Jun 28, 2011

Putting On My Gloves

Well, I've started work as a doctor. Two day shifts, one night...it hasn't been too different than being a medical student, except that I sign my own orders. But tonight was different.

It was about 10:30 pm, and I had just finished helping to deliver a baby. I sat down to write my delivery report, and heard a nurse call "911 to triage!" I watched a couple nurses run after her and then decided that since I am a doctor now, perhaps it wasn't a bad idea for me to go too. I wasn't stressed because I knew the 911 pager had been activated, which meant that a group of residents with actual experience and an attending would show up soon. But I decided I would go and just be there in the meantime.

It turned out to be a patient that had shown up to triage when completely dilated and was starting to push her baby out. I introduced myself, and asked her a few questions, in Spanish, keeping an eye on the door for someone that would know what I should do. No one came, and the nurse handed me a set of sterile gloves, and said "put your gloves on."

And I did. I pulled on the sterile delivery gown and pulled on my gloves, and delivered the baby just as the more advanced resident and attending arrived. I stood there holding that baby, knowing that this mother was my patient, and that me being there had mattered. I had put on my gloves, and was a doctor.

It was a great feeling and an I think an important transition, as I start my residency, and gives me a lot of excitement for what is ahead.

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