The Real World – ER、その1

On Tuesday, I began my ER rotation at North Shore Medical Center (not to be confused with North Shore LIJ). Although my rotation partner and I are assigned to this rotation for 2 weeks, we’ll really only be spending about 36 hours in the ER. We started with a 7 to 7 twelve hour shift which we spent taking patient histories, performing basic physical exams and trying to get our assigned doctor’s attention. Only a few doctors and a handful of nurses and techs run the ER; patients are triaged according to how life-threatening their injuries/complaints are and tended to accordingly. Mostly, we were left to our own devices so we periodically visited the patients, listening to their stories, assuring them that the doctor would be coming around soon and trying to make them feel less neglected.

Although it was a daytime shift early in the week, we did see some interesting cases: a mangled finger, a pelvic exam, a case of lupus, and a code blue, as well as a thrillingly belligerent patient brought in by police handcuffed hand and foot and yelling curses non-stop! (They didn’t let us get near that one). Quite a few patients were in the ER due to cardiovascular complaints, which shouldn’t have been surprising, since heart disease is actually the leading cause of death in the US. We also saw a few with respiratory complaints and got to hear some crackles and a real live murmur.

Even though I hear my classmates in Michigan are going to be giving out flu shots (so! jealous!), being in the ER was still pretty cool. Every now and then, I have these random, giddy ‘I’m going to be a doctor!’ moments and I can’t help but grin. Even though I was exhausted after my shift (which I better get used to, stat, ’cause twelve hours is nothing!), I felt that way the whole ride home, and fell asleep reflecting on my awesome experience. I’m really looking forward to our next shift, a Saturday overnight. I suppose it’s kinda wrong to hope for excitement in the emergency room but if we’re going to be there all night, I hope we at least get to see something educational. People get up to some crazy stuff on Saturday nights. But who knows, maybe my excited smile might help a patient feel a little less miserable to be there.

Explore posts in the same categories: 5th semester, med school

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