Today I’ve been working for three months. It’s almost hard to believe. My first rotation is almost over, and my next rotation will be anaesthesiology (they just won’t let up, will they?).
My first call of Internship was on a Sunday. I was so nervous that I had an upset tummy that morning (but not upset enough to call in sick). It was terrifying and exhilarating. I had a big breakfast – perks of living at home!
I wasn’t even halfway to hospital when my phone rang. We don’t have pagers, we just have speed-dials so we are reached directly via cell phone. I thought maybe the medical officer was calling to shout at me for being late, but I was not actually late YET.
It turned out to be a nurse from casualty informing me of a threatened miscarriage that I had to see. I informed her that my shift hadn’t ACTUALLY STARTED YET, but I’d be there soon.
On our calls, we see all OB/GYN patients, but those in labour or near viability take preference. There weren’t any of those waiting to be seen, so I headed over to casualty to see the “threatened miscarriage”. At said hospital, you basically have to cross the road via an underground tunnel to get to the main hospital from the maternity section. We all need the exercise, right?
Turns out in the fifteen minutes between the call and my arrival, the threatened miscarriage became a miscarriage with placenta undelivered. Quick chat with the medical officer – it was my first day of call, right, so I had the pressing need to clear everything with someone senior before doing ANYTHING (that changed before the end of my shift).
It really was all pretty routine – I had delivered many babies AND placentas before, so once the uterotonic was given I did not anticipate anything funny. Even the patient was calm. There was the little matter of me using a wound pack to deliver the placenta because casualty did not have any L&D packs, but the cord was so tiny that the stitch-holding forceps seemed quite adequate for cord traction.
But it would so happen that I was working in a poorly ventilated room and one without a gynaecological bed. Aaaaand while I was twisting myself like a pretzel to see between the poor woman’s legs, I started feeling woozy.
Well, not a problem, I thought. It’s not like my patient was unstable, so I left the room, drank some water and returned. I hadn’t been back for five minutes when I started feeling even worse. That dreaded pre-syncopal feeling. Put down my instruments again, de-glove AGAIN, but this time I could not quite reach the bathroom so I just leaned against one of the desks in the general area.
Spotted: by the casualty officer. “Are you feeling dizzy?”
I had hardly managed to nod my head before, I swear, he picked me up and plopped me down on a stretcher, took my blood sugar and blood pressure (former fine, latter low) and force-fed me some dextrose water. If not for my protestations he probably would have tested my urine, too!
He wheeled me into an empty room and ordered me to stay put while he delivered the placenta. Very sweet.
But to add insult to injury, he called my Medical Officer. I did NOT hear the end of that for the rest of the day.
Intern nearly faints on first call. Rookie error.
The rest of the call went quite fine, if you consider two hours of sleep to be fine – I was lucky enough to work with a medical officer that helped out when she saw that I was a little slow, as is wont to happen when you’re a fresh intern.
At any rate, that call was much better than a friend of mine whose first call was for internal medicine. Her shift had hardly started when she had to take the lead on a code blue.