Friday, July 13, 2018

What Residency Looks Like XXXVI: Karaoke

Photo of KBOX Karaoke House - Pittsburgh, PA, United States. Sweeeeet Caroline!!!!!

Sometimes residency looks like a bunch of residents in what amounts to a private living room with a glowing coffee table and neon lights sharing drinks and mics as they sing their way through an extensive song list to celebrate several of their birthdays.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

What Residency Looks Like XXXV: Bodily Fluids

Sometimes residency looks like spinning down a sample of urine so you can look at it under the microscope. The colorful strip is a urine dipstick for estimating blood, ketones, protein, glucose, etc. I learned these skills on my renal (kidney) elective.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

What Residency Looks Like XXXIV: Hot Chicken

Sometimes residency looks like a backyard potluck with Nashville-style hot chicken. Our host and hostess (above) did their school in Nashville, where they swear by Hattie B's hot chicken. They are foodies--check out the edible garden behind them--and happy to share their passion and fun toys, namely a deep fryer. So a bunch of us residents brought salads and desserts and drinks and significant others and babies to try their three spice levels: mild, medium, and why-are-there-taste-buds-there? I brought Luby's shredded carrot salad. The recipe is pretty simple once you grate the carrots: mix and chill.

2 pounds whole carrots (or a 1.6-pound bag of peeled and shredded carrots)
1 can crushed pineapple (or cubed, then diced)
1 cup mayo (or substitute)
1 cup raisins ("plumped" in the pineapple juice)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Optional: 1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A NAFTA Fourth of July

Today I planned to make us burgers from the leftover tourtière (French Canadian meat pie) filling that was such a misadventure to make (I'd forgotten about asking the housing inspector to fix the wiring so that we could actually use the oven that day!). Unfortunately, even with an extra egg, the (partially thawed) mixture of ground meat, celery, and oats wouldn't clump together to form patties, so I changed the menu from burgers with pickles and Old Bay popcorn to what amounted to Canadian tacos with peppers (and wine coolers bottled in Rochester, NY). It was truly a NAFTA Fourth of July.

The experience reminded me of other (mis)happy Independence Days we've had, from the year we struggled with the grill and watched fireworks from behind the Steak N Shake to the year we tried to bike 12 miles (including nearly straight up the last mile to our destination), and I got a flat tire 3.5 miles from the end.

Friday, June 29, 2018

What Residency Looks Like XXXIII: Call Rooms

Sometimes residency looks like spending the night in a hospital call room of questionable cleanliness  in which only half the lights and showers work, all so that you don't have to hike up the hill to the parking garage at 11pm, drive home, go to bed, and then turn around and do it all again in less than 8 hours. Thank goodness my bestie J.R. gifted me a sleeping bag liner for cool sleep and sweet dreams, as all of the beds had what looked like old, used linens on them. It is the only time I have slept in a call room in two years, and only because I was not actually "on call." In my experience, overnight shifts are typically too busy, or the call room is too far away, to get any rest in the hospital. What sleep I got would have been improved if the person in the suite nextdoor hadn't turned on the television AT FULL VOLUME in the room on the other side of the wall as the bed at 2AM and left it on for the rest of the night.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

What Residency Looks Like XXXII: All Wet

Perhaps this should have gone in the bloopers list: one night I finished an emergency department shift at 10pm and had to hike up the hill to the garage in pouring rain. I got soaked from the knees down, despite an umbrella. The next morning my sneakers had not dried by the time I had to leave the house again for lecture, so I wore other shoes and brought the sneakers with me. After lecture, I attempted to go for a swim, but the gym had unexpectedly closed the pool. Closed pool = no towels. I hadn't showered and a shift for the rest of the day...and because the locker room was unlocked but empty, I ended up taking a shower and drying off in front of this mega fan au natural. Thankfully, my sneakers were dry by then, too.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

What Residency Looks Like XXXI: Second-Year Blooper Edition

I have a tradition of sharing bloopers from my clinical training in the summer (for old links see below). This time is no different. I just completed my second year of combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency. I started in the pediatric emergency department and ended in the adult ED. In between I went to the juvenile detention center, saw infectious disease and neurology consults, spent a month improving my teaching skills, rounded in both the pediatric and adult intensive care units, and took care of patients of all ages in clinic and in the hospital. I share these lighter moments as a reminder that we are all human, and humans have the propensity to say or do some funny things sometimes.

Gordy Orange got his head scanned.

Resident Bloopers

10. Every time I had a 24-hour (or longer!) shift and forgot to turn off my bedside alarm. (Sorry, Dear Husband!)

9. The morning I had to run back to the house to retrieve the expensive reflex hammer I had accidentally dropped in the garbage can with the bag of trash I was taking out.

8. The time a clinic patient asked me if I had sent her prescription to the pharmacy and I replied, "Oh shit, sorry, I forgot" in front of the 5-year-old girl she was babysitting and had brought with her.

7. When I tried to make a joke but got the punchline wrong:
Me: I have the patients in rooms 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Full house: I win!
Attending: That's a straight.
Fellow: Have you ever played poker before?
Me: Once?
6. That night shift when I followed my sign-out instructions and paged the special pharmacist, at home, at 3:30 in the morning, about a medication that didn’t need to be given until 11:30am.

"Smarty Pants"
5. The day in clinic I tried to order a medication (Depo Provera) to the pharmacy but only succeeded in placing the nursing order to have it given. The attending ordered the medication, so I deleted the nursing order. The attending wondered why it was taking so long for the patient to get the medication, and only much later did the nurse come back to ask why I had deleted the administration order, and did I still want the patient to receive the medication she had picked up from the pharmacy?

4. The morning I spent a frantic fifteen minutes looking for my hospital badge in our house and both cars before realizing...I was wearing it on my sweater underneath all my winter gear.

3. When I was seeing a gentleman in the ED who was complaining of pain when he peed and he yelled when I palpated his scrotum. I asked if it hurt there and he replied, "No, but you touched my kids. That's what I call them, 'the kids.'" He wasn't having pain there, he was just surprised.

2. The time in the pediatric emergency room that I guessed that the mother of a newborn baby with jaundice was East Asian and included that as a risk factor on the discharge paperwork I gave them and the father asked me, "Who told you the baby was Asian...?"

1. Once, in the middle of re-sewing a large-bore IV in the ICU, I realized that the suture I had grabbed from the supply room was attached to a straight, 3-inch needle. I had to stand there holding gauze over the opening in the patient's neck while Central Supply sent up suture packets with curved needles. For some reason they only stock straight needles in the unit, so it's not like I had grabbed the wrong package. I have never used a straight needle to place stitches on a human being before and didn't even realize this was a way in which I could screw up. And if that doesn't sum up the ridiculousness of residency, I don't know what does.

Wellness Week = Karaoke

Editor's Note: Nostalgic or new readers can look back on Med School Bloopers 1 and 2, as well as Intern Bloopers.