I can’t do shift work. Physically. My body does not understand sleeping during the day or going to bed at 5 am. We were very confused for one full month. Aside from a wacky sleep schedule, this ER rotation was pretty legit and fun. I was surprised. For one full day I thought to myself, I could totally see myself doing this. Then I slept for 12 hours.
Here are some of the fun things I was able to do:
- Rinse maggots out of a golf-ball sized wound. This made my stomach turn.
- Manual disimpaction – if you’ve ever gotten your hands on a stool ball you will know what I mean. It is just as gross as it smells. But the patient feels much better even if you just inadvertently disimpacted your stomach.
- Lumbar puncture on an 8 day old baby – very tricky since they’re wiggly. But ya’ gotta rule out Meningitis, first!
- LOTS of suturing. Thankfully this is what kept me awake on most of my night shifts. I think my record number was 41 stitches.
These are all that I can remember, since I did this rotation back in August/September. I am glad to not be an ER doc, but get why people go into this field. Pretty cool stuff, but boy are the sleep schedules rough…