Not JUST an R1 and other difference making moments.

Today, I was answering my attending’s pager and a GP calling from outside the hospital said the nicest thing to me.

It is my first day doing GI consults, which can be rather interesting.  I find consultation services fascinating because you get to see people with all sorts of problems for all sorts of other problems.  The bigger the puzzle, the better in my books and I saw a couple doozies today.

In fact, in one of them, someone with some liver test abnormalities, I solved the puzzle without prompting thanks to my time spent on the liver service!

Anyway, back to my story… So, I answered the third outside call of the day.  The people calling expect to get the specialist, not the junior resident.  And normally this person is excellent at answering.  But, because they were mid-scope or mid conversation, I was sent to answer, so at least the person would get a response and some interim advice before the attending could call them back.

I heard the whole story from the GP and agreed that the person needed to be seen and that things weren’t right (but I had no clue what else needed to be done or in what timeline exactly), so I told the GP that, “I am just the R1, so I can’t really make any suggestions,  but I will get my staff to call you back when they get a moment.”

The GP responded, “You are never JUST an R1… You are a part of the team.  Had you not answered, I would have been stuck waiting by my phone.  At least now I can say I talked to someone and they need to check into things.  This is how you learn.”

Such a nice thing to say.  A simple and obvious statement, but one of those things that you need to be reminded of.

I know that deep down inside.  But, sometimes, especially on a consult service… And new to that service, you feel as if you are just a middle man.

But, that is what I am there for.  To help people.  And to learn.  And part of that learning and helping is answering calls and consults that I really can’t do much about besides take a good history and physical and do some reading around it.  And once I review it with staff, I learn.  And next time, maybe I will know what to do for real.  Or at least have a better educated guess.

I am so thankful for people who understand that situation.  Who take time to teach or understand that I am learning.  It makes a world of difference in my day.

Other world of difference to my day moments were less profound.

I woke up and Patrick informed me that I slept through yet another Habs win.  On the bright side, I stayed awake to the end of the second period (I sure felt it this morning, though).

I finally pulled that darn grey hair out of my bangs.

I realized that the cold Patrick gave me last week has now had me talking like a man for a week.  I think there are people I have met on several occasions now who may think I just have a husky voice.  And for some reason, that strikes me a little funny.

It was unseasonably warm today, so I walked home without wearing a hat and mittens for the first time in ages. Also, I left work at 5 and it was still somewhat light out when I got home.

Clearly, my life is exciting.  Thank goodness that doctor was nice.

6 thoughts on “Not JUST an R1 and other difference making moments.

  1. I’ve made the mistake of saying “I’m JUST the Respiratory Therapist, I can’t fix your IV pump” to a past MD when he was an inpatient. He wasn’t impressed with that, and quickly corrected me. He said that I was the most important member of a code team, seeing as I cover both A and B (airway and breathing). It’s interesting to think of it that way. There’s plenty of limits to my skills, but then again, I know more about the heart and lungs than any nurse I know. It’s just hard to remember that some days. We’re all more than “JUST a” someone in the healthcare team and life! I’m thinking you just inspired a blog post for me today with your post!

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