Thursday, October 04, 2007
All in a Day's Work
This evening I was watering some of the plants out in the front yard when I overheard some of my neighbors talking about their daily activities. I ended up with somewhat of a smirk on my face because I wonder what they would think if they only knew what I was up to.
Yesterday, we had a morning of lectures, reviewed journal articles, the usual stuff. Then, in the afternoon, I went to cadaver lab with all of the other second-year residents. There were enough to go around that we worked in teams of two. Our mission was to basically perform as many procedures as we could with the equipment that we had available over the course of two hours.
My partner and I went right to work. We did venous cutdowns on both ankles, both thighs, closed and open DPL's (Unfortunately, my buddy perforated the bowel on that one, which made us in a bigger hurry to get out of there!), a couple of Burr holes, bilateral chest tubes, followed by a thoracotomy. The idea is that some of these procedures we may not actually get to perform during our residency time, or even during our careers (DPL's are kind of obsolete) and we should at least be somewhat familiar with the basic technique.
It was helpful to be in a low-stakes environment to practice, rather than our typical on-the-spot trauma bay learning, with tons of people watching and judging. And there's always something somewhat amazing about holding a lung or heart in your hands, even if it is not actively beating.
After that, I picked up my friend at the airport. He offered to thank me by buying dinner, and although I may not be the brightest crayon in the box, I am certainly not dumb enough to turn down a free meal! We ended up going to the casino that he's been trying to drag me to since we started residency. After dinner, I watched him play craps (I wasn't confident enough about strategy to fork over any of MY money, but I was more than happy to roll the dice with his!). I finally pulled him away from the table an hour and a half later and $95 richer, so technically, I think he owes me another dinner since it didn't actually cost him anything!
Today's activities were much more common. I went to work, sat through some lectures, and followed it up with an evening of watching television and baking chocolate chip cookies. Not exactly the satisfaction of hand-drilling into someone's skull, but still a good day.