Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One lump or two?

These days I've been rotating on Cardiology at the county hospital. Call nights require careful planning, because the cafeteria closes at 7:00 pm and that's it for food or drink (think coffee) for the rest of the night. So the other night I managed to make it to the cafe at 6:55 and stocked up with a couple of bottles of Gatorade, an apple, and a cup of sweet, consciousness-giving cafeteria coffee. As I'm balancing all of this in my hands and heading back to the resident room there's only one obstacle in my way -- a door with a security keypad. I managed to punch in the code with my free pinkie, but the weighted door swung back into my other arm, launching half of my coffee onto the shoulder of my white coat, staining my reference books and patient notes brown, and soaking through my scrubs underneath. I quickly cleaned up as best as I could, desperately hoping that the code pager wouldn't go off while I was half undone, but I was stuck with a warm, moist spot, a huge brown stain on my coat, and a lingering coffee aroma for the remaining 17 hours of my call. By the end of 30 hours of call I'm never feeling too fresh, but I was particularly bedraggled by the end of that one. The worst part was that every time I talked to a consulting doctor, a nurse, or a patient, they stared at my shoulder, no doubt wondering what vile body fluid had splashed on me.

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8 Comments:

At October 8, 2008 at 8:57 AM , Blogger Melinda June said...

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At October 8, 2008 at 9:00 AM , Blogger Melinda June said...

Why didn't you just take the coat off? I've spilled a lot of coffee on white things in my day, and I'm a firm believer in removing the spot at all costs. There's nothing worse than going through a day with a visual reminder that you're a klutz.

 
At October 8, 2008 at 9:01 AM , Blogger Melinda June said...

Of course, you had a good excuse. Mine is usually because I miss my mouth when I'm taking a sip.

 
At October 8, 2008 at 9:48 PM , Blogger Ben-Bob said...

A reasonable question. Partly it's the eternal dress code of Medicine, which is pretty inflexible. But mostly it's because I have to lug around a ton of reference books, instruments, patient notes, data cards, and assorted what-nots that must be easily at hand at a moment's notice, and the coat's easily accessible pockets are really the only way to do it.

 
At October 9, 2008 at 2:18 AM , Blogger Tom said...

Most of those things would fit nicely into a man-bag, if you felt secure enough to carry one....

 
At October 9, 2008 at 8:34 AM , Blogger Madame Leiderhosen said...

Do you need a case of Shout Wipes on hand? Maybe a natty Hermes scarf?

 
At October 10, 2008 at 9:25 AM , Blogger Melinda June said...

Or how about you buck the status quo with cargo pants and field vest? Maybe in cammo?

 
At October 23, 2008 at 9:28 PM , Blogger Julia said...

Oh, that is so going to be me in a few months...

 

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