I’m spending the next few weeks working shifts at one of the ER’s at a local children’s hospital. Before I started my first shift, I have to admit,  I was pretty nervous.  For obvious reason, this was something I was not familiar with, which made me a bit uneasy. I was worried I’d feel more like a veterinarian (their patients can’t talk either) than a doctor.  In a panic, I read through all the Peds chapters in Rosen’s emergency medicine and crammed in a few pod casts just to hopefully get a few basics down.  The reading definitely paid off as I knew what to say when the attending asked “So, what do you want to do?” after my first patient. And most of the ones after that too.

A few other thoughts after just a few shifts

  • I’m actually really enjoying this. I didn’t think I’d like treating kids as much as I am. I don’t think I’d ever want to do it full time, but its a nice change of pace from our urban ED and ICU
  • Maybe it’s because I don’t have to worry that any of my patients are just trying to scam narcotics out of me
  • I hate congenital disease. All these rare one and a million things you read about in med school and cross your fingers you’ll never have to deal with cause who can actually remember this stuff and what all these eponym’s are about. My last patient of my first shift had VATER syndrome. And yes, I had to look it up too.
  • 8 hours shifts are SOOOO much better than 10 hours shifts
  • There are 3 residents covering 13 patient rooms, unlike the adult ED, where there are three residents for 28 rooms. At the most, I’ve had 4 patients at once, versus 10 or 11 in the adult ED. Again, world of difference in stress and time to relax, talk about patients, look stuff up.

About ER Jedi

I’m a resident doctor in Emergency Medicine and I’ve learned during the past few years that 1) I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences 2) I have a very bad short-term memory. So this blog is just a place for me to write about some of these experiences, from the ER, medical school, the wards and life in general. At least that way I’ll have some idea as to where I’ve been all this time. A scrap-book of sorts, a place to vent, organize some clinical tools and post a few good songs I’ve heard along the way.

Posted on January 9, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. upsides to working in veterinary emergency/ critical care:
    1) While my patients cannot tell me where it hurts, like an adult human could, they also never lie.
    2) They do not swear at me. Nor will they swear at me for no real reason, or spit on me, or try to berate me.
    3) They are not drug seekers.
    4) My patients will purr, gently headbutt, preen your hair, try to climb in your lap, will do cute tricks, and
    5) My patients NEVER complain about the food. (They may not be interested in eating, but there’s ways to deal with that.)

    Some patients DO try to bite/scratch/kick, but given the circumstances, I can hardly blame them. (I currently have a bruised track down my arm thanks to an angry bunny-kicker of a dog.) When they try to bite or otherwise maim staff however, there are options available to restrain the patient for assessment and care. Muzzles, towel wraps, cat bags, e-collars, and various ways to pin uncooperative patients. I’m vaguely aware that human medicine has these options, but my understanding is that you have WAY more paperwork involved in the process.
    Hope your week is going well!!

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