Life On The Night Shift

You ever look back at a choice you made in the past and just simply marvel at how awesome of a decision it was? If you haven’t done this in a while (or ever, which would be just downright depressing), I want you to stop right here and take a moment to reflect on some past decisions that you are proud to admit you made. (Bonus points if any of them helped shape you into a better person.) Doesn’t it feel good to reflect on those huge wins in your life, especially since your decisions were the cause of those wins??

I say all of this to say that I am SO GLAD I decided to double down on my efforts to actively push myself out of my comfort zone, to power through each day with a spirit of renewed confidence, and to refuse to allow fear to hold me back in any way as I continue to take full advantage of every learning opportunity that I come across in order to ensure my evolution into an excellent and dynamic physician. Because of this high-achieving mentality, it was easier for me to fully appreciate my experiences these past two weeks as the night intern on-call. 

In this role, I was responsible for responding to pages from the nurses on the wards, monitoring the status of about 20-30 sick and/or injured patients, admitting patients from the emergency room and from other hospitals to our hospital, serving as a role model and a teacher to the medical students who were on service with me, presenting admitted patients to my attendings, delivering a case presentation to the other residents and faculty in the Pediatrics department once a week in the morning (this presentation was called Chair Rounds) after a night shift, typing up H&Ps (History & Physical, which is a document that details why a patient was admitted to the hospital, all of their medical, social and family history, the results of their physical exam, my assessment of the patient’s condition and a plan of action for the patient), and for my own education as I became more familiar with the hospital system and the clinical presentation and treatment of various pathologic conditions.

This all may sound like a lot of work, because it absolutely was. However, I also found it quite enjoyable overall. Yes, my mentality definitely helped me reframe these challenges in a positive way. At the same time though, I had a fantastic team working with me every night, which really made the experiences on my night shifts that much better! The attendings that I worked with were laid-back and were wonderful teachers, my senior residents were simply awesome to work with, and the medical students that worked with me these past two weeks were always ready and eager to help out whenever and however they could! I also had a good time working directly with the nurses; not only were they really collaborative, but they were also incredibly helpful! I really would not have made it through those two weeks with them or my senior residents!

While I ultimately had a positive experience as the night intern on-call, you best believe that it took some getting used to. First of all, I had to flip my sleep schedule upside-down, which is NOT an easy thing to do. My body punished me for it the first couple of nights I was on, but I eventually got so tired at one point that I completely crashed one morning after work, which ended up being exactly what I needed in order to re-establish myself as a fully functioning adult. 😊 Not only did I have to get used to working during the night, I also had to adjust to being held responsible for the clinical education of medical students.

confused pointing to self GIF by Wuz Good

At first, I didn’t really know what I had to offer them because I’m still learning A LOT on my end. However, I was quickly reminded of just how much knowledge I had taken for granted these past couple of years and I found that I was more than capable of teaching them various concepts regarding the field of Pediatrics. The teaching moments came about naturally, and I was also able to help them prepare for their oral exams via a PowerPoint specifically curated for them. In addition, I allowed them to take the histories of multiple patients as I typed up notes in the background, they were given the opportunity to type up H&Ps for patients, I assisted in teaching them some physical exam maneuvers, and they participated in the two Chair Rounds presentations that my senior resident and I gave to the residents and the faculty in the department. They were incredibly helpful overall! As a matter of fact, they were so helpful that their absence this past weekend was painfully palpable at times as the patients kept coming in and my workload kept increasing. 😭 But they deserved their weekend off; I remember how excited I would be for those weekends after my Shelf exams…..great times, great times.

Outside of my night shift experience, I was somehow able to crank out the voting round of The Desire To Inspire Scholarship in the limited free time I had! It was so exciting to be able to shine the spotlight on those scholars, and I was even more excited as I witnessed just how engaged the public got with the finalists! Bruh, there was a grand total of 3,431 votes!!

THREE THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY-ONE!!!

Shocked In Awe GIF by bartek ujma

I was really left in awe when I saw that. And don’t even get me started on the moment that I finally announced the winner of the scholarship. Man, it was such an incredible feeling. Being able to take an idea that you’ve worked so hard on and turning it into a tangible reality…..it’s really heard to put that feeling into words. It’s just incredible.

Once again, I want to give a shoutout to Anais Humes on her accomplishment!

Shoutout to Kennedy Camp, Paris Souza, Jordyn Hardy, and Kameron Jackson on making it to the voting round of the scholarship!

Shoutout to everyone who took the time to vote for one of the five finalists!

Shoutout to all of the scholars who applied for The Desire To Inspire Scholarship!

Shoutout to all of the esteemed judges for taking the time to review the scholarship applications!

And finally, A HUGE SHOUTOUT to every single individual who donated some of their hard-earned money to help fund this scholarship! You all are forever appreciated!!! 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿

Alright that’s all I have for you today! I just started my two weeks of continuity clinic, that of which I’m looking forward to! (Recalibrating back to daytime hours was A STRUGGLE. Literally stayed up most of Monday and fought against sleep all day….only to be wide-awake again that night. Melatonin and ZzzQuil had me knocked out though! Had me feeling like a brand new person on my first day in clinic on Tuesday! 😁) I’m also looking forward to making the most out of the free time that I’ll be granted in this stretch of time, as well as the advocacy opportunities that have been granted to me!

I’m going to make sure that my next couple of weeks are outstanding ones! You be sure to do the same!

“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” – T. Harv Eker

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE 2020 ELECTIONS. Neither can all of the people in this country who have been negatively impacted by this administration’s hateful, racist, preposterous, and despicable actions and rhetoric. Countless lives have been senselessly lost because of gun violence. The world is warming up to dangerous levels. Puerto Ricans are suffering. Immigrant families have suffered irreparable harm. The list goes on and on and on. Yet, this administration and its supporters have done nothing except allow for white supremacy to linger in pride. It’s sickening to watch. Absolutely sickening.

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