Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dry spell?

Today was so frustrating. I woke up late, as usual. Got to work late, as usual. My senior resident said, "You're gonna be one of THOSE residents, aren't you?" He was just teasing, but I didn't laugh. It was 6:00 in the morning and I hadn't had my coffee yet. I was slow rounding on patients. Physically slow, mentally slow. I didn't even get all of their information before rounds, so I sounded like an idiot when I presented to my attending. Then we were called to a scheduled C-section. The baby was 37 weeks gestational age, a bit premature. He appeared to be doing fine at first, but had some increased work of breathing. We watched him for awhile and decided to take him to the NICU for observation and diagnostic work-up. He needed some interventions, including an IV line, arterial stick, and intubation to give surfactant (a medicine we give to premature babies with immature lungs). As the intern, I was permitted to try all of these procedures first.

IV - tried three times, missed it. The nurses and techs made fun of me. "Have you put IV's in many patients? Maybe you should practice on an adult." I tried to laugh along, and replied "Yes I've put lots of IV's in adults AND babies, and I've gotten many of them. I'm just not having much luck lately."

Arterial stick - tried two times, missed it. At this point I can feel my blood pressure rising and my frustration increasing. But decided to get back on the horse and keep trying procedures.

Intubation - tried three times, missed it. Are you kidding??? I've gotten the last several intubations I've tried. This kid is KILLING my self-esteem!!

A little background info - I've been missing IV after IV, blood-draw after blood-draw... for the last 3 weeks. So today was just the icing on the cake. I felt so completely incompetent. The teasing got old. I was hungry and cranky. I snapped. My senior resident tried to make me feel better. He told me I'm probably just in a "dry spell" and that I need to keep trying until I start getting successful procedures again. I'm not so convinced that this is a dry spell. I think I'm getting tired of intern year. It's wearing me down. I've been working 12-14 hours a day for the last 3 months and I'm exhausted. I need a break. Thank goodness Christmas is just around the corner. I can't wait!!

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