And suddenly the surgical department realized - we need someone to cover the Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Unit for the night.
Though some unfortunate planning on my chief's part I ended up being the one who lost this particular Russian Roulette. I find myself amidst beeping monitors, medication drips, and unfamiliar patients.
Let me back up a moment. Intern year is all about uncomfortable firsts - your first prescription for narcotics, your first lab orders, your first blood transfusion, your first CT scan, your first crashing patient. All of these things are difficult in their own way. That being said, usually the degree of autonomy is matched to skill level.
Unfortunately, a mistake was made in the schedule and nobody was scheduled to run the trauma ICU tonight. Now, I'm on trauma this month, but there is a HUGE distinction between covering the regular floor and the ICU. The floor I can deal with. The ICU I simply do not have the experience to run.
Unfortunately I don't have much choice, as I find myself here with pager on hip. Currently I have a gentleman on the razor's edge of dying from his intracranial hemorrhage, another who chose to up and stop breathing about an hour ago, and one woman who is trying her best to grab the famous pink elephant.
I've got people I can call if I need to, and so far I've been pretty liberal with the phone-a-friend. But even though nothing has happened for the past hour, I've been lying wide awake.
If someone dies tonight... is it my fault?