Sharing a day in the life of a med student, this time a day of work on newborn nursery!
Today’s day in the life post is a little different, but good to share I think.
The glorification of busy is so pervasive. And even though I don’t buy into the idea that busy is better, I still I feel myself wanting to share my busiest days just to prove that I work hard and the med school is busy. While both those things are true, we also have some days are weeks that offer some breathing room. They are what make the other times manageable! Plus, I get lots of questions from worried pre-meds asking if it’s possible to have a life outside of med school. This post should prove that it absolutely is! Not every day or every month will be the easiest, but you can make it work.
5:26am: First alarm goes off. SO EXCITED that I slept this long. I’ve been up before 5 am for work every day for the last month! (You can check out a normal day of inpatient pediatrics here!)
5:34am: Second alarm. I turn my light on and head to the Keurig. Sometimes I make drip coffee but today I’m feeling a little lazy. I get together my breakfast to bring to work while I wait for it to brew.
5:40am: Back in bed for my new morning routine. I start with She Reads Truth while I sip my coffee. I also look at my planner so I’m organized for the day. Then I spend about 10 minutes either reading blogs, working on my own blog, or just doing random things on the internet.
6:00am: Time to get ready! I thrown on black work pants, a white long sleeved blouse (similar) and my favorite leopard flats (similar). Make up is just a mix of Dew Skin + Tint Skin, concealer, eyebrow pencil and volumizing mascara. I run the hair straightener through my hair a few times to make it look nicer and then I’m off!
6:40am: It feels so strange to be getting to the hospital this late! We had started getting to the nursery at 6am, but realized we didn’t need that much time to pre-round. My classmates also arrive and we divide up the babies on the list to determine who each of us will see. We also have a new set of residents today (Feb 1st!) so one of them comes to check in with us.
6:45am – 7:25am: I chart review for my patients while I drink a Vega One chocolate shake. I started doing that this week since it isn’t too much on my stomach that early, plus it semi-hydrates me while giving me a dose of vitamins and protein. Pretty good for a quick breakfast I think!
7:25am: I head to see my patients. I’ve got two babies that are going home today, so I check in with mom and tell them the good news — their babies are doing great and they finally get to leave!! My other baby was just born a few hours earlier, so I meet mom and examine the baby. She doesn’t have a name yet, but looks perfect.
8:00am: We all meet in the nursery and our attending arrives to start round. She quickly explains how things will work to the new residents (the students are actually the pros at this point since we’ve been there all week!) and then we grab some rolling computers and make our way around the halls to check on all the babies.
8:15am-10:00am: We have 17 babies to see and we always start with the ones that are being discharged. The students do discharge teaching with these moms, explaining scenarios when they should go to the emergency room, when to call their pediatrician, and just some general health and safety reminders. After the discharges are finished we see the rest. We have babies doing perfectly and are just waiting for mom to recovery from a C-section, some babies where we have conversations and adjust some things to try to help with weight gain, and are always talking about bilirubin levels to check for jaundice.
10:00am: We finished rounds really quickly today! We regroup about how the rest of the day will go and learn it’ll be a short one for us! All of the residents have academic teaching in the afternoon and our attending has a meeting, so the NICU team will be keeping an eye on our babies.
10:15am: Our attending says we should do our presentations now, so we are printing our hand outs at one of the nurses stations. She then so nicely offers to treat us to snacks from the cafeteria before we start!! We decided to split a couple of cookies and each grab a drink. And yes, I’m still sometimes drink diet coke! I will go months without a sip and then have a week where I want it every day. It’s not my favorite habit but also not worth stressing about, to me.
10:30-12:00pm: We head to a conference room and the four of us each do a little presentation on a topic we chose. I presented on congenital infections (TORCH infections) which are always tricky to differentiate! My classmates taught us about respiratory distress syndrome, risks of multiple gestation, and respiratory support like oxygen masks, CPAPS, and ventilators.
12:00pm: We are told we can leave, but I want to go check on my new baby and see if she has a name yet. Seems like there is some debate! They are all doing well so I say bye and head out.
12:30pm: I stop by a Jiffy Lube on the way home to get my oil changed by the wait is an hour with no WIFI, so I pass.
12:45pm: Home! I let Winnie out and heat up some Pizza Spaghetti Pie for lunch. I also read through all of your instagram messages about what specialty I should choose, which is so fun! You all send such sweet, thoughtful and helpful comments.
1:00-2:30pm: AAMC has a section called Careers in Medicine with lots of assessments to help figure out what you should do. I take all of them, and of course they all tell me I’m a fit for either pediatrics or psychiatry. I just need to decide which one. OOF.
2:30pm: I get changed into workout clothes and head to Shred415 via ClassPass.
3:00-4:00pm: SHRED! IT’s arms and core day, so the weights sections are focused on that. The running portions are hill intervals and my legs feel weak from my workout two days ago. But I ends up being a great workout, as Shred always is.
4:25pm: I run by the student health center to get my PPD test read. We have to get one every year in order to work with patients, and I am gratefully tuberculosis free again!
4:45pm: I try another nearby place to get my oil changed, but it’s really sketchy looking and I’m not even sure it’s open. I decide to pass and it save it for another day. Instead I run to the grocery store and pick up some LaCroix (I have a problem) and apples. I haven’t had an apple in years ever since my SIBO because they were upsetting my stomach. Something this week told me to try them again, so I’m giving it a shot. I hope I can tolerate them because they used to be one of my favorite snacks!
5:10pm: Home. I try on a new Fabletics outfit that got delivered. They have totally upped their game with better quality fabrics and higher rises, and I’m a big big fan of the changes.
6:00pm: Dry my hair. Yes this gets it’s own line because it’s a process. I have to do it in 6 layers – so much hair!! People think it’s funny that I like to watch Netflix while I dry my hair, but it seriously takes so long that I get bored otherwise.
6:20pm: Dinner time. I heat up this quinoa white chicken “chili” that I made over the weekend.
650pm – 8:50pm: I head upstairs to my desk to start some studying. I’m going to watch the pediatric Online Med Ed videos and take notes. I’m happily interrupted about 5 minutes in by a call from my boyfriend, so we chat for a little bit. Then it’s back to work!
9pm: I’m finish studying. I grab some cantaloupe and a beer and put on some silly HGTV-like Netflix show while I online shop to relax a little before bed. I don’t normally have a beer, but my roommate went out for margaritas with some girlfriends so I think it put me in the mood for a drink!
10pm: Lights out!