June 24th, 2005

Palais des Papes

I am the remedial intern.

ACLS today. Aced the rhythm strips. Missed one on the written test. Had to redo the megacode.
It's all right, I wasn't the only one. At least three of us were stuck there, after everyone had left, waiting to re-do the code scenario. I passed, on the second try, despite pacing the patient when the algorithm wanted me to give atropine.
His heart rate was 35. Who mucks around with finding atropine when you've got a monitor and pacer right there, you just brought him back from V-tach, and he's got a blood pressure of 70/palpable? No heart block, use atropine. They explained what the scenario wanted, then he leans back in his chair. Was it wrong? He asks, rhetorically, and answers. No, not with that rate. And at last they let me pass.

I am ACLS certified for two more years. I can Save Lives, O Best Beloved, even if I can't quite get atropine straight with a pacemaker.

We laughed, those of us waiting for a retake. "We're the remedial interns. They're going to kick us out." There is something comforting, a little bonding, about a group of eight people - five women, three men - bound together by fear and uncertainty. We know we don't know anything, and people keep telling us that we're going to realize it. That doesn't bode well. But we went to graduation tonight, stole a place setting from a nearby table and sat together, chatted and hobnobbed and smiled and bonded, and we watched the third-years graduate and got a little teary.

It was good. I think, if they can make it, so can I.

Incidentally, anyone out there near La Luz, NM? tyomniye needs a friend :)
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