Tuesday, August 5, 2008

my world is my work and my work is my world

at least - that's how it seems right now. in 8 days - 130+ hours. i've been told by my husband to set some limits. the problem is - what limits do i set? if i don't do my paperwork - who suffers? me - if i get sued and lack proper paperwork to back myself up. or if one of my intern-mates doesn't know how i treated a patient...my patient suffers. so no shortcuts on tedious and time-consuming paperwork. what about emergencies, then? if i cut off taking emergencies 2 hours before the end of my shift then i get dirty looks from the senior clinicians, although we've been told by the medical director (the highest authority) to stop taking appointments 2 hours prior to the end of our shift. even doing that on sunday night - i was at work an extra 8 hours - doing eye surgery, as well as a surgery dehiscence repair. a 19 hour shift. all of us interns are in the same boat. we (or the nature of our business) work ourselves to death. i recall a recent 20 hour-ish shift during which i didn't drink or eat the entire time. OSHA regulations require that we don't eat or drink in the ICU. we're only allowed drinks/food in the lounge. it's an infuriating rule that ensures that i am not properly hydrated or fed. OSHA wants to protect our health? they ought to prevent hypoglycemia-induced collapse secondary to starvation/dehydration. i should write a letter to someone.

i have 3 days off until i have to go back and work the (hellish, no doubt) weekend. during my last week on i dealt with an uncontrollably seizuring dog, an insane nurse practitioner owner that insulted me by insinuating i would not treat her dog because i disagreed with her assessment of my patient's status, a raccoon that was to be euthanized and have his head removed (NOT in my job contract), technicians disagreeing with my drug dosages (correct dosages but different from what they are used to administering) and running to my attending clinician with the news that i'd made a "mistake" before even asking me about the dose, euthanizing an otherwise happy, healthy 2 year old dachshund with a slipped disc, euthanizing a dozen other animals - some on death's doorstep - others with fixable (albeit expensively) problems...and the litany goes on and on.

i was bone-tired when i got home last night, easily prodded into tears.

today - the husband and i spent some time together. we finally saw the dark knight, which was excellent and far, far exceeded my expectations. it was also a bit heavy for my day off - as in SUPER DEPRESSING. we had bbq afterwards. it was a nice remove from my job.

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