Saturday, August 19, 2006

is that it?

my sub-I went out with a whimper as i left the 5th floor (ie, peds-central) on friday at 1:30 pm, post-call. it felt rather bizarre to be just leaving all the sudden -- leaving the team, my patients (they're still mine, even if i may never write an order for them again), and the bustling kid-filled environment that felt sort of like a second home for the last 4 weeks. it also occurred to me that i will not be taking call again until i'm an actual intern in july (and can sign my own freaking orders). a delicious and yet slightly frightening prospect.

lessons learned

1. i have no idea what i'm doing most of the time, and that's not going to magically change once i become an intern, but it's actually okay. the system is designed with this in mind, and while it (like everything in life) is imperfect, it's not all that bad.

2. i am pretty good at sounding like i know what i'm doing despite item #1. this is 90% of what matters.

3. maintaining a running schedule is essential to my well-being, and it is possible even on a q4 call schedule. endorphins are actually an excellent way to trick one's body into feeling vibrant and energized. even post-call.

4. working 14 days in a row totally sucks.

5. it truly pays to be nice to nurses (plus, they deserve respect!) and to ask things politely and concisely when you have a question to pose to the radiologists or consult services.

6. do not ever reveal your identity as a med student to the above services on the phone unless they ask (bonus: you'll know you sounded like you knew what you were talking about if they don't).

7. my hair is always going to look like i walked into a tornado post-call.

8. cookies are best savored at 2 in the morning.

9. one should not draw electolyte levels from the arm that had the iv running into it containing these electolytes. the lab will call, thinking that the patient actually has a potassium of 12.5, and one will be very embarrassed.

10. sleep is underrated.