But he was the exception, not the rule. My favorite example was a few weeks ago, where we had an old, sick looking lady with a huge history. While the nurses attempted to place an NG tube, she stopped breathing and eventually lost her pulse. We start coding her, and immediately the whole area becomes packed. Chest compressions, crash cart, central line, doctors, nurses, techs, med students moving around and a lot of commotion. I get a break from doing compressions and stay to grab whatever supplies people need. Two beds over, I hear another patient start yelling for help. Ripping open the curtain, I'm worried that I'll find another patient circling the drain. Instead the man growls at me that he's thirsty, and wants water right away. With ice. And a straw.
At the same time all of this is going on, a newer resident goes to discharge one of our patients who'd been placed on a portable monitor in the hall. He hands her the paperwork, returns to the area where the code is still in progress, and asks one of the nurses who's hanging medications on this pulseless old woman to go pull the discharged patient's IV.
One of the many things I enjoy about my job is that it gives me the opportunity to see what kind of doctor I want to be, and what kind I don't.