Why I hate my job right now

After seeing the nice spacious layout, friendly communication, standing floor orders of the Miracle Hospital in Augusta last weekend, I was nothing but frustrated today at scattered charts all over the department…the only way we have of keeping track of who we see. No patient tracking board of anytype. Sure, we have an electronic schedule, but there is no way of seeing who is taking care of what patient, who is in the waiting room, who has been seen in triage, who has been placed in a room, etc, etc. I waste endless time retrieving my charts from the desk clerk’s area and collecting and organiznig the charts that I have. Desk clerks put their complete charts in different places, some on the edge of their desk, some in a rolling cart with numbered folders, some bring them back to my desk… I like them the best! Another peeve is our overhead paging system…numbers for the line that’s waiting. If you’re in a patient room, half the time you can’t hear. If the patient happens to be talking, it’s rude to interrupt. Heck, today, we were discussing a patient with the staff doc, and we couldn’t get HIM to stop talking so we could hear the number. So what happens if you don’t catch the number? YOu call the ED yourself, they put you on hold, get your number subtract one and page it overhead again. By then there is a good chance that the caller has hung up. Sometimes you have so many things going on at once, you have no idea who is callign you about what. If you pick up a call in the back hall, you can’t answer questions about your patient who’s chart is lying in the desk clerk’s box. And finally, and endless pet peeve are the bad, bad layouts of the patient rooms. It seems like it’s always impossible to find an ear speculum, or the power isn’t working, or the bed is against the wrong wall, or the patient’s spouse is in one chair, and their clothes are on the rolling stool that I usually use. Every one of these inconveniences is a delay in doing productive work…seeing patients, looking at their past history and most importantly, MAKING DECISIONS about their care. This aspect is the most underappreciated in emergency medicine. We are constantly making decisions that affect lives in many ways…but with all of these interruptions & annoyances, it seems like there is no time left to do the things that are most important for patients. How do other people deal with all this CRAP?

Blogging Docs Meet

While visiting my grandmother in South Carolina, I slipped over the border into Augusta, Georgia to meet Web Surfin’ Blogger, also a third year emergency medicine resident! He showed me around their department, they have an awesome bed tracking system (we have none) and a very spacious department. We celebrated the near end of our residency with pepridge farm chocolate chunk cookies that my grandmother insisted I bring along!

Beach Rain

Somehow, rain at the ocean seems a little funny to me. I’m at Hilton Head, adn sitting in this internet cafe makes me recall my blogger updates from tropical Roatan last november, searching for Nemo, chasing green morays and swimming with the yellowfins. But it’s about 30 degrees cooler here, and the rain isn’t stopping. Sunset was nice with the full moon last night. Happy & Holy Easter Weekend.

Papa’s Den

I am sitting in my grandfathers den right now, surrounded by mementoes of his lifetime. The wall are covered with photographs, mainly of aviation, but some of family as well. In one corner are photos of my father and uncle, twins. I think there are equal numbers of photos of each one. Fishing, wrestling, canoeing, playing football. Moving around the room clockwise are photos of people he worked with at Allison, photo collages of his work with the Central Indiana Soaring Society. Pictures of he and General Scott, who flew one of my grandfather’s P-40 fighter planes over Burma, with their arms around one another like two pals whose greatest accomplishment’s in life made a significant mark on American (& world) history. A mounted bass above the closet door. Then comes my favorite part. An 18×24″ framed photo of my grandfather, as a teenager, posing with the glider he built by hand. The next photo over is him in flight with his brother holding the wing steady until he gained a few feet of altitude.

Framed documents for the national air & space museum, Sons of the American Revolution, a diary page from the Wright Brothers (duplicate), then several photos of miscellaneous aircraft that were important to him in one way or another. Then comes one of his favorite…his patent for a veined diffusuer to be used on aircraft jet engines…the P33 shooting star if I remember correctly. The remainder of that wall is his desk. I’ll get back to that in a little while.

To my left hang framed photos of several P-40 flying tigers, the warplane that was finally built because of the gain in horsepower from his design innovations back in the early 1940s. His days in the nation’s last calvary unit can be traced by the photos of his horse, “Brownie”, his unit in formation, cannons being loaded & shot in field exercises in and around Ft. Bliss in the late 1930s.

Finally is a column of photos that he cared for as much as anything else in the room…The Voayger’s non-stop, non refueled flight around the world by Jeana Yeager and Dick Rutan in 1986, a year before I graduated high school. Multiple signed photos, plaques, Stamps, and letters of thanks for his support in the project.

There is more in this room, much, much more. The photos only scratch the surface of the man he once was. I found a letter from me to him that I wrote when I was 9 years old. In it, I write that he still hasn’t answered all of the questions that I had. The very last line of the letter is, “When are you coming back?”

I miss him terribly. Papa, you still havn’t answered all of my questions. When are you coming back?

Bono and the Boss

Performing together tonight for the first time ever on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies on VH1….my new favorite channel for mindless entertainment. Although I have to say that the speech by Bruce Springstein inducting U2 into the Hall of Fame was one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard in my life, as were the short acceptance speeches by each of the band members.