To the Dark Side!

My black cloud is legendary at work. Nay, almost beyond legendary. To the point that one Halloween, one of the other docs threatened to buy me the Dark Lord of the Sith mask for my costume.

Well, I’ve decided to embrace it. I’m owning up to my dark side. After all, the dark side has cookies, right?

My watch for work has always been a fairly serious watch, with lots of dials and numbers on it to help keep me straight. Day and date, month, day of the week, hour both in 12- and 24-hour time. All that.

Serious Watch

But now I have my “Dark Side” watch. It is quite fitting, I think, given my reputation. Everyone at work sure seems to think so.

"Dark Side" Watch

It’s also quite fitting given my hoard of Legos in the basement.

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Rough Times

I know I work in an ER. I understand that my job involves dealing with emergencies on a regular basis. But I could really use just one or two shifts here where I don’t have a ZOMG, heart-stopping, full-on adrenaline rush, “all-hands on deck” RIGHT NOW emergency that takes up a major portion of my shift.

Just one or two shifts. Please.

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Merit Badges

I got to spend my afternoon today taking my recertification in ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support). It’s one of the merit badges thar physicians have to keep current in and be recertified in every so often. While I understand that there needs to be some method by which competence can be verified and maintained, I’m still not certain that this is the best way to do it.

At the moment, the list of things I must keep current in continues to grow:
BLS (q2 years)
PALS (q2 years)
ACLS (q2 years)
ATLS (q4 years)
State Licensure (q2 years)
Board Certification x2 (q5 years with testing q10 years).

It’s not even the cost of all of this (although that is substantial) that bothers me. It’s that so many of these requirements are so artificial in so many ways. If you want to see whether or not I’m competent in the evaluation and treatment of a trauma patient, for example, come watch me in the real world. Evaluate me as I’m doing my job…watch me working with real trauma patients. Then you’ll see that I can really do it.

P.S. I passed today. I’m good for 4 more years.

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Some Nights…

Some nights at work are very calm and flow very easily. Some nights at work are like a dance that has been masterfully choreographed and set to music, enjoyable and thrilling at the same time. Even when busy, some nights can stimulate and provide fulfillment in my choice of careers.

Some nights make me glad that whisky is made by the barrel and that Prohibition is a thing of the past. Some nights make me understand why so many ER docs burn out after such a short time. Some of these nights make me doubt that there is good in the world, that there is anything better to come than what I see around me, or that there is anything more to life than my senses can examine.

Tonight was one of those nights.

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