Insta-album: surviving the night shift in the emergency department
July 15, 2012 by DoctorOnTheSide
GOOD MORNING, WORLD!!!!
It’s 6 am and I’m watching the sun come up from the recesses of the emergency department as I come off a coffee high. To kick off my year as a—AHEM!—junior resident (as in, no longer intern), I’ve been working the overnight shift in the ER… and I finally got my system down for how to survive this place. For me, it takes 5 key items… regardless of how many puking, lacerated, feverish, or plain old healthy kids with anxious parents show up:
my security blanket: my pocket pediatrics book (which fits in my scrub pants’ back pocket) that i’ve customized by flagging everything i need to find quickly, and to which i’ve inserted my PALS card (like, the algorithm we follow to save lives and stuff), a chart of normal vital signs for all age ranges, and a list of hospital extensions for everybody i could ever possibly need to bother in the middle of the night
The list of intelligent things I carry around ends there.
good comfortable shoes (that usually look more awake than i do)
a warm, soft, lightweight jacket… because hospitals are FREEZING at night!
Sally the Purple Monkey, as named by one of my patients; she lives on my stethoscope and makes me less scary
snacks. lots and lots of snacks.
But most importantly, good cheer!
I have the next 3 days off, and plan to finish refurbishing my latest garage sale treasure during that time. Yay! Stay tuned for a Before-and-After post soon… as well as for a post on how I survived the scariest thing I’ve done to date: my intern year of residency!
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