Monday, September 22, 2003

back on the wards

After a somewhat excruciating month on my [upstate New York community hospital] block, I've finally returned to the mother ship and am spending another month on the general Pediatric wards. This is the fourth time I've worked on the wards (I was there once as a third year clerk, once as a sub-I, and once as an intern, in July) and I daresay it's getting easier. Except for the fact that I had to get up at 3:45 this morning. That was not so easy.

They've instituted some kind of computer-based order system during my month away, however, and it's all becoming very confusing. For instance, where we once were able to write in the chart, in plain English, "Please weight the patient today," now we have to do through all manner of elaborate pull-down menus and buttons and scrolling screens in order to find the correct order from a list of thousands. Now it's all ORDERS > ENTER NEW ORDERS > ORDER SET > NURSING ORDERS > VITALS > WEIGHT > DAILY. And even after all that, the only way that you can really get anything done is to go up to the nurse and ask them to do it in person. With the exception of med orders, I feel like the computer system has just made it easier to ignore orders altogether. But it may just be that I'm a technophobe.

I'm on call tomorrow. No kids in the tri-state area had better get sick tomorrow evening, I'm warning you. I'd like to get some sleep, OK?

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