"So the patient has been temporarily paralyzed by the drugs, and you're the one keeping them alive by squeezing air into their lungs, but ... no pressure". Gulp. I was holding the mask as tightly against her face as I could, sealing the rubber to her cheeks in the effort to keep highly oxygenated air from leaking out. Looking down at her from the head of the bed I saw the patient from ...

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Today I went to Middle of Nowhere, Ireland for a rural lumps and bumps clinic. I really enjoy the outings to the country, hanging around the little hospitals, and seeing the old farmers who drive in on their tractors (true story). I had the chance to see a nice variety of patients: from swallowing difficulties to sebaceous cysts, urinary retention to infected toe nails. For me the real fun is with ...

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One of my readers astutely pointed out in the comments section of my blog that "nurses will make your life a living hell" if you treat them badly. Some will make your life a living hell, no matter what. As in every profession, there are nurses with a chip on the shoulder, as well as those who are simply counting down to retirement. But for the most part, nurses ...

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This is another installment on how to ingratiate yourself with your new colleagues as a freshly minted MD intern (or medical student, for that matter). These are just observations on behavior that nurses tend to notice, which can really make a difference on how you'll be received.  I hope some of my suggestions are helpful in making you appear like the Star Intern that you know you are. Introduce yourself. There is ...

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If you’re a new intern you are hopefully a little afraid of the new found responsibility in your life. I say "hopefully" because there is nothing more frightening in healthcare than someone who is "unconsciously incompetent." That is, someone that doesn’t even realizethey have no idea what they are doing. Before starting medical school I was an emergency nurse. As an RN, I had the opportunity to see many medical ...

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