"In the heart of the moment, during the resuscitation, it is easy to be objective about things, to separate yourself from the horror of the event. Even as a lowly intern, you have a job to do, even if that job is to watch and learn, starting the process of preparation that gets you ready for the first time when it might be you wielding the knife and making the decisions. Alone with her, it's harder... [Because] as a student, the world of medicine appeared to be full of patients who are much older than you, who are enduring things that you don't need to worry about just yet." - Extreme Medicine, Heart, by Dr. Kevin Fong
These words are pretty spot on to what I feel on a daily basis.
Except even as a lowly intern, I'm not only expected to watch and learn but I'm expected to act, and be good at it. High expectations makes for a better surgeon. The pressure is high, and you often feel rushed to act.
Trauma activations are a special experience for lack of better words; being in charge of running them is on a whole other level. There are always attendings in the background, but the whirlwind of everything that is happening down to the miniscule level--I am still learning to drown out. I am learning to focus and direct others. I am learning to lead in a very specific way. I am directing the wave instead of just riding it--and resting in it when I need to.
Part of this is learning how to process everything in an efficient, but also personal, way. Processing enables you to help. It enables you to be productive. I have been learning to take pause efficiently - creating a space of calm, collected, logical assessment but without doubt. I am still working on this.
This month, the solar eclipse created a weird zone of togetherness. Everyone wanted to be a part of watching this phenomenon that we didn't really understand.
Tomorrow is my last day of 30 days on trauma - first of many - and the end of my second month as a surgical resident. There are so many things, but I'll save them for later, after I've processed. Trying to understand this phenomenon of being able to doctor that I still don't fully understand. Gratefulness, filled to the brim.