ID doc´s year in life
Christmas is almost here and I can´t believe that it´s gonna be a year since I started…doctoring. AND WHAT A YEAR. I feel like i learnt a lot but also like I still have even more learning to do.
There is a lot of u here, still don´t get how this rant-filled blog has so many followers but I am glad it has. I am glad there are folks out there caring about my every day bs (and some of u even follow me on twitter! what a ride that has to be.)
Well anyway, I feel like i haven´t posted anything of value in a while. So for the first time in a long frickin time i sat down with my computer, opened a bag of extra cheesy nachos and started to write down some ideas.
In this first post (out of few i guess) I wanna write u down some of the ideas/schemes which worked for me about how to handle your time as a first year doc. As u can see I won´t be using the term intern. Where I am from …u r not really an intern. U are a full fledged doc who still needs some supervision but also sometimes when somebody professionally younger ends up with you….sometimes I am the “attending”. Doesn´t happen often but it does happen sometimes. So if u are from similar backround, or even if u r not…I hope this is gonna be helpful…or something.
- Plan your year
What? A year? YOU MUST BE CRAY.
No actually it´s pretty neat so just hear me out. Have some sort of plan/planner. I use my iphone calendar which can sync with my computer´s and I use a paper planner too…bc I am oldschool.
There are occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, work stuff like a conferences and tests and certificates to take which has to be planned super ahead. Making a rough outlook of your next year wont hurt. Setting up a reminder for your boyfriends bday a month ahead so u can research the perfect gift? I mean common…that can be neat. Reminding u the next dentist or gyno visit…..The last possible day to pay for that conference….SET UP SOME REMINDERS. Made my life so much easier.
2. Plan your month
Girl u gotta set up those period reminders. Getting stuck in a all nighter without pad or a tampon and have to ask the nurse to bring u some from the supplies u have for patients….not pretty…and those pads and AWFUL. Nothing worse that handling your shift well just to realize your panties are like something from a murder scene.
Totally kills the vibe.
Also it´s good to know when do u have shifts. Mark the dates. Do meal prep before a shift and a “cool down” activity after a shift. I usually go out to see a movie or just plan a fun night with my bf and a bottle of wine watching Gilmore girls. It will make u something to look forward to as u get up at 4:00 in the frickin morning for otherwise healthy young man who had one watery stool and vomited once…and u bet your ass he called himself an ambulance. OH the rage.
If u have some holiday that month…do so! Sleep in, cook food, chill out…self care folks. Planning is caring.
3. Plan your week
I usually play my week around three or four main activities. Firstly work, second my free tme, my chill time and my beauty time. I´ll talk about work later.
My free time is all about friends, family and my boyfriend. I make sure I stay connected with people I care about even only when I send the poo emoticon to my brother. I call with my mom. I do some reding for work, I check up with finances, I check up what´s needed at home. I make plans to cook/buy/clean up. If not on paper at least in my head. I do yoga.
I CANNOT recommend a more useful app as Wunderlist. If u like lists and u have a partner with who u share a flat THIS IS THE SHIT. It makes u share lists and u can see if he or she checks the boxes as DONE. Makes doing house-work and buying stuff way more easier. And fun.
My chill time is about winding down. I don´t usually do a lot of moving during my chill time. I either just watch netflix or read a book or scroll on tumblr or play new Dishonored. I just chill and I dont care if there are dirty dishes or if my core isnt tight enough.
Beauty time is all about the pampering. Working at the hospital is gonna take a lot. Not just the stress and long hours - but also the overheated rooms during winter when the ganitors run the central heating UP TO MAX SOLAR LEVEL BURN BURN EVERYONE BURN. Your hair suffers and your skin suffers and its all dry and kinda unhealthy looking and there are weird spots and veins….I take long baths, I do face masks and hair masks and essential oils. At least once a week there is a section which is all about that bod. Your body is your temple. And u wouldn´t want your temple to be dry gray depressing wasteland would u. Take care of that bod. There are few essentials, when it comes to these things- I use/bring to wards everyday but about that some other time.
I usually plan one or two fun activities each week. Might seem like that´s not enough but When I come at home at four, it already dark outside, and its six below zero…there isnt much will left in me to even do stuff, not talking about going outside! that´s cray! So that leaves weekends. I plan meetups with friends, trips to the cinema, getting to know the city (bc we moved). Anything really. Something to look forward during your work hours. Unless you work weekend in which case everything sucks and nothing can save you.
4. Plan out your day
Oh boy. I use to plan a day into two big sections. Firstly work, secondly the rest.
I have to be at work before 7:00 and I should know at 7:00 if shit went down with my patients. It usually means sitting behind a computer, eating my breakfast, slurping strong coffee and reading my colleagues notes about the night shift.
Then I make small notes about my patients like
“Miss X will have CT today, need to call the tech and tell him…..”
“Mr. Y doesn´t like his diet…gotta talk with the diet nurse and come up with something..”
Stuff like that. Stuff actual FOR THAT DAY.
If u are freshly out of school and suddenly u work at a hospital…the whole process can and probably will take some time to getting use to. You will have to make up a system which works for u - from how to best manage patient, who u can turn when u need a surgeon´s opinion when the the surgeon on call is a total asshole. Which therapist is the best and actually helps people. Where u can score some free pens ? Stuff like that.
For me the hardest thing was how to most effeciantly do rounds. I often have 8-10patients. SOmetines when I am all alone on the floor I have 20patients. And they can be all very difficult cases. And nobody is there to help me.
So I usually start - first the acutely worsening - septic, old folks which cardiac problems, suspected PE etc….there is A LOT that can happen in ID department. If there isn´t anyone actively dying on me I usually start with new admits. They normally take the most time.
I check their papers, their vitals, their main complains and after I go check on the physically. Then I come back and write my notes, order tests etc. When that is all done I check out if any new results came in.
!!I always write notes into my patient´s papers about which results we are still waiting for.
Again, if nobody is actively dying, around twelve I go to have a lunch. I eat regularly. Bc, once again guys. Self-care. The department won´t crumble after you leave for 20-40minutes for your legally required brake. Also running a floor…its a team effort.
And thats why I have to make a correction here…
The first thing I actually do when I come in in the morning, I ask the nurse: Who do I need to see first. Bc nurses are your eyes and ears and hands.
After lunch I write down plans for my patients, something like :need another chest xray and if clear will go home the day after tomorrow…etc. In that case u always know who and when u wanna discharge somebody.
Also I write discharge papers…I try to write a bit every day of their hospitalization…but i am gonna be honest…sometimes I am just too frickin lazy.
And then its 5minutes before the end of my work day. And that´s that.
When it comes to most of my notes in my planner about my post-work activities….I usually have writing down stuff like - V cooks dinner, dishes are on me this time, gotta start christmas decorations. Gotta buy a christmas tree! Write down all the food I wanna cook on christmas…look up recepies and ….
U get the idea.
I was never a big planner. I kinda swam tru my life plan-free. Stuff happened and I managed. But once I started working as a doc I realize there IS A LOT I have to keep up with - work and home and friends and LIFE. It cannot be all work and no fun.