The medical intensive care unit (MICU) has been incredibly challenging compared to last month in ENT clinic; however, I’ve found the severity of illness, rapid clinical changes, and having to account for every part of a patient’s care (“closed ICU” model) to be an engaging test of my ability to look at the patient holistically.
Last week I had the privilege of rounding with one of the most well known critical care physicians in the country. As a former president of the American College of Chest Physicians, she has earned well-deserved praise and accolades well beyond my comprehension, but it was her humility and genuine care for patients which I seek to emulate. This seems to be a defining trait with all the critical care physicians I’ve worked to date. And don’t get me started about their meticulous attention to detail. It’s remarkable how these attendings can remember virtually every aspect of every patient’s chart so easily. 😯
I’ve also been fortunate to work with some great co-interns from medicine, emergency medicine, and ob/gyn as well as upper-level residents and fellows who make it a point to teach high-yield clinical practices. Working with other disciplines is always great, since it blends different approaches in achieving better patient care.
Tonight is my fourth consecutive night shift (6pm – 9am) admitting patients to the MICU and cardiac care unit (CCU) as well as cross-covering issues for patients already in the two units. I’m tired, but the unexpected nature of critical care keeps me invigorated going into each shift – I have no idea what I’m going to see on a random Tuesday night! Stroke, gastrointestinal bleeds, metastatic malignancies, diabetic ketoacidosis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, altered mental status, and the like are all fair game.
Only two more night shifts left this month! Time to get this shift started! 😀