Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Outside it is thundering. There are occasional flashes of light here and there, but nothing like the cracking streaks of light that race across the sky like during monsoon season back home.

Work has been somewhat stormy lately. In med school, one of my friends once likened me to a grizzly bear. She said I was normally independent and peaceful, but when backed into a corner, I would be a "force to be reckoned with." I guess I have been doing a lot more growling at work lately.


A couple of weeks ago I ran a trauma in which a child had been struck by a car. Reportedly, he was unresponsive on scene and bystanders had to do CPR. When he rolled into our department he was talking, but in a lot of pain. His breath sounds were unequal, and his chest x-ray showed several broken ribs and a huge lung contusion. His oxygen sats were dropping, so I ended up intubating him.

Traumas are always somewhat of a mess. There are often too many people in the room and people get focused on starting IVs and whatnot, and it's hard to get through the most important thing, which is thoroughly examining the patient, looking for injuries. I have learned quickly to be VERY assertive, so I can get in and get through my exam without getting distracted. There's still a lot to learn and improve on, but I'm holding my ground.

This case was somewhat frustrating to me as a resident on another service strolled right in and started talking to my patient when she had no business being there. She introduced herself and then had the audacity to tell him she would hold his hand until his mother arrived. I told her she wasn't needed and had to leave because we were about to do some x-rays. She had the nerve to say she was going to stay and get exposed to the radiation as she was not fertile anyway! I glared at her and kicked her out. I don't have any tolerance for bullshit, particularly in stressful situations. Plus, I already had good rapport with the patient, she didn't ask if I needed help, and it was condescending for her to just waltz in and act like she was there to save the day.

Shortly after that, I intubated the kid and he went up to the ICU on a ventilator for a few days. It turned out he had a head bleed. He just got discharged a few days ago.


Today, I had another kid that was hit by a car. This one was a complete mess. For some reason, his friends dumped him off bleeding in our parking lot, where a paramedic team happened to come across him on the way out of the hospital. We weren't expecting him, so the charge nurse had him taken to a regular room, rather than a more spacious trauma room.

Tonight the problems arose with a consulting service calling another service without our knowledge and canceling our orders and putting in some requested by a person who had never even laid eyes on the patient. This is a big no-no. While in the ER, we are ultimately in charge of the patient. A consult is technically there to make recommendations, and is not running the show.

Basically, this all came to a head when an x-ray tech called me and asked me cancel some of my own orders because another resident told her they weren't necessary. This ended up causing numerous phone calls and conversations about why orders weren't being carried out. I ended up canceling their unnecessary tests and re-ordering everything all over again. I was fuming, and unfortunately the whole mess caused so much delay in getting the testing done, that by sign-out time, everything was still pending for the oncoming resident.


Like I said, there has been a lot of growling lately.


On a lighter note, Ruthie has answered my 5 questions.


ru said...

RYC: Diesel has a higher torque, which basically means it has more towing power. It is also more fuel efficient, especially when carrying heavy loads. And diesel is cheaper than gasoline right now. I actually knew all those things prior to the conversation, but don't often keep diesel related info at the top of my head.

Chris said...

If you are a grizzly bear, will you kill a moose in my driveway?


Makes you hungry, doesn't it? :)

PS....Bullwinkle wants to know if you have any vet experience, LOL.