Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I have to agree with Theresa - intern call is nothing like med student call. I was silly enough to think I would have some down time during the night and brought my knitting along, but it never made it out of my bag. It was so busy in the NICU last night. We had 5 transports from other hospitals and 6 deliveries were admitted (including a couple "I didn't know I was pregnant" cases - how the hell do you not realize you're 9 months pregnant?!). My personal favorite - I didn't realize I was pregnant until a month ago (when you were 8 months along?) and this morning I had some cramps and took Tylenol PM. I fell asleep and when I woke up there was a baby between my legs. (Wow, Tylenol PM must be some strong stuff!) Thankfully the baby is doing OK. Had a temp of 85 when he got here because mom had to walk 2 blocks - with baby and placenta still attached - to find a phone and call 911. And she's not sure when the baby was actually born because she was asleep for over 2 hours. So, yeah, crazy night. I didn't get a break until almost 4am when I collapsed in the call room for an hour. And when I say I didn't get a break, I mean it. It's not like I didn't have time to sit and knit or read. I didn't get dinner. It was almost impossible to even get to the bathroom. That was the longest 28 hours! The thing that makes it so much harder than med student call is that everything is my responsibility. Any problem means the nurses call and I'm supposed to handle it. I've been doing this for less than a week and I'm supposed to know what to do when a baby on oxygen gets tachypneic (breathing really fast)? Fortunately NICU nurses are awesome. Many calls entail the nurse saying, "The baby in 4-4 is really working to breathe and I turned up the oxygen. Do you want me to get a blood gas?" Translation: "Hey intern, the baby in 4-4 needs a blood gas. Just write the order."

I had big plans for some lace knitting today. So didn't happen. I got home around 10 this morning and died. I just woke up and am planning on going back to bed soon. Hope to resume knitting soon.

8 Comments:

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Katie said...

Whew!

 
At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Beth said...

Wow! How many hours are you scheduled for at one time? I've always pictured this job as having horrendously long hours and I guess that's true.

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger --Deb said...

I'm tired just reading that! You go, girl!

 
At 11:03 PM, Anonymous ladylungdoc said...

Oh dear - they put you on NICU as your first rotation?? Don't worry - you'll survive. Harness the power of the verbal order, listen to what the nurses are telling you (but still listen to your instincts), and always have breakfast.

 
At 6:49 AM, Blogger Theresa said...

I agree - some of the nurses are great. I have a couple of onc patients right now, and without the nurses telling me about these various "swish and spit" combinations for mouth pain, I'd be lost.

 
At 9:00 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

Oh, my! Bless your heart!

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger eyeknit said...

Although internship was 10 years ago (? OMG!) for me, it's an unforgettable rite of passage. I remember vividly riding down to Radiology in the elevator one night early in my first month, praying "God, please don't let this woman die tonight just because I can't figure out what to do to save her". I know now that her combination of DVTs, PE and sepsis made it impossible for even the most experienced doctor to make a difference, but I couldn't understand that in my sleep-deprived and stressed-out state. Let's just say that it's a good thing that the RRC stepped in and abolished 36 hour shifts for interns. I wish you the absolute best this year. It will end, and you'll be a wonderful physician at the end of it. If you get to knit a few rounds on a sock in the meantime, that's a bonus! Amy

 
At 12:29 PM, Blogger Lorette said...

Hang in there. It is indeed a harrowing period of your life, but worth it in the end.
The pregnant thing always makes me laugh. In one place that I practiced, one of the local physicians had a teenage daughter that went through 9 months of pregnancy and went into labor before they realized she was pregnant. An internist, no less.

 

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