Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Erin’s Top Ten of Residency (AKA residency blues):

The local news here in Iowa is really something. I like to be a well informed citizen so I occasionally turn on the news at night to catch up. We are pretty lucky I guess that it is quiet enough here that the nightly news usually consists of house fires (man there are a lot of house fires here!), high school sports or even just interviews with people excited about high school sports segments, and helpful blurbs on topics such as seasonal depression. Evidently the holidays is a difficult time for a lot of people, “it’s not always like the commercials make it appear.” Luckily, “it’s only a myth that more people succeed in suicides at this time of year.”

Maybe I’m part of the group susceptible to the lack of sunshine, the cold weather, and the stress of the holidays because I’ve been feeling it lately. Or maybe it just has to do with residency. Six months in to the year it is easy to feel the grind.

So here’s my list.

You know you are in residency if you can relate to any of the following:

1—Not having any Christmas shopping done yet. And wondering if it is even worth all the trouble when you are likely to be on-call anyway. It’s easy to feel like the Grinch when all the who’s down in the whoville are celebrating without you while you are eating your cafeteria provided turkey dinner.

2—Paying hundreds of dollars per year for parking when you live just a 10 minute walk away. Every few minutes of sleep helps.

3—Not having time to feed your husband, go grocery shopping, or clean your house. Does anyone else wonder who has time to run errands during banker’s hours? Seriously, how do people go to the bank? If it weren’t for Saturday morning extended hours I think I’d have no access to my money.

4—Gaining weight. It seems ironic that the hospital serves such healthy after hours food. Fried cheese, french fries, chicken fingers, fried mushrooms, etc. Oh, and hot dogs.

5—Feeling like a full weekend off is VACAY! It isn’t called a GOLDEN WEEKEND for nothing.

6—Living with the knowledge that you are a carrier of all hospital acquired infections. Try not to think about it too much…and wondering if you’ll get a DVT (or varicose veins) while standing in the OR or catch a blood bourne disease from a patient during surgery.

7—Forgetting that talking about surgery or bodily functions isn’t appropriate dinner time conversation. Most of the time (except you really can’t help yourself)

8—Wondering what will happen with the healthcare changes on your ability to provide not only for your patients but your family in the future. Here’s to hoping I can pay back my quickly growing school debts after 12+ years of education.

9—At least I don’t drink coffee (how expensive would that be?!). Then again, maybe it would help at rounds at 5 am. I wonder if Red Bull really does give you wings? I could use them today.

10—The only contact you’ve had with your spouse in days is through the hospital paging system. Hope they don’t monitor those too closely! #Embarassing-I-love -you-honey pages!


Colt said...

You're more than halfway through running the marathon. Someday you'll be done with this marathon and start running the next marathon and wish you had taken in the sights and sounds the previous marathon had to offer :).

Keep on trudging. Man up on the reins and ride the bull and enjoy it instead of being dragged along.

Camber said...

Erin, you crack me up! I have spent several Christmases in the hospital myself and it is pretty hard to get into the spirit of it when you know you'll be stressed and dealing with cranky patients while everyone else sleeps in and opens presents in their PJ's. Also, so true about the food at night--I was always bewildered by cardiology nurses of all people coming back from the cafe with THREE kinds of fried food. Ugh. Here's hoping you don't get called in on Christmas :)