Sunday, October 20, 2019

Hello? Is this thing on?

So it's been pretty much forever since I last posted here...'forever' being about ten months, which is pretty much forever in terms of social media. So much has happened since then! I've moved to Brisbane, started working in a hospital several times the size of my old one, and found a new church. I've read a bunch of books, finished Zelda Breath of the Wild, and baked a bit. I've been lonely and heartbroken, but also thankful and very loved. It's been one heck of a year, and it's only October! Or already October, depending on how you look at it.

2019 started off a little rough, to tell you the truth. I came to Brisbane knowing only two people (technically three, but the third was leaving for Sydney), with six years' worth of stuff in boxes and bags. Adjusting to my new, ginormous hospital was no mean feat, the sometimes ridiculously complicated electronic chart system notwithstanding. My first rotation was in a building separate from the main hospital building, which meant I never saw anyone else, so opportunities to make friends were scarce. It took awhile to find a church I liked -- sixth time's the charm, apparently! All these things led to my feeling rather lonely and sad, which was really the main reason I hadn't been posting anything on here. I'm glad to say things have changed, though!

I suppose the biggest update is that I will be Med regging next year! For those unfamiliar with the terminology, this basically means I'll be promoted and have much more responsibility! Getting the job was fairly straightforward, but behind it lies quite a story. The standard CV and referee things were fairly unremarkable, but the interview...that was a wild ride.

Let me paint you a picture. It had been the most eventful/worst night shift I have ever done. Ever. I had to wait with this patient to bring them to have a scan of their head, because they were agitated and confused, and I was pretty sure they had a bleed in their brain. (They did. It was huge.) In the meantime, my colleagues were taking it in turns to perform CPR on another patient who had coded and unfortunately didn't make it. I got yelled at by a boss when I called them about another patient's ongoing intestinal haemorrhage. Having to drop everything and deal with extremely unwell/dying patients meant being incredibly behind on jobs and pages, so the rest of the time was spent playing catch-up. Morning came, and I had to deal with calls from bosses asking why I hadn't phoned them with so-and-so's scan reports like I'd been asked to. It was insane. I'm not sure I ate anything for the entire ten-hour shift. At the end of it all, I wanted to go home and cry and/or collapse, but no -- I had my job interview to go for.

I went home, attempted to rehydrate myself, and stuffed some food down my throat. I then did my best to make myself look presentable, and caught an Uber to the interview location. We spent 20 minutes stationary on the highway because a truck had managed to drive head-on into a divider; I sat fretting in the passenger seat as my driver happily chatted about West Africa, where he was from. As the minutes crawled by, I realised with a sinking feeling that I was officially late for my job interview. It all felt like a bad dream. The minute we stopped at the entrance of the Royal Brisbane, I jumped out, got directions from reception, and ran to the interview location. I'd missed out on reading time, but thankfully got a few minutes to look over the sheet of paper, as the interviewers were running a little behind. It wasn't very much time at all, and I told myself I'd have to wing it. So I did.

They were all clinical questions, but that's about all I can remember on what they asked. I remember shaking everyone's hands, having to listen closely to the questions (since I hadn't had much time to read them), and talking a lot. There was lots of nodding and ticks on papers. I honestly don't know what else happened -- everything still felt like a bad dream. I left the interview room reeling, ridiculously tired but also still pumped on adrenaline. I went home, showered, and collapsed into bed. I needed all the rest I could get, since I was going back for another night shift later that day.

I genuinely hadn't realised how awful that was until I started typing it all out now! It was probably worth it, in any case, because I got the job! For six months next year I'll be at a regional hospital, then I'll be back in Brisbane for the next twelve. I'm very excited to be Med regging next year, but also a little bit terrified. I'll be running codes! At night! Me! Maybe it will be a baptism by fire sort of situation, where you get an insane amount of things thrown at you but you emerge much cleverer, calmer, and wiser. I feel like that's just how you learn things in medicine in general, anyway.

Speaking of baptism by fire, I do want to write about my experience moving from a smaller regional hospital to a huge tertiary one. That's probably a whole blog post on its own, though, so I'll save that for another time. I suggest you don't hold your breath -- keep in mind this is my first blog post this year, in October. Maybe I'll get better at this now that I'm less sad. We shall see!

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