Law Number 3

Filed under: by: Hey Doc Wait

Law #3 of The House of God: "At a cardiac arrest, the first procedure is to take your own pulse."

This comes in particularly handy in many stressful situations, not just during codes. I tend to get particularly overwhelmed and flustered when my pager goes off again while I'm answering the first page that I got while talking to a patient or family and I still haven't written any of my notes and there's a new admission to see and I haven't peed all day and I promised my husband I'd cook dinner but it's already 4 pm and it will take me an hour to get home once I'm finally done and and and...

So here it is, July, and I'm a brand new intern on call. Except I'm not really a brand new intern, because I've already been doing this for a while. I'm a detoured intern, intern v2.0, sidetracking through a first residency until I realized I was stuck in the wrong place doing the wrong thing, now playing a little catchup for 6 months. Thank god, this gets rid of the worst part of being an intern: the sheer panic of the whole thing. My first night on call was one or two years and two days ago and I dropped my pager into someone's coffee cup (that was very un-JHACO-like, btw, to leave a cup of coffee in the nurse's station in the ER, ahem!). I still get just as flustered, and I know very little of what I'm only considered to be 6 months behind in (namely, all of adult general internal medicine), but I'm not really afraid of it at this point.

But at some point, I could still use a reminder to take my own pulse.