Sunday, July 11, 2010

I don't know

The last couple of times in Big City Hospital were neutral, by way of two extremes: Completely terrible and completely amazing.

The completely terrible part has to do with my interactions with the nursing staff primarily. My mental game was completely off. Someone would phone and as I was telling whomever needed to take the call what the issue was and who was on the other line, my brain took off on holiday. What the hell do I mean I can't remember who is on the line!? They just told me less than a minute ago! I also had trouble with keeping phone numbers straight. Don't know how many times I rang up the wrong person.

I felt completely useless and incompetent. The ward clerk, who I'm not entirely certain ever cared much for me to begin with, really seemed to be raising an eyebrow at me. The harder I tried to get back into things, the worse everything got. It's such an indescribably frustrating feeling, especially for me. I hold myself to an enormously high standard of quality, and I know that no one can be 100% all the time, but I settle for nothing less from myself.

During my last shift, I got really down on myself...the worst thing in the world to do, I know. When I was telling people about myself and that I want to one day become a doctor, I had to cringe when I saw their expressions.

On the upside, however, I had nothing but lovely patients all week. Not a solitary problem out of any of them. They were all gracious and personable and almost all were with me in laughter. There was one family in particular who I couldn't tear myself away from. The mother was in for altered mental status and her children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and even neighbours were there from the start of visiting hours until the end. Fantastic support and love. It was beautiful.

They were all very scientific in their career paths, as well, which was just a joy to speak to them about. Highly, highly intelligent people. Usually when I speak to such individuals, I'm intimidated...but not this time, even in light of my performance on the administrative end of things. We discussed film, literature, philosophy, religion, and tons about the physical sciences. Every last one of them were extremely supportive and encouraging to me over my educational goals, which meant more at those moments than they could ever possibly know.

In the middle of the week, at the tail end of my shift, a stunning middle-aged lady (and I do indeed mean lady) stopped me in the hall and requested assistance finding a particular room. Turns out she was in the wrong wing. The important part here, though, is that as she spoke, I noticed something very familiar in her accent. She comes from an area in which I have strong family ties and spent the majority of my early years. I told her about this and she found it extraordinary. What are the odds? I escorted her to the appropriate area just to keep speaking with her. Haha, found myself wishing that she were maybe 15 years younger... or that I was 15 years older. My, my.

So, at the end of my last shift this week (my least competent day in dealing with the back-end stuff), two or three visitors from various rooms came by the nursing station on their way out and thanked me for spending time with them and so on. It was a bit embarrassing, but as I was driving home, I felt glad for it, if for no other reason than to prove to the ward clerk and such that I'm not completely incompetent and idiotic. Ha.

I've begun seriously analysing whether or not medicine is the right path. I feel like I know it is, but when I have days...several days in a I had, I really, really wonder. I've been giving serious thought to working for Make A Wish instead...still get to help people, and get to do even more of the part I love: making a real connection with people and making them happy.

I don't know what to do. I just don't know.

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