It’s 10:30am, the sun is shining, the sky is bright blue, the snow is glittering, and it’s bitter cold but I’m all bundled up inside because I just woke up. My shift in the Emergency Room last night was from 4pm-1am but by the time I pack up my stuff, drive home, and get ready for bed, it’s closer to 2am. For the past 2 nights I’ve really had a hard time actually falling asleep. I don’t know if I’m just still energized from the emergency room, or if I’ve had too much coffee too late- I don’t know. And so begins my emergency medicine rotation.
I slept in this morning and now I feel much better 🙂
I have around 25 shifts in the ED this month as part of my emergency medicine rotation, and they all vary in times. Some are overnight, some all day, and some at half and half like the 4 pm-1 am one I did yesterday. I actually really like the ED. I love that it’s fast paced and you don’t get bored. I like that you don’t have to do everything for the patient- you just have to make sure they are safe and stable before admitting them or making sure they have follow-up.
You can read about my experience in the ED as a 4th year medical student here.
One thing I don’t like is when you’re right on the edge with a patient. I had a patient last night who wasn’t super sick, but something about her made me feel funny. Some of her labs were off in weird ways, and I couldn’t explain all her symptoms with one unifying diagnosis. I originally thought she should go home, but the more I thought about it, the more uneasy I felt. I just didn’t feel 100% about sending her home. But, since she was so well, I felt really bad about making a medicine service admit her. I knew they would look at her and think, “why are we admitting this person?” There is nothing worse than a bogus admission from the ED.
But, as the Mayo brothers taught us- patient safety first. I didn’t feel great about her going home and my consultant felt the same way. I apologized to the accepting service and told them what I knew and why we didn’t want her to go home. So, she stayed overnight- and I hope she’s better!
When I started the rotation everyone told me I would have no time to eat- but I think we all know that I don’t go without eating… ever… so I just did as I normally do and packed my lunchbox with chili, hot in a thermos, celery with almond butter, an apple, and a piece of chocolate. I ate my whole dinner no problem 🙂
Having the shift start in the afternoon is also nice because it makes it easier to fit in a workout. I just did a quick 3 miles on the treadmill before going in to the hospital.
(affiliate links- but trust me these are all amazing).
My plan today is to lounge around, do some blog stuff and some emails, workout, and then go back to the ED at 4 pm 🙂
Hope you have a great day!!
Have you ever been to the ED? What was your experience?