Day 9

Seems like the hospital I am in is slowly going back to normal. I wish I were slowly going back to normal. I am not usually this homesick when I am working. I guess I got spoiled for the past few months with so little to do. I will be fine, this is a normal part of traveling for work. This also happens when I am working without concrete plans for the future. Right now I only know what I am doing until June 1. So, I feel a bit untethered. It will be okay soon. 

One of the perks of this job is I rarely have time to get bored anywhere. I am always being challenged by something new. So, I feel funny when I complain about having to learn new things all the time. 

The past couple of days have been spent sleeping and working. Today I am back to days for one shift, then back to nights for several. Day shift has one set of problems and night shift has a completely different set of problems. Physically I like days better. I sleep better and feel better. I like the routine of night shift more. Night shift people tend to have sensibilities more like my own. Night shift is also harder overall. I have more anxiety about the patients. I worry more about whether or not I am doing the right thing. I wonder if other people experience it that way. 

I would not say I have learned much more about COVID, except I am starting to see signs of the chronic problems it is going to cause. The recovery is going to be long for the patients I have seen with the virus. I guess that is true for many illnesses. I am still worried what will happen if we have a big surge of patients at home. So far we have been lucky. 

I think my experience at this hospital will give me better experience for dealing with this at the places I usually work in. Critical care is very different from hospitalist work. There is more focus on the things that will kill you today, while once you are on the floor, I am trying to get patients prepared for discharge. It is hard to tell when a patient is ready for the next step in their recovery. It is especially hard if they have other chronic health problems like intellectual disabilities or dementia. Throw in some psychiatric disorders and it is a perfect storm of issues preventing recovery. So, I try to address each issue to the best of my ability and hope we find a solution for each road block standing in the way of success. Sometimes I have to change my definition of success. All we can do is keep trying. 

So, today I will go into work and look for ways to help. I will keep an open mind, and I will offer support to whoever needs it. I cannot save the world, and thankfully that isn’t my job anyway. I will be flexible and see what the day offers. I may even surprise myself and find some ways to have some fun. Maybe that is the point. To make it as good as you can. Let’s see what today brings- shall we?

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