Thursday, November 15, 2012

All accounted for

Usually in residency I was fairly busy, but there were also times when my schedule was pretty light.

For example, there was one afternoon when I was covering EMGs and consults, but there was only one EMG scheduled and only two consults.

After I saw and staffed the two consults, I got an email from my EMG attending, saying, "What were you doing all afternoon? We have to document your time."


Apparently, all our time had to be "accounted for". We can be doing admissions, consults, clinic, or even "directed reading", but we can't be, like, out skateboarding in the parking lot, I guess.

The email kind of irritated me because much of the time, the days were long, and if I were to somehow luck out and not have anything scheduled for the afternoon, why couldn't I go skateboarding in the parking lot? Or better yet, spend a little quality time with my daughter. No, that's crazy talk.


  1. I think all nurses have gone through the dreaded Efficiency Expert Audit in the hospital. No one really knows what nurses do all day, I guess, especially efficiency experts. I was a critical care nurse when we were expected to - get this - document what we were doing every 8 minutes. Are you sh*&%^*ng me? I am taking every 10 minute signs, monitoring life-saving drips, drawing gases because this guy looks more than a little blue, etc., etc., and you want me to document one more thing? My ED colleagues were similarly stunned. The experts were so helpful as they followed us around - Can you coordinate your tasks? Huh? Do you really have to spend 10 minutes and two people checking that blood transfusion? (Not if I am giving it to you) This was before EMR and soon, the halls of the units were papered with Efficiency Sheets with rather crass remarks on them. Of course, if there was a break in the action, the Experts thought we should be floated. But, um, you see - there is an open heart going on right now who is due in 20 min... or, ... yeah, the ED is slow right now, but ... Well, you can go to the burn unit for 20 min. What do I know about the burn unit and can I even find it in 20 min? Awful, awful, awful. Tricia

  2. The same thing happened at our residency. We had 2 attendings in particular who it seemed were always looking over everyone's shoulder to "make sure" they were always busy. I agree.... all those 30hr calls and working hours after your shift was "over" ... no way you should be able to take off a random afternoon once or twice a year. Shudder.