Pediatric emergency work is challenging. It’s a weird combination of truly sick kids, kids who are sort of unwell, kids who are 100% fine, and, once in a while, kids who are at risk of actively dying. All in the same shift.
I had some experience in it back in medical school, though in a different hospital in a different city. Which basically means starting from scratch when it comes to the logistical things. But clinically, it’s been a wonderful few weeks of refining differential diagnoses and procedural skills. And much in the style of my last few posts, I thought I’d share some little pearls about both working in and visiting a pediatric ER.
Carry on, dear reader.
I experienced my very first switch call this block. And firsts always call for a blog post.
Ah, but what is switch call, the uninitiated may ask? Switch call is almost as bad as in-house call (i.e. being stuck in hospital for 26 hours). Switch call begins at home call (i.e. cozied up with a book and a blanket) and then you spend enough time at the hospital after midnight (i.e. cold and hungry in your rattiest hoodie and scrubs) for it to count as a “switch.” Like in-house, switch call gives you the benefit of a post-call day, yay!
So yes. The switch.
Here’s a rundown of how it goes. (Times changed to protect the patients.)
(EDIT: HURRAY it’s my 100th post!!!)
(Hurr dee hurr, it’s a fandom joke.)
But it does accurately sum up the general feel of this first week of residency.
Because, let’s be honest, the difference between the end of 4th year and the beginning of PGY1 is a piece of paper with my name on it. And nothing else. I haven’t magically conjured more confidence or clinical acumen in my time off.
It’s actually quite the opposite. It’s been about 3 months since I’ve had any clinical experience, and I’m definitely a little rusty. Every time I go on vacation, I seem to lose a handful of techniques and knowledge details that I’m sure I knew before. Here’s the short list:
Apologies, I’ve had a lot of other Life Things going on at the moment – graduating in 2 days, moving in 6, trying to get all my residency stuff in order, editing the 1100+ pictures I brought back with me from Europe…
The silver lining: I found two bottles of wine sitting in my cupboard, woop woop!
Back to the blogging.
The blog’s been blowing up today, for reasons I can’t explain, so I’m just gonna run with it. Got a story to tell you. About the
slightly insane trip to Europe.
Filed under Medicine, Travel
Almost overnight, my answer to “Are you more excited or nervous about residency?” went from the former to the latter. Well, I should say it happened over the course of the morning on March 5th. Residency suddenly went from this nebulous, foggy concept with rainbows and gumdrops to a stark reality (with a metric tonne of paperwork, no less). It’s one thing to pick a residency program, but quite another to prepare yourself for living it.
Temperature outside finally made it over 5 degrees – check.
Got some sick new kicks – check.
Ran in aforementioned kicks faster and longer than I have in a year – check.
Hit my 3-year anniversary on WordPress – check.
Rocked the resuscitation simulation with my stellar teammates today – check.
Tickling my creative brain with writing for the med school skit show – check.
Oh yeah. And I matched to rural family medicine.
It’s AWESOOOOME, woot woot. I’m unbelievably stoked. Thanks for the support and love, y’all.
This fathermucker right here.
(All the 4th year med students are currently hissing at their screen. Fear it. Feeeeeeear it.)
The Canadian Residency Matching Service has been a necessarily evil part of every Canuck med student’s experience since 1970. Matching about 1000 fourth year medical students to their preferred specialty and site of choice, while taking each program’s preferred students into account all through a centralized process is a logistical nightmare, and The Gauntlet somewhat reflects that.
(I want to stress how much I appreciate the work that the CaRMS folks do, whether it’s upgrading their system to a more user-friendly version or manning the phones for calming panicked med students. It’s just a hilarious and ridiculous adventure I wanna share.)
So what is CaRMS exactly?