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Time to change over... - Nobody wears a white coat any more... — LiveJournal
...a tribute to becoming a doctor.
Time to change over...
Arrived late. Was afraid I would never catch up. Now at the end of the day I am waiting for N,( one of my favourite interns, and yummy-cute too), who is on call tonight, to finish with the code he's at so I can change over. "I'll page you back," he promised. I hope he knows my pager number. The hospital operators never seem to.

Came in this morning, and S says to staff "You know that lady we admitted with vomiting and diarrhea? The one I almost sent home?" Staff nods. "She died last night." No reason for her to die, she'd been smiling and reassured it was just an overnight stay. S was worried, very concerned. I would be too, if it were my patient who had just died.

My patients aren't dying, though. My patients are having normal Cardiolite tests and going home happy and suddenly getting better with the addition of a tiny bit of Vioxx (oh, please let the increased creatinine be just because I overshot on the Lasix and not because he's had a 20% nephrectomy and I started an NSAID in consultation with Rheum and Nephrology, because it's working) so that today, the entire transitional unit watched in shock and awe as he walked 40 feet with a walker on his own. My patients are seeing resolution of their nausea and vomiting under only fluid resuscitation, my patients are smiling when they see me too.

Life, O Best Beloved, is fragile.
You watch TV shows - E.R., Scrubs - we watch them too, sometimes, and wonder. When they run a code on E.R. it's a sterile chaos, busy, and it has an 80% success rate, and patients are going home soon after their brush with death. It's not like that.
Going to a code, O Best Beloved, is running down the hallway (only when someone's life hangs on your promptness may you run in a hospital) in scrubs and white coats, leaving the coats behind to squeeze into a room full of twenty people where there is room for five, it is blood and chaos and the bed tilted frantically, futilely into a Trendelenburg position (head down, 45° angle) to maintain cerebral blood flow. It is people calling out numbers and requests and someone scribbling drugs and doses, and someone - you hope it is someone there before you - running the code.
Going to a code as a medical student puts you in the delicate position of observer-student, because you become acutely aware that next year the screaming beep of the code pager may be coming from your hip and that you may be the first doctor on the scene, and do you know what the first thing to do when you arrive at a code is?
Check your own pulse. It means: take a deep breath and think.
Which drugs were first on the ACLS algorithms? Do you have your cards? Do you remember, doses, numbers? All that learning, all that energy, all that effort and memorization and when you are coding a rubber mannequin with big silver splotches where the paddles should go it is not the same. And as a student, as an observer, it is always on my mind that of the handful of codes I have seen, only the mannequins survived.

Life, O Best Beloved, is so very fragile a thing.

now feeling:: thoughtful thoughtful

2 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word
lorriejharris From: lorriejharris Date: August 17th, 2004 09:53 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Reading your posts, all that compassion you feel comes shining through. You are going to continue on a road of true healing. You are truely a doctor. Worthy of the respect that is all too often just handed over on a silver platter to someone with PhD after their name, and no abilities to back it up. Attitude is the biggest factor in the healing process...truth, respect...compassion. You show that, so often in your writing, I cannot help but believe that it shows clearly when you're with a patient.

*hugs* Keep it up! ;)
turnberryknkn From: turnberryknkn Date: August 18th, 2004 01:16 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Thank you, again, for sharing.

Your future patients will be very lucky to have you. I hope that, admist all the challenges that face physicans in the years to come, despite them all you'll be able to still find the same in return from them.
2 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word