Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Archive for the tag “clinic”

Fear And Loathing In North Dakota

I’m slowly getting settled into North Dakota.  I’ve been here almost a week.  They tell me this has been a very mild winter so far – I believe them and I’m grateful.  It was snowing this morning when I got up, but not very hard and it was not predicted.  There was just a little snow on the roads.  It was a hard pellety kind of snow, almost like little styrofoam balls coming down.

I ate breakfast in the hotel this morning.  They have a “free” breakfast every morning.  It’s pretty nasty, especially because I’m still on Atkins and all I can eat are the eggs and meat.  The scrambled eggs the other morning were like dried up little yellow goat turds – pretty gross.  The only other alternative is to eat Atkins bars for breakfast, which I really shouldn’t do because I eat them for lunch.  I’ve arrived at the conclusion that every single dish they make in the hospital cafeteria is loaded with raw onions just before it is served.  Everything I have eaten in there has left a nasty taste of raw onions in my mouth.  I can deal with cooked onions, but raw ones?  The food there is pretty bad.  The vegetables are overcooked and so mushy that they fall right off your fork.  The meat and fish are dry and generally covered with some kind of coating I shouldn’t be eating.  So it’s Atkins bars for lunch.

And I must feed my diet Coke addiction.  I get a big one when I get there first thing in the morning and another one at lunch.  At least they don’t put onions in that.  I consume untold quantities of diet Coke.  Except for the 12 pack I exploded in the trunk of my rental car.  That’s there to stay.  And it’s pretty cheap – 30 something ounces for $1.02.  People understand the Diet Coke Imperative when I explain that I can’t drink coffee.

Clinic is pretty dang light.  I’m not sure why they need to bring in all these travel doctors, seriously.  A big load for clinic here is 5 patients in the morning and 5 in the afternoon.  Hell, back home I saw that many in about 2 hours.  Today I had only one patient after lunch.  The other two docs only had one or two also.  So I went home at two o’clock and decided it was laundry day.  I wore my last pair of Cuddl Duds today and must have fresh ones.  They get kind of sweaty under those scrubs.  Plus, I didn’t have time to wash them before I left home when I got them out of my ski box.  They were kind of musty.  So off I went to the laundry room on the third floor and now I have all soft fresh scrubs and socks and undies and Cuddl Duds.  Nothing I love more than warm fresh laundry!

There’s a lot going on in the background with what my next job will be.  I thought I had a pretty guaranteed repeat job here in N.D. but the way they’re hemming and hawing at the locums place, I really don’t know.  They’re still unable to let me know if I have any days in April.  And April is soon.  I need work.  Now they’re offering me a job in South Dakota starting in March, and I don’t know what to do.  I only have 5 work days here in March, the fourth through the ninth.  I can do two weeks at the end of March in S.D., but then I don’t know what to do about April, since I still don’t know about days here.  They’re already wanting me to fill out paperwork for S.D.  I have a bunch of papers to fill out and mail, but they’ve all been emailed to me and I don’t have a printer hooked up to my laptop, obviously.  So I’ll have to figure out a way to download and print all that stuff from clinic.  I feel very confused and disoriented.  And I can’t always get in touch with my rep at the locums place when I want to, and I can’t always get in touch with my husband, and I always forget to ask one or the other one of them something that I need to tell the other one.  Is it too much to ask for just a nice recurring gig?  The new South Dakota deal is supposed to be that, but so was this one.  They’ve got too many locums here.

I’ve been making jewelry in the hotel room with all my free time from clinic.  Here clinic starts no earlier than 9:15 and the last patient is at 3:30.  If that.  Hell, at home, we started at 8:30 sharp every morning, sometimes 8:15 and ran till noon, and then afternoon was from 1:15 to 5:00.  I don’t even have any patients here tomorrow until 10:00.  So, wow, I can really sleep in, which I love.  And I don’t have any call, which is good because I don’t have to stress over it, or be up all night, but which is bad because I would get paid a lot more if I had it.

I’m waiting to get some real snow so I can get out and get some pictures in it.  I’m beginning to wonder if I should have taken up all that room in my suitcase with my camera equipment, because this little town is not all that picturesque.  I think it will look better if covered with snow, but then there is the whole matter of driving in the snow in my tiny little Chevy, which is so not equipped for heavy snow and ice driving.  I’d like to go out in the country a ways to get some pictures, but I’m scared I’d get lost in the cold or slide into a ditch.  So for now, since there really isn’t any snow, I think I will stay in my nice warm hotel room and make some more jewelry.  I’ve already made eleven pairs of earrings.   I wore some of them today.

I’m just really confused with sorting out all the job possibilities and opportunities, and I feel like I need to be able to communicate more and better with my husband, so I don’t sign up for something that will mess us up or piss him off.  For example, I called him about two hours ago to see if the attorney gave me a tax ID number for my new P.C., and he hasn’t called me back yet.  And since I am now a P.C., and not just me, I need to have all the checks deposited into my new business account.  But to do that, they need my tax ID number, and hubby still has yet to call me back.

