Around noon, I became interested to see how many things it would be possible for me to do wrong in the course of one day. I’d already managed so many in the morning, I was curious to see how many more could fit into the afternoon.

Partly it’s me and the intern. I was going to say the intern, but the problem is really me. This morning, by being bossy, he saved me from making a bad mistake. I ought to be grateful and humble, and I’m trying. I guess it’s that interns and junior residents are so careful about not breaking any rules themselves, they just notice other people’s infractions more. But every time we’re in the same room, I’m doing something wrong: coming too close to the sterile field, failing to hold the laparoscopic camera with two hands, stepping away from the patient when I shouldn’t, and on and on. I’m amazed at the number of things I don’t know about that I should be doing.

Then, I missed conference this morning because a) I forgot about it, but b) even if I had remembered, I was rounding on a patient, who had developed nausea and vomiting overnight, with abdominal pain. Post-op. So I was struggling to come up with what could be wrong with him, and trying to decide that it was serious enough to page a resident and ask for orders for the nurse. I thought I was being very responsible; but then I got a lecture for skipping conference. One is only allowed to skip for emergencies; and my patient was undeniably not dying.

What else? Tripping over things, dropping things. . . And the surgeon I was with most of the day was having a bad day too, and taking it out on the residents. . . And the intern keeps coming to the same surgeries as me; so of course he takes precedence, as far as scrubbing in, and getting closer to the scene of events, and holding anything that needs it.

The only good part of the day was, I managed to sew up an incision neatly. One incision. It’s time for it to be Friday.

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