Friday, November 5, 2010


Sometimes nurses do not know when to leave me alone. I'm sure that today it was because a very angry patient would not leave them alone, but for craps sake when I'm taking care of 16 patients, sometimes I can't answer a page for five minutes!

Anyway, the point is, if you hear me use my slow, measured, somewhat quiet voice, you do not want me to have to come to the nurses station.

After being paged repeatedly and having my attending called despite asking for a few minutes to figure out what was going on with the patient, I stomped down the hall ready to rage to Death Star, a cute little nickname one particular unit in our hospital earned for having spazzy, constantly-paging nurses who somehow manage to miss things like, a blood pressure of 80/40. What do they page about? I spent two weeks and several nights on call and I still can't tell you.

"You paged me repeatedly on this issue. I have a patient with a systolic blood pressure >200, asked for five minutes to figure out what's going on, and every time you page me all patient care gets put off until I can answer the page."

I lead in with that for drama, then since I can never trust my hormones' next move, the urge to really mess with them came over me. "I have had use the bathroom for two hours but can't because I'm getting paged. I have to pee so bad my belly looks like THIS!" I then opened my white coat and gestured wildly at my newly bumped preggo belly. These nurses didn't know I'm pregnant, so the looks on their faces when they thought of how long I must have had to go before I looked like someone stretched a dress over a watermelon was PRICELESS.

"Oh my gosh I'm so sorry there's a bathroom right there I'll leave you alone!"

"Nah, I'm kidding. I'm pregnant. But seriously, I still have to go."

I am very concerned that unless I find ways to deal with the frustrations of intern life, I will have a rage baby who does nothing but cry until he learns how to yell obscenities. So I have to find ways to bring a little funny to the workday. I actually don't feel stressed the majority of the time despite working 70-80 hours a week. Of course, I say that this minute...

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