Friday, August 01, 2008

dress rehearsal

All worries that I had that the MARTA in the early morning hours would be some desolate, shadow-y Rape Cave were dispelled these past two mornings when I practiced my morning commute and found the stations and trains almost more packed than the A train at 5:45am. Dude, a lot of people take MARTA to work. When I got to my stop, where, it probably doesn't need to be said, the work day starts early, I think I estimated about 50 people getting off the train with me. It is safe, and, if the past two mornings are any indication, it's actually pretty reliable. Plus (and this is better than New York, which, while sporting a very extensive mass transit system, also has a very old subway) they actually have these monitors overhead that tell you when the next train is due to be arriving. "Next Northbound train arriving in 3 minutes...," that kind of thing. And, no bullshit, three minutes later, there's the train. Brilliant! I am pleased.

Since by virtue of this commuting trial run (a testament to my anal retentiveness that I felt the need to do this trial run not once, but twice) I was already at the hospital yesterday morning, I took the opportunity to get my ID and reacquaint myself with the general layout of the floor and the ORs. It is very confusing, but I'm sure I will sort it out soon enough. I even found my way to the female attending locker room, which people kept apologizing to me about as being "small" or not as nice as the male attending locker room. It was small, and more than half the lockers were unmanned (whatever, unwomanned--quite the visual reminder that whatever the numbers in med school now, in this hospital, in the OR area, there are way, way, way more male attendings than female attendings) but it was clean and neat and honestly much nicer than what I'm used to. Having never worked at a private hospital before, I actually had to restrain myself on my re-exploration tour from repeatedly saying, "Wow, that's so nice! Wow, an attending dining room with free food? THAT'S SO FANCY." But yes, there is an attending dining room with free food. For, like, meals. I have never seen such a thing. This, I have to say, is really going to top my old meal option of vending machine Pop Tarts.

I also got my hospital ID. I was going to wait until Monday to do all this administrative stuff, but I realized that I might have a problem actually getting in to the ORs on Monday without my ID, since every other door is one of those "Staff Only" swipecard entrances. As it was, I was waiting outside the double doors of the OR area for 5 minutes, waiting for someone to exit so I could run in the open doors to get to the administrative offices. The interesting thing I noticed about the hospital ID cards in Atlanta (and maybe I'm just generalizing, but it's the same on Joe's hospital ID, at a different hospital) is that they print your first name REALLY BIG, and then your last name and title really small. Doesn't it seem, in general, even for purposes of differentiating between individuals to others, than people know your last name? I mean, even for the fact that there are probably a lot more people named "Michelle" at the hospital than people with the name "Au"? I asked someone about that, and they said that it was probably an effort to create more of a "friendly" atmosphere between doctor and patient, but honestly, my patients don't generally call me by my first name (though some do, which is OK) and I generally introduce myself with my last. Anyway.

Hey look, it's August!