A Day in the Life of a Psychiatry Resident
Apart from those “early birds” who get up soon to do regular exercises and walk, a typical day in a residents’ life begins around 7.30 am , not to mention the multiple snoozes in alarm that are set as a ritual the night before with a plan to get up early and study, which almost never materializes actually.
By the time one gets ready and is in the process of making a decision about breakfast either to have it in the mess or canteen, invariably it is the CUG mobile which starts working before him/her. It’s either a call from staff nurse about a patient who is uncooperative or a SERWICE/therapy patient seeking new appointment in view of recent crisis.
Frequently, posting a patient for ECT is preferred and breakfast is postponed. Anyway teashop is around and samosa is enough. Run to the ward where you had got reminder call already about the uncooperative patient. Ward off the angry glances of sweepers who had just started mopping the floors after shifting all the patients out. When you reach nurses station get ready to receive a bunch of complaints from both staff nurse saying difficulties created by the patient as well as the patient demanding discharge stating minor administrative problems. Try to sort it out yourself remembering senior residents are always there when situations are demanding. Succeeding in your attempt without taking the help of SR will provide you with your much needed first burst of “Dopamine” of the day.
Unit schedule determines your next stop. OPD, emergency ward, priority ward, special clinic, ECT room, SR or consultants’ rounds or a free day may be one of them. If it was a free day, beware the above mentioned call or drama would have already given you a heightened emotions.
SR and consultant rounds are two coolest days of the week. Giving final touches to the “workup scripts” of the week to be presented before them would be the next priority. Presenting the workups, intense discussions, patient interviews, newly made diagnoses, requesting investigations, adjusting medications, sending necessary referrals, most importantly understanding the problems, learning interviewing and negotiation skills and gaining knowledge throughout the process makes the day whole, also studded with lighter moments like coffee breaks with unit team, lunch at canteen with friends and walking through the beautiful garden around pavilions. Further clarifications and assessments about the new workup are a rule rather an exception at the end of almost every single round.
Get ready for the academics in the evening. Ranging from unit case conferences, topic discussions to departmental seminars, journal clubs and guest lectures. Arts theatre had seen wide variety of people from those who had not slept properly the night before to those whom you want to see sleeping when you are the presenter so that they cannot trouble you with many questions.
A day in the life of a Neurology Resident
Life in NIMHANS buzzes with activity everywhere, with the day starting early with us getting ready for case presentations with all our notes and print-outs of latest articles for consultants’ rounds and important individualized decisions and plans for every inpatient in the ward. The discussions on the possible diagnosis, revisions and re-revisions of the same before we come up with the most fitting option, go on and on, with brainstorming ideas emerging from everywhere. Knowing that we deal with the most elegant and complicated part of the human anatomy, our brains are on the run always…
Followed by a walk through the green campus with trees smiling at you and you reach the OPD. This would be followed by outpatient discussions and another set of puzzlers!!! A lot of patients with expectant eyes wait patiently to be seen. Human miseries in its varied forms and illnesses move us, may depress us but there is a hope in the eyes of patients and their faith in us that gives the motivation to work ahead and help in the best possible way.
Each one of the patients has their own long long history, a big bunch of files, investigations and MRIs and then we try to put together everything – more often than not, it still remains a mystery to be solved until you present it to consultants. Things start to make sense then and we get a plan to move ahead. A retake of history and another new set of clues then follow inevitably, just showing us that it needs more and more time on every neurology patient to reach that evading diagnosis.
Just when you seem to getting an idea on your inpatients, the emergency rotation day shows up with a large number of cases of stroke, neuroinfections, GBS, CVTs and a lot of patients with uncertain diagnosis referred from peripheries for opinions and diagnoses to the casualty. And CTs showing white or black holes or none, lead us to scratch our brains more… for that diagnosis !!!
A variety of neurological, non-neurological and surgical cases show up, which we try to sort out despite the huge anxious crowd, while discussing with seniors and consultants and calling the radiology residents for opinions and more often for urgent MRIs. These along with a quick article download on your tablet/phablet (carefully chosen and updated for its fastest internet speed and a still faster processor, usu. the best in the market!!! ) about all the odd points in your case and we are ready to show it to consultant.
The evenings start with a tea and a talk with seniors/juniors on how to go about the rest of the day left and make the best of it. The nursing staff welcomes you to ward back with “doctorji… patient was asking for you” and you know the admissions were waiting for you. Start history taking, attend casualty calls in between, arrange EEGs, MRIs, biopsies, and do nerve conductions explaining them that its only a mild shock ( !!! ) and when it accidentally shocks you – jump up from your chair and the patient is smiling at you !!! The day ends with a plan to read articles relevant for that day and when we wake up we realize that it’s a new day, you barely have time for taking a print-out which is rushed through and finds a place in one of the files… And the process repeats again… and in between calls from home/friends and sometimes a message from an old inpatient asking you how are you doing…
A day in the life of a Psychiatric Social Worker
Doing M. Phil in a medical institute like NIMHANS brings a variety of new experiences every day, be it in departmental activities or in clinical work and training programmes.
Intense thirst for knowledge and commitment to clinical works keeps you on the run all the time. Time is the scarce thing here. Blessed are those who’ve got the optimum time management skills. Wherever you turn around, there is a known face at any point of time. Taking the responsibility to offer professional help to people who visit the OPD; after doing so much from morning, still feeling duty-bound to walk back in the evenings to wards to see your clients; having to do detailed workup in a language you hardly know, catching up with friends near Nagaraj tea stall in break and doing a “Chai pe Charcha” on totally irrelevant topics; talking a long glimpse at the campus trees that take turn to bloom seasonally; walking in the middle of flowers and leaves that keep filling the campus roads, campus pets welcoming you every place you go; watching someone feeding them; occasional festival celebrations at departments; weekend dinners; preparing for at least one presentation for the unit or department once in every 15 days…… every day is a new day and makes you enjoy the mixed experiences of anxiety, happiness, tension, worries, success, relaxation, learning, respect, mistakes….
There is so much that everyday life at NIMHANS gives you to learn for your personal life, much more than your professional life and that is the beauty of a day being a Psychiatric Social Worker at NIMHANS.