Friday’s “intern bootcamp” was honestly our first useful day of orientation. We spent the day reviewing ACLS by running mock codes, learned how to place central lines with and without ultrasound, and practiced common inpatient scenarios. Although anesthesia interns won’t be officially be cross-covering for medicine teams overnight, the scenarios were still highly relevant.
Points of emphasis were on triaging pages and addressing the most critical ones first. While the nurse is on the phone, it’s often prudent to get an updated set of vital signs (after all, they’re vital for a reason) and anticipate any procedure-related equipment you may need by the time you walk over to see the patient. Is the patient short of breath? Consider a breathing treatment. Is the patient having new or changing chest pain? Get that EKG rolling before you even get to the patient’s bedside. How about constipation or pain? Make sure you have PRN meds already written for… “just in case.”
I feel that as a med student, I was innately paranoid about taking on a systems-based approach in synthesizing any given patient’s assessment and plan. Even for focused diagnoses (urinary tract infections, pneumonias, etc.), it’s still important to consider how we’re managing the patient from every angle so we don’t miss something routine but incredibly important (DVT prophylaxis, vaccinations, discussing code status, etc.)
The department of medicine starts residency tomorrow, but the anesthesia interns will be joining our colleagues one week later (July 1st). It’s sort of sad that the next seven days I have off amounts to 50% of the total “vacation time” I’ll have as an intern. I better make the most of it!