Thursday, August 19, 2004

Trauma: Week One

There's a million things that could be said to describe Charity Hospital. Imagine this old hospital built in the late 1940's. Due to a lack of government funding, this 1100 bed, 14-story hospital is severely understaffed and has many wings that are in various states of disrepair and closure. The hospital has a perpetual sense of dread. Parts of the hospital are dark, with eerie shadows and strange sounds that echo through the partly deserted halls. There are no private rooms, all the patients lie in wards separated by curtains. In the basement, where the cafeteria is located, exposed pipes and bare walls augment its dramatic aura.

It has been years since this hospital has seen any major renovation. Phones are scarce, and computers are even more rare. (Thus the decrease in my blog frequency.) Finding a nurse to assist you can be difficult, and most of these nurses have been around for years and show no signs of doing anything you ask of them.

Yet, strangely enough, I'm having a great time in this new hospital. The trauma service has been both a physical and mental challenge, and I've surprisingly welcomed this with open arms. (Yes, I am amazed myself.) This first week has been difficult, to say the least, but I haven't felt this rewarded in quite a long time. This is by far the most strenuous rotation I've had so far, and I'm enjoying it very much. In fact, I'm looking forward to the next 4 weeks of my trauma rotation happily, wondering what will come busting through the trauma bay next.

I can only assume that this enjoyment is partly due to a sleep deprived delirium. Anyway, there will be more stories and details to follow. Due to a hectic and busy call schedule, not to mention the lack of available computers and sleep, my entries will most likely occur every other day. I think it will be nearly impossible to work in this hospital for 5 weeks and not accumulate any crazy stories.