The time had come. A moment I had both longed for and dreaded in equal amounts. Pros: walking around in a white coat, finally using your stethoscope, feeling like a real doc (almost), and learning A LOT. Cons: getting up superearly, having no social life anymore, getting up superearly, the possibility/probability of failing at things and not knowing everything, getting up superearly, being a little afraid of the real doctors. Oh, did I already mention having to get up incredibly early?
The night before my first day I was nauseous and restless. I had taken care of most things the week before: coat, pass, account, bikes, etc. Checked train times and the cycling route. Had set out a nice outfit. At night I lay motionless in bed, eyes wide open, afraid I would sleep through my alarm (note: it
was is being set at 5.15am).
I’m not usually the first to admit that I’m nervous. I’m always the tough girl, not afraid of anything. But I must say that there’s been a build up of tension over about six years, always anticipating that final start of my rotations. Finally feeling like I’m becoming a real doctor. And now that time has come.
Let me tell you how I felt after that first day had ended: RELIEVED. It wasn’t as scary as I’d imagined. Patients are not that scary (I haven’t seen patients since May..). Senior interns are definitely not scary, and most specialists are nice too. We’re here to learn things. And I’m glad we’re there.
So, what did I do this week? First day: nothing much. The day starts with the transfer of information on patients and with radiology results. Then, we go on to do rounds, which take all morning. After lunch, we finish the lists of things to do for each patient, and at the end of the day there’s another transfer of information to the night shifters. That’s the basic schedule. In the meantime, we interns have extra education things and our own lists to check off. We had a meeting with our supervisor, got a lesson in performing infusions, and this afternoon we had a so-called off-ward, where all the interns come together for both knowledge and research education. In the meantime I try to see as many patients and procedures as possible, and look up diseases I come across. I write intake letters, referrals, prescriptions, etc. I took the history of a few patients and today I finally got to do a physical examination. No supervision yet, unfortunately, but this way I got to practice and get the feel for it back (it’s been a while, you know). Aaaand this morning, I had the chance to do an infusion on someone. It was a bit hard as there was only one arm available and not many vessels I could choose from. It was extra hard as the patient had a clostridium infection and was put in contact isolation, meaning I had to wear an overcoat and gloves. Nevertheless, I succeeded! The first try I probably punctured through the vein while pushing up the canula, but the second time it was perfect. I was so happy and proud of myself! Today was the perfect ending of a week where I was longing to do more exciting things and see more patients myself. A good start of the weekend: yay for sleep!!