (football-glad it wasn't heat exhaustion-drink your water!!!)
Partially amputated finger (it was repaired in surgery)
Busted lip that needed stitches...these were the hardest stitches I have ever done...you have to line up the border of the lip so it looks even when it heals!!!
Possible malaria (travel outside of the country, we don't have malaria here)

At 6:45 PM my replacement came and I gave her checkout on a few patients so she could take over their care. By a little after 7:00PM my paperwork was complete and I headed home. There are no "breaks" in the ER. It's 12 hours, and if you're busy for that whole 12 hours, you probably won't sit down for any length of time. Usually in the mornings we get some down time. We always find time to squeeze in some lunch, but it might not be when you'd really like it to be! It's an exciting, busy place to be. The variety of patients we see keeps it very interesting.

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