Feet First

“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Saturday, January 15, 2005
    How to Survive Weekend Hospital Rounds
    by Dr. Alice

    1. Wear pants. (No pantyhose.)
    2. Wear comfy flat shoes - you're going to walk a lot.
    3. Get up early. Day shift starts at seven a.m., I try to get to the hospital by six to get my head together. This is particularly helpful if one is hit with an admission at the start of the shift, as I was this morning.
    4. Eat breakfast. Just do it, you'll thank me later.
    5. Don't drink too much coffee. Do drink a lot of water.
    6. Don't, for the love of God, forget your call manual containing all the specialists' pager numbers! You idiot!
    7. Eat lunch. You've worked six hours in the morning, you have another seven to go till dinner. Eat lunch.
    8. Take notes as you go (who's been discharged, what nursing home did they go to, who's their regular doctor, etc.)
    9. Hit the patients who are likely discharge candidates first. The others can wait, they aren't going anywhere. Your chances of thinning the service population go up exponentially if you do this.
    10. Make notes of who had radiologic studies and do X-Ray rounds on everyone at the same time. This way you aren't running down to the basement repeatedly.
    11. Be nice to the ER staff. It will pay off big time. (Ditto for the nurses.)
    12. When you finally do finish for the day, resist the temptation to stay up late reading. Go to bed early because you're going to have to get up and do it all again tomorrow.

    So guess how I'm spending my weekend. At least it isn't raining.



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