c1: (Star of Life)
[personal profile] c1
Sunday night, I went to bed wishing I could, just for once, get off the "I only need to make it past tomorrow" treadmill.

Friday night was the usual -- come home from work, do last minute things before racing to bed, and hopefully get enough sleep before class Saturday morning. Saturday, class as usual (got poked again -- unsuccessfully -- by another student, but when I returned the favour, I successfully got the ante-cubital vein, which was cool) and then on duty Saturday night.

Sunday I actually had a bit of downtime. Went to the MC Escher show at the Currier. This turned out to be rather more of a major showing of his work than I'd expected. There were things there that I never knew he did, and for all the time I've spent in art history classes, I'm disappointed that nothing touched on his immense canon enough to reveal he was much more of an artist than his popular work would suggest. (And to anyone thinking of going: Go. Thank me later.) 

Sunday night was hectic, because I'd not planned in enough time to accommodate cooking lunch for work for the week, plus other sundry things. Monday morning was the start of clinical rotations at the hospital, so this tossed a wrench into things. Usually the things I was stuck doing Sunday are things I don't worry about until Monday morning, so this sucked.

And then there was Monday. I went to bed Sunday night dreading clinicals. The early feedback from students who started theirs wasn't inspiring. Tales of nurses who were less than accommodating were the topic of the day, so as I drove in on a grey morning that could only be described as British, I was filled with the wrong kind of anticipation.

Boy, that was dumb. I'm hoping the bad tales are the outlier, because I had a great time. I was on my feet for seven hours, which caught up with me later that night at work, but the nurses and the doctors on duty yesterday were friendly, and indeed, one of the doctors was constantly carving out moments where he would quiz me on something, then explain the things I was missing. Usually these things were somewhat outside of my scope of practice (really, we're not thinking about the seventh cranial nerve all that much) but in the larger picture, having this knowledge will give me a better sense of what's happening behind what I'm seeing in my patient. (Again with the subtle but long term benefits of the massive A&P barrage of a lecture a couple months ago.) He gave me the gift of tasking me with researching the effects of bilirubin on the body when normal functions aren't working right. Something tells me that there's a compelling reason why he picked the liver. ER doctors are like that.

It's official: I've crossed the line into pushing drugs. Probably the most interesting was the morphine, which is decidedly *out* of my protocol (but the physical act of assembling and squeezing the syringe was OK.) A royal downer was blowing an IV attempt by going in at too high of an angle, but in truth the guy's veins were challenging to say the least. It would have been worse had it been my 20th start instead of my third, but there it is. Though giving a PO medication would have counted, the nurses took special care to involve me on any medication administration that involved a needle, so I got a couple of those checked off the list.

There was a lot of concentrated patient care. A lot of humanity in one room. Humbling was the elderly patient who was expressing that she wanted comfort, not a cure -- her body was betraying her, and she clearly didn't feel the need to press the issue. Inspiring was the guy who's body was betraying him, and yet he soldiered on, even though he was also asking the same question for himself as the other one was answering for herself. I think as a provider, I got a lot from that seven hours, and I may see if I can return afterward on a regular basis.

Monday at the ER was good for me on so many levels. For a short while, I could forget about being on that treadmill. One question that I asked of myself and have yet to answer is what I'd do if I had grad school to do over again. This journey back into EMS has certainly awakened a part of me that I'd suppressed for a long time. I've pretty much acknowledged that teaching, while it was fun, isn't a part of my life right now, and it isn't the part of my life that I thought it would be five years ago. What piece of the puzzle is emergency medicine, and where does it fit? 

One thing is for sure: I'd like to get off the treadmill sometime soon.
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