Things I Learned At Work
1. If you carry keys in your pockets everyday, they will make holes in your clothes. Most women don’t realize this, because they typically keep their keys in their purses, but I keep a set of mine in my work hoodie in case I need to get into the call room or the doctor’s lounge. I have holes all in both pockets now and the keys poke through them embarassingly. I guess I’d better get another hoodie, so I can make holes in it too.
2. No one will replace the toilet paper, the pillow cases or the hand soap in the call room but you. That’s right. I have put more rolls of paper on the spool, bought more hand soap from Bath & Body Works and replaced the pillow cases on the call room bed more times than I can count.
3. People will cheerfully take/use your stuff. I am constantly running out of paper clips and people steal whole Post-It note pads off of my desk. They also steal my pens. Since we no longer get these free from the drug reps, replacing them becomes annoying.
4. Dried yogurt looks exceptionally bad on scrubs. Enough said. It just does. It looks disgusting. I guess dried yogurt looks pretty bad on all clothes, when it gets right down to it.
5. If you have an opportunity to put your scrubs on backwards, you will. Especially if it is three o’clock in the morning and you are rushing to put them on. Your patients and nurses will cheerfully point this out to you.
6. You can persuade yourself that you do not have a weight problem if you wear scrubs all the time. Scrubs are loose and forgiving, except for when they become tight and unforgiving and you have to go up a size. Reality sinks in when you attempt to put on normal clothes at home, which doesn’t really happen all that often. Especially when you know your clothes aren’t fitting well, you will tend to stick with the scrubs at all times in an attempt to lie to yourself.
7. More babies are born at four AM than at any other time. This is a cortisol and circadian rhythm thing, and the babies cannot be persuaded to help you out and be born at some other time. Neither can the moms, who have no interest in waiting.
8. Your phone will always ring at the least convenient time. Especially when you are at work and being bombarded with problems from six different directions and dealing with demanding patients. Or especially when it is your husband, who ALWAYS calls at the worst possible time. Like when you are peeing. Or in a room with a patient. Or doing a delivery.
9. Your computer will always fail just after you have entered in about an hour’s worth of data. Even if you hit save frequently. Somehow the save button is rendered useless by the evil computer. You will have to type everything in again.
10. You will never find your nurse when you need her. She will always be in another room with another patient when you need her to bring you something, or when you need her to help you with a patient who is passing out. No one will have any idea where she is.
11. You will always be on call when there is an event that you want to attend. Without fail. If there is something fun going on on a weekend, you will always be on call on that weekend. And if you try to plan something on a call day, something will always happen so that the activity is canceled.
12. The elevator is always on the wrong floor. And you will run into that problem patient, who, while they have you on the elevator, wants to ask you “just a few more questions”. They even ride the staff elevators.
13. Your patients will always start early and end late on those days when you are already running behind. Everyone shows up on the day where you’ve been stuck doing a c-section in the middle of clinic. And they all want to wait to see you; no one wants to reschedule. You will have a relentlessly heavy schedule on days where you have been in surgery all morning and are exhausted, are post call and are exhausted, or on days where just waking up in the morning requires more coping skills than you have.
14. The patient you have been strenuously avoiding throughout her entire pregnancy will find you and be in labor on your call day. You will have to do a c-section alone on a three hundred pound woman.
15. Medical professions breed negativity.