On a typical day for my current hospitalist rotation, I wake up at 5 am and the struggle is real. Apparently my roomies say I’m a morning person… but not that early! I pack up my breakfast, lunch, and a big cup of coffee and I head out the door. My commute to the hospital is about 45 minutes- thank goodness I only have to drive there 3-4 times a week. But at least that gives me some time to wake up.
I arrive about 6:30 am and check in with my doctor or PA. This hospital is new and super small (only 30 beds open right now) so there are only 2-3 providers there at a time. I get my list of patients and usually see 6 or 7 per day. I know that sounds like nothing, but internal med is so different that any rotation I’ve done so far. After that, I go to my own little office to eat breakfast and read up on my patients.
Basically we just round on the patient one time each day, write their note, and put in any orders that are needed. We determine if they need to stay in the hospital or can be discharged soon. If it’s your first day working (like me) or you’ve been off for a few days, things take a little longer. The documentation that happens in internal med is unreal. When you get ready to see your first patient, you have to read up on them- admission note, progress notes, EKGs, labs, imaging, consults, etc. Basically, you have to get up to speed about their stay or else you’ll look like a complete dummy when talking to them. This can take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes to do. If you’ve been there for a few days (like I was last week) then you know most of the patients on your list and that makes things move more quickly.
After I’m done researching, I go see the patient. These visits are pretty quick- how are you feeling? how’s your pain? how’s your breathing? are you eating/drinking? going to the bathroom? etc. Then I do a brief physical exam and go type my note, which is super long. One of the doctors I’m working with is actually one of our professors at school so it helps that I already know him pretty well. At the end of the day, we’ll sit down and discuss patients and he’ll answer any questions that I have about the disease or plan for the day.
The downside about the rotation- it’s a little slower paced than I’m used to, there is a TON of charting, and the early mornings are a little rough. However, I do like having lots of time to read the patient’s chart and learn more about their disease process and I get to see people that are much more sick than you’d see as an outpatient provider. My goal is to get a lot better at interpreting lab results– there are so many!
Oh, and one more thing. Working here is a real eye-opener to see what happens to people that don’t take care of their bodies. I wish that anyone who smokes would spend a day with some of these people with COPD and heart failure that are permanently attached to oxygen and see what will happen if they continue that nasty habit. I despise smoking and think it’s pretty much the most disgusting thing ever. SO many diseases can be avoided if you don’t smoke, eat healthy, and exercise. So, what have I seen the most? Definitely COPD (chronic bronchitis/emphysema), congestive heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease, and hypertension.
As for today, I’m thoroughly enjoying the day off, even though “sleeping in” means waking up at 7:30 these days. I go back in tomorrow for a 3-day stretch and then it’s back to Charlotte for the weekend, I cannot wait!! Hope y’all had a fabulous weekend 🙂
Brittany Deskins says
Sounds rough girl! You'll get through it!
I know this hasn't been your favorite one – but it'll go by super fast!!! Glad you have the day off 🙂 xo, Biana – BlovedBoston
Zelle B. says
Look at you! That's definitely an early day — enjoy today!
xo Southern Style
mariafelicia magno says
i'm so happy for you
Kate at Green Fashionista says
Whoooo girl you are rockin' it! And I have so much admiration for you being able to get up so early and deal with a rough commute. It'll all be worth it!
Love hearing about every aspect of your training 🙂
Shelby Vanhoy says
That is so exciting! I majored in Human Bio and planned on going to dental school for years. I've always thought about PA school too but I just don't know if I would keep from passing out in certain situations haha. You go girl.
Owen Ross Davis says
ugh I'm dreading that rotation 🙁 hospitals aren't my thing!
Katie Elizabeth says
I love reading these recaps – it's a fun look into a totally different world! And 100% agree about smoking. My grandpa was a big smoker and it killed him, the end was brutal. I wish everyone could see what it really does to a body!
Anna Baun says
Goodness girl! Busy day, but I imagine you're so great at it! Keep up the good work! I know it will get easier! XO
Amanda Elizabeth - Meet @ the Barre says
That is exactly why I went into Pediatrics girl! I am all about the prevention! Plus kids you still have a shot at trying to influence health and behavior 🙂
Karen Chung says
I'm sure you are such a blessing to all the patients you see, I always wished I could go into a healthcare job, but I was no good at the sciences!
Wow! Look at you. I totally agree about people seeing the effects of their smoking. I'm texting you about getting together! xoxo
Lucy @ Hunter Hart says
5am is so horrible! You poor thing! I always do like a good commute to drink coffee, wake up and think about my day! It sounds like such interesting work. I couldn't agree more – I just wish that people would take care of their bodies better, you only get one! I think sometimes smoking (for whatever reason) and eating/drinking junk is presented as being really cool. It's kind of criminal. Ok just climbing down from my soapbox now… Lucy x
Mascara + Medicine says
This is a perfect depiction of internal med. I totally agree with the smoking comment–it is the GROSSEST habit and leads to so many health issues
Yeessshhh, 5 am sounds brutal! The smoking thing I definitely agree on. It's such a gross habit and people refuse to see that. In Manila, people smoke like chimneys, which prompts me pulling my shirt over my nose 90% of the time when we are outside so I don't inhale the disgusting fumes. Love reading about your job and what you're learning! It's so neat.
I love learning about what your days look like!! You fascinate me, friend! You're going to make such a great PA! Clt this weekend!! Yay! Will I get to see you? I'm pooling it in Saturday if you want to join!
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