If you have worked in an academic hospital, you know what July 1 means…
Each year on July 1, the new interns transition from medical student to full-fledged, long coated doctors. All of the residents move on to the next level – whether it is just another rung on the ladder or moving on to their fellowships. When I first became a nurse, it was a strange phenomenon to me – it was like a flood gate opened and it seemed like non of the medical staff knew what was going on. I learned quickly that you needed to be on your toes.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved working in a teaching hospital. I loved all the learning that was going on and always being challenged. Of course, there are some great physicians out there, but there certainly were those scary ones also. The most scary were the ones who didn’t know what they didn’t know. As I became more experienced in my career, I was able to identify them quicker. And if they were REALLY annoying, it became a sport with my peers to mess with them, until they learned their lessons. Everyone learns eventually that the nurses really are there to just take care of the patients. Be a part of the team or move on, we have patients to care for.
I remember a funny experience once when we had a new resident on the MICU service. I was new to the hospital, but had been an experienced nurse. I was in my patients room and he came in to do his assessment also. It was the usual cordial conversation and update on the patient. I could tell he was pretty nervous. He starts telling me about how excited he was to be on the MICU service and had been waiting for the rotation. He proceeded to tell me that he knew he had a lot to learn as he wasn’t sure of everything I had just said to him and that he knew he was going to “learn so much from the nurses”. I started laughing, and as he looked as me with a puzzled expression, I told him, “Dude, I’ll help you all I can, but I have only been here a short time also, so you might want to reconsider me as I still can’t find my way back from the cafeteria on a good day!” We both laughed and I was quickly reminded that we are all just people, trying to take care of people, each with a unique roll, but still important. (And Dr. Brundage, if you happen to read this, you were still my favorite!)
One of the things about I loved most, even to this day, is when I run into physicians who have gone on and “grown up”. In teaching clinicals, I get to go to a few facilities in our city and I run into them all the time. This brings me so much joy to see them, especially the good ones, and know that I had a small, little part in their journey – even if they don’t remember my name.
There was a funny thread on Twitter going on right now called #NewTipsforDocs – if you need a good laugh, go check it out and / or leave a suggestion. Training the physicians is everyone’s job! (But I still don’t recommend getting sick during these first few weeks….unless you have a nurse to watch over you!)