the sequel to why emergency medicine is so hard:
4) euthanasia: we do so many more of these than GPs- running the gamut from tragic injuries that could have been avoided to old dogs and cats ready to die. after pulling up the pink juice for the 5th time in 8 hours, i start to become emotionally numb. sometimes i have to refuse to do a euthanasia and ask a colleague to do it (as long as they haven't done many themselves that day) for fear of becoming completely emotionally unhinged.
5) exhaustion: often our shifts run several hours over - bleeding into the wee hours of the morning or late into the night. sometimes i don't get to eat or drink or pee in a 12 hour stretch. it ain't healthy and it ain't ideal - but it's a fact. we are chronically understaffed and chronically over-stretched.
6) staffing: it is difficult to find technicians who can bear the stress and emotional burden of emergency work. see reasons 1-5 for why their jobs are just as hard as ours. on top of that, they cannot take proper care of their assigned patients because they're also responsible for diagnostics on all the emergencies that come to the ICU. on top of that, they rarely hear words like THANK YOU from anyone. i've made it my personal goal to try and tell all the techs at the end of their shifts (and often many hours afterwards) thank you. i know how much better i feel when someone takes time to thank me for caring for their pet or doing a good job.
i'm sure there are many more, but at the moment - i can't think of any.
i'm going on overnights for a week starting tonight - so again, if you pray - pray for my sanity. pray that this week isn't like last weekend at all, or i might have to find a new vocation!
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