Role playing

The IKEA role playing game presents a methodical, albiet entirely fictional, strategy on surviving an IKEA shopping trip with your girlfriend/boyfriend. It objectifies employees, clerks and other shoppers and turns each showroom into a WORLD, requiring a specific TASK to unlock the next WORLD. POWER-UPs can be bought at the CAFE in the form of a LATTE for $1.00. And on and on and on…

I wanted to create a post today on “What is a resident?” and then stubled on this post and laughed way too hard (I LOVE IKEA) If I could create a post on how to survive residency by viewing it as a role-playing action/adventure game, boy that would be reallly funny. Could I do it? Can anyone help provide strategy levels?

E. g. How to survive OB/GYN.

Step number 1. Upon first entering the WORK ROOM, you will be overwhelmed with ESTROGEN, an invisible substance used by the Obstetricians to create obstructions for communication and teamwork. Your first task therefore, is to find an appropriate source of TESTOSTERONE. Male residents, medical students and nurses, if you can find them, are good sources to begin with. Once armed with an adequate TESTOSTERONE source, you will need to first qualify for CATCHING BABIES before entering a BIRTHING ROOM.

Maybe not as funny as navigating the IKEA game world, but it would make a nice residency manual.

Poof…I’m an obstetrician!

This month, I’m an obstetrician/gynecologist. Catching babies isn’t too hard, but I want to be comfortable knowing when I should be catching them in the ER versus having time to send an ambulance to labor and delivery.

Today, a woman who came in for an elective c-section abrupted right in front of us. That means that her placenta separated from the uterus before the baby was delivered. That’s bad for the baby…mom’s blood comes through the placenta, and bad for mom…the uterus can’t contract because it’s still full and mom loses a lot of blood.

Being my first day, I was relatively useless in the room, none of the nurses know who I was and I just stood in a corner. The pediatricians, however, know me well as I’ve spent a total of three months with them by now (18% of my residency!). So the pediatrician barely had time to put sterile gloves on, sees me as a pair of useful hands and says, “Shazam, get some gloves on quick!”. We got handed the little blue baby and started to resucitate. I have her oxygen…it hardly seemed like those tiny nostrils could get any air into them. We suctioned her throat and nose and she turned pink. But when I took the oxygen away, she slowly turned blue again as my own face became white. I gave her oxygen again and she pinked up. (So did I) This happened a total of three times before she stayed pink on her own.

I’m not sure what was going on behind my back with the obstetricians, but I was having more fun playing neonatologist anyway. That’s the great part about my residency…getting to put on so many different hats!

Flight 011

This flight had all the potential for an epic. It was 10:30pm, (my shift is over at 11pm), and the pediatric intensivist was on the phone wondering if a helicopter ride would worsen a little boy’s injuries. He was about 3 hours from our hospital and needed intensive care treatment. I was dispatched with the helicopter, even though he was already in the care of another physician, because of the magnitude of his injuries. You’ll never guess who the boy was. It was Jane’s brother. (See post “Jane” below).

After a 45 minute flight into headwinds, we were turned back due to low cloud cover and snow. The flight was fast, bumpy and beautiful. A half moon hung in the sky reflecting off the clouds below making it seem as if we were flying over a vast ocean.

I’m not sure what will happen to Jane’s brother…I’ll just call him John, but I can assure you that there was a notable relief of tension on the part of myself, the flight nurse and the paramedic when we abandoned the flight to return home. Someone else will have to take care of him.

Flight 010

Before we landed from the first flight today, we were already on standby for this one. As soon as the trucker was transferred to the ED staff, we were back up to the roof to another scene. This one was 5 teenagers in an SUV. The car slipped on black ice and tumbled into a gulley. Nobody was wearing their seat belt.

The transported two of the patients at the same time back to the hospital, one was alerted as a trauma, the other was cared for by the ED staff. Both were admitted and doing OK, I have no idea what happened to the other 3 kids in the car.

Flight 009

Head-on tractor trailer collision. Apparently the wind picked up the northbound truck and ‘helped’ it across the median strip into another tractor trailer. The mechanism alone is enough to call a trauma alert.

Circling over the scene in the chopper was amazing. Traffic was backed up as far as we could see to the north. The accident happened right at an overpass, conveniently, so traffic was being routed off the interstate and back onto it. When we came in for our final approach, they stopped traffic and we landed right on the interstate. From the air, we could see both trailors. One was on it’s side, the other was standing upright, but it seemed there was nothing left of the cab. Once I got onto the ground, I got a good look at the cab…the only thing left was his seat, which he was belted into.

He was a real nice guy, and kept asking about his cell phone. I slipped it into my jacket coat and forgot about it until we unloaded back at the hospital. Once the rotors stopped, I heard this strange ringing noise, I thought it was his monitor…then I realized it was his cell phone in my pocket! Later, I saw him walking down the hallway in the ED, and I commented about it. With a real big smile, he said, “I’m a real popular guy!” A real lucky guy, I say. By every right, he should have been killed instantly, but he walked away with a few minor fractures.