A Day in the Life | Dr. Brandon Henry – 3rd Year Pediatric Resident
The alarm goes off at about 5 or 5:30am. The thing is, I tend to hit the snooze button about 2-3 times. Life as a Senior Resident is much different than when I was an intern. As an intern, my alarm went off at about 4:15/4:30am. I would rush to get ready and get out the house in time so that I could make it to the hospital by 6am for sign out. Well, these days, my goal is to get to work by 7am. I’ll take a look at the team list and see how many patients were admitted to the team overnight. Meanwhile, if I didn’t get Starbucks before work, getting it from the 4th floor is a MUST (I don’t think I function well in the mornings without my coffee).
After looking at the list, I’ll call my interns and see if there were any big updates, or if they have any questions regarding their patient plans. See, as a Senior its my job to manage and oversee the team. Instead of taking time to write the notes, I’m tasked with developing an overall idea and direction of care for each patient being covered by our team. For example, I look at the vitals for significant changes (and even some more subtle). I look at all the recent labs, scanning for concerning patterns. All new imaging, new consults and their recommendations, I take into account when generating my composite sketch. We call this pivotal information gathering phase “Pre-Rounding”.
After pre-rounding, time to check in on the kiddos; again, entirely different experience as a senior. I’ll go see the sickest kiddos FIRST, and then see the rest of the team (Note: this is an effort in prioritization; the sickest child is often the most unpredictable, and in need of immediate attention). Eyeballing the patient is essential. A good Pediatrician is able to distinguish a sick kiddo versus one that’s not as sick within minutes. Now its time for rounds!
Let me tell you, I am not a fan of rounds. Though extremely necessary, I find that my attention span is comparable to an 8-year old; if it lasts too long, I’m going to be all over the place. Depending on which Attending is working that day, I may be tasked with leading rounds. I generally want to know who the kiddo is, overnight events, any new updates/changes (The Subjective and Objective), and what are we going to do for the day (The Plan). I, like most other people want to get kiddos back home to be with their families is the ULTIMATE goal. Once rounds end and we check in with each patient individually, I’m off to my trusty computer to check notes. The afternoon is mostly full of teaching, floor work, and helping my interns out with anything that they need.
Being a senior is far better than being an intern; the tradeoff is however, is more responsibility. Some days are better than others, but for the most part, they aren’t too bad. Residency is 6 months from being over and I am geeked!!! Well there you have it. This is just a small glimpse of what a day looks like for yours truly, Dr. B…..