Wednesday, January 24, 2007

All in a Day's Work

Somewhere, in a land far away, "The Phoenix" is doing a student rotation in emergency medicine. The other day she said to me, "I hate your job. I don't know how you can do this."

I returned to my department on Monday after being out on off-service rotations since about September. I love my job. I like going into work, not knowing what my day is going to be like. There's no appointment book to let you know that you're impossibly behind; no listing of names of people you dread seeing. Best of all, when the day is done, I leave. There's no sleeping in a call room or being paged at home.

I spent a good part of my shift last night repairing the finger laceration of a guy that accidently stuck his hand into the rotating blades of a snow thrower. His fingertip was shredded with multiple breaks, and his entire fingernail had been pulled off. After a lot of work to realign his skin, my attending taught me how to fashion a new fingernail out of a piece of plastic, shove it up under his cuticle, and sew (doctors say "suture" because it sounds more manly) it in place. It was nasty, but pretty cool.

Then there was a patient that was seeing clowns and hearing voices that were telling her to set herself on fire.

Then there was the guy with a needle phobia that needed a spinal tap. I just about had it when he started jerking around and demanded to have the needle taken out of his back. He left AMA (against medical advice).

Then there was the young woman who flew through a windshield that needed a FAST scan (ultrasound done in the trauma bay looking for intra-abdominal bleeding).

Then there were about 5 others I saw that were drunk, had colds, or just needed to be referred to a specialty clinic. Not too bad for a Tuesday night! How can you not love this stuff? Unfortunately, I just get a few more days of it and then I'm being banished to the pediatric floor for 4 weeks.


My great-aunt turns 104 in two weeks, so the PU's will be stopping by next week. There's nothing like having visitors to inspire some serious house cleaning!


ru said...

Gives a whole new meaning to Lee Press-on Nails.

Which aunt?

Tell your parents I say hi.

Chris said...

My fingernails hurt!

Did you tell the guy that stuck his finger into the snow blower the joke about the guy who worked at the Vlassic factory who had the urge to stick his wee-wee into the pickle slicer:)

Have a great weekend!
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