Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Junior Mints


Watching 3rd years brings back memories of surgery clerkship – walking around in groups, thinking you’re a bad ass while the residents do everything, and not knowing what the hell you’re doing but acting like you do – yeah, I remember those days well.

I’m still living them.

But in all seriousness, the juniors have been putting in some serious work this week. Many of the ICU patients are surgical, sicker than snot, and require a lot of interventions/ management/ follow up, leaving the juniors arriving throughout the day trying to find some data that's needed. Most are here well past 6 pm on a regular basis.

Yet, despite these hours and the conditions they've been launched into in the last 1.5 weeks, I still can’t fathom why anyone would walk into a patient’s room whose on contact precautions, touch them with their bare hands, and get huffy at the nurse who tries to stop you. I get that you’re tired, man, but is the extra few minutes of putting on a cover and gloves really worth risking infection? Plus snapping at the nurse will only get you on a shit list that you don’t want to be on. Trust me.

Overall though, the thing that bothers me the most about them (not that they bother me in and of themselves) is the fact that they have to change into nice clothes as soon as they leave the OR. One girl had to leave and change before she could help out with a chest tube the other day (which was subsequently completed while she was gone). It floored me.

Gone are the days of walking around in scrubs – like I was allowed – and being able to deal with the fluids and contaminates since you could just get another clean pair from the OR. That was one of the great things about the surgery clerkship – not having to wear a tie and iron your damn clothes or worry about destroying them.

And there were great days on that clerkship. But I mean, do you really have to avoid wearing the scrubs altogether? The residents still walk around in theirs, why can' t the students?


Bostonian in NY said...

We have to dress up and present a "professional appearance" with shirt and tie (aka MRSA vector) and slacks.

Seeing that in my not so distant future, I'm wearing shorts and flip flops and not shaving until clinical orientation week at the end of June.

pinkie said...

Is this a new rule? Perhaps our dwindling funds force us to be penny-pinching and reduce the chances of students "borrowing" scrubs to take home. I can understand that part. But to change because you want to look good (re: dressed up lady who missed the chest tube placement), well, that's another story. I wonder why the ICU is full of surgical patients nowadays, though... curious...

M said...

The number of girls in my cohort who turn up looking like something out of Grey's Anatomy never fails to astound.

I miss uniforms because it meant I could wake up and use the extra hour in the morning to study, as opposed to looking for a clean shirt to throw on.

(Then again, you could argue that I'm simply bitter because I can't seem to manage my time well enough to look decent at school.)

MSG said...


I think they started this when the residents were LOA last year and decided to stick with it. It seems really picky at times (i.e. the loss of experience just to get dressed up) but I think it's coming from a desire to have a hard nosed future residency program.