Halfway Done With PCU

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While the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) is considered to be a harder, more time-intensive rotation, this is the first time I’ve really felt like a physician. I thoroughly enjoyed my first rotation on the renal consult service, but this rotation is way more demanding… in a good way. The PCU has 4-5 interns (3 pediatric interns, 1-2 anesthesia interns) who are on a staggered schedule – the pedi interns are changing on Monday, and I’ll have to use my overwhelming experience (*cough-two-weeks-worth-cough*) to get the new group up to speed with our nearly capped patient census.

I’ve been working six days a week, on average, typically with the following schedule:

4:30-5:30am – Wake up and get to the Light Rail station
6:00-6:30am – Round with the overnight attending
6:30-9:00am – See all my patients and write my notes
9:00-11:00am – Round with the fellow and PCU attending
11:00-1:30pm – Work on notes, see patients, call consults, follow up on labs, place orders, etc.
1:30-2:00pm – PCU intern lecture
2:00-6:00pm – See new admissions and/or consults, get everything ready for sign out to the “late stay” intern. Typically my day ends at 6pm.

If I’m late stay, I’ll be there till 9-10pm to sign out to the night attending and see new PCU admissions.

The only glaring drawback to this rotation (or any critical care rotation) is the lack of time to read outside of the hospital. I’m exhausted when the shift is over. As soon as I get home, I eat, try to exercise a little, and get ready to sleep. My only consolation is that I’ve learned an incredible amount from the wonderful attendings and fellows as well as reading about my patients’ comorbidities while working up their presenting illness.

In spite of the workload, I sincerely enjoy working with multiple disciplines to provide better pediatric care. Seeing patients fulfill their daily therapy goals, whether it’s swallowing 10cc of water or getting up to sit in a chair, is indescribably magnificent and fulfilling.

Hope the last two weeks will be as great as the first! 🙂

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