A Day in the Life
On wards, my day begins close to 6 am as I park my car in the employee lot. At this time of day, the desert is peaceful with pale colors of the beautiful sunrise just beginning to peak out from behind Camelback Mountain. There’s always someone to say hi to on the way in including my fellow residents and our other fantastic support staff.
We sign-out in the resident room while the rest of the hospital sleeps. Our team today includes a senior, 2 interns, and medical students who are eager to learn. After sign-out, I pre-round on my patients including checking vitals and labs in the EMR, talking with nurses about overnight events and seeing my patients. The team will often grab some food and some coffee together just before running the list to make sure everyone is on the same page for plan of care.
Then we grab our workstations on wheels for rounds. During our family centered rounds, as the intern I facilitate the discussion of the plan of care amongst the primary team, the consultants, nursing, and other ancillary staff at the patient’s bedside. Because we work as a team, my co-intern or senior will helpfully put in the relevant orders and consults while I attend to my patient. Then it’s down the hall to the next patient. After we finish, I check the orders, talk to consultants, ready discharges, and finish any notes that I wasn’t able to get to on rounds. On the way to noon conference, I have a few moments to review our teaching pearls from rounds with the medical students.
In the afternoon, I follow-up on the plan of care from rounds including reviewing new labs that might have come back and recommendations from the consultants. Then we get called for a new admission. I review a differential and plan of care with the medical student on our way down to see the patient. We formulate a plan and staff with one of our other hospitalist attendings. I then have some time to check-in on my patients and nursing to make sure the plan of care is running smoothly. The team grabs a midafternoon pick-me-up before running the list and preparing to sign out to the night team at 6pm.
Before getting into the elevator from the 8th floor, I pause and take a moment to just soak in the incredible view of the city and the surrounding mountains. Even during the busy mornings and hectic afternoons, there are so many fantastic little moments that make each day at PCH special from talking with the families of my patients in the early morning, to helping a medical student retain a difficult concept, to sharing a midafternoon snack with my resident family. In residency, the days seem long but the years seem short. I am so proud and fortunate to be a part of a hospital community that continues to grow and challenges me to grow along with it.
Lauren Naile, M.D.