Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Different Perspectives

Back when I started as an ER tech, I was trained by ER nurses (kind of like being raised by wolves, but even more awesome). One nurse in particular, a seasoned veteran of several decades spent in various inner-city trauma centers, took me under her wing and first introduced me to the so-called intern's vein - a vein so easy, "even an intern can find it."

Flash forward a few years to med school, where a bunch of eager young med students attentively soak up a powerpoint presentation on how to draw blood. As the physician runs through the preferred sites for peripheral access, he finally comes to the intern's vein - a vein that "only the intern can find" (presumably after unsuccessful attempts by the nurses).

Same vein, just a slightly different emphasis that made me chuckle. Flash forward even further, and I can promise that if Second Shift the Intern is told by an ER nurse with 20 years of experience finding impossibly tiny veins on hard core heroin addicts that she can't find access, the first thing I'm going to do is grab the ultrasound.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

To All My Old Friends in the Big City ER...

and in emergency departments everywhere, happy emergency nurses' week!

Remember to be nice to the nurses - they keep the doctors from accidentally killing you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Back in Action

After nearly two years of sharing stories about life in the emergency room, this blog took a detour when I began medical school. No longer working as an ER tech meant that my source of material had dried up. While I'm enjoying the journey so far, blogging about hours spent studying does not make for interesting reading.

So, it is with great excitement that I will soon begin a clinical mentorship elective in our medical center's emergency department that will allow me to interact with and begin to examine real ER patients. I'm really looking forward to being back in the ER, this time with a medical student's perspective.

Speaking of life in the world of emergency medicine, this weekend the New York Times ran a profile on the Maimonides Medical Center emergency department.

Be sure to check out the article, photo essay, and video.