Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Just in case you're here alone and need to do a vacuum delivery or cardiovert someone.

Famous first day quote #1: While on our bird's eye tour of the clinic and attached hospital yesterday, it went something like this:

"So here's the ER and labour room stock area. You should make sure you are familiar where everything is, so when you're here alone and if you need to say, do a vacuum delivery or cardiovert someone, you know where everything is."

Gulp. Can I get a holy crap.

Oh, excuse me Mr. Rural Doc, perhaps you forgot I'm pretty brand new. I guess there's nothing like an expectation to fill. 

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

On the bright side, the hospital is nice and tiny. I should only get lost once or twice in the total of three hallways. We've met some of the staff, and are greeted with a big smile and "well, welcome!" most of the time. I promise to learn as many names as possible, I swear.

There is something really thrilling and equally petrifying about the apparent degree of autonomy we will have out here in Small Town. It's refreshing, but as my Partner in Crime and I can agree to, feels a touch soon with what feels like our very limited knowledge.

I like to think of this journey as a way to bring me along the spectrum of unconsciously incompetent to consciously competent. 
That is, when starting something brand new, you're often completely unconsciously incompetent - you have no idea that you have no idea. 
If you're lucky, you graduate into consciously incompetent - you are so very aware of how little you know, and how much you don't know. I'd say this is where I am most of the time right now.
Next, you'll get a bit more competent, but really have to work at it - you'll be consciously competent. I look forward to this stage, but think it will probably be either somewhere at the far end of this clerkship roller coaster and into residency.
Finally, when you've been at it for a while, you become unconsciously competent - you just know stuff, and you don't have to think about it. I'm definitely no where near this yet.
I didn't come up with this idea, but I really like it. I feel like it's really a good representation of what our dramatic learning curve in this field is like.

Other cool facts about my first few days:
1. The hospital offers two types of diagnostic imaging: good old x-rays, and ultrasound. However, ultrasounds are done by us. Yes, us. We might not know how yet, but we're going to learn. How exciting! My Partner in Crime and I have planned to go ultrasound each other one night to get a feel for it. 
There are no echocardiograms, MRIs, or CTs out here. This just got real.

2. The teen birth rates and teen suicide rates are higher here then the average in the Central Zone of Alberta.

3. There is an adorable coffee shop called Little Country Cappuccino that serves a great latte, has some adorable things for sale (my favourite was a sign that said "a cat is just a tiny lady in a cheap fur coat") and serves ice cream on warmer days. Only open until 6pm though, so no late night studying there. 

4. Wednesday Wing night in a town/village/bump-in-the-road about 40 minutes away serves wings for 35 cents each. Drinks and wings put us out 22 whole dollars. Talk about cheap dates! We were greeted by again, big hearty smiles, a few sideways "these girls aren't from around here" looks, and even a tip of a cowboy hat. This is real cowboy country. How fun.

Well, it's getting late. We have an appointment with The Town tomorrow to get some stats and info about what services are offered. We have our first session online with our other colleagues that are scattered throughout the province on Friday and our task is to show-and-tell our new digs through a slide show. 

So like tourists, we ventured out to take some pictures this afternoon. We'll be working on that tomorrow after "work". Not sure what that might entail yet, but I'll keep y'all updated. (See what I did there? ;) ) 

A latte love,


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