Last week marked my first anniversary in the Emergency Department. I can't believe its only been a year since I started. Some days it feels like yesterday, others it seems like forever ago. I've learned sooo much in a year but there's still so much to learn.
In a year, I've gone from essentially being a student to evaluating, diagnosing, treating and discharging (or admitting) kids on my own. I've sewn countless lacerations, drained too many abscesses to count, and have completed several lumbar punctures, including 2 champagne taps! I know when I'm in over my head and when to ask an attending for help. I find that every day I feel a little more comfortable. That being said, there's a little bit of discomfort in every day. But that's a great thing. It means there's never a dull day at work!
Along with learning the medicine, I've learned the politics. When I get wrapped up in the drama, I try to step back and remind myself why I'm there. At times I dread going to work (because I'm tired, cranky, have lots to do at home) but when I get there that feeling evaporates. Seeing a child smile or getting a thank you from a parent gives me a feeling that I can't describe. A few weeks ago a patient of mine who was 7 or 8 years old, if I remember correctly, said the most gratifying thing I've heard in a while. After being extremely anxious initially, he ended his visit saying "I love this place. When I grow up I want to work here." Ugh, my heart melted. It's those experiences that make me love my job.
Its been a year of stress, learning, anxiety, building confidence and finding myself. And I wouldn't trade it for anything! Here's to many more years!