Friday, October 3, 2008

On the wards .. finally!

It's finally here! I'm finally a wards resident!

We had a junior resident retreat a few weeks ago so that people could share the highs and lows of being promoted to resident. As I've had 6 weeks of elective and 2 weeks of vacation during the first 3 months of this year, my colleagues joked that they were trying to keep me away from the new interns! July sounds like it was pretty crazy in the hospital, so it's nice to have some interns who have been in the system for a few months when it's my first time being the team leader.

At the retreat, I confessed that I had been dreaming of my first day as wards resident and had been crafting my first day speech for months. My fellow residents chuckled at me, but based on my experiences from last year, I feel the resident sets the tone from the very beginning. My speech wasn't as articulate as I had imagined it would be, but I hit my main points:

1. I believe in the duty hours limits. Interns have to leave the hospital after 30 hours if not sooner!
2. We should function as a team. There's no "That's not my patient."
3. Training is about learning -- about diagnosis, disease management, and communication skills. Paperwork is something we have to learn how to do efficiently so we have time for the rest of our learning.

I was unleashed onto the wards a little over a week ago and met with the members of my team recently to see how things have been going. I've been trying so hard to be the kind of resident I would want--pitching in with orders and paperwork, making sure everyone gets food, and ensuring my team members go home and sleep. However, I wasn't sure if I was being the kind of resident they want.

Overall, it seems like things are going well. My attending said she couldn't tell it was my first time doing this, which plastered a big smile on my face. My interns appreciate our efficient rounding, and they feel well supported. However, they're both kind of worried about how much I've been eating and sleeping. And there it is. I'm totally exhausted. When I'm stressed out, my appetite goes down the tubes, so I haven't been eating right. Today is the first time I've spent more than 15 minutes with my husband in 3 days, and that's only because it's my day off. I've been so worried about my patients, students, and interns that I haven't been taking care of myself at all. Instead of helping everyone else in doing their jobs, I have to figure out a better way for me to do *my* job so that I can stay sane.

Despite my total exhaustion, I absolutely love my job.