So here it is, 430 in the afternoon, I’m off work for the day, have written a blog post and done all the laundry.  Now I’m off to make some jewelry.  That I understand.  That doesn’t confuse me.  In fact, I downright enjoy it.  Then I need to recheck Facebook to keep up with all my nurse and doctor friends back in Alabama, because they are getting fired daily just as I predicted, which is why I left that crazy town anyway.  They fired a great nurse last night, and I hear they let one of the doctors go today.  So I’ve got lots of communicating to do.  And then I don’t have to be at work until 10:00 tomorrow morning.  I’m so glad they pay me by the day and not the hour!

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First Day Craziness

Wow.  Holy crap!  What a day!

I arrived in North Dakota yesterday, in preparation for a 3 week stay as a temp doc (known as locum tenens).  I have never been to North Dakota before, I don’t think.  My parents did a lot of traveling when I was a kid, so maybe we went to North Dakota and I just forgot.  I have definitely never been here in February.

My first day of work was today.  I had to arrive at the hospital at 7:30 AM to start my hospital orientation.  Even though my hotel is like, five minutes up the road from the hospital, I got up at 5:30 (ouch) to make sure I had time to shower, dry hair (so as not to become a docsicle), put on makeup (which I rarely do, so I wasn’t sure how long it would take), eat breakfast, deal with any ice situations, and find my way to the hospital on time.

I got to the damn hospital 45 minutes early.  I hope they were impressed with my punctuality.  Tomorrow I’m sleeping later.  It was supposed to snow 3 inches last night, which was part of why I got up so early.  Instead of 3 inches, there was just some loose snow eddying in the wind in the parking lot.  I was unimpressed.

The lady who was to meet me at 7:30 was actually already at the hospital when I got there, so we went ahead and got started.  I was photographed, rephotographed, processed for a badge, guided through several hundred pages (a somewhat abridged version, but still) of the hospital rules and regs, given a crash course in the hospital computer system, which I must say the IT girl had an alarmingly low understanding of, taken to medical records for dictation numbers and instructions, and given a full out tour of the hospital.

As I have no sense of direction, I have no idea where anything is.  They took me to the clinic where I will be working at about 11:00.  My first patient wasn’t until 1:30.  I met the nurses, and some of the doctors, and became aware that the system is pretty much chaos.  They have so many temporary doctors coming in and out of there, there are hardly any permanent ones.  Maybe because, hmmm, it’s North Dakota?  Actually, it’s because this place is a boomtoom.  Hundreds of people are pouring into this little town because they are now fracking full steam ahead.  I will have no office – I will just work out of whatever area they have available for me with whatever nurse they have available for me each day.  It’s crazy.

Now here’s where the serious craziness comes in.  Since I didn’t have any patients for a couple hours, I started asking questions.  At the time I finished my residency and was looking for my first job, I interviewed with a woman who was a very strict Catholic.  She informed me that she could not condone tubal ligations or basically any other form of birth control.  So I thought, well, surely since we’re in the twenty-first century, that would no longer be the case, but this hospital is a Catholic hospital.  So I asked.  Holy crap, Fertile Woman!  They don’t tie tubes.  They don’t do IUDs, or Implanons, or Depo Provera shots.  If you give a prescription for birth control, you pretty much have to establish a medical reason for it.  Other than just not wanting any more babies, which appears not to be a valid reason.  Shit, when I was working in Alabama, I put everyone on birth control.  Seriously, I made sure my teens, and my patients without insurance, and my patients who wanted no more babies had birth control and plenty of it.  Isn’t that kind of a big part of the job of an Ob/Gyn?  BUT NOT THIS PLACE!!!!  (Yes, I am screaming here).  How can I be an Ob/Gyn and not help with birth control?  WTF?

So I chewed on that bit of craziness over lunch.  By time for clinic to start, I was pretty well convinced I wanted to go home and never see the place again.  But once again, the patients won out.  I saw some great patients, and after a little conference with the nurse taking care of me, I established that I could, in fact, prescribe birth control.  We just don’t install it.  So if they want a shot, or an implant, or an IUD, we send them somewhere else in town.  So there are options.

By the end of the day, I was feeling better.  The nurses were nice, the patients were nice, and I was learning a few things about how to get along in the clinic.  I felt sufficiently energized at the end of the afternoon to go home and read and write a little and had a lovely Atkins dinner of eggs and cheese.  And Mom called to see how my first day of work went, so I filled her ears with all the details of my first day at work.  And now I’ve filled your ears (or at least your eyes, since you’re reading) and feel much better.  And soon I’ll have a little Skype with my husband and sweet little daughter, and I don’t need to be in clinic tomorrow until 10:00!

Tune in tomorrow for more fun-filled North Dakota escapades!  Beadstork OUT!

The Doctor’s Lament

Oh, sad the plight of the doctor today

Her life is a scheduling mistake.

All of her patients have something to say

About appointments her clinic will make.

The truth of the matter is she doesn’t have a say

In the way her schedule will go.

Multiple patients are scheduled today

And she prays that some will no show.

She has no input into her list

In truth, she merely works here.

And considering how many butts she has kissed,

Her daily influence is mere.

So pity your local doc on the go

And blame her lateness no more

She is but a cog in the show

And she is weary unto the core.

